“When you cease to make a contribution you begin to die.”
One of the biggest ongoing issues I have observed over the years is that team members start out with enthusiasm and excitement and then slowly lose that enthusiasm until they end up just going through the motions. This can be a big issue for team Founders because they may need the help but don’t know quite how to deal with members who cease contributing to the team in meaningful ways. It’s even worse if these members are personal friends. Some members—especially new members—have been conditioned by TV shows that anomalous research is always dramatic, exciting, and fun. The truth is that, while there can be moments of excitement, anomalous research is usually uneventful—sometimes even monotonous. The unfortunate result is that the interest of a member may fade or, in an effort to add some excitement, he or she starts seeing faces and spirits in every photo with a dust orb or light streak.
Serious and professional anomalous researchers are never motivated by drama; rather, they are motivated by a profound and usually life-long desire to understand the mysteries of life, our multiverse, and our existence. Those who continue past the initial excitement phase do so because they have a calling, as it were. The upshot is that these serious researchers evolve; they learn to think for themselves; they learn to question everything, and they are not afraid to change their perspectives based on valid reasoning. Amateur investigators who don’t fade away, on the other hand, don’t evolve; in fact, they may even be opposed to broadening into other areas of anomalous research. They continue to pursue “ghost hunting” for the thrill, the drama, and the social aspects rather than for anything serious. This resembles a “pack” mentality because it is not currently politically correct in the ghost hunting world to take a firm stand for such things as orbs being dust, energy rods being the result of camera shake, demons being mythological, or Ouija boards being an impotent combination of cardboard and plastic (however, this is slowly changing).
As for investigators who have lost their initial interest but continue to go through the motions, it is time for a wake up call. We’ve all heard the phrase “life is short.” But do we really think about it? The cold hard fact is that no one has a guarantee that they will be alive in one minute—let alone in one week or month or year. The saddest day of anyone’s life is when they are on their deathbed lamenting over the “woulda-coulda-shoulda’s,” the “if-only’s,” and the “might have been’s.” In other words, while the end of life is certainly sad, it is even sadder when someone realizes that he or she wasted so much of their lives worrying about petty matters and struggling to eke out an existence that they completely forgot to really live; they lost the opportunity to focus on the most important aspects of life, namely, what in the hell it’s all about. Perhaps one of the biggest aliments to afflict humanity is that most people take themselves way too seriously. You can see this all over the planet with petty land disputes, religious intolerance, and general tribal warfare. It reminds me of a bunch of little boys in a sandbox all fighting over where their own corner begins and the other’s ends. I love the words of Plato, “Nothing in the affairs of man is worth worrying about.” Regardless of technological advances, those words are as true today as they were 2,500 years ago.
So what’s the point of all this? The point is that life is far too short and precious to waste doing something you just can’t get into. If you are an anomalous researcher, what are you bringing to the anomalous research table? Is your interest fading, or do you still see the value of what you do? Are you still making a meaningful contribution to your team and the field, or have you started that slow and draining (for your team mates) downward spiral that ends with you quitting or being dismissed?
The intent of this article is to encourage those who may have become unsure of their interest in paranormal research or who have become discouraged (and we all have at some point), and to recommend one of two paths: If you are going to be an anomalous researcher, then damn it, be an anomalous researcher! If you’re not, then do yourself, your team, and the field the courtesy and honor of moving on.
So, how do you know which path to take?
Serious anomalous researchers don’t do this for the money, the glory, or the fame; they do it because that is who they are and what they do. It’s in their blood. They do research with or without a team. They can’t quit because some deep part of them yearns for answers. Even though they may get discouraged at times, they realize the importance of what they do even if the world ignores and demeans them. This higher purpose fuels and nurtures their spirit. If this describes you, then align yourself with other serious researchers of like mind. This will invigorate you and help you to accomplish your purpose. And you never know… you just might participate in breakthroughs that will enhance humanity’s understanding of itself!
On the other hand, if anomalous research is not for you, you already know it. How? Several factors characterize the investigator who probably needs to do themselves a favor and move on. These factors include dreading team meetings, being late for investigations, half-heartedly carrying out assigned responsibilities or putting them off completely, not answering emails or calls from the Founder, not returning messages, forgetting about team meetings and/or investigations, being contentious, and a general attitude of indifference. One of the reasons a person like this may not move on is that he or she doesn’t want to hurt other’s feelings, or they fear losing friendships. The truth, however, is that this kind of person is already hurting relationships because team members and others are aware of it and likely resent this person for not towing the line. In reality, this kind of person takes more than they give, and anytime someone takes more than they give and is unwilling to change, the relationship is over. If this describes you, you have a choice: You can either take care of the problem now, or suffer longer and still take care of it later. Either way, you will take care of it eventually, or it will be taken care of for you.
Another way of knowing whether you should keep doing this or whether you should move on is to ask yourself why you started doing it in the first place. Why are you an anomalous researcher? What do you get out of it? What do you hope to gain? What does the world stand to gain?
Everyone who works with a team must bring something of value to the team table. And if they don’t, they only make things harder on others. Ask yourself what you bring to the table. Is it something of value? Is it meaningful? Does it make a difference?
Early 20th century pioneering aviatrix and author, Elinor Smith Sullivan, once wrote, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Elinor was 89 years old back in 2000 when I spoke with her and, to the best of my knowledge, is still alive today. Elinor is a splendid example of a person who knew what she wanted and went out and “happened” to it! —Read more about Elinor Smith Sullivan at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Smith.
If you are going to do anomalous research, then be about it. Go “happen” to it! If you’re not, then you owe it to yourself and others to move on and go “happen” to something else you find of higher meaning and value.
• “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln
• “I discovered at an early age that most of the difference between average people and great people can be explained in three words, “and then some.” Top people do what is expected of them and then some. They are considerate and thoughtful of others, and then some. They meet their obligations and responsibilities fairly and squarely, and then some. They are good friends and then some. They can be counted on in an emergency and then some.” —Franklin Roosevelt
• “There is not much left to do but bury a man when the last of his dreams is dead.” —Doug Hooper
• “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” —Helen Keller
• “It's not your blue blood, your pedigree or your college degree. It's what you do with your life that counts.” —Millard Fuller
• “The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.” —Alan Ashley-Pitt
• “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” —Mark Twain
• “Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln