tunnelAll things come to an end.

That’s always a good thing. Even though last week we talked about my stunning realization that living a life on your terms actually has a few down sides, we also realized that where something ends, there is also growth.

You and I decided that maybe living a life on your terms isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maybe, our dream life was just that: a dream.

We also decided that was ok.

Dreams feel so great because they’re fleeting, intense moments of pleasure. But they also blot out every other facet of life. You can’t feel anything else because this dream is so all consuming and all encompassing.

It’s incredible for a little while, but after some time you want to experience the rest of life. Even if the rest of it is less mind-blowing and more normal.

Now that we know what the best part of a life on your terms isn’t (a carefree, lifelong beach orgy), let’s talk about what it is and how to deal with our disillusion when we wake up. [click to continue…]

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respiteIt’s all so exciting at first.

Everything is new and shiny. Everyday is uncharted territory. It’s always ‘the first time’ and you never feel wanting for variety or fun challenges. Everyday is a study in variety, every minute is an exciting challenge in itself.

It feels as if you’ll never wear out, you’ll never get tired, you’ll never stop.

Even the most mundane of tasks send thrills through you’re body. ‘You mean I get to answer email for my new business? All these people want something from me?! Omigod omigod omigod! This is going to take all day, isn’t that great!?’

This passion inside of you is too much to contain within yourself and the thought of it being depleted is not within your realm of reality.

Although if you think about it logically, you’ll realize that nothing is permanent, you can’t deny how alive your body feels every minute of every day. That fact of reality (the impermanence of your fiery passion) just doesn’t fit into your world. You are superhuman, invincible, unstoppable, a force not bound by the laws of nature.

Until, all of a sudden, if you’re not careful, if you don’t pace yourself, the impermanent nature of your fire is staring you in the face.

You hit the wall. You get up ready to sprint but you can’t even stand. The passion is there, but the fire is gone.

The fuel is depleted and the nearest gas station is 30 miles away.

There’s no more adrenaline. Suddenly, you’re just like everyone else. You have no more super powers. You’re not invincible anymore and your mortality is forcing you to walk until you can refuel which feels tortuously slow and inefficient.

How does anyone ever get anywhere by walking? You feel as if you’ll die before you get to a place where you can refuel. And that’s when something really scary happens.

[click to continue…]

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dontpanicI’ve always found it funny that, when we have bad news, we insist on telling the bearer of that news exactly how they should not react to this news. Especially since that’s precisely how the bearer will end up reacting anyway.

So, when my wedding planner comes up to me and says ‘Don’t panic, but…’, naturally I immediately begin to panic.

The bringer of bad news will then stay completely calm, as if to mock you with their composure. The audacity of which is incomprehensible to me since they are the ones who’ve caused this whole panicky situation in the first place by insisting you don’t panic.

They then proceed to tell you all the ways in which you can make lemonade out of the pile of lemons they’ve just dumped in your lap, when all you asked for is one decent avocado.

It’s common knowledge that I hate lemons. If this is the first you’re hearing of my relationship with lemons, here’s a list of the reasons I hate them:

  • Lemons are sour.
  • Lemons are so yellow I can only assume they use their unnaturally bright color as a form of hostility against other, less yellow fruit.
  • They want to be condiments, decorations, made into pie, made into lemonade (a despicable beverage I’ll go into later) and candy. This makes them the most greedy of all fruits.
  • Lemons are the primary ingredient of lemonade, which is a drink so full of itself I can’t believe it allows others to consume it.
    • Lemonade always wants to be sold at lemonade stands, inside of drink dispensers, and thinks it’s just as good as tea (which it SO isn’t).
    • Lemonade wants to be sweet AND sour (ridiculous!)
    • Lemonade thinks it’s the cure to all things bad in the world (!).
  • Lemons are unnatural and wrong in too many ways to account for in one blog post.

I find them to be the most offensive and disagreeable of all fruits. Their flaunting pride offends me to the depths of my soul, and I just simply can’t bear their existence. [click to continue…]

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QuitYourJob‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

It seems like an innocuous enough question. Especially when you’re a child and the possibilities are endless.

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

A fireman, a lawyer, a construction worker, a doctor; these are all acceptable answers.

The truth is, as harmless as it may seem, this is just the beginning of a life-long struggle to find self-worth in a title. From an early age we’re taught to be proud of being a ‘title’ and to not be proud of being a human who uses their superpowers for good.

Perhaps adults feel that this is too abstract a concept for children. Yet still, we’re prepped in secondary and high school to be a ‘title.’ Not just any title either. We’re manufactured and groomed to perfection to be a ‘socially accepted title.’

I guess this is supposed to inspire us to be an enthusiastic contributor to society. One day, when we’re ‘title’ then we can be proud.

Is it really surprising that as adults, we cling on to titles as if being stripped of it means being stripped of our humanity?

We usually don’t turn out to be what we dreamed of as children anyway. We turn out to be the disgruntled middle manager on the second floor who has a thing against Kurig coffee machines and donuts in meetings.

Nevertheless, it is far better to be a disgruntled middle manger than it is to be a happy individual with no title at all. At least that’s how we feel when the thought of leaving this wretched job behind and starting a hotdog stand.

The nerve!

We grew up working towards being a ‘title.’ How can we define ourselves if this essential element is taken away from us?

We can’t. And that’s a problem. [click to continue…]

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DeterminedSoulLife can hit you hard.

I didn’t say life is hard. I hate when people say that. Life is hard compared to what? Non-life?

No no. Life is great. Being alive is magnificent.

When was the last time you woke up and jumped out of bed for joy of being alive? I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a hard time feeling joyful about anything before 8AM without a hearty dose of caffeine.

Yet, I could just as easily not be alive.

We are as impermanent as anything on this Earth, and for me to assume that my life will continue is a tad audacious is it not? So I remind myself daily of what it is to be alive and why it’s so beautiful. Even when life hits me in the face.

You’ve probably had one or two heavy-weight championship fights with life.

You know the fights I’m talking about.

The kinds of fights that you don’t care about winning as long as you make it out alive. The fights you don’t think you can survive. The moves you don’t think you can do. The times when just standing in the ring feels like an enormous task.

I’ve been on the ropes once or a few times in my short existence. I know you have too.

And just like you I’ve had matches with life that have left me shaking and bleeding on the floor. There were times when I couldn’t get up – wouldn’t get up. But there were also times I got up even though I was getting my ass beat; even though throwing in the towel would be so easy and so understandable.

No one would blame me for giving up.

After all, who can be expected to absorb so much pain without even a hint of respite at the end?

You may not be expected to, but you can do it if your life and living it with unapologetic fervor means more to you than any immediate pain of the moment.

There are some pains that need not be endured, but there are some that you’ll need to withstand to step out of the ring with pride; whether you’ve won or not.

Here’s a list of times where I could have quit with no blame, but I didn’t. [click to continue…]

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StartOver
If I can say one thing without hesitation it’s that I’ve failed spectacularly.

I mean fireworks, Olypmic parade, commencement speech worthy failure.

The kind of failure you look at in awe. You marvel at its ruthlessness and you quiver before its exquisite power while pulling your children close (probably for your own protection rather than the children’s).

Yes, I’ve seen it.

It’s disorienting.

It’s devastating.

It’s humiliating.

It’s proof.

It’s pure unequivocal proof that you’ve done something significant.

It’s proof that you tried to do something that was important to you. The fact that you failed is just a small, albeit painful, detail in the grand scheme of things.

The grand scheme being that you’ve made it to the point where what you’re doing matters. It matters to you, and it matters to the world (even if the world hasn’t noticed yet).

You’ve finally made yourself vulnerable enough to create something you believe in. The failure wouldn’t hurt so much if it wasn’t.

It’s proof that you worked through, and with, your fear to produce something epic. Sure, it may have been epically horrible, but it was epic nonetheless.

Most importantly, it’s proof that the worst can happen and you can handle it. You can live through it and you can carry on.

It doesn’t matter what you wanted or what your goal was. If you’ve ever felt worthy of an Academy Award for Greatest Failure, then you’ve reached a certain level of seriousness. It’s a level that people make detailed plans to arrive at, but never take any real action towards those plans.

These people have the benefit of avoiding the disgrace you’ll have to face for the rest of your life whenever you think about that failure.

They are protected from the winds that try to knock you down every single day.

They can sit on the sidelines and pity you.

They can criticize you.

But they can never join you.

They can never share the heartache and exultation that comes with being epic. They can find solace only with the mediocre.

Maybe that’s enough for them.

But for you – for you, you aim higher. You reach farther. You fall harder. You get up faster.

And when you’re finally within shouting distance of your goal, you’ll look back at them and tell them they really ought to see how beautiful it is.

Photo Credit

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people-pleaser

When it comes to self-assertion, we are backwards thinking, incompetent, fumbling, fools.

And so we should be. We’ve rarely had any practice stating what we want. We’re are more adapted at suppressing what we want, as if it were bad or wrong in some way.

We suppress our desires when we’re alone, and we obliterate them when we’re around other people. This applies, not only to desires, but to opinions, needs, and even basic individual rights.

Inexplicably, the less intimate we know someone, the more ‘pleasing’ we become while neglecting the needs of loved ones and good friends.

So intense is our need to not be the source of irritation, disappointment, anger, contempt, or dislike that we go to great measures to please everyone around us; usually at our own detriment.

We disregard our feelings in favor of the feelings of others so we can please everyone around us. So that we can be liked and thought of favorably.

Too many of us walk around with our heads down trying to remain small and inconspicuous; especially when we’re in front of the nameless, faceless ‘everyone.’

It’s time for you to stand up for what’s right for you, and stop standing for what’s right for everyone else. No one has more vested interest in you, than you. [click to continue…]

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Albert-Einstein-Insanity-Quote

If you’re like most people, you use persistence and perseverance interchangeably.

While persistence and perseverance are very similar in a lot of ways, there are a few subtle differences that have cosmic effects on the outcome of your situation.

Imagine this.

You want to become an entreprenuer. Maybe you always have, or maybe this is a new discovery for you. Either way, you find yourself in a bad position to do anything entrepreneurial.

You’re saddled with debt. You live out in the middle of nowhere. You don’t know anything about entrepreneurship. You have 12 kids and twins on the way. And you’ve also recently been in an accident that resulted in a form of brain damage that removed your ability to speak.

Talk about hardship. That sounds like a tough situation. However, if you really want it you’ll get it. You’ll find a way or you’ll make a way. You’ll continue on despite any obstacle or discouragement until you make it to your goal.

Now consider this alternative scenario.

You’re at a job that you hate. Or maybe it’s a relationship that hasn’t been working out. You put your head down and continue to hold yourself accountable and remain loyal to that job/partner regardless of how tortured it makes you feel. You’re committed and you’ll give nothing less than 100% every single time. The payout will come eventually. Won’t it?

You go through this for years expecting some return on your investment of time and energy but, alas, nothing comes but pain, frustration, and resentment. You carry on in spite of these oppositions because you can’t possibly stop now. You can’t quit after putting in all this effort. That would be tragic…wouldn’t it?

So you persist and persist; ignoring that little voice in the back of your head telling you to get out while you still have time to actually live.

Persistence vs. Perseverance

Persistence can be your undoing if you’re not careful. [click to continue…]

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I’m scared.

I really want this.

But I’m not sure I can do this.

I’m laying all my cards on the table for everyone to see, with no guarantee that the outcome will be one favorable to me.

Yet here I am, exposed, naked, vulnerable, and more alive than I’ve ever been.

You’ve asked me time and time again about how to deal with the exposure, with the vulnerability, of putting myself out there and living a life on my terms.

You want to know how I remain confident while also being vulnerable. The truth is, I’m confident because I remain vulnerable.

Although you may think this is a contradiction in terms, it’s actually very simple and logical when you break it down.

A Direct Relationship Between Strength and Vulnerability

vulnerability-fquote-korakorYou’ve probably spent most of your years covered in various layers and types of armor to protect you from this crazy world.

Some armor is dedicated to protection from emotional pain, some is for mental pain, some is for imagined pain, and still other types of armor you use to protect yourself from interacting with the world in any way that would leave you exposed.

Covering myself in armor never did make me any stronger. In fact, the more I tried to protect myself, the weaker I got. [click to continue…]

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attachYou live in a world of mindless drones and moral bankruptcy.

Not only is the world filled with people who don’t think, it’s filled with people who don’t want to think.

People who avoid thinking at all cost and hand over their minds to others who’ve dubbed themselves the rule-makers.

The mere thought of making an independent choice, judgement, or decision sends these people into a panic. They look in their rule books and operating manuals, frantically searching for a predetermined answer.

And when no answer is found, they shut down. [click to continue…]

{ 12 comments }

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