Saturday, 9 February 2008

Unlocking the Key to Your Success

I arrived home; it was fairly late. I proceeded to unlock my door as usual. I unlocked the top lock, the lower lock and then placed my key in the middle lock - a ritual I had repeated countless times over the years. Nothing happened. The door remained closed. The key was turning in the lock but not 'gripping' - that's the best way I can describe it. I repeated the process. Still nothing. I tried pushing against the door. No luck. I had to face it I was locked out even although I held the keys in my hand.

I evaluated my situation. I needed a locksmith and, because of the nature of their work, I was confident that I would be able to find one that operated 24/7. However, I didn't know of a locksmith so I had to call directory enquiries. I also called a friend but couldn't get through.

So I persisted with directory enquiries and persisted is the word to use here because it took three attempts before they could give me the information I needed. It wore my patience thin.

In the meantime, my friend had picked up my message and contacted me. She was aghast. Did I want to come over? No. Did I want her to come over? No. Did I want her to bring me something to eat? No.

Obviously, I wasn't as curt as that. I just wanted to get inside my home. I wasn't tired but I was starting to feel hungry, after all it was approaching 9pm and lunch had been a while. Plus, I had been teaching and felt sweaty and uncomfortable. To be blunt - I needed a bath. Also, it was cold.

Yet, despite all this I felt incredibly relaxed and calm. It's strange but it was as if I was in a zone. Like I said, I was confident that I would find a locksmith so instead of getting all upset I started to think about what I could learn from the situation and what was good about being stuck outside my home with the keys jangling in my hands.

Among other things, I expressed my gratitude for the fact:

1. I had a home,
2. My mobile phone was fully charged,
3. I had a friend to call who was supportive, and
4. I had options - if the worst came to the worst I could check into a hotel for the night.

At lunchtime I had scoffed an extra oatcake with hummus. At the time, I felt a bit greedy - sad I know - but now I was grateful I had eaten that extra oatcake.

I was eventually given the number for a locksmith. I dialled the number with bated breath. Would someone answer the phone?

The phone was answered. I explained my predicament and I was told it would cost me £95 to get the door opened and another £45 to replace the lock if that turned out to be necessary. I said fine and he said his estimated time of arrival was 45 minutes.

In the meantime, my friend had also found the number for a locksmith so now I had a backup. When she heard how much it was going to cost me she was horrified. I was still calm about the matter. Sure, no one likes to have a bill for £140 unexpectedly thrust under their nose but it was a specialist job and it was a night call. However, most important of all, at least I had the means to pay the bill. I just wanted to get inside.

I had my standard travel pack with me, i.e. reading and writing material as well as my iPod so I could have kept myself occupied because one thing I can't stand is boredom. In truth though, I didn't feel like writing, reading or listening to music or an educational recording. So my friend kept me company on the phone and I was grateful for that. She called timeout when her phone was starting to feel hot against her ear and promised to call me back once her phone cooled off.

Within minutes the locksmith arrived. My eyes took in his appearance. He wore a pullover with the company logo but he carried no tools. I figured he wanted to assess the situation first before deciding upon a course of action. I led him to my impenetrable door and handed him my, up till now, useless keys. He placed the key in the locks and turned it a few times.

"Ah," he said. "It's the pips."

Then he turned the key a few more times, pushed against the door and it opened.

"What did you do?" I exclaimed.

He gave me a bemused look but didn't answer my question.

"The lock was dry," he said.

"I have some lubricating oil." I said.

He carefully scrutinised the label before spraying the oil into the lock. He then asked me to lock myself out again. The door opened easily.

His work was done. Thankfully, the lock didn't need replacing. I paid him and was lucky enough to get a discount. I felt no resentment about paying him the money for a couple of minutes work. I even shook his hand as he left. I think he was surprised at that and also how jovial I was generally for I had been joking with him as he 'fixed' the lock.

It did feel good to be inside my warm home. I learnt plenty that night. Let me rephrase that for I didn't honestly learn anything new but my awareness was heightened about certain things, in particular that sometimes you have to accept that the help of an expert.

I hadn't been just standing idle outside my door I tried a variety of combinations of turning the key and pushing the door but nothing worked. If I kept trying maybe, at some point, I would have succeeded but there is no telling how long I could have been stuck outside that door. It seemed longer yet when I look back I was locked out for just over an hour.

When you are aiming to unlock the door to achieve a significant goal, the chances are that you are striving to achieve something that you have not achieved before. Therefore, initially, you will not have the knowledge to achieve your goal.

You will not have the experience to solve the challenges that you will face. One way or another you will have to tap into a 'higher intelligence' - usually someone who has achieved what you are aiming to achieve or someone who can help you to unlock doors within yourself that until now remained firmly closed.

Be very clear about what you want to achieve and the resources, expertise, etc. that you will need to achieve your goals. Then seek to acquire those resources and expertise as quickly and as expediently as possible. Remember, one way or another, we and up paying for what we don't know.

Jiddu Krishnmurti wrote in "The Future of Humanity, Songs of Life, Kingdom Happiness" that:

"In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself."

Sometimes though, you just need a guiding hand to show you how to use your key.

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