The winters here are grey, and cold. I look out the window to see everything is dead, I try to get up,but feel paralyzed. My desire to move is vanquished, my comfort level is high. I am either all in, or I am out. I can not find that fire I once had to destroy everything in my path. Goals I had, I have reached, everything I need, I have right now. I am striving to find what will light a fire inside of me because I am going through the motions of life. People ask me, “what’s new, Joe?” I hesitate to say anything because nothing is new, or exciting in my life. I am doing the same routine everyday. Wake, train, eat, work, relax. Every. Single. Day. Am I looking for adventure? I do not know. I feel lost at times of what I want to do next. I am trying to seek out a passion, something that moves the needle, but I hesitate to trying something new. It is part fear, and part laziness. When you get comfortable with life that is when you start to die. That is what I have always believed, and that is why I try to get uncomfortable, but right now I am loving how life is comfortable for me. I should cherish these moments right now instead of being critical of them because soon life will bring sadness to me, and I will have that uncomfortable feeling in my life. A risk must be taken, a challenge must be made, I must become more than what I am because I am more than this, I have more ability that I am leaving in the shadows. I am in the light, I must tip toe in the darkness to see how it feels, to make me appreciate what I have. Why haven’t I? Fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of truth, fear of fear, fear of not knowing how to start.
I am running out of time. I should have realized this long ago, but it somehow drifted out of my mind. I started doing things I did not care about, I started to put things off thinking tomorrow will come, I started to compromise my views to give people more of my time. I was taking time for granted because I assumed that I would always have as much of it as I wanted in life. However, after thinking about this more, I see that I have very little time left on this earth. I can literally die today, and the world would not stop, the end of me is not the end of everyone on this earth. Letting myself be arrogant about having infinite amount of time let me invite fear into my life. It let me fear all the little things, it let me find easy cop outs about why not to do the hard things in life. Fear made me weak in my mind, body, and spirit. I was concerned about what others thought about me, I was scared of the unknown, and I felt I needed to take the safe route. My time is coming to an end, and I do not know when, and that does scare me because I have not done everything I wanted in my life due to fear. I know it all starts with me, and I am done being scared of the unknown. I am welcoming it into my life because I know if I don’t then I will be leading an unfilled life. I do not care if people see this as reckless, or want to be negative towards me about it because in the end it really does not matter. Putting this public is the first step of getting over my fear, and it is a fresh start for me. As Marcus Aurelius said, “You could leave this life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”
The world does not challenge us enough any more, that is what makes us soft. We have everything we need. There is never a time when food is not available, water is readily at our disposal, and more people have shelter than at any time in life. We are very comfortable in our lives, at least I am in my life. I literally do not have to worry about anything at this point in my life, and that scares the shit out of me. I was sitting at home and looked around at everything I have and I could not think of anything else I needed in my life. I was too comfortable, I need to get out of my comfort zone. I need that feeling of defeat, hurt, and struggle in my life because it makes me appreciate what I have and what I can lose at any moment. I decided to set challenges for myself. One was to write more because I am terrible at it, but at the same time I love it and I want to get better at it. Second was to kick my coffee habit. I love coffee, and I love stimulants, but I know too much is not good. Third was to give myself a stretch of eating only potatoes. I want to do this to see what it feels like to have limited options, and if one day I had limited options what would that feel like for me.
It amazes me and other people that we have to do these types of things to feel challenged in life. Not long ago people went to work in fields, factories, and worked on boats. These jobs were challenging enough to where, when people came home they knew they earned that meal. Getting uncomfortable in my life is something that I have to do to appreciate what I have in life. All of what I have can be gone in a blink of an eye.
Throughout life people will always tell you what to do. I think they want what is best for you, but they also want to show how smart they are because everyone loves to give their opinion. With so much information out in the world in the form of podcasts, books, and the internet blogs it can become overwhelming at times for people. For me, I am an information junkie. I love reading about the latest and greatest things that are going on in the world of tech, business, and health. However, there comes a time when there is too much information. About six months ago, I was reading tons of sales books to get better at what I do because I felt there was some sort of “secret” I did not know about in sales. I was reading so much that I was getting paralyzed by all the information. I was not being as productive as I should have been because I was focused what techniques I should be using from what I read in the books. Finally, I took a step back to see why I was not where I wanted to be, because I had all this “knowledge” but I was still floundering. When I took a step back I saw what works for one person does not necessarily mean that it will work for me. I know what is going produce results, but trying to use all the techniques I read about was recipe for failure.
Now, I am not saying reading and consuming information is bad, but you have to pick out the gems of information that is in the material. There comes a time when you know what is best for you, and you need to trust yourself. I think too many people are insecure with themselves that they look to others to navigate what is right or wrong. The notion of failure terrifies people so they pass up learning opportunities for someone else to tell them what to do. Embrace your inner compass and do what you think is right at the time. Yes, there will be times when you fall on your face, but learn from those experiences. The greatest advice I ever received was, “fail early, and fail often” Go out and test your theories and become the author of your own book because if you use someone else’s map you will take their journey and not your own.
Food, something everyone loves. People have their favorites whether it is desserts, steaks, or even salads the spectrum is endless. The joy someone has when they take that first bite of food is priceless. The expression of calm hesitation, the crooked smile, and then the pure joy of biting into the first fork or spoon of the meal is pure joy. Where else do humans get this type of satisfaction? Sex, drugs, music? Yes, but food is on an entirely different level because of the art and care that goes into a good meal. Everyone has a different opinion on what a good constitutes, and that is what makes food such a unique experience in this world. The joy I get from food is process of making the meal. Going to the store searching for the ingredients, smelling the herbs, touching the produce, and finding the right cut of meat is an adventure. Getting back to my kitchen and laying everything out in the order that it has to be added, turning on some great tunes, and pouring myself a drink it is a Zen like state. None of this has to be complicated either, and in my opinion the simpler the better the meal will be for you. One of the best memories I have is making burgers from scratch for my dad. I got the perfect cut of meat, ground it up, seasoned it perfect, and threw it on the grill. Watching the expression on his face was priceless, and it felt good being able to bring happiness to someone through something so simple. Some of the best times and memorable have been shared over a meal. Every time I see my friend Mike it is at meal. My favorite conversations have been over a meal with him, and those are the times I will never forget because the experience is tattooed on my mind. Food is not just something to fill your stomach for a short period of time, it is an experience that can change the mood of someone, it is life that gives us life. Embrace your next meal and see what you can come up with, and I guarantee you will come back with a new appreciation for it.
I want to quit, I want to stop, I can not do this, what are you doing!? This is what my body is telling me the first 10 minutes of my run. This happens every single time I go for my run. My mind toys with the idea of stopping. It gives me the image of relaxing on the coach, having a gallon of ice cream, and watching reruns of Seinfeld, basically heaven for me. I have never been a fan of running long distance, but the past couple of years I have started to take on the challenge. The first couple of weeks were terrible. I would get a half mile in and walk because I was listening to the awful voice of, “take it easy” I knew I would continue to suck on these runs if I kept being a weak minded dick about it. One day, I went out and blocked out that voice and got through the hardest part of my run, and when it was over; I felt energized. The next day I did the same thing, I fought through the difficult part, and came back feeling awesome. This was a snowball effect that had me to the point at any time during my run where it became difficult I pushed through because I knew I could do it.
I look around when I am public and it scares the hell out of me. I see people, and I know they have given up, they listened to the little devil voice to take the easy way out. They gave up on the hard project at work, they gave up standing up for themselves, they quit in the middle of a task. The easy way out feels good, but it only feels good for 5 minutes then that feeling is forgotten. However, the feeling of conquering a difficult task, that is the stuff that sticks with a person for the long haul. The mind now knows that it can get through a hard task, it becomes engrained in your mind. This can be applied for anything in life. The quit is dangerous if you give in to it, but if you stiff arm it and keep going you build that muscle to overcome adversity. WE can conquer the quit and not be like everyone who has given in to it, or we can give in to be mediocre lemmings. The choice is ours, and we all know what has to be done.
We are all dying, every second a piece of our lives is gone. We take no notice to it, and go on with our day. Worrying about an average job we don’t care about, trying to be someone who we are not, but we give no thought that this life can end in less than a second. People are terrified to take chance on a new adventure in life, but they are okay taking shit from a boss who they hate, how does this make sense? As far as I know we get one shot at this life, so why not make the most out of it? Getting worked up about an email, or a bad phone call does not matter in the long run. There are people who are little ants in this world doing what they are told to do. They fall in line, and then complain that life is not fair and blame everyone else except the person in the mirror. Stop. We all have choices and if there is something that needs to change then do it, but do not complain everyday how you hate your job then do nothing about it. Take a chance on that one thing that will make your happy and do it, if you fail, so what because in the grand scheme of things it does not matter. Seek death, seek the unknown, put the compass away and go down the road that scares the hell out of you because the next eye blink could be the last.