When you think you have reached further than most, it hurts realising you have never been further away from who you truly are.
The fortunate thing about life is that it is never too late to come home.
Looking back at my childhood I have the choice of which story to tell. I can tell the story about the sad and lonely road, feeling like I didn’t belong anywhere, like I was different, weird and shy. This is the story I focused most on during my mid 20´s. And it gave me lot of insight about myself. But there is also the other story. The story about the little boy who had a dream. People around him were telling him it was going to be hard, it was going to be impossible, dangerous and risky. But he did it anyway; he choose the career path of being a filmmaker. Moving into the city working himself up from the floor. A few years later running a company with 12 employees. The local newspaper wrote about his big success in the capital. Mid page and all. What a success story! He had a dream – he followed the dream and he made it. This was the story I lived and focused on in the beginning of my 20´s. It helped me gain insight in slightly different ways than the other story about how I didn’t fit in. It also helped me cover up that other story that I didn’t like. I wanted to fit in!
Be Smooth and Fit in
I remember the time from when I was most successful with my career. No matter where I went, at parties, meeting strangers, friends or family. I always had a way to make the conversation interesting – and about me. I could just tell them what I was working on; some television program they had recently seen on TV. This was so cool, no matter who I met I could talk about my work and immediately be someone significant. This way I could hide my insecurities. I didn’t see it then- but I can see it so clearly now.
My work was my life and I knew nothing else. I didn’t see it then- but I can see it so clearly now.
Compensatory patterns as a way of survival
I have later in my life learned how living a life constantly in the fight/flight mode, or survival mode if you will, is not working in the long run. Your body is constantly in alert mode, your mind is constantly looking out for what’s wrong and need to be fixed, your relationships are always about the same; what needs to be smoothed out so that there is no one potentially blaming you for something being wrong.
What is your relationship to work, friends, family? For me in this period without even knowing it it was this; what is wrong that needs to be fixed? For what? So that I don’t get the blame for it. What can I do to compensate so things go smooth again? I didn’t see then how much energy I spent hiding my insecurities.
I can see it so clearly now. I wasn’t living, I was surviving.
The Illusion of Knowledge
When you spend time on developing your understanding, it is easy to mistake knowledge from wisdom. If you do not have the experience but have learned from someone else as a good idea. It’s not truly yours and you can’t apply it in your life.
The truth is that already as I was building my career and business I was working on my self development. I was attending seminars, workshops, reading books, watching YouTube, researching on how to succeed, how to create a life I really wanted to live, with success, with love, relationships that matters, and financial wealth. All the things I had learned was important to live a successful happy life.
I was trying, I was really trying so hard. And I did have what I called success. What I didn’t realise is that I was following a blueprint someone else had told me I should want. Not truly knowing what was important to me.
The First Experience
The next phase of my life is something I still find hard to put into words for someone else to understand. Its abstract, its personal, it’s not a “words on a paper” kind of thing really. Everything up to this point in time is easy to describe as a linear story about the miserable guy, or the successful guy- depending on the perspective you choose. Everything after this point is different. A different story about revealing something deeper in me. The part of me capable to make my own choices, find my own truths, connecting the dots in my own path. Revealing in my own experience what’s deeper than my stories. Okay, I realised I make it a bit complicated now.
The first experience I have from my new life actually happened before my new life started. I had been home for Christmas holidays with my parents, a flight away from the city I live in. During the holidays I was not relaxed, I was constantly leaving the house taking long walks making plans on how to save the financial situation of the company. Things weren’t going well and I was spending too much resources. During the last walk the night before I was heading back to the city again I was recording on my phone as I walked. I put into words the master plan for how I was going to save the company. The things I needed to do, and the changes we needed to make. It was a relief to have this master plan put into words and I was planning to listen to it first thing back in the office. The day after I was waiting for the airplane in the airport. I bought a glass of whisky to calm myself down and I started watching things that inspired me on YouTube. Steve Jobs the founder of Apple was someone who inspired me a lot and I watched his speech from Stanford University and what he said hit me so hard. He said that you can not see the dots connecting ahead, only when you look back can you see how it all fit together. The only thing you can do is to follow your heart and trust that it will work out. That’s when I first knew without a doubt; I can not run this company anymore. I was only doing it to accomplish something I didn’t even know if I wanted.
Learning to Accept Who You Are
Back in the city I first met with my Office Chief and informed him that I was going to step down as a CEO. Either we find someone to run the company, or we sell it, or we end the whole thing. 3 months later, after trying all the different options, having been through a few more crises, we ended the whole business. I remember people sympathised with me telling me they felt sorry I failed, telling me at least I tried and that was a good thing and I shouldn’t feel sad. But to me, really – it was just a relief so deep that I had never felt more free in my entire life.
I hadn’t just ended the company I had spent so much time and energy to build. I hadn’t just crashed financially, I hadn’t just been exposed as someone who didn’t make it in the trade. What had really happened was far more significant to me. I had realised that I had for my whole career been running a show that wasn’t mine. I had been creating a character I was living out. A character I had taken pride in as a way of covering up my insecurities. The character I choose to call “TV-Øystein” or “Filmmaker-Øystein” and NOW I WAS FREE FROM IT. I was free from this prison where I had to live a role that wasn’t me.
So even though I knew within me that this next phase was going to be maybe even more challenging. I found so much inspiration and courage in beginning that journey- because I knew it was the only path that made sense- I had to start the journey of figuring out who is Øystein and what is the “truth” about my life, my path and this strange place we call Earth. This was a new beginning, and starting that journey has been the most rewarding thing I´ve ever done in my life. Actually I would say that when I started that journey is when my life really began. Learning to accept who you are is for me to find truth about who you are, what is your purpose and what is important to you.
Take the risk. It’s worth it.
Safe travels to you my friend.
Øystein is a Norwegian filmmaker, creator and podcast host. His works focuses upon the human potential and that life always have an opportunity to grow and become more. There is always a way out – UP! Through his audio books, YouTube videos and podcast you can find resources to bring your current life experience to the next level. Øystein works with clients 1-1 over Skype and in person. Energy healing and consciousness coaching.
Before having his spiritual awakening, changing the entire course of his life Øystein was a successful business owner and entrepreneur working in the Norwegian television industry.