Dreams

grind it out

 

You need to grind it out.

Don’t look for a magic formula, a secret recipe, or something that you forgot or mysteriously overlooked.

I know grinding it out is not an easy proposition, and it’s not what you want to hear at this moment, but the only way out, is to grind your way through. It is exactly the kind of short cut you seek. The only true and tested way. The shortest approach to where you want to be. A breath away from the person you wish to be.

We are not talking about being involved in something toxic or grinding yourself stupid against a dead end. We are talking about your dreams. About your purpose in life.

We are talking about staying motivated when everyone who was cheering you on found something else to do. We are talking about the time when you are left alone, without any real sense of purpose or where you are, or what motivated you to be here, in the first place.

Zig Ziglar, the mystical sage of Yazoo City, Mississippi, reminds us that motivation is like bathing. It is a very good idea to do it well and to do it often.

The rest of the time you just have to grind it out.

Don’t look back at where you’ve been or the life you’ve lived. Don’t look ahead either and get discouraged by all the things still left undone.

Don’t focus on anyone who seems to be competing against you. They have their own journey. They have their own struggles. Their own challenges. So never compare yourself to anyone, and fight your feeling to quit.

Grind it out.

You’re not being asked to be successful. To win. You’re not being asked to know why and where you are going. You’re not being asked anything, except to honour your commitment to yourself, and keep digging your ditch.

Grind it out.

Don’t ask how it is going to get done. Believe that it will be done, and work so that it can get done.

Don’t measure. Don’t count. Don’t change lanes. Don’t chase butterflies or bright shiny objects. Don’t get down on yourself. Don’t scream at people. Don’t get discouraged.

Above all else, don’t give up.

Grind it out.

You see. Grinding it out means that the game is not over. Hope is not dead. Faith still contains within itself a myriad of possibilities.

Today, you feel tired and lonely. Today, you feel dejected and defeated.

You’re not wrong, that is exactly how you feel, but don’t project your feelings into the future. What you are today is not an indication of who you’re planning on becoming tomorrow.

So, grind it out.   

Pick up your pen and continue writing. Turn on your digital recorded and continue recording your song. Ask forgiveness again. Yes, again. Put down your cigarette. Stay sober for the next twenty-four hours. Go for a walk. Get back in the weight room. Leave your abusive relationship. Leave your stuff. Just go.

Grind it out.

It feels oppressive. It feels tedious. There doesn’t seem to be an end.

But there is.

You will be free. You will be stronger. You’ll reach your summit and begin the climb of another.

But not, if you don’t grind this out.

 


threatened to pieces by change

 

People are often threatened by change.

The core of their being is fortified and stunted by just the idea of something new. Just watch them. Observe their eyes and their defensive posture.  Listen to what they say. Hear what they don’t say. Absorb and listen to their trembling excuses of fear.

It is always scary to look ahead, to go where you have never been. It is hard to move forward, to grow, to adapt, or transform yourself, especially when the comfort and experience of who you are, is right there, calling you back.

You don’t like who you are. Deep down, if you’re honest, you dream of being and living a more purposeful existence.  You hope for a new direction. You long for some kind of intervention, a sign in the sky, or perhaps a little push, from someone, anyone, in the right direction.  

The right direction.

But there is no right direction.

There is no such thing as the right thing to do, or right place to go, because change cannot be truly measured. It must be lived.

Success is something we are, not something we do. It cannot be measured, because our means of measurement changes with the passing of time.

Sure, you can count your money, your followers, or the square footage of your vacation property. You can count a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean anything. Through it all, you are the only constant. You are the only thing that matters. You are a person who needs to change, if you are to get to where you dream of being.

What do you dream of? Who are you? What is holding your back?

When you were young, you wanted mountains and mountains of candy. As you got older, you wanted a car, or perhaps a beautiful partner that could silence a room with his or her entrance. As you grew older still, you began to measure success by your health, the time you had to do what you wanted, and the people that gather by your side. Tomorrow, you will be different still.

Tomorrow, you won’t want the same things you wanted yesterday.  You won’t settle for yesterday, because tomorrow brings with it a new set of glorious possibilities.  Tomorrow, your very life will whisper some new possibilities of change.

The more wisdom you learn to embrace, the more you realize that life is about being, and not about doing. There is certainly a myriad of people that appear to better and more successful than you. They have more than you. They were there first. They know something. They managed to carve out their piece of the playground first.

But.

It’s not about them. It’s about you.

You are resisting your own magnificent conversion. You just won’t change. You run and hide. Choosing to be afraid of making a ruckus; of making a real difference. Whatever that difference is, you don’t have the courage to stare down your own greatness. You need to stop running away from becoming and being, who you were always meant to be.

You need to stop being threatened by change.

You refuse to let go. You refuse to embrace the temporary state of failure. You’ve been taught that failure somehow exposes who for who you are, when in fact, it is only a fleeting moment, in an unmeasurable ocean of time.

You seem somewhat arrogant.  Arrogant, to think you can learn to hammer a nail with only one, single, momentary, brilliant stroke of execution.

Let go.

Learn to hammer a lot of crooked nails.

Learn to leap.

Learn to fail and expect to fail often.

Learn to walk and dance with fear. To live and salsa with uncertainty.

Embrace change.

In the end, life is nothing but change.

 


a universe of possibilities

 

We can’t escape or avoid the world of judgement and measurement.  This is certainly good, in a sense, because it shows us reality. It identifies who we are and where we are. It keeps the dim lights separated from the bright lights. It allows for some of us to make French fries, while others get to perform the tedious task of brain surgery. I hear it’s tough to make really good French fries, especially without saturated fats.

Ben and Rosamund Zander identified something magical in the Art of Possibilities.

They showed me a way out.  A new way of thinking about my life, both where I have been and where I have a desire to go.  They outlined a new way of doing things. A fresh way of thinking. 

It is not a new way. It has been around for a very long time. It is open and accessible to anyone and everyone. It is free and certainly worth embracing. In short, it is the path we struggle to take, because it leads to a universe of possibilities.

The world of measurement is comfortable.  It is comfortable precisely because it is scarce and can be counted.  It is real, unavoidable, and often for these reason, very burdensome, but the splendid universe of possibilities, is not.

The universe of possibilities rests and will forever rest in our imagination, until we make it real.  Until we crawl, walk, run, and sprint towards what’s possible.  The universe of possibilities is missed by so many, because too often we are undecided, we weight our options, weighing, feel guilty, feel shame, regret, never giving life a second, or fifteenth chance. 

We refuse to give the possibility of what could be a real chance.

But the universe of countless possibilities is not a burden.  It is also not some positive, abstract, drunk, fleeting thought of fancy.  A magical land of lollipops and rainbow unicorns.  The people most invested in world of measurement, of judgement and gossip, are the ones that try to convince you otherwise.

The universe of possibilities is undefined.  It is unique to every single person.  It simply asks why not? 

It doesn’t negate or deny the reality you currently find yourself in. It will not help you pay your rent. Fix your broken marriage, or regenerate your poor, black, smoker’s lung.

It can’t give you back time.  It doesn’t make fraudulent promises.  Not does it whisper seductive jingles or offer you sure, tried, and tested short cuts.

The universe of possibilities only offers hope.  Hope that if you have faith in yourself.  If you have faith in what has not yet been written or preordained.  If you believe in freedom.  If you have love for yourself, forgiveness in your heart, and a soul open to reconciliation, the world of possibilities shows you the things that you can do, despite the things that you certainly can’t do.

It shows you that while it is important to struggle to do, it is immeasurable and infinitely more important to be.

This is a vast topic.  There are so many little nuances that need to be touched on and threaded out over time, but I made a promise to myself and to you to keep this short.

In the meantime. Keep dreaming. Strive to be better. Improve your score, your wealth, and your circle of influence.

Keep dreaming.  Keep your faith.  Keep hoping.

It is all possible. 

Two women looked out of their prison window and gazed at the world outside their reality.  One saw the stars and got lost in the infinite distance of space and possibility.  The other one saw the bars on the window, counted them, and resigned herself to remain a prisoner of her own making.

 


weekend quotable no. 38

 

 “Look to the future,

because that is where you’ll spend

the rest of your life”.

George Burns

 

Today is yesterday’s tomorrow.

Today.  Right now.

Right here.

Do you see the two paths that emerge in the woods?  One that is well worn and doubles back to your past, and the other one, that rough and uncertain, because it’s untrodden and leads to the future.

The past is comfortable.  It fits and suits us well.  It’s dependable.  Well worn.  Repeatable.  And this is precisely why, you need to leave it behind. 

Get a shovel.  Dig its grave.  Say a prayer and walk away.

Don’t look back in anger.

Look forward in hope.

Look to the future.

Live in the present.

Spend today, working for tomorrow.

A better tomorrow.  A genuine tomorrow. 

An unmeasurable tomorrow.  A tomorrow full of possibilities.

Don’t waste another moment crippled by fear.  Let go of your stories and invent new ones. 

It’s all invented anyway. 

Spend more time more time dreaming, a little more time doing, and a lot less time recollecting.

Take the road less traveled.

It will make all the difference.

 


weekend quotable no. 37

 

 “All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be, the blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.”

JRR Tolkien

 

Take heart, especially if you’re down.

Take heart because not all that is gold always glitters.  Not everything that you do may make any sense.  But a good way out is to make an actual decision.  A way out is to actually stick to a plan.  A way out is to get to work, sling that dirt, dig your ditch, and just let go. 

Let go of everything.  Turn away from everything you have done.  Close your eyes on who you think you are and where you think you are going.  Just let go.  Leap forward, and let life reveal the best direction to go.

You may feel like you’re lost, but in truth, there is nowhere you must be.  There is nowhere you must go.  There is nothing you must accomplish.  It is all imagined and you control the thermostat of your dreams. 

Being lost implies knowing how to take the certain path, but most of our happiness comes about in joyfully stumbling along.

You must let go of the world of measurement, and embrace a universe of possibilities.

Embrace what could be.  Imagine what will be.

Your mistakes probably sting a great deal.  Your failures sometimes feel like you’re really broken.  But take comfort in the thought that a fire can be awoken, with some effort, even from seemingly cold, abandoned ashes.  A light can always spring through the shadows. 

Hold on to hope. 

Don’t quit too early. 

Don’t lose heart.

You will once again be crowned a Queen.

 


no one will remember

 

One day it will all be a distant memory.

And it doesn’t matter what you do. 

It doesn’t matter if it what you experience today or lived out yesterday was good or bad.  Happy or sad.  Memorable or somewhat forgettable.

It doesn’t matter what you do.  It doesn’t matter, because everything, no matter how insignificant, how grand, embarrassing or otherwise, will one day be forgotten. 

Our mistakes and bruises, as well as our many disappointments and transgressions, will soon be forgotten and overshadowed by the art of living. 

You see, we were born with an expiration date.

We are no different than a carton of milk at the supermarket.

One of the great benefits of growing older, is not having enough time to keep track of every mistake or transgression that caused us to stumble. 

We were not granted the time to look back, or concern ourselves with what was, or what could have been.  It is not important.  We are people faith and hope.  Individuals living our lives forward and the future doesn’t depend on our past.

Even if you try.  Even if you persist and stomp your feet.  In time, everything fades, blurs, and becomes a distant passing memory.  The intensity of the moment fades.  We forget why, how, or how often.

So, it really doesn’t matter if what you experienced up to now has been virtuous or corruptible, joyful or melancholy, unforgettable or unremarkable.  It doesn’t matter.  What matters, however, is who you were and who you want to be.

You.

Not who you were but who you are.  Who you want to be.

I am not diminishing your real pain and the agony you might have suffered.  Far from it.  What you have endured and overcome is very courageous.  I am simply musing about the past, and how to leverage that experience and redeem the future.

It is really important to redeem our future.  It is important to hope.  To strive forward.

We simply cannot let the bastards grind us down. 

You have no right to hunt yourself down either.

All our actions and thoughts, ultimately end up in a rusty, unassuming, storage container, buried deep inside our unconscious mind.  Yet as we grow and dance with wisdom, our very character, the person who we are, who we have become and want to be, is ever more amplified and manifest itself ever more emphatically.

This is why, it is invaluable that we remember who we are, not what we have done, or what was done to us.   

We were born to be.  To be great.

For that reason, we must focus on our character, and developing that character, and not get hung up on our mistakes. 

Let the dead bury the dead.  Let the past remain the past.

No one will remember. 

No one will care.

Your memories will be a bit hazy too.

When you look in the mirror who do you see?  Do you see someone that makes you proud or do you avert your own gaze?  Someone memorable or forgettable?  Someone joyful or sad?

Don’t be so rough on yourself.

Remember that mistakes are events.  They happened. 

You are in the in the present.

The decision you make today, is not predetermined by what you did yesterday.

You are free to be.

Mistakes belong to the business of doing. 

Your life belongs to the art of living.

You won’t remember anyway, so take solace in your hope, by doing something today, that will make you into someone, you won’t hesitate to share tomorrow.

Forget your mistakes.  Don’t cover yourself with ugliness.  Don’t carry your regret and guilt alone.

Allow yourself to forget.

No one will remember.

Focus instead on who you are.

Who you dream to be.