Don't Get Trapped

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Don't Get Trapped

This post is not about telecom. It may make you squirm. A friend committed suicide in July. I've been trying to come to grips with it all year. She (seemingly) had it all - boyfriend, several businesses, partners, community leader, close friends. These are the things we would call the trappings of success.

That is it - the trappings.

This isn't my first experience with suicide. In fact, my first was a friend in high school, a 17 year old senior who we thought had it all. Until the night he pulled his car into the garage and didn't shut it off.

The trappings.

I think what bothers me the most is that I can understand it. Every day you jump on the hamster wheel and do it all over again. You do it to pay the bills, eat and hopefully some day retire. Then at 4 AM you are staring into the abyss, thinking about the rut that is your life. Worse - if things are going well - as they were for Susie and Mark - what will it be like when things are not going well? How awful will that be when the plates you are spinning in the air topple to the floor?

How often do we think about how close we are to failure? How many Americans live paycheck to paycheck? Just one slip away from a free fall.

Things are going well, yet you still hate the hamster wheel. You still can't find the joy, the light - and all there is is despair and a long, dark, winding road ahead.

Maybe what bothers me about Susie's suicide is that I can feel it. I don't see too many rainbows. I don't have faith in mankind. Things are going well, but for how long?

Why do the hamster wheel every day? I love my clients. I love writing. I really am grateful for where I am. You have to have a really big WHY. You have to have a really good reason to get up and jump back on that wheel every day.

You have to embrace that why every day. There has to be perspective. But what happens on the day that you lose the perspective, you forget the why? Entrepreneurs are not known for easily asking for help. And suicide is just so freaking easy... just slip away.. all of the stress, worries, fear will be gone.

We don't talk about it, but this happens often.

If you are a Star Wars fan, you reflect on Darth Vader's path to the dark side. If you aren't, you stare into the darkness and wonder why or perhaps why not. In a moment of weakness - one you cannot take back - one that will forever change people - you step into the darkness, you let go, you take the easy way out.

What you have done is take all of your despair, worries, queries and unease and pass them onto to your family and friends. You gave into the weakness.

I can see it. I have seen it - in too many people since Mark in 1983, just a couple months shy of high school graduation. I saw it a couple of times in 2014. It sucks.

We forget that in the whirlwind of success, some people can't breathe.

This thing - success - that so many covet, chase after, lust after - is not a destination. It is not a finish line; the place to take a break. What we mean by success at that point is money or fame or a title or an award or something else that is shiny, yet meaningless.

We forget that so much of life is just moments to be enjoyed and remembered. We only know happy because of sad. We need to our WHY, the reason we do what we do. Simon SInek talks about starting with why for a reason. Everything comes from that.

Erika Napoletano wrote a great blog about how all we see of others is the shiny, fun, happy times. We don't often see the dirty, dark, failures, weaknesses. So we forget that we also have shiny, happy, fun - worth I guess. It seems we reflect mainly in the shadows, not in the sunlight. It is when we aren't happy that we "take stock". You are always your worst critic. It is really difficult to see how great we are, especially in a despairing moment. Everyone has Genius and Art to release into the world. Everyone. We just forget that (and Facebook doesn't help at all.)

I didn't mean to end this year on a down note. This was on my mind tonight for a couple of reasons and I find writing it down helps.

Happiness doesn't happen by accident. You have to design your life, plan for happiness, go out and grab Joy. Don't get caught in the Trap.

The problem with the trappings of success or wealth is that they are a trap. Don't get Trapped. Take a breath. Find your Why and get some rest. It always looks better in the sunlight.

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