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The Fog of Life

The Fog of Life

I’m looking toward the breakers about 200 yards away. But I can’t see the beach or even the water because of the fog. Last night on the boardwalk at Wildwood you couldn’t see the top of the ferris wheel or the roller coaster.

The fog is caused by atmospheric conditions. Water droplets are formed when cool air is over warmer ground in most cases of fog on the surface (unlike a cloud). It can be quite opaque or at best translucent.

But I know the beach is there. I know the roller coaster is still on its track. And if I move forward, the fog disperses and I can begin to see those things closest to me all the better.

There is fog in all of our lives at various times. The “atmospheric” conditions cause it: family, business relationships, uncertainty, fear, lack of self-belief, and so on. Many of us can quickly remove it by changing the temperature, or moving our position, or shining a bright light. But many wander around in it, waiting for it to end, bemoaning their fate, cursing the poor visibility.

You can’t go through life, let alone your career, groping about in the fog of confusion, fear, guilt, or lack of confidence. You need simple methods and approaches to eliminate the fog: acquire skills, take prudent risks, understand and communicate your value, jettison demeaning baggage.

There are too many people lost in the fog who make excuses about why they should be there, why they can’t escape, why it’s impossible to see any better. They become ghosts of themselves, spectral images without substance, without followers, without interest. To the world around them, it’s as if they’re no longer present.

I can’t see the beach but I know it’s there. I know the route and I’m unafraid to pursue it. I know the roller coaster doesn’t disappear. In fact, I know that if I get on it, even if I can’t see the top, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 8

  • Niraj Agarwal

    July 22, 2011

    The fog does slow you down. But those are the very times, I find it vital to move forward in a definite way. Ultimately, we eliminate the fog, by just passing through and getting to a place where there is more light. The approaches you mention, all move you forward. The methods are simple but not so obvious.

    Great use of the phrase “spectral images”. That was a well-crafted sentence.

  • Rene' Vidal

    July 23, 2011

    Ah, for you a man worth following through the fog.
    “I see the road ahead, a stretch that bends into the undergrowth. I do not know what will happen there, but I do know, whatever it is, I will rush to meet it with joy.”–Jerry Weintraub

  • ArunKumar Krishnamurthy

    November 24, 2011

    Alan, This short article is very powerful, if applied. Very motivating. In fact, much more than that…Thanks. Continue to do your good work. Trust, at some point in time, I am able to travel and attend one of your paid sessions as well.

    Arun, Bangalore, India

  • Alan Weiss

    November 24, 2011

    Thank you, I’ll look forward to it!

  • Graham Franklin

    November 25, 2011


    A great post. It will be applied rigorously.

  • ArunKumar Krishnamurthy

    November 26, 2011

    Hi Alan, Would it not be possible for me to directly share this link on the FaceBook? Do you personally opine that it dilutes the brand of your message?

  • Joseph

    November 26, 2011

    Arun: Dr Alan is on facebook. So I don’t think he considers it as dilution.

  • Alan Weiss

    November 26, 2011

    Share with anyone, just provide attribution.

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