“Quotes Have Never Changed A Thing”

“Quotes Have Never Changed A Thing”

I mean, who doesn’t love quotes?

Who doesn’t love seeing them pop up in our social media feeds several times per day?

A lot of great people have said a lot of great things. Life lessons learned and then shared. Inspirational. Motivational. Even beautiful.

I’ve got a couple of favorite quotes. They always make me think, always give me something to believe in. At least for a little while.

No matter how prophetically wise or inspirational they seem to be. No matter how much they resonate with us. No matter how true we believe them to be.

Quotes can’t change anything.

Only we get to change things.

And changing things takes action.

To quote Tony Robbins: “the path to success is to take massive, determined action.”

Whatever your definition of success is.

Whatever you’re working towards.

If You Don’t Know Why Then At Some Point You Won’t

If You Don’t Know Why Then At Some Point You Won’t

So what do you write about when your week didn’t go as planned and you didn’t have your usual time to write?

This past week felt like a week full of Mondays. Lots of unexpected events which took unexpectedly long to work through and resolve. Usually I’ll write three days a week, but this week sort of got away from me.

One of my goals this year has been to become more consistent in many areas of my life. Writing and posting included.

I’ve done rather well with that so far this year. I’ve posted every week of the new year. But with my week running away from me, was I going to stop my consecutive post streak and not post this week? Was that going to be my excuse?

As I write this in my writing space I am looking at the number “9”. The number “9” is written on the whiteboard on the wall in front of me. It’s the number of consecutive weeks I’ve posted. That number will be erased in a few moments, replaced with either a “10” or a “0”, depending if, despite my challenging week, I actually get something written and posted.

I’ve had a mixed bag of success when it comes to goal achievement. Setting goals is the easy part, but it’s the commitment to them that makes it happen. And consistency is critical in turning plans into reality.

The most important determinant if a goal is achieved or not is the reason Why the goal matters. The Why fuels the commitment which in turn fuels the consistency. Without a strong sense of “Why” you’re doing something, inevitably you’ll simply stop doing it.

Whatever the goal, whatever the desired outcome.

When I tell myself I want to accomplish something, I will always challenge myself as to why I want to accomplish it. If I don’t have a powerful enough reason I simply won’t make the commitment and move on to something else I can passionately get behind.

I know Why I write, and that’s the reason a number “10” is now written on the whiteboard in front of me.

Why do you do what you do?

Why do you want what you want?

If you don’t know Why then at some point you Won’t.

 

Photo by Steady Hand Co. on Unsplash

This Day Doesn’t Owe Me Shit

This Day Doesn’t Owe Me Shit

Maybe you’ve had days like this?

Waiting. Waiting for the day to motivate you, to inspire you, to give you a reason to feel good and excited about the day.

I’ve had my share of those days. Too many, actually. Days when I’m sort of just going through the motions of being alive. Waiting to receive, willing to accept, but not quite willing to create.

Does this feel familiar?

It’s easy when the external world ignites you, fills you with energy, lifts you higher. Everything flows, everything feels possible, and time moves substantially faster. But what if the day doesn’t give us that spark?

Most days, it’s up to us to create our own spark, ignite our own fires, and lift our own self higher.

Funny thing about new days. They’re indifferent. They don’t care what we do with them. Their job is to simply show up. But since we only get a finite number of them in our lifetime, is it wise for us to be equally indifferent as to how we spend them? To wait and hope that something outside of us is enough to inspire something inside of us?

The great day we’re hoping to have today? The great life?

It’s just not going to show up.

It requires us to create it.

What can you create for you today?

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

The Inconvenient Nature Of Sunrises

The Inconvenient Nature Of Sunrises

More people would enjoy sunrises if they simply scheduled them later in the day.

It just doesn’t work that way.

The alarm on my phone reminded me it’s 4:30 AM. It’s unseasonably cold, it’s dark, and I’m very tired. But I told myself I wanted to see the sunrise and the sun tends to get up early. 

My trek to meet the sun isn’t very convenient. The best view is over the bay, and that’s about a 30 minute drive from home. But that’s the price I must pay if I want to experience an ideal sunrise. Because the sun isn’t going to wait for me to rise.

On this particular morning, the cloud cover on the horizon did not produce the spectacular sunrise I had hoped for. But none the less, I showed up for it, and if you don’t show up in life you’re guaranteed to miss far more than spectacular sunrises.

Experiencing things out of the ordinary requires me to do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do. The blast of frigid air on my face as I walked to the car reminded me that quite often the road to accomplishment is seldom comfortable. Comfort, actually, is often the greatest obstacle to accomplishment.

So much of the personal growth I’ve experienced in my life started with me doing something uncomfortable. Inconvenient. Out of my ordinary. Even deciding to do something new can be met with a wave of discomfort. Change is never easy. It complicates things and who needs more complications in their life?

It’s only when the reward is greater than the discomfort are we willing to create the new habits and rituals needed to claim our reward. Be it witnessing a sunrise or anything else we hope to experience or accomplish in life.

So what’s your reward? What are you striving for? Is it greater than the level of comfort you already enjoy? Because if it isn’t, at some point you’ll simply choose comfort over accomplishment, what is over what could be.

Goals and dreams require us to work with them under their terms and conditions, not ours. Often inconvenient. Often worth it.

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

Time Really Doesn’t Care What You Do With It

I hadn’t thought of it quite this way.

Just six weeks left.

It’s mid November and the year is coming to an end. Six weeks and it will be the start of a new year. It will also be the start of a new decade.

That’s the part which stunned me a bit.

Where did the last ten years go?

Most of the time I never think about time. The busy-ness of life often keeps my mind on what’s right in front of me. And the next thing you know a full decade has come to an end.

It’s interesting to look back at the decades of your life and reflect and remember what life felt like back then, what you did, or what you didn’t do. The victories and the defeats, the joys and the pains. A common denominator of the decades of my life is that the decades sort of just happened, simply unfolding in the way that they did. Kinda feels for the most part I was in many ways just going along for the ride.

Having collected many decades myself, being reminded that this one is coming to a close has surprisingly stirred things up within me. As I look back at the past 10 years there is a sense that I could have done better. Done better in the sense of showing up with far more intention and presence. It was a decade of transitions on many levels, but my initial assessment is that life during these last 10 years was more reactionary than intentional. Behold the glory of hindsight and experience and looking back in time and seeing how things could have been.

A younger, less-evolved version of me would have used this awareness against me. I can so vividly see that version of me calling me out for not making the most of those years, even though I have no idea exactly what making the most of those years actually would have looked like. Sometimes we can really hold ourselves to such unrealistic expectations, can’t we?

With my new found reality that I’m six weeks away from a brand new decade, I’m giving serious pause and envisioning what I want to become and accomplish and experience in the coming ten years. For the first time I’m setting clear intentions for myself going forward into the new decade, no longer content of just seeing where time will take me.

The next ten years are going to happen regardless of how I chose to show up for them. Time is indifferent. Time doesn’t care if in ten years I’m looking back wishing I had spent them differently.

That’s not a conversation I intend on having with myself in November 2029.

What are your intentions for the next ten years? What will be your priority? What do you plan to become and accomplish and experience?

The life you want isn’t just going to happen.

It’s a great day to be you!

The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential

The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential

Boy, did I set myself up for quite the challenge.

My task this week was to filter through a lifetime of learning and living and come up with the definitive list of the top five good excuses for people not living up to their potential.

Not to brag, but at one point in my life I would have been considered an expert in this field. In fact, I probably would have won the lifetime “lack-of-achievement” award for my consistent and innovative excuse making if, of course, the world actually awarded those who’ve never done anything other than make excuses as to why they’ve never done anything.

Based upon my extensive research and unquestionable qualifications, I present to you Continue reading “The Top 5 Good Excuses For Not Living Up To Your Potential”

It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark

It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark

It’s dark. And it’s cold. My mind logically presents compelling arguments as to why I should go back under the covers and get just a little more much-needed sleep.

But I made a promise to myself. And fitting this promise into my schedule requires me to start my day much earlier than my body and mind both feel I should.

It’s just before 5:00 AM. I’m standing in my driveway with a halogen lamp wrapped around my head, wearing a reflective vest and holding my iPhone.

Time to run.

I will win no awards with my running, either for speed, endurance, or technique. But that’s not why I do it. In addition to the health benefits, accomplishing a goal before the Continue reading “It’s Amazing What You Can See While Running In The Dark”

Embracing The Momentum of Accomplishment

Embracing The Momentum of Accomplishment

Yesterday I ran my first-ever 5k road race. In the grand scheme of things, running a 5k race is far from a major accomplishment. But in the grand scheme of my things it was.

“I suck at running.” That’s what I told myself for years, and it served as the perfect rationale for why I shouldn’t even bother trying. Over a year ago I had purchased some expensive shoes and some high-tech clothing designed to keep me dry. What I couldn’t purchase was the motivation to really try.

I went out a few times. My legs hurt. I would often speak to God, asking for the strength and stamina to get to the next telephone pole. Yes, I guess I really wasn’t good at running and now I had some current data to base my conclusion upon.

A couple of months ago I revisited running. This time I brought a better attitude on the road with me. I’d been reflecting upon life and noticed a pattern where I’d enthusiastically jump into a new hobby or activity and then slowly watch the excitement fade away. The dust-covered guitars hanging on the wall were daily reminders. It was time to lace up the Asics and decide once and for all if Continue reading “Embracing The Momentum of Accomplishment”