“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.”
— Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Back long ago I was interested in this girl and finally got up the nerve to ask her over on a date. In retrospect it was probably one of the worst first dates ever, the highlight of which was serving purple chicken for dinner after thinking one should marinate it first.

When she rejected me I felt bad and called up my long time friend from college. He said that in order to appreciate the high points in life we have to live through the low points — to which I thought, “physician heal thyself.”

In life, we come across both high and low points. For some of us the difference is small (we call this normal) and for others the difference is monumental (we call this bi-polar). I believe that when the lows are small we stay the course in life; it’s Pavlovian. Why rock the boat or mess with a good thing, right? Unfortunately, this same reasoning applies in cases where people feel helpless or unable to stop the lows from happening.

I believe that only after disaster can we be resurrected into a new way of thinking. Only after a major life event can we see the world with new open eyes and take on a new perspective that will guide our future life. We see examples of this all the time.

How many people do you know that campaign against cancer? Count them and I will tell you how many people you know who have been directly affected by or know someone with cancer. Same thing with identity theft, violent crime, or any other myriad of afflictions. People only begin to care when they have an experience that shakes their paradigm and pushes them along a different path.

Surviving a car crash, terminal illness, or other brushes with death can be one of the best things that ever happens to a person.

T.S. Elliot was married twice, once to a ballerina who he never grew close to (they slept in separate beds), and then to his true love. Late in life, at 69 years old, he married his second wife (and then secretary who was only 31yo). Although he only lived another 8 years, he spent every moment by her side and recalls those days as the best moments of his life. It is not time that we should value most but what we do with it.

If you are on a path of complacency, take action now, as tomorrow may never come. I do not advocate driving recklessly in order to cause a car accident, but instead take time off to reflect and re-examine your life, where you are going — and most importantly why you are heading in that direction.