This is how most of us live life, moving from one point to the next rather accidentally with the hope that we may arrive where we want to be, eventually. More specifically, I think this explains how so many great people finish poorly. What happened? How did it get to this? Were they just completely different behind the scenes? How did we not see this coming? And in a much broader sense: Who can I really trust?
“Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can't be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or stroke. During an episode of transient global amnesia, your recall of recent events simply vanishes, so you can't remember where you are or how you got there. You may also draw a blank when asked to remember things that happened a day, a month or even a year ago. With transient global amnesia, you do remember who you are, and recognize the people you know well, but that doesn't make your memory loss less disturbing.” – the Mayo Clinic
Without minimizing the severity of this rarely occurring phenomena, I think I have experienced this to some degree…many times.
Driving home and not remembering the trip once I pull into the driveway. Walking from one room or building to another, only to find myself completely unaware of the purpose of my trip.
You may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
You may find yourself in another part of the world
You may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife
You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?
- "Once in a Lifetime" by the Talking Heads
What an unnerving experience to realize to regain situational awareness in an unfamiliar location. How did I get here? I know that I must have gotten up and moved forward with a purpose, but I can’t remember the purpose. I can’t remember why I started doing this. I must have made a right and then a left, and done so safely because I arrived in one piece.
And this is how most of us live life, moving from one point to the next rather accidentally with the hope that we may arrive where we want to be, eventually. More specifically, I think this explains how so many great people finish poorly. I am keeping track of it, as a sober reminder that none is above the hubris of invincibility. We are all left to wonder: What happened? How did it get to this? Were they just completely different behind the scenes? How did we not see this coming? And in a much broader sense: Who can I really trust?
Life is composed of nothing more than menial decisions. The large decisions are the result of all the small ones you have made along the way. You are who you are because of the choices that others made and the reactions that you chose to have about those decisions. You make decisions with each personal encounter with people, with food, with information, with entertainment. You decide to believe or doubt, to love or hate, to consider or to shun, to include or exclude, to expose or protect yourself to circumstances and information that can drastically alter the course of your life. And you are making thousands of those decisions each day. Mostly, complete unaware.
Corie and I have published the “12 Steps to an Affair” and refer to it quite often in general conversations and in counseling. I have to remind myself that no one is innoculated from the temptation to betray someone for whom they originally expressed undying devotion and faithfulness, but that constant vigilance and deliberate decisions can be the protective sheild against shattering one’s own life.
A journey is the path of a thousand footsteps. A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step.