“Many people waste time thinking they can waste time!” – King Ayles, writer
“…professionals shouldn’t need the help of psychologists…”
Yuri was a local dentist. He was reluctant to book a consult because he said, ‘professionals shouldn’t need the help of psychologists, we should be able to figure it out ourselves.’
But, apparently his wife, Yolanda, didn’t share that perspective. She had been concerned about him for some time. She read somewhere on the internet that dentists have high suicide rates, twice the general population and three times that of other professions. Yuri’s moodiness and emotional distance had been a concern of hers for some time. The final straw was when he started working Saturday mornings to meet his clinic’s overhead costs.
Yuri was a big boned 40 year old man of average height, but in very fit condition given his sedentary work of sitting and standing in his clinic all day. He had a friendly manner but it was underscored by his nervousness. His complexion was a bright red suggesting a sudden sunburn or perhaps high blood pressure.
When I asked him about his three top challenges, he told me about the high cost of operating his clinic, keeping skilled staff and the professional isolation he experienced. He was turning thirty six on his next birthday, still in debt and, as he stated, ‘still working his butt off to keep his head above the water line.’
“I did waste two years of my life, already.”
“How long have you been in practice, Yuri?”
“Almost ten years, now!” he said with a confused, sad smile.
“How can I serve you?” I asked so he could set some priorities for our focus.
Yolanda is really worried about me. And, so am I actually. It’s like I have this urgency to my life. I’m constantly rushing, constantly trying to catch up!” he replied.
“Catch up to whom?” I asked.
“Catch up to myself…I guess.” Yuri replied.
“So, you think you have fallen behind in some way…is that it, Yuri?”
“Well, I did waste two years of my life already…I guess I’m still trying to catch up…maybe get them back some how…could that be possible, Ken?” he asked.
“…You are here right now expecting to learn some things that will help you survive…”
“Sure, that could very well be your perception! But since you are sitting here telling me about it, it must have helped you survive through that time as well, eh?”
“How do you mean?” he asked, confused by my comment.
“Yuri, we humans are wired biologically to try to survive at all times. So, whatever we do at any moment is intended, as we perceive it based on our highest values, to help us survive in some way.”
“Are you saying I wasted two years of my life so I could survive…?”
“Well, in a sense, it happens repeatedly at every second. So, for example, you are behaving right now, being here talking to me, so you can survive to the next second or moment of your life. You are here right now expecting to learn some things that will help you survive…is that not true, Yuri?”
“Well, I suppose it’s true…I never thought that every behaviour kind of prepares us for the next one.” he said.
“It is easier to see when we collapse the seconds into minutes, hours, days, months and so on. Like all the seconds, minutes, hours, days and months you practiced walking, prepared you to be mobile by walking, running, jumping and so on.”
“He who has regrets cannot look at himself in the mirror.” – Eric Cantona, athlete
“… it is mostly out of our awareness.”
“But, you’re saying, Ken, it happens by the second…even the millisecond I suppose, eh?”
“Yes…and, it is mostly out of our awareness.” I added.
“So, that suggests I didn’t waste those two years…some how they helped me get to here…is that the idea?” Yuri asked, starting to play with the idea.
“Let’s find out. When you think back to those two years, what was the memory you have of the moment when you felt most upset about wasting your time, Yuri?”
“Ken, those two years were the ones I spent playing hockey which I was enrolled in college. Basically, I goofed off, skipping my classes, partying and playing centre and captain of the college team.”
“What was your worst moment looking back now?”
“That would have to be sitting in a chemistry lab class which I had arrived at late because I had overslept with another hangover. As I sat there, I realized I had no idea what was going on in this class. I was so far behind in my studies I couldn’t even follow what the instructor was saying. I was totally lost. I felt so ashamed of myself, so embarrassed.”
“… I realized I needed to get my act together…”
“Yuri, how did you cope with that moment…that challenge?”
“I just kept my mouth shut and my head down for the entire class!” he replied, the shame resurfacing on his face.
“Go back to that very moment in your mind’s eye. Be there right now! Recall what you were saying to yourself about yourself being in that situation of sitting in your class with your classmates!”
Yuri briefly closed his eyes. He sat back a bit in his chair. Then he said,
“I realized how out of control my life was. I realized how disappointed my parents would be if they knew. And, I realized I needed to get my act together if I was going to have the future I bragged about all the time.”
“So, that sounds like the moment when you started taking more clear and conscious control of your own destiny. Is that a fair assessment, Yuri?”
“Looking back now…I can see it clearly. But, I never noticed it before, Ken!”
“My guess would be, it was soon after that class that you started taking control of your life…is that true?” I asked him.
“It was the turning point for me. I actually dropped out of hockey soon after, owned up to my parents, and eventually switched to a school closer to home to save money.”
“When you think about how that awkward moment in that chemistry class motivated you to change the direction of your life, do you have any regret about it happening to you, Yuri?” I asked, wondering if he was integrating the ideas synaptically in his brain.
“… the emotionality resolves itself into appreciation.”
“When I think about how it was a life changing moment, it feels different…less emotional, less traumatic…kind of inspiring in a new way, Ken!”
“Can you see you are simply uncovering the pleasure in that painful moment? And, as you notice that other side, the emotionality resolves itself into appreciation.” I offered.
“It sure feels different, Ken!”
“Let’s see how different, Yuri. Let me ask you the question that can help you realize the value of the difference so you can use it consciously in your future. OK?”
“If you have uncovered all the pleasure of that painful moment in that chemistry class in each of the seven areas of your life, then you will no longer have any regret about that event occurring to you. But, only you can decide that. And, it will be based on your highest values. So, what do you think, Yuri?”
“Regrets motivate us to learn from a situation and look forward with new knowledge and skill!” – John Demartini, author
“…try to find one where that same principle DOES NOT apply!”
He paused, stared off for a bit and then turned to me.
“It’s like it needed to happen to me. It was the kick in the butt I needed to save myself from my illusions about life. I needed that experience to get me to be here! What I feel now is gratitude. I was fortunate it happened just when it did, otherwise, I don’t know where I would be today.”
“Now, I want you to look at every other painful memory you carry about those two years and try to find one where that same principle DOES NOT apply!”
“There are a lot of them, Ken.”
“Go to the most emotional ones first. Check each one carefully. If you can’t find the other side to it, let’s discuss it so we can uncover the other side you haven’t been noticing.”
“… those two years actually shaped my entire life since.”
Yuri sat back in the chair and stared off again. Several moments passed while he reviewed those two years of his life in detail. He found two others he needed to analyze in detail out loud. But, he soon discovered the information which had been out of his awareness.
Finally, he sat up straight in his chair, looked directly at me and said smiling,
“I see it now, Ken! I can see how those two years actually shaped my entire life since. Those two years were where I learned the most about me, my life and my dreams. They weren’t wasted at all. They were an ideal investment in me and my future.”
“No mistakes, Yuri?” I asked.
“No mistakes at all, Ken!” he replied.
“No regrets?” I asked.
“No regrets at all, Ken!” he replied.
This was a game changer for Yuri and his level of awareness. He had some other illusions he cleaned up about his past. My magic moment for my work was when he said one day,
“Cleaning up my past nightmares and future fantasies has shifted my life. Ken, I’m a very lucky person with a devoted family, thriving business and good health. I had them before but now I appreciate them…very cool!”
“Regrets are the property of the unaware!” – King Ayles, writer
Until Next time…
Now you know, you can’t waste time. Because you have a hierarchy of values, you are always behaving inside those values to ensure your learning and survival. So, if you are wearing a leash of illusion of having wasted any part of your life, go uncover how it enables you to be who you are, doing what you do and having what you have…today!
REMEMBER, this wonderful opportunity! Dr. John Demartini, is going to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia on April 22 & 23, 2017 facilitating The Breakthrough Experience™ seminar. His daughter Alana and I will be assisting him.
This is your chance to start designing your own destiny. Results are guaranteed and there is no better investment than yourself. If you like the ideas you have read here, you will love this seminar. Check it out at:
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Namaste, (I salute the grandly organized design of the universe, manifested in you!)
Be well…balanced! Ken
Further information: www.kenpiercepsychologist.com