I’d be a loser if I couldn’t follow my own advice right now.
I’m in a state of panic right this second. PANIC. FEAR. OBSESSING. ANXIETY.
I lost my passport and birth certificate. I have no other form of ID. I have to FLY to Panama on Sunday.
In order to get a passport in one day you need a birth certificate.
In order to get an “expedited” birth certificate, you need a government issued ID.
I have nothing. I don’t even have utility bills.
I can’t even go to the bank. I have no photo ID.
So… I have no idea what to do.
The trip to Panama is for work. I’m terrified of disappointing the people I work with. A lot of thought has been put into this trip. 100+ people are involved. I’m front and center
My 13 year old self, which is always a part of me, is afraid everyone will hate me.
Panic… Despair… Shame. The holy trinity of regret.
Last week I wrote a post about gratitude.
Other times I write about how to deal with despair and regret.
Well… I’d be a total loser if I couldn’t follow my own advice now.
What would my advice to myself be?
I always write about “difficult gratitude problems”.
It’s easy to be grateful for the smile of someone you love, or hearing one of my daughters say “Dad?” Or seeing a stock go up. Or getting a nice compliment.
But it’s hard to be grateful when in panic.
What can I be grateful for right this second?
7am, with no real hope of solving any of these problems, disappointing everyone I work with, ruining an opportunity, etc.
OK. I’m going to try.
- Grateful I work with good people so maybe, while I go through the bureaucratic one month process of getting my birth certificate in NYC, a solution can be worked out for Panama.
- The practical reasons to get rid of toxic people and work with good people are, in part, for situations like this.
- Grateful I will get all new ID (my passport was getting frayed and ripped) that will last the next ten years.
- Grateful I will be aware of how important it is to keep track of this. All it takes is one loss and it really screws things up.
- Grateful I can practice Difficult Gratitude.
- And, I hate to say it, grateful I may be FORCED not to travel. Not my favorite thing. But, again, I don’t want to disappoint people.
I certainly regret losing the passport and birth certificate.
But what can I do now?
The solution for regret is ACTION.
I know where I was the past few days.
Maybe I will find it in one of those locations. I’m always nice to the people in restaurants and maybe they will be nice back.
I also wrote the expedited birth certificate and passport places. Maybe they can figure out how to help me.
And I will figure out alternatives to travel that may provide the same, or better, results.
Action leads to hope. So, at the moment, I have some hope.
C) IS THIS A SIGNAL?
I’ve been working 12 hours a day lately for probably months.
I’ve had many personal ups and downs with close members of my family and friends.
Although I’m a believer in “diversifying” the ways I invest in myself, maybe this is a signal that I have diversified so much that I spread myself too thin.
Maybe I’m getting burnt out. Maybe I need some time to relax a bit. Not give up. But focus on scheduling time to relax.
I miss having moments of doing nothing. Maybe this will give me some time to do nothing while I sort this out.
Although, at the moment, I have no clue how to sort it out.
D) I’M NOT GOING TO MEDITATE
People have a misconception about meditation.
They think it will calm them down. Or that they will get “enlightenment” or, as one friend of mine is always saying, “I want to get powers”.
This is all wrong.
Meditation is often called “a practice”. People ignore that word.
But what is it practice for?
It’s practice for the OTHER 23 hours a day when you are NOT meditating and life is a full ongoing storm. A full SHITSTORM.
And it’s EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
With meditation you practice observing the onslaught of thoughts that project onto the screen of your mind.
You can’t stop thinking. And the worst is always first. Your “lizard brain” thinks of the worst always.
Meditation is a practice to NOTICE these thoughts as they happen, and say, OK, obsessing on the worst is not rational. I’m going to be rational and calm and loving.
Meditation is a practice for recognizing that your thoughts are not “YOU”. It’s second level thinking.
I meditated for 30 years as practice. Practice for this moment. Among others.
E) AND MAYBE…
Life doesn’t work out the way you want.
Pain is a compass. It tells you where you might be off course.
As far as pain goes, this one is not so bad. It’s not the loss of a loved one. It’s not the failure of a business. It’s not a romantic betrayal.
But I’m really afraid…
I’m going to surrender to The Force. Be as much in the moment as possible. Take ACTION. Find ways to be even more grateful.
Be grateful that I am busy enough that I even need a passport. Be grateful that I lost it so I will get a new one and LEARN MY LESSON.
Meanwhile, I just ran into Larry King.
I’m in a train station writing this article and in FULL FORCE AGONY and I heard his very recognizable voice.
I could keep panicking. Or I could take more action.
I am shy but I asked myself “WWSD” – What Would Steve Do?
Steve Cohen is my overly aggressive, super talented, extroverted, insane podcast producer. Steve would DEFINITELY talk to Larry.
As Steve says, “There’s no right way to do the wrong thing and there’s no wrong way to do the right thing.”
Steve speaks ONLY in quotes. I suspect something is wrong with him but his quotes are always wise.
I put my pain aside.
I went up to Larry and said, “Cal Fussman is a good mutual friend of both of ours. I’ve been on his podcast and he’s been on mine several times.
“Cal is the very best,” he said. “And I’d love to go on your podcast.”
Then I came back to finishing this article about how scared and afraid and panicked I am.
It’s not good what happened. It’s bad. But I’m a lucky guy. I surrender to the idea that things work out for the best.
And here I am. I am a Jedi Knight, learning the ways of The Force.
BUT IF ANYONE SEES MY PASSPORT, I WILL BE EVEN MORE GRATEFUL.
UPDATE: FOUND IT!!!
Glad I took my own advice and had a productive day instead of stressing, panicking, etc. Well-being is a day by day habit and, for me, it’s often difficult. But it’s worth it.Share This Post