Guest Post by Kevin Cahill; Founder of Canadian Legacy Builder
The movie Life of Pi is the story of a young man who survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.
At one point, Pi, clearly feeling like he had reached the end of his rope, yells out to God, “I lost my parents, I lost everything, what more do you want?” How often in life does this same thing happen to us, where we just want pack up and move on… when we feel like we have exhausted every avenue possible?
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” When the storm clouds have a chance to clear out where logic can return do things begin to make sense again. Pi says to the writer interviewing him, “Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, he was watching. Even when he seemed indifferent to my suffering, he was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, he gave me rest. Then he gave me a sign to continue my journey.”
God has a master plan. We have no control over what his plan is, all we can control is our thoughts and emotions as we embark along life’s journey and try to understand the message.
I was particularly struck by the conversation between Pi and the writer at the end. Pi says, “In both stories, the ship sinks, my family dies and I suffer. So which story do you prefer?” The writer replies, “The one with the tiger. That’s the better story.” Pi answers, “Thank you. And so it goes with God.”
This part of the movie intrigues me. The story with the cook, his mom and him is the real, and more logical, story, even though the one with the tiger is visually stunning. I realized that the movie was more than just about faith in God and survival. It was about how one’s imagination can work — when one’s faith is pushed to the limits. And then, how a movie can bring all the thoughts that run through one’s mind into such a true and visual reality so that it goes beyond capturing one’s imagination to tug at the very heart of who we are and what we can be — in God’s time.
Just like his story, where neither version makes a difference to the ultimate outcome, Pi says, “Faith is a house with many rooms.” The writer asks him in response, “But no room for doubt?” wherein Pi quickly responds, “Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”
Failing is OK. Failing is what makes us grow, it makes us stronger and more resilient to the aspects of life we have no control over. If we let fear take control of us, it will make makes us stagnant and sad.
If you feel lost, just take a deep breath and realize that being lost can be turning point of finding out who you truly are, and what you truly want to do. I struggle, I feel lost at times. I’ve cried and I’ve felt embarrassed. I’ve felt like a failure and I’ve felt pity from others and from myself. But I’m at peace with myself every day. Life is amazing. I believe we’re here to find happiness, and when we do, to share it with everyone we meet. Focus on the people you hold close to your heart because that brings more gratitude than anything else.
So even though I can’t see the future as clearly as before, every day I take the plunge in hopes that in the depths of fear, I will come out feeling more alive than ever before. So don’t be afraid to lose yourself. The individual that comes out of the maze might just surprise you.
Kevin Cahill was born in Ottawa, Canada and graduated with a specialized honors biomedical science degree from the University of Guelph. Kevin entered the financial services industry in 2004 with Freedom 55 Financial – London Life and then incorporated his practice and self-branded under Cahill Financial Services in 2005 and in January 2011 founded Canadian Legacy Builder with the purpose of helping individuals start the conversation towards how to be a great ancestor.
As an International Inspirational Luminary, and Kevin is in the top 1% of Financial Planners around the world by qualifying for the Million Dollar Round table since his first year in the business. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website at www.canadianlegacybuilder.ca.