WATCH: Life Lessons from a Dark Time

Hello, Today I’d like to talk about some life lessons from dark times. We’re going through a really difficult period at the moment with a lot of people losing their jobs. A lot of businesses collapsing and Failing.

And a lot of people losing their loved ones due to this dreadful pandemic. And it’s bringing up some pretty raw emotions for me. Because it reminds me of a time when I had the worst year of my life. It was really devastating. 


It was back in 1989, It started off really well that year because I was in a new career. I’d finished 10 years as being a chef. Which was working in really hard conditions in Haute Cuisine restaurants in Europe and in London and had a job as a Trainer. And I was absolutely loving it.  I was learning the art, the craft, the skill of becoming a trainer, of how to get messages across. I was absolutely loving it. I was working 9:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday for the first time in my life. Weekends off!  Every weekend off. And, I was earning more money than I’d ever earn before. I was doing 50% less hours for 50% more money.  I couldn’t have been happier.


And then, my father died. He was only 63, and he was a fantastic character. He was a brilliant Graphic Designer who inspired a whole generation of Graphic Designers in Ireland during the 70s and 80s. And he was also a very loving man. He could really express love very easily. He doted on my mother. He loved myself and my four siblings. And when he died it was really, really devastating. It was a real deep hole in my heart that I found very difficult cope with. That was really bad.


And then I found that my job was being made redundant. So, this beautiful career that I was in, this exciting life, I was living, was coming crashing down around me. Not only losing my father on an emotional level. But also then on a physical level, sort of money-wise and career-wise and enjoyment-wise. I was losing the job of my dreams. It was really tough. And I went looking for work. And I went looking for work and I was told by the recruiters “Mmm, You’re very inexperienced as a trainer and you’re very highly paid”. So basically “You’re under-qualified and overpaid”.  “We don’t have any work for you “. And I thought ‘Great now what am I going to do?’ And that’s when I started learning some very interesting lessons. And it was because of the people I was with. 

“Positive People”

So, one of the first lessons I learned is to hang out with “Positive People”. People who inspire you. People who care about you. People who want you to succeed. And what I found was with those people, a lot of them were running their own businesses, are starting up their own business. And they said there are enterprise schemes. You can go to one of these workshops and you can learn how to run your own business. I said  “Yeah, okay I’ll do that”, and that gave me a very clear goal.


Once I had a clear “Goal”, I had a purpose. It really focused all my attention. I was able to, rather than brooding about all the things that were making me upset and unhappy, I was able to focus on something positive.

“Read Books”

What I also learned from that time. Which was really important to me especially during the whole grieving process. Was actually to “Read books”.  Now, I’m talking about spiritual books, I’m talking about Emotional Well-being books, Mental well-being books. Books about Physical Health. So, that I could really look after myself. I could look after myself on all four levels. And it was really inspiring the books that I read back then. And went on courses and learned how to develop myself. And become wiser the way that I would live my life. 

“Staying Curious”

And above all it’s also, as many of you will know from me from my previous videos, It’s about “Staying Curious” and be relentlessly curious. What’s going to happen next? What might happen next?  And with that positive attitude, a lot of fantastic things happened. Which I’ll talk about in other videos. But I’d be really interested to hear what your Lessons from Dark Times are. Because we need to share this stuff with people who are going through tough times. Who might be losing loved ones. Who may have lost their job or their business, their livelihoods.

What tips would you give them? Please, put them in the Comments. I’d love to read them and you know you’ll be sharing. Because you’ll be giving good stuff to people, who really need it during this really difficult time.  I look forward to seeing that.   

Thank you! 


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Remember . . . Stay Curious!


With best regards,

David Klaasen 

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©David Klaasen – 2014