Be very careful what you ask for. You WILL get it.
In a previous post, I described my quest for corporate success. I applied visualization to get what I wanted but I focused on the trappings and not the essence. I received the trappings – the executive office, the position, the prestige, the salary – but in a work environment and position that was out of tune with the person that I was.
For that mistake, I found myself a virtual prisoner of circumstance. I had left a wonderful engineering position in the West coast for a position I was completely unsuited for in the East coast. I felt out of place. I had burned my bridges. I could not find a way back. The move east alone was traumatic for me and my family, leaving us both emotionally and financially devastated.
I became a troll, alien to my family and grudgingly paying credit card debt that would take decades to clear. I was prone to accidents and experienced hardship after hardship. I hated the snow and the winters. I bought and damaged a brand new car. Misfortune followed me. I was a negativity magnet.
It took another three years before I decided that I had enough.
I made an internal decision, a specific intention, to go back to the West coast where I belonged, where I was happy, in a position that would be emotionally satisfying, while repairing my financially dire situation.
Surprisingly enough, my wife, who was opposed to any more moving (we moved three times in nine years), gladly concurred with the return to the West Coast.
But that that year showed no hope for such a move. There were no job openings at my previous place of employment. No potential employers replied to my resumes and calls. Furthermore, the housing market was such that selling our house at that time would have resulted in a loss, something our finances could not handle.
There was no way back. It was incredibly discouraging.
I resorted to something I had done in the past – journaling.
I bought a small notebook and started to journal as if it were months into the future.
I wrote in longhand. It was personal. I could write without having to worry about spelling. There were no backspaces to make corrections on the fly. It was not important. I just needed to dream happy things. Writing a journal made it feel as if good things had already happened.
I wrote about the joy of leaving the East for a new opportunity in the West. It was warm where I was going. Snow storms were a thing of the past. For a change, a trip to the airport for the move back was like being released from prison, at last.
I wrote about how the sun shone all the time and how my work environment was full of creative and inspiring moments. I was part of a team where I fit in as a designer and analyst, working in conjunction with those who enjoyed putting things together and testing them.
I described the fun my kids had at the park which was a sunny walk away along two lane roads so wide that you could fit three wide body trucks across easily.
I had a vision of a walk path lined by evergreen trees from which I could see the parking lot of my new place of employment.
I did this every day and reveled in the fantasy. When one notebook was done, I destroyed it and started a new notebook. It didn’t matter that the story was the same. It was an enjoyable fantasy. I changed small things but kept the theme the same.
I lost count of how many small notebooks I filled up and destroyed. They were for no one’s eyes except my own. I never even re-read my entries. The writing merely focused my imagination.
All the time, I focused on the journal. I did no job search as I had no inkling of where to go. I did nothing to improve my chances of moving back west. The Internet was not as pervasive then as it is now. I couldn’t tell what the job market was like.
Then, one morning, I received a telephone call. The voice on the other was a very familiar and welcome voice, one that I heard many times in my old company.
I learned that times had changed. I worked for two companies at the West coast and both companies had merged into one.
And, they had a problem. They needed someone with special expertise and familiarity of the product line with a long history. I happened to have that special expertise.
I was especially suited for that position.
The whole journey back to the West coast was like jumping off a plane. There was no resistance, just a series of easy and successful steps.
First, there was the job interview. It was less of a job interview than a welcome home, even before the offer.
Then there was the sale of the house. In that one year, the housing market shifted and our house gained a $100,000 increase in value. The house sold within a month of us buying another house in the West. The equity gained paid for everything, including our credit card debt and put us, for the first time in four years, with extra money in savings.
Then, my salary was maintained even as I rejected offers for management positions.
But there was another development. Shortly after my acceptance, a new position was created within the company that allowed engineers to rise up a different ladder, one similar to management, but focused only technical expertise. Despite being only in the company for a few months, I was one of the first to be promoted to this position. The ceiling over my career had broken.
One day, as I explored the area where I worked, I walked down a pathway with evergreens the overlooked some buildings. I had seen this before- in my own imagination.
I was back!
The same process that cast me into oblivion raised me back to prosperity.
I look back at the valuable lessons learned, earned through emotional and financial distress. I swore never again to pursue things for the sake of money or position.
There is only one true goal for all action – the pursuit of happiness. That is the essence. And it is different for each person. The path of happiness for one may not apply to another. Each one needs to find their path to happiness. The trappings of success will follow close behind.