On the road to Self Actualization

You sit with that gnawing feeling, the knowing that there is something more! It eats away at you so much that it almost feels like a physical sensation in your body. So you ponder and wonder when, how, or where? When will this feeling of this knowing materialize into the very situation or outcome you know should happen?

Whether it is in our careers, our creative pursuits, passions or interests, most individuals have this knowing, something that they feel they are supposed to be doing, fulfilling their real Earthly existence. This is the process towards Self Actualization. The momentum to get to that point can seem slow, sometimes excruciating to the point that you feel you’ve been sucked into a vacuum too strong to pull yourself out of.

Abraham Maslow, the famous American psychologist who came up with his well renowned ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ theory wrote an interesting piece on Self Actualization. The basic premise of his article was that a very small percentage of individuals could ‘self-actualize’ to the person they are inherently meant to be in terms of common traits and pursuits that made them exceptional or dutiful towards their true purpose. It is perhaps no accident I came across this theory in my feeling that there is a deeper knowing of what is meant to be, and perhaps this theory was an answer to my search for the process.

I am sure you have pondered on what it is you are supposed to be doing, this feeling of knowing that you should be pursuing this or that. The pursuit often comes with many challenges, some that make us wonder whether our imaginations are really just taking us over in a desperate hope of looking for that greater meaning or purpose in life.

Have you ever asked yourself if you are following the knowing? Have you pondered on whether you can self actualize to the REAL person you were meant to be, fulfilling your human drive purpose in this life on Earth? Just asking that question can have some profound impact on the decisions you make in coming weeks or months. Sometimes you need to ask that question, forcing yourself or acknowledging that you are meant to push towards your higher ideal.

Think about this…apparently 2% of humans self-actualize. That’s a scary thought in itself. What’s more scary though is if you actually become part of that 2%!

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

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Where is Destiny?

Saturday nights often are supposed to be a time of social fun, dinners, maybe the odd party atmosphere or two! But what happens if there is a thought that has been nagging you for a couple of days and you can’t really seem to shake it off? That’s the current predicament I am in, and that too on a bloody Saturday night! Yes, one may wonder who would want to get into such a contemplative and dark mood for a Saturday night. However, I am sure this thought has crossed many a mind; it just may have not been spoken about for those seeking serious clarity.

Billions would go through these thoughts daily: is it my destiny to be successful, is it my destiny to ever get married, is it my destiny to become famous, is it my destiny to make this a successful project…you catch my drift and where I am heading with this. So I have been asking myself where is this Destiny?

Is this Destiny just a perception, a combination of perceived visions and ideas that we feel will really manifest itself? And how do we know for sure something is our Destiny? Yes, current outcomes and situations may seem to align towards a perceived desired outcome, making us truly believe it was our destiny after all.

Yet on many an odd occasion there was a preamble of such events conjuring up to what was a perceived or given outcome…and alas nothing of the sort happened. So is this Destiny just a bunch of new age bullshit people need to lean on, believing all is not lost?

The hope of Destiny has helped many to linger on a little longer, really believing that the desired destination or path will be achieved because they are the chosen One for it. There is nothing wrong in having dosages of hope, for hope is that tonic that sometimes alleviates the misery of many, even if for a temporary basis.

I am questioning if maybe there is no such thing as Destiny? What if there is no such thing as fate as well? Should we just propose that every situation and outcome is just a myriad web of randomness, just accepting the situation for what it is? For now this is a question. It doesn’t matter whether this question is right or wrong,  it’s a question that doubtless many will have, even on this arbitrary Saturday night. It is a question that will provoke many, even those in solitude.

I don’t have the answer, but I continue to seek revelation on where Destiny is. Share your thoughts and comments because it will perhaps provide clarity.

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

 

Why Failure is An Asset

FAILURE. That dreaded word. We all encounter it during our progress in ambitious pursuit and endeavor. The thought of it makes some crumble, while for others it can be the fuel to many new dreams and visions being realized. For me growing up failure was seen as a setback, something not well welcomed, especially from my culture where ambition and recognition are common place and a non negotiable.

I read an article about Failure and how it could be viewed as an asset. For some it is a novel idea, not a concept very popular among the common. It got me thinking that perhaps there is merit in Failure being an asset. Forget the countless examples of human stories where failure was the base for greater things to come and proof of failure being an asset. Failure can be an asset in many areas of our lives; it’s a matter of what our perception is in each situation and whether we view the result as failure.

How is Failure an asset for me? Let me start with an obvious area: career and business. Failure is an asset in this life area because it has helped me realize over time what are my real strengths and weaknesses, not what others have observed as such. When I have failed, it is on the basis of my OWN expectations and not what others would have perceived as the stated objective. In my career I took certain steps which were risky, some which didn’t work out favorably. Despite the results of my decisions, the lessons I obtained are priceless; each human experience is so valuable that I learnt embracing the failures from my own experiences would make me a better person, learning to have a laser focus for future projects and pursuits.

As I embark on new projects, the thought of failure is seen as a welcome sign. I know with every failure in my progress, there is a smoother path that will help me work with a zest to achieve my dreams quicker. Failure is now seen as a stepping stone; others’ opinions will get drowned during my process, but without any semblance of arrogance and ignorance for other’s opinions. What matters is my perception of the result after each stage I have completed. Failure is now seen as a friend, something that is positive; the quicker I learn from the failures, the closer I am to achieving that which I am striving for.

Failure is also an asset because it has taught me to treat each outcome with equal measure. Success and Defeat are viewed as the Ying and Yang of progress as a human with a spiritual experience. This is a powerful quality that few can embrace and help to keep a person calm during major storms. Failure has also helped me to embrace humility. When I was younger failure was viewed as a deterrent, a deterrent to the great opportunities for success available in the world. It was unacceptable for me; everything had to be success.  Combining humility with equanimity will help me stay focused on the vision I seek.

What about Failure in love? Is it an asset there as well? Setbacks in love teach us much about ourselves; in relationships which have been perceived as failures, we can learn much about ourselves and our spirit. We may not like what we observe, I certainly haven’t in past relationships that ended, but I certainly gained more from each relationship that ended. So the failure of those relationships gave me value.

As the world changes and more and more people are looking for quick success, perhaps we need to some how view Failure as a stepping stone, an asset that will provide durable value. Like a financial asset, initially we may not see many great returns; we think we may have ‘invested’ in the wrong asset. But failure is a VALUE asset, an asset where we need to invest with time and only then will we realize the real return from it.

Embrace Failure. Accept it is as your companion for future success and progression.

 

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The True Champion

I have been watching the Cricket World Cup with quite a lot of interest. Much is to be said of the elongated duration of the cup, but the first semi final between South Africa and New Zealand woke up our sports spirits and showed me something we tend to forget is vital in any high pressure international sports match.

AB De Villiers and his South African team would have been distraught at the outcome of the match. But what AB displayed after the match is a quality that few exhibit, a real champion that respects the sport and shows true sportsmanship. AB did not use any excuse in his post match conference, rather accepting he was beaten by a team that showed determination. In a sense he was displaying a sense of a true champion, knowing that not every moment will result in glory.

A real champion is someone who mutually respects his opposition and gives credit to the opposition when it is due. He showed a remarkable sense of humility as well, knowing he could only do what was within his and his team’s control.

These qualities are found in another man I really admire. MS Dhoni, the Indian Cricket team captain has always demonstrated calm and a sense of purpose for his team, without ever looking too far ahead. He also shows a sense of humility in admitting his team’s strengths and weaknesses openly. Dhoni personifies a true champion by being calm and in the moment.
Perhaps both these role models are also true champions because they remember one thing when they go out to play: they are just playing a game. Whatever happens on the field remains there, afterwards life continues as usual.

This got me thinking about how we can become true champions in our everyday life, even if we feel what we do on a daily basis is mundane and does not add significance to our lives. It can get easy to get carried away by our emotions, letting the current situation get to us. If we are true champions, we will know each circumstance can change quickly; yes a bit of luck helps but I really believe we make our own luck through our hard work. We need to remember to remain in the moment…I am discovering this to be true more and more as each day passes by. Life can change in a second, and if we are to become true champions in our daily efforts and causes, we need to remember things can change for the better even in a second.

If outcomes don’t always go the way I might expect, I always remember how MS Dhoni looks at his life in cricket: it’s just a game at the end of it, your life goes on and you move ahead with the times. Letting go of what happens and remaining calm in the moment will help us to become true champions and embrace each moment as it comes.

 

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The Interview

Suit and tie ready, neatly pressed. Not a shred of loose fluff on the new outfit. That was how Michel, or Mike as he was nicknamed, was. Today was his big day, his big moment. As he shone his black Italian designer formal shoes he had bought at the weekend sale, he felt like a millionaire, a man on a mission to the big league. He was neatly shaved. He sprayed a whiff of his favourite Italian cologne (Mike was an Italian Immigrant, hence his fascination for Italian accessories). Although he was short, 5’6”, there was a handsomeness about him; a ‘movie star’ about to hit it in the big time.

Golden Enterprises was his target. It was a blue chip multinational conglomerate in the manufacturing, financial, and entertainment industries. Mike had followed its progress in the financial newspapers since his first year at college. It wasn’t just the lure of big money that he was attracted to, but the opportunity to work with his long time admired mentor, Sean Parker. Sean had risen from the ranks as an admin clerk to eventually buy into a 51% stake by the time he was 55. Mike always felt as similar to Sean: ambitious, confident, looking to always raise the stakes.

Mike looked at his Swartz watch – Time to go. He may have looked suave, but some aspects of his reality were still intact, going by the mismatch of his outdated watch with the expensive suit. I have to be on time. Mike was a sucker for punctuality. He reversed out his old Beetle, his favourite car. He didn’t really wanted to get rid of it, but success in the big league could change that soon. As he drove, he imagined entering a large office which smelled of the leather. The wide window would look out onto the Metropolis.  I just hope it goes well, don’t want to cock up this opportunity!

He arrived on time.  He relaxed for a little. As he entered the high rise building of Golden Enterprises, he noticed the polished marble walls and floors. The lobby area was large, and he was guided by the security at reception towards the lifts. “Mr. Parker is on the 51st floor; his secretary will meet you there” a smartly dressed security official said. Wow, 51 floors up! Mike’s vision of his own imaginary huge office dominated his thoughts during the lift ride.

The doors opened and he noticed how everything was in white. The floors and the whole reception area were just pristine white! He knew Sean was a hard taskmaster based on all the magazine interviews and articles he read about him. Mike knew what he was getting into, but this was his opportunity. A short lady dressed in a long beige dress with brunette hair greeted him with a Colgate smile. “You must be Michel?” “Yes mam, I am”. That sounded odd, greeting this young beauty with the address of Mam. The secretary led him to a large double pine wooden door. Pushing the door open, Michael took in the place he envisioned during his drive.  A glass desk stood in the center. Huge windows surrounded the room, the rays of the morning sunshine beamed through.

“Mr. Parker will be with you shortly, please have a seat here” as she pointed to a comfortable black leather reclining seat. Mike sat comfortably, the softness of the leather against his back.  A door opened and Sean entered from a side door. He seemed taller than Mike had imagined from magazine photos. Sean was dressed in a neat, slim fit Armani suit. He walked with a confidence that all successful CEOs exhibit when they know they are in a league of their own. Strands of grey hair were noticeable on the sides. The look appealed to Mike.

“Michel” Sean greeted in his baritone voice. Mike jumped up, raising his hand out for a handshake. “Yes, please call me Mike” he replied with a sense of nervousness. Stay calm dude, this is your moment was his immediate thought. Sean’s grip was strong, confident.

“Have a seat Michel”. No bother trying to correct him again. There was a look of focus and seriousness in Sean’s eyes. “So, you think you know a lot about Golden Enterprises?” Oh Boy! Mike thought this was going to be one of those testing interviews. Not the kind of start he imagined many nights before when he practiced his mock interview strategy. “Ummm, actually I have loved following the company and its successes over the years. I have been impressed with how you have managed to take it to another level, and I love the way you have risen up the ranks as the times have changed”. Mike tried forcing a grin. Sean didn’t seem impressed.  There was a blank stare from him…this was uncomfortable.

“What is it you liked about the way I rose up”, Sean shot back. “Well, I admire how tenacious you were, how you managed to hit back at your critics, the tenacity you showed even in the deepest moments of uncertainty.” Mike’s confidence returned, albeit briefly.  Sean turned in his King size chair, briefly looking out into the large window space behind. “Those bastards always wanted to get me. They thought I was a cocky arrogant fuck who didn’t know what it takes to rise. They underestimated me all the time. But you know what I had; do you really want to know what my secret to success was? I had balls, not just a bunch of small balls for whiney little shits, but big balls to take on all the fat fuckers out there who thought they knew it all.”

Mike sat back a bit. The heat of the moment had risen too much for comfort. He knew Sean had a reputation for a mouth that could go off, but didn’t really anticipate the interview starting off like this. “That’s why I have admired you sir, because you had the…” Mike hesitated before he was about to let out the B word that Sean so expressively used before… “Before you had the will to go on!” he completed.

Sean was silent. Was Mike beginning to win a bit of his attention? It was never going to be certain. Mike heard rumors of previous interviews where Sean was able to make grown men older than Mike cry. Mike was calm though, at least for that moment.

Sean flipped some papers, reading through at a frantic pace. He was looking at Mike’s resume. “Mark”, Sean mistakenly called out. “It’s Mike, Sir”. No apology. “Yes, so I want to know if you have the kind of balls I am talking about.” Shit Mike thought. He was thrown off by that statement. How could he keep pace with this, being able to answer comfortably, exuding the type of the confidence he would hope Sean would notice? After all, this was a man he admired, someone he wanted to impress. He didn’t want to be another one of Sean’s victims, ceremoniously dumped out of a hard to come by interview at Golden Enterprises.

There was a brief pause. Mike gathered his thoughts. Sean looked straight at him. Awkward! “Well sir, I like to take initiative. If I need to deliver at all costs, I will do so!” The response seemed standard, not one that made Sean sit up immediately to take notice. A slight laugh…maybe Mike was getting somewhere. “Deliver at all costs?” Sean looked at him quizzically. He leaned over with his arms folded and asked “What the hell does that mean?” DAMN. Mike felt his space being taken up…you idiot, that was definitely a shit response he thought.  “Sir, if it means the success of Golden Enterprises hinges on my actions I will do WHATEVER it takes!” Oh God. Did Mike give the proverbial promise, letting his soul being sold in the pursuit of corporate glory?

Sean leaned back again. “You know, this company is like my baby. Someone fucks it up, and I get mad!” Mike’s focus heightened. “I don’t need these techy, Ivy League fuckers coming in running the show.” Gees, was he thinking of Mike as one of those fuckers right now? Luckily, or so Mike thought, he was not afforded the luxury to be educated in the Ivy League system. Mike wanted to respond, but for the first time he was hesitant. Sean continued on, “You see, no one seems to have the street smartness or the ability to think for themselves these days. They all come out thinking they know it all, that the bloody Ivy name behind their names will help take them in leaps and bounds into places. Those shits don’t know what’s really out here in the real world.”

Such was corporate life. Mike always knew it. He laughed sometimes in school when he saw how all his peers imagined wildly how much of a roaring success they would become, little knowing how tough it really was. Here it was, being confirmed in the flesh, in front of a powerful and admired man Mike passionately followed, but at that moment was getting a whipping.

“Yes sir, I do know how tough the industry can be, never for a minute do I feel it can be easy. Despite that, I want to succeed, and I have a will that will help me to learn and move fast”. Sean seemed to have a slight grin. “I sense you are a little different from the lot. I’ve had many like you come in here, all shiny shoes and stuff, trying to make an impression”, he said. “You definitely seem to have something”. What’s this now? He was getting appreciation? “Thank you” is all Mike mustered as a response.

“I am not sure though you are quite a fit for Golden Enterprises”. Mike’s heart almost stopped. “Hmmm…nah I am not really sure…but let’s see can’t really say if I can make a decision.” Mike was stunned. Did his chance of getting to work with his future mentor vanish just like that? Sean got up and proceeded around the table towards Mike. Mike was lost. He felt like he was staring down a long dark tunnel. He seemed to have lost his sense of purpose.  He got up, this time providing a firmer handshake. The appeal of Sean Parker diminished.

“My secretary will guide you out”. The double pine door entrance opened with the sight of the short secretary Mike was welcomed by. Not even her beauty gave Mike a sense of hope. As he entered the lift, he went into a slump. How the hell did I blow that? That thought just seemed to ring with every beep as the floor indicator counted downwards. Did Mike just expect too much from the beginning? Surely he couldn’t be like those so called other little shits that Sean had such distaste for.

Minutes passed like hours. He didn’t know whether he wanted to cry, have a drink or just go shout out like a mad man in an open area. The confident Mike just seemed to have disappeared. As he walked towards his Beetle, his mobile rang. What now? Mike’s annoyance was not hard to miss.

A soft, familiar voice was on the other line. “Michel, please can you come back up, Mr. Parker has called for you”. Mike stopped short in his tracks? He wondered. A chance of redemption the least of his expectations. 10 minutes later and he was back at the double pine door entrance to the offices of the same man whom moments before he thought was a real prick. As he entered, he saw the tall figure of Sean Parker standing behind his desk. Sean stared for what seemed like an eternity. “Let’s talk” he said as he motioned to Mike to come over.

Mike underestimated the real Sean Parker. Sean loved to play the odd game during his interview process. It was his way of testing how interviewees reacted in such tense and awkward situations. Experience taught him that he could see the real personality of a person through such situations. At the same time, Sean followed his instinct. It was telling him Mike was different. Sometimes our instincts are so strong that we naturally incline towards them.

In contrast, Mike thought he was lucky. He wasn’t lucky; he showed a sense of composure that was rare among previous peers that interviewed with Sean. Mike had been through such situations before. What always made him stand out was his ability to come back, even from the hardest knocks. This moment was the least he expected to return from. But such is life, that sometimes our tenacity takes us over and helps we to achieve what we least expected.

A few years later, as Mike became successful in his Golden Enterprises career, he reflected on the interview and the key moments that helped him get in. He learnt that tenacity and instinct can go hand in hand, sometimes bringing out an unseen potential that people least expected of themselves.

It’s a rainy and gloomy day, but the insight and reflection made Mike smile …His front office door opened; it was time to run his interview, time to bring in a new mentee. This was his chance to play the role of Sean Parker, but this time on his own terms.

 

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The Gratitude Exercise

I came across an interesting website where the owner wrote about engaging in a Gratitude exercise for a period of 365 days. I was quite intrigued about the great changes he experienced in his life following the exercise successfully. It got me thinking about how powerful the act of being in gratitude is.  I have read and seen countless stories where people talk about the significant positive changes that have happened in their lives. Do we really take the time out to be grateful, especially in these times where all we encounter are countless stories of negativity and pessimism?

Here’s what’s really interesting: being grateful is FREE. How often do we remember this? Yet we rarely pay attention to taking at least 5 minutes to give sincere gratitude. So I thought about engaging in a similar exercise where I could upload a picture of something to be grateful for in the next 31 days. I decided it would be appropriate to do it during my birthday month because I could be grateful that I have been given a human life, while having an intense focus on the smaller aspects to be grateful for. So far I am on day 2 only and while it is too early to tell of the effects, I can see my thinking is being more channeled towards being grateful.

As I have reflected over this last year, I find I can be grateful for some of the basic necessities, and not just something which is rare. If you live in a house, drive a car, get food to eat, you already have a lot to be grateful for. I know for some people this will sound a lot like New Age stuff, but honestly when I think about how easy it is to get into a momentum of complaining, doesn’t it make sense to apply the same consistency in being grateful? Maybe try it and you may be surprised by the results.

You may not necessarily want to engage in a similar exercise like me, but I suggest at least trying something, even if it’s just for a week. I don’t know where you are at the moment in life, but if you feel you need to appreciate something and be grateful, try this exercise. I would love to hear your feedback and comments as well. BE GRATEFUL!

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.

The Devil’s Eye

The early morning waking hit him. He searched for his toothbrush among the rubble of toothpaste, eye drops and his razor,. Mark’s eye lids slowly raised as he reached for his toothbrush. A moment of blindness. Deep down he was dazed, confused by what he thought he had seen the night before. The simple task of brushing teeth was difficult as he tried to gather his thoughts and make sense of what had happened.

“Honeeeeyyy” Judy, his beautiful wife of 3 years, called . “Are you awake?” Mark  was nervous and not sure whether he should respond, his fear telling. He wondered, what’s wrong with me.   The bathroom opened. Mark  jumped in fright.   He regained his balance and noticed the natural serenity of Judy’s face. She smiled and proceeded to hug and kiss him. Mark was reluctant, and gave  her a quick warm hug. Judy did not sense for a moment anything was wrong.

He walked down the steps to the  kitchen, and opened the fridge. He searched for something that could consume his present misery. He was wheezy and nauseous. Do I really want to eat? He couldn’t make up his mind. Just then the sound of Judy coming down the steps stopped him mid track. Nervously he said “Honey, do you want an omelet?” Judy smiled –  a surprise that her man wanted to cook so early in the morning for her. Truth was, he was in a panic, not sure how best to address the situation with normal conversation. He was still thinking about last night. “Aw hun, that would be lovely thanks!”  Judy gushed with happiness. Mark breathed a sigh of relief.  The distraction of cooking a supposedly continental style omelet for Judy gave him space. Still, he felt anxious.

He picked up the  eggs, tomatoes, onions, and peppers. One egg drops down, splatter all over, a sign he was tense and awkward . He cleaned up. He looked around the kitchen, and the  cutting knife caught his attention. He stared for a while…was it? What was he was really seeing? Blood! Snap out of it Mark. He reached for the wooden grip. The knife had the same cleanliness as yesterday. He had imagined the blood.  He was afraid… But why ? He had the knife, he had control…but his peripheral vision kept seeing Judy’s smile. He worried as she watched him snap down with every cut on the vegetables.

For a brief moment Mark was amazed at out how well his omelets turned out –  a sense of perfection in this environment of tension. This was the only perfection and he was grateful for at the moment. He started thinking of those scenes where one picks up a knife in a battle of rage. The sight of blood appeared again. Judy picked  up the letter opener. He stumbled as he jumped with fright. That jump of fright again. “What’s wrong honey, you don’t seem yourself?” “ Oh just feeling a little under the weather angel” Mark said. “What are you doing with that?  Judy laughed at his remark before answering with surprise, “opening letters?” Judy looked at Mark with concern. She had not seen Mark with such jumpiness and aloofness  for a long time. Not since their first date when his initial shyness had attracted her. Mark’s frustration was  building . Angel, I need to get out for a while.” Judy looked at him wide eyed, “But you just said you are not feeling that well?”Judy was curious now. She wondered why Mark was saying this. Did he just want to be alone she wondered?  Oh Man! He thought, I can’t be next to her right now.

He was confused and his tension built and continued. He threw himself on the couch and reached for the remote.

Suddenly Judy snapped “OK, let’s just talk, leave the TV Mark”. Mark wondered, whatever in this god damn world did she want to talk about? He was not much of a talker, and last night had made him even less so. His thoughts continued to whirl around it. Could it be? Could it be what he really saw?

“Oh come on angel, it’s been ages since I caught up with any of the sport”, he said in a loud tone. “Dammit Mark, we haven’t talked about planning for kids!”

What??! Now she wants to talk about the kids, at this very moment? This was hell for Mark. Kids were the last thing on his mind for now, let alone for a few years to come. “What is it with these women and this talk on kids” mumbled Mark. “What was that honey?” Judy asked “Oh I was saying kids huh” Mark laughed. “Yes, having kids honey. You know how important it is to me”. “I do my angel, but we need to think about us first, the money, the renovations, all of these things that will take a toll on us”. “Fine, suit yourself” Judy said in disappointment. Phew! Mark was relieved again. Judy left the room without another word.

Mark ran for his laptop. He typed furiously, searching for a missing clue. What was he searching for? He typed ‘funny eyes¸ red devil’. His brain was fuzzy. Could it really be what he had seen? He hoped Judy would take her sweet time doing whatever it was that preoccupied her.  He didn’t want her finding out what he was up to. He found no real clues, just a host of mumbo-jumbo articles on various topics related to the occult and other sinister groups.

He walked up and down at a frantic pace in the study, trying to put 2 and 2 together. Was his imagination really just playing with him? Or was he watching too much of the horror stuff on cable lately?  Mark occasionally delved into it when he was bored. It never troubled him that he engaged in this. But last night was something different. Something that he could have sworn made his heart skip a beat.

Judy came back down, all refreshed from a long dip in the tub. Mark was still scruffy. He looked and felt  worn out. She touched his cheek. He shuddered inside. “Mark love, I think you should just stay in today, have some honey with green tea and sleep it off” Judy said. He starred at the ticking second hand on his antique clock. The moving hand moved slowly in what seemed an eternity, while he waited for that moment when Judy would pick up her car keys and drive off for her regular girlfriends outing. When are you leaving woman was what he wanted to shout out! “OK honey, I think you are right, I’ll sleep it off”. Judy smiled and gave Mark a quick hug, dropped a parting kiss on the top of his head, before turning to pick up her keys. He breathed more slowly now, hoping that being alone at home for the day would help him make sense of what was really going on.

As Judy turned to look back, she smiled the smile Mark knew so well. Judy looked up to the crystal clear blue sky with cotton cloud formations. There it was…the red gaze, the red circle in HER eye!  Here she was, beautiful Judy, departing with the Devil’s Eye!

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Disclaimer: The opinions in this piece are solely those of the author and in no way reflect any person, institution or theory, nor is the author associated with any specific publication or institution. This article is purely for business and informative purposes.