How Losing Everything Makes You Free To Do Anything


“It’s unfortunate that this happened. No. It’s fortunate that this happened and I’ve remained unharmed by it – not shattered by the present or frightened of the future. It could have happened to anyone. But not everyone could have remained unharmed by it.”

– Marcus Aurelius

They called me into the conference room and told me to shut the door behind me. I knew what was going to happen next.

The CEO of the company said, “Thomas, the company is cutting down on positions…Yours has been eliminated. Here’s your severance. Good luck. You’re young. You’ll find something out there”.

Then the sales manager beside him added, “You should figure out a career where you can actually apply the right skills that work…maybe use the degree you just got in Criminal Justice to be a cop.”

Unbeknownst to anyone in the company, even the CEO. That sales manager had multiple warrants out for his arrest. He was wanted for embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, grand theft, a felon in possession of a firearm…and he stole a $5K check from the company. Right out of the CEO’s office.

How do you con your way into a management position such as he did? I don’t know. You have to ask him. I’m sure he has visiting hours in prison.

The people who hired this con artist didn’t even bother to Google his name. Genius. [Side note: If you want to run your own background check on someone. Type their name into Google. It’s more reliable than most background softwares.]

I left my work place for the last time. All my belongings packed.

Didn’t even have a chance to say bye to my friends. I miss you guys.

All I could think about was the empty feeling of rejection and humiliation. The sense of my soul imploding. The sense of you are no good and no longer part of this tribe.

Ugh…First “real” job out of college and I’m sent to find meaning in life and what I’m good at again. I guess this is what they mean by “follow your passion.” Which is bullshit advice anyone can tell you.

The voices of doubt and scarcity immediately began entering my mind. I needed money, security, love, confidence, momentum and something to propel me out of this tailspin.

Getting out of your own head is an obstacle itself. When we panic, we can easily turn our mind into an insane asylum. Bouncing around in the abyss of madness.

I’ve already escaped once from this mental asylum. I don’t know if I can do it again.

It comes down to the art of not panicking, keeping a cool head, not acting out emotionally, or weighing too much on what just occurred. The panicked swimmer always drowns.

Eventually what we’ve lost can be as liberating as a slave being freed for the first time.

The things which may be holding onto us can easily be lost in moments and propel us forward to a life of abundance.

In the movie Fight Club, Tyler the alter ego of the main character says, “Getting fired is the best thing that could happen to any of us. That way, we quit treading water and do something with our lives.”

Tyler also mentioned this infamous line, “It’s only after you’ve lost everything, that you’re free to do anything.”

Some may regard it as a tragedy to lose everything they’ve once held onto.

In the end, it empowers us to pursue our rightful endeavours.

To stop making excuses. To actually do something with our lives. To not wait for permission anymore.

These moments place perspective on what we truly value and desire as a person. No longer caught in the deception of being labeled a number or a cog in the wheel of a machine.

Something else happened to me on what seemed the longest commute home from my former work place. I realized I had come upon my own Fight Club moment.

A part of me died in that moment. When we grow and gather strength from external destruction. It’s a necessity to slaughter parts of our own identity and ego.

Carrying around a weak persona will spread like a virus throughout your body and mind. You have to kill it at the source.

Every day I’m still figuring out what parts of myself I need to murder.

Because in doing so, I know I’m alive in a world full of people who are already dead.