Part 28: The path least travelled (part 6)
2007-05-31 15:39:07 -

Metro Eireann presents the latest weekly column by the entrepreneur coach and business growth specialist, designed to help you overcome any obstacles and reach your dreams 

No two days are ever the same. Even if you are leading a monotonous existence, there is still variety – though we may not always be aware of the subtle changes that surround us. Small things such as changes in the weather, a friend’s mood or even something you may hear can dramatically change how you think. How often have we been going about our business when we receive a phone call with either good or bad news that can dramatically alter our perspective on everything around us?

When the mind is preoccupied with thoughts of the past or future, it cannot hear the voice of the present. Some-times it is important to deal with the past, and not allow it to impinge on your present. This is especially true in relationships, and in some cases you should keep lines drawn between those who – through circumstances beyond your control – may still be in your life, and those you currently treasure.

Finally, it is vitally important that you do not allow thoughts of what another person may or may not be thinking to cloud your enjoyment of how and who they really are. Many a relationship has been destroyed based on thoughts of “what might be” rather than a reality focused on “what is” that can only be created by open and honest communication about all that is present now.

Having journeyed in search of treasure for a day and a half, our three friends Preteritus, Nunco and Prostremo have encountered three other people from their village, who were going to tell them about the journey they started a year ago. But in order to learn the story and about the treasure that they found, the three friends all had to want to hear the tale. Preteritus got frightened and ran off, but Nunco persuaded him to return. However in the meantime, Prostremo has disappeared.

As Preteritus and Nunco started to look around for Prostremo and ask where he was, they realised that he had left with Electra, the travelling companion of the other three.
“When did he leave you, which direction did he head in, what did he say?” blurted out Preteritus. “I mean, did he say it was because of me?”

He started pacing around, looking very agitated. Santiago looked up and responded: “Don’t know really, after you guys headed off, he tried to get more information from us, but when we said that we could not tell him he drifted over to Electra.

“The two of them were chatting for a while. To be honest, I think she was flirting with him, she does that a lot, but she never really means it, she is really quite focused. By focused, I mean, that lady knows what she wants.

“Come to think of it,” he added, “I suppose Prostremo is quite good looking, and she’s no grouch herself – I really don’t know why she was hanging around with us.”
“Maybe it was because you found the treasure and she thought you guys would share some of it with her,” asked Preteritus.

“To be honest,” interjected Andreas, “I think she was quite depressed when we met her. Something had happened in her life. She wouldn’t tell us what it was, mind you. I often used to come out of the tent and there she was sitting on a log or something, staring out into the distance. I am sure I saw the odd tear glistening on her cheek.

“I think she joined up with us a way of escape. Many times people run away from their fears, but unfortunately we cannot leave our minds behind us. All fears take root in our own sub-conscious and there we feed them with our own self-doubt.

“I feel that maybe she was attracted to Prostremo, not just because of his good looks, but also because he is such a forward thinker, he is able to weave an amazing tapestry of dreams.”
“It makes sense,” replied Nunco. “However; I have often found that Prostremo himself uses his future dreams as another way of escaping current reality. When you live either in the past or the future, one does not have to face up to  the realities of the present

“Now, don’t get me wrong, dreams are great as long as they are accompanied by corresponding action and awareness of where you are in relation to achieving your goals. We often find many obstacles along the way, and the dreamer who walks along with his head in the clouds can often be tripped up on the smallest of boughs that may lie in his path.”

In a rather uncharacteristic role-reversal, brought about by a realisation of their current situation, Preteritus interrupted Nunco: “This theorising about Prostremo and Electra’s state of mind or ability to be happy is not going to bring us any closer to realising where they are!”
“You are so right, Preteri-tus,” said Nunco. “Let’s go! Guys, do you know which direction they were headed?”

“Is it important that you follow your friend, or should you leave him on his own journey?” asked Santiago

“The past cannot progress into the future without first crossing the present,” said Nunco. “We made promises to watch over each other as each of us has a part to play in our journey. Though we may be parted for a time, it is our kinship that will serve us well on our quest.
“Preteritus, do you not miss the forward thinking and ambition of Prostremo? Personally, I would miss either of you equally, since a journey as important as this is something that I enjoy sharing with both of you

Nunco pointed towards the path: “There are only two ways out of here, and since we did not see them when we returned to the stream, it makes sense that they must have headed off this other way.

“Santiago, Janus and Andreas – it was great meeting you guys. And who knows? I am sure we will bump into you again. Are you going to head back to our village and let all of your friends know that you are still alive an well?”

“We were not sure what to do in relation to that,” said Santiago. “We do not particularly want to tell the people back at home what we discovered, as we do not feel that they are ready to hear it yet.”

“And besides,” added Andreas, “we want to give you guys the chance to find out for yourselves, without being mobbed by the crowds.
“Nunco is correct – Electra and Prostremo headed down the path over there about 10 minutes ago. I really don’t think that they were trying to get away from you, they just seemed anxious to get on with it.

“I feel that Electra will probably want to stay with you guys, as she has yet to complete her journey, and maybe there will be enough treasure for you to share with her.”
“She is welcome to stay with us,” said Nunco. “As long as it is okay with Prostremo and you are happy with it, Preteritus.”

“Sure, I am happy enough to let Prostremo share his portion with her!” Preteritus replied.
“Oh come on Preteritus, don’t be so stingy!” said Nunco. “I am sure there will be plenty for all of us, whatever it is that we find. Indeed we may each get something completely different.”

Nunco bent down and picked up a smooth white stone about the size of a pigeon’s egg and turned to Preteritus. “Take this pebble, for instance. What do you see in it?”
“Are you saying that maybe Prostremo or Electra picked it up? Is it a clue, maybe?”
“No Preteritus, it’s not a clue, I was curious to see if you would notice its beauty, the fact that it is so smooth, almost flawless – I just really liked it and if you look closely you will see a raised spot on the side, looks like a tiny shell.”

“Wow, you’re right, Nunco. Is that a fossil then? It must be millions of years old and yet it’s here with us now – is that the point you were trying to make, that we should appreciate what is in front of us now?”

“Yes, indeed – its history or past is what made it what it is today, and what I do now is what will make its future.”
With that, Nunco drew back his arm and hurled the stone far into the trees off the side of the path.

“Hey, who threw that?” came an angry shout from where the stone disappeared.
“That sounded like Prostremo,” said Preteritus enthusiastically. “But what the heck were they doing off the path in the middle of the forest?”
Nunco looked sharply at Preteritus, who instantly turned bright red. “Oh, no don’t say they were…”

“Let’s not jump to conclusions straight away,” said Nunco. “I mean they only left 10 minutes ago.”
The two friends found a break in the line of trees ahead, and soon they came to a clearing in the wood. What they both saw there was not what either of them expected…

To be continued next week
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