The Most Powerful Question Ever Asked?
What if every experience in your life is sent to you so you can understand who you are and what your life is all about?
Just for a moment consider the possibilities within that question.
What if it were true, would you be prepared to pay more attention to the events in your life and the meaning behind them? If you’re not satisfied with your situation in life and have an issue or two you’d rather not handle then please read on – humour me, the author of a thriller, a public speaker and the writer of personal development books and newsletters.
It took a bump on the head to make me pay attention to issues in my life. And when I say bump, I mean a fourteen-foot drop… headfirst… onto concrete!
I don’t recommend it!
But worse than the bang on the head – concussion, a few broken bones, nine stitches and colossal bruising – was the fact that I lived… and that meant I had to face up to things I’d been ignoring.
My life changed quickly – divorce, change of homes, selling my business – it literally turned on its head in a matter of weeks and before I knew it the husband, the father, the business partner in me had all be stripped away and I’d been left a shadow of myself wondering who I was and what I was doing. But this is when something magical happened.
A man I met – a man from the other side of the world, a man who I travelled over two hundred miles from where I lived to meet quite by chance – said something quite profound to me. It shaped my life from that day on.
‘Learn to live with your self’, he told me. It sounded like great advice, but pretty quickly I discovered a floor in his idea… With all the issues I had to deal with I certainly had no idea who I was anymore. And that was when an elegant blonde from Germany crossed my path…
And when she disappeared from my sight I felt a pang in my stomach that I should not have felt. Let me explain. I had been browsing inside a bookstore, looking through my favourite section as the clock ticked down and the store manager spoke in my ear. ‘Can you make your way to the till,’ he said. I did as he asked, unaware that his request was going to be the beginning of a life purpose lesson and the answer to who I was.
At the moment I accepted my change, the receipt and my purchase that I looked up and saw her, crossing the road outside the shop. She walked up to the store door, tossed her hair, blonde and shiny in the streetlights, over her shoulder and smiled nervously.
The store manager snapped before the woman could speak. ‘You ain’t coming in, we’re closing.’
‘Tis okay,’ the woman said, in broken English. She unfolded a piece of paper and thrust it out to the Store Manager. ‘I am looking for the Warwick Road. I am lost. Can you help me?’
‘Ain’t got a clue,’ the manager shrugged. As I eased through the gap between the woman, the door and the store manager, I was appalled by his attitude. He managed a bookstore – surely they stocked a map!
Then I thought… ‘Warwick Road. Warwick Road… I know that road… ‘Where is it? Where is it?’
As the moments rushed by, the woman disappeared, melding into the dark, busy streets of London. Then I remembered the A-Z map I had in my hotel bedroom, which was no more than one hundred yards away. I knew I would have to run to catch her up, but as I started to run, something happen.
It all unfolded in my imagination: A woman walking the streets in London, approached by a man jogging after her, calling out, ‘I can help. I can help,’ and saying follow me back to my hotel. I have an A-Z map up in my room!’
It didn’t add up.
I stopped dead in my tracks. I let her go. I let her go into the darkness of a London night… alone… And this is what happened to me when I got back to my hotel room.
It bothered me that I had not helped the woman and I paced the floor. It bothered me so much I ended up looking for Warwick Road on the A-Z map. I found it, right at the end of the road my hotel was on… and for that matter where the bookstore was located! Right then I spotted the bag my new book was in and shook it out and it fell out onto the bed… open on a page with a very odd question.
It asked a question. ‘Who are you?’
Immediately I knew why I was so bothered by my inability to help the woman. In that moment it all made sense to me. I had become so frustrated because I knew that I could have helped that woman and didn’t. I knew I was here to help people find direction in life. And that realisation led to another…
It really was quite ironic as I thought about the events: here I was, supposedly not lost and yet a woman who had admitted to being lost had made me think about my life again. The fact that she had been lost and I had failed to help gave me a wonderful reminder of who I was and what my life path is all about. This woman who claimed to be lost had most definitely given me directions back to who I am; that’s the ‘who’ that got lost in all those life issues.