By Dr. Dan Reinhardt

We could hardly believe it – seeing the flood damage with our own eyes from this summer’s raging waters in the Calgary area filled us with a sense of fearful awe. Anne and I had decided to take a drive to view the evidence firsthand, so we drove to the world-famous Kananaskis Country Golf Course. The course is set in the Alberta Rocky Mountains with stunning views of majestic mountains all around, crisp mountain air and fabulous greens.

The unusually heavy rain had burst the banks of Evan Thomas Creek, and millions of gallons of water filled with rocks and trees had cascaded down through the golf course, taking out a bridge and carving a brand new riverbed right through this world-class course. The pictures give you an idea of the massive power of rushing water, but walking through the tangled debris is an unforgettable experience.

Meandering through the golf pro shop sale, in the middle of all the golf hats, sweaters, and clubs on sale, I was suddenly arrested by this sign for sale:

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT,

BUT I’M PRETTY SURE I WON’T BE

HAPPY UNTIL I GET IT. 

This is so descriptive of many people! We laugh, but recognize that this vague sense of unhappiness is something most of us have felt at one time or another. It’s a common emotional response to a major change – like a flood taking out something in your life; or being let go from your job; or a divorce, or death, or an accident. These disruptive events disorient us, and we feel unhappy.

But it can also happen without a major crisis. Just a creeping uneasiness, or a wondering, or a wishing. This vague unhappiness can come in two ways:

  1. A general personality trait. Some people have developed a constant sense of unhappiness, a perspective that probably has been with them most of their life. Life is never perfect, so we can always be aware of what’s not good. Whatever you focus on will grow in your consciousness; so focusing on the difficult aspects of life can make it grow until that’s all you see. This is not a good state to be in.
  2. A vague uneasiness can happen at midlife, when we have a sense that a big change is coming, but we are not sure what it is yet. I wrote about this in an earlier blog, how this uncomfortable feeling actually can be the beginning of something good.

Either way, we are going to need a new perspective to help us work through this vague unhappiness. You are not likely to figure this out on your own. That`s one of the reasons why we have CREST cohorts – groups of students – who work on life together. We offer students a guided reflection process which enables them to think through life in a thorough and deep way. It is not a quick fix; it is a journey of at least two years:

Year 1 is helping people find Personal Clarity. Until you are clear on who you are, you will never know where you should be headed.

Year 2 is Leadership Clarity. Once you are clearer on who you are, you are then able to lead better.

We are starting a new cohort in Alberta, beginning October 1, 2013. It`s an easy online application.

Contact us if you have any questions.