A Thought from Doug this Holiday Season

Dear PathNorth friends.

I’ve been pondering a study that I heard about. This holiday season with all of its promise and joy can actually be a sad time for many, since it puts a spotlight on how we should feel, rather than how we actually feel.

I wanted to be in touch as we rapidly approach year’s end. This has been quite a year, as Dicken’s famously mused in an earlier age,  ‘the best of times and the worst of times.’  I am concluding that we seem never to get on top of our own array of  challenges, whether they be on the personal or professional levels or in the geopolitical context. Problems and challenges just are, period.  In the MBA course I teach at Georgetown University, I start the class by citing the ancient  wisdom of  Jesus who observed, ‘in the world you WILL have trouble.’ None of us evades the grasp of trouble. It has many faces with a reach, that  at times can seem too much to bear.  So whatever you are facing, be it medical,  in fractured relations, your broken marriage, with a troubled child or feeble parent, business setback,  depression or whatever…you will get through this if you soldier on, focusing  upon what truly matters.  Pain produces resilience!

I hope that PathNorth has been encouraging for you.  We seek to occupy the ‘meaning’ space.  Often, we find this illusive meaning in the midst of our pain and setbacks.  Ironically, pain can be the great clarifier. CS Lewis called it, ‘God’s megaphone’. It gets our attention.  So we each need a community of folks who are comfortable connecting, not on the basis of our strengths, wealth and accomplishments but rather on another level, one where our weaknesses and broken places are the reference point,   our point of connection with others. PathNorth holds that an avenue out of disconnection is through realizing that we are more similar than different.   It is a counterintuitive thought, but one that I believe is true and keeps me excited about our simple mission of ‘broadening the definition of success.’

So stay hopeful, and as Lincoln offered perspective  during a  very dark chapter during the Civil War, ‘this too shall pass.’ Hang in there….sometimes that’s all you can do. And if you are in a great place right now, be humble, your time on the rack is coming. Live each day, don’t postpone loving and forgiving and risking.  Great to be on the journey together. See you in 2017!  Warmly,  DOUG