Lesson #1: Stick to What You Know (and Revisit Often)

Posted on October 21, 2012

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I am a bit surprised that I did not write a blog earlier in the week. It’s up there on the list of priorities, but I am in that stage where I recognize that I need to take this little ball of clay and get to work crafting it into something tangible, adding definition. The time for pre-planning is over; I don’t know exactly what I am shooting for right now, but this is not the time for masking laziness and apathy with well intentioned naval gazing about how-tos and why-fors. It’s time for action not guessing.

I also recognize that motivation is a delicate thing; it’s like running a marathon holding a candle and trying to keep it lit. We all have flaws and when we make a dedicated effort to build a better house (metaphorically speaking), we’re going to fail, we’re going to fall through on promises we’ve made to ourselves. Accept it. Accept who you are because you’ll have plenty of other people to crap on your dreams, even people close to you; in fact, the people who know you best might not expect anything out of the ordainary from you at all.

Dig deep. Whether you have an ideal support system or not, keeping that candle lit is ultimately your responsibility and the fuel is what is inside of you.

So I’ve been thinking a lot, more than just about myself, I think about you… yes, YOU, faceless and nameless readers. Maybe someday some of you may have a face and a name known to me, and I may get to hear stories about your own efforts to take what belongs to you. Those are the things I look forward to, that is what makes getting here (though it’s been a bumpy road and I’m not quite sure I made it in one piece) worth it, even as I’m looking straight up and realize I have such a long way to go.

So while I have been trying to innovate and develop new mantras and concepts to make this work all over again, I am realizing that kind of dynamic creativity is born on the back of the experience and Lessons that have come before it. There are times to question everything you think you know and believe, but this is not that time. To develop something really organic, I’m returning to formula a bit.

I would like to share a few, as I revisit them for myself.

1.) You are your own worst enemy. Fact. Nobody stands in your way quite like you do. Your perception of what stands between you and victory will always be skewed. Objects in mirror are not as large as they appear. All of the slieghts, the hurts, the failures, we get this fun house styled perception of ourselves and our abilities when we should be deciding what kind of people we want to be and making it happen. (See my previous blog about your face.)

For me, I believe that there will come a day when I will have to make an account for my life and how I made use of what I had while I was here, and it won’t do to claim that I was setup for failure. I can always do more with what I have, even if that means taking it from someone else who refuses to use it.

2.) Be willing to be dangerous. I think a lot of people hesitate to stand out, maybe they’re embarassed, maybe they’re afraid. Maybe they just don’t want to maintain expectations at that level. People talk themselves out of all sorts of things because they are afraid of the perceptions of others. The root? Pride. Get over it. I hate running because I hate knowing people are watching my fat ass run. Get over it. Best counter? Genuine humility. Whatever I want to accomplish, wherever I want to go, I am going to need a healthy dose of “get over myself”. Embrace that you’re inadvertantly going to make an ass of yourself from time to time. Be dangerous. Don’t ask permission or feel like you have to apologize for letting your light shine (in whatever context is relevant) or even for falling short; it isn’t about you anyways. Dangerous people are effective people; the world needs a lot more effective people. And let’s face it, dangerous people have a lot more fun.

3.) There really is only one true destination in life. The end. One of my recurring mantras is: If you’re still breathing, you’re not done yet. No matter how life swings, I know I need to keep smoothing out the rough edges. I never make an initiative just about what I want to do. People who make goals to “lose weight” will likely gain it back, if they ever lose it in the first place. I make initiatives and changes based on the kind of man I want to be. I work towards becoming the ideal, even if it never happens, because I know that man will do more than I can now. If the tree is rotten, the fruit is rotten. Build a strong, healthy tree and let the fruit of your labor be something a lot of people can enjoy.

Wrapping up, there are a few books that are touchstones for me you might be interested in:
Wild at Heart by John Eldredge: To remind me that a man has to live from his heart to truly be effective
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey: To remind me to “keep the end in sight”
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho: To remind me that “magic” (in a sense) still exists and that our dreams are so integral to who we are
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: To remind me to stay simple and to look past what I can see

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Posted in: Deep Thoughts