My chance meeting with Michael the junkie opened a window I felt compelled to enter, so I just asked him a little bit about his story.
He said he preferred to go by Mike, that’s what most people back home used to call him. Home was New Orleans and he had gotten out of town when Katrina happened. He had never gone back. Life hadn’t quite been the same since.
Whenever he left New Orleans, he had a few family members who were around him, but nobody was very close. They split up as the hurricanes came in, nobody really paying attention to where each other went.
He made his way up to Chicago because he figured that was as far away from hurricanes as he can get and still stay in the U.S, still stay in a big city.
When he got to Chicago he was kind of a lost soul. He didn’t really know where to go. He didn’t have anything in particular to do. He was a carpenter back in New Orleans, but only found a couple of menial jobs. Working his way into the trades in Chicago wasn’t easy for him and the declining economy made it more difficult.
It was about that time that he met “a guy,” I believe Mike called him Rodney, but we could also call him “The Pusher.” Rodney noticed that Mike was down and depressed and offered him something that might help him feel a little bit better. A little bit better was crack and that crack gave Mike a feeling he had never experienced.
Rodney actually let Mike hang out with him a little bit. As they were around each other, Mike noticed that Rodney always had a little bit of something for him, always letting him work it off somehow. But eventually Rodney stopped being quite so nice. He became more demanding and wouldn’t let Mike get his fix for free.
Believe it or not, for our purposes this really isn’t about a drug dealer and a junkie. The lesson from Mike’s saga is one of purpose and vision, similar to what most people face every day.
Rodney recognized a void in Mike’s life and filled it. Mike had no intentions or plans. He lacked purpose and direction of any sort, so Rodney latched on to his time. As The Pusher, Rodney pushed something into the void and created a focus for Mike. A focus that made him dependent on Rodney.
It happens to us too if we aren’t careful. Maybe not with a drug, but when we float along in a purposeless daze, someone with a strong sense of purpose will push their way. Some times it’s a good thing and they take us a productive direction. Unfortunately, those are rare. Most of the time they push in and take us a direction that suits their ends.
A boss that wants your hours and effort for the company and is not really concerned about your family or personal pursuits. Cronies that draw us into habits and patterns that feed their own addictions so they have someone with them. Gossips, slanderers, cheats… sounds like a nasty crew, doesn’t it? Well it is. And the way to avoid the trap of The Pusher is to have and stay aware of our own Purposeful Vision for our lives.
Get active in deciding where you want to go and why. Answer the question, “what do you want your life to look like,” and hold it close. Pushers are not responsible for addicts, they prey on them. It is our job to close off any voids they could use to get in and make life anything other than the glorious experience it was designed to be.
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PJ McClure helps aspiring entrepreneurs to multi-million dollar business owners destroy roadblocks and seize opportunities to achieve their ideal vision of success. He is an award-winning speaker and the best-selling author of Flip the SWITCH: How to Turn On and Turn Up Your Mindset and the upcoming Unlock Your Life: How to go beyond Time-Management to the Life of Your Dreams. You can download a copy of Flip the SWITCH for Free by clicking here.