The dark moments that define us

Dark times get you focusing on what really matters. My cat was safe and I was happy!

Dark times get you focusing on what really matters. My cat was safe and I was happy!

I know this blog will be one that will either get massive agreement or disagreement from you fine readers. It’s about the ‘dark’ moments that I have had in my life that have really defined me for the better.

I have found over the years that people are one or the other. Some will define themselves by massive wins, achievements and positive experiences. Some (my camp) are the direct opposite, usually coming from the view of defining oneself based on their style of a survivalist.

Today was an awesome day of productivity, working with amazing people and a long one! It’s 11:09PM as I make these key strokes, my awesome cat is licking my arm (which is almost painful with his rough tongue) and I have done at least an hour of walking to get home at this time of night.

As I walked through the parks late at night, the nice weather, the many homeless I saw and the various park benches got me thinking of some of the darker moments of my life. For me, many have been paved by various bouts I have of having nowhere to go and ‘sleeping rough’ quite a few times (‘sleeping rough’ is the PC term for being homeless).

I kind of relieved some of these experiences with actually some very rough weeks a few years ago. A long term relationship went south, I moved in somewhere else – got kicked out after few weeks and I remember having 8 hours of clients the next day.

It was a strange experience in that I would work with my clients, forget my problems and when the evening hit – reality kicked into as that I had nowhere to go. This was a very tough time of my life for me in that I kind of felt like I was living two lives. One was this ‘Handsome Successful Marketing Consultant’ by day and at night, I was harbouring this secret of being someone who felt quite sad that was sleeping in his car (until I figured out).

I was a total tactical failure on my end (but I did win the war though x x) and it was my total secret at the time. I actually told everyone how awesome things where and I remember at the time I was actually questioning my existence (it wasn’t till later on that I told my story after I was really successful). Not in that I was suicidal, no way at all. It was more me thinking and questioning god in saying that “Maybe I have lived long enough? Rightly or wrongly, I don’t fit into the world and that’s awesome. If it’s the end for me, I am cool with that”.

If you know me and my personal motto “Survive, Adapt, Win” – losing for long is not quite in my language. I put my problems aside and took every day as it came. Sometimes, it was living hour by hour.

Just get to the next hour, do a great job, stay focused and as long as I get to the next hour – I will be able to figure out what to do next. One thing I remembered was my thinking at the time. I didn’t play victim at all – in fact, I totally deserved what happened to me. I saw that as a ‘just punishment’ for me and some of things I did earlier in my life (to some very good people that I am not proud of) and that very ‘Catholic’ thinking actually kept me grounded and focused.

It wasn’t long actually until things turned around in my life for the better. My business ironically grew during that period, I found a place to live, my cat was safe and looked after with a focus of win, win and win.

I look back now and feel the pain of what I went through and you know what I think now?

It was awesome!

This experience made me into one tough cookie and even though it took me a few years to language my motto, “Survive, Adapt, Win” became the creed that which defined me and which I live by.

The thinking led to greater success in business in that I felt quite unstoppable and I remember during that time I said to God “Lord, if I survive this one – I will better dedicate my life to you”. Hence I did that! I became a Templar / Knight in the Order of Saint John and this pain drove me to helping others.

Isn’t that awesome? My darkest moments made me better, stronger, smarter and more charitable.

My lessons on this one? Dark moments are awesome. Lucky I had them. No way I would be as awesome now without them. If you are going through that moment, if you believe in God – focus on what he / she has in store for your life. If you don’t, I doubt science is going to help you here. Faith is the best.

Find your purpose, come back and remember – “Survive, Adapt, Win”.

Love your work, share this with those it can help and stay awesome!