Hello and welcome to my blog–I greatly appreciate your interest and your time. I would highly recommend you start with the pages (my favorite is The Right Mindset…Also Aquafresh), which you can access in the above menu. The most important stuff I could possibly think of posting is right there, so if you’d like to read about my thoughts on productivity and motivation, give it a go. Thank you and welcome once again!
What a crazy past couple of weeks–mandatory practices for Cross Country began, as well as my final year of band camp. I’ve been extraordinarily busy, and as such, quite neglectful. I apologize.
But, with resounding cheer, I return! As my senior year begins, I will undoubtedly have far more time to update–I look forward to this, and I hope you do as well. For now, I will leave you with something I introduced before, but absolutely requires reiteration:
The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.
– Mia Hamm
Fight on, shall we?
Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.
What an awesome quote. Sure, it’s got meaning and philosophy and all sorts of stuff behind it, but we should sit here for a sec and appreciate how awesome of a statement that is. Expect problems…and then eat them for breakfast! Ha!
A summative speech on my understanding of seeking success. Please take a listen–I assure you it will be worth your time.
Thank you kindly.
Do you — or did you ever — have a Best Friend? Do you believe in the idea of one person whose friendship matters the most? Tell us a story about your BFF (or lack thereof).
I do believe in the idea of a person whose friendship matters the most, because–to be quite frank–believing otherwise could be quite cynical, and cynicism is something I attempt to avoid. I believe that, because I have a different relationship with my father as I do with my sister as I do with my coworker as I do with my employer as I do with a teammate as…so on and so forth, there must be a relationship that, in its uniqueness, matters to me more than the others.
My best friend is probably Joe, because Joe doesn’t stop doing things for me. Like, I can be a pretty abrasive, difficult person to be around, yet Joe and I are together a lot, and he seamlessly jives with my boisterous, obnoxious personality. Joe is my best friend because I don’t edit myself around him, and due to this sincerity, I truly care about what he thinks. If other people have a negative opinion of something I do, well…it’s easy for me to brush that off and ignore it. If Joe has a negative opinion…well then, I definitely did something wrong.
A story you say? It’s hard to pick one, but if I had to choose, it would be our State Science Olympiad competition this year, because–again, quite frankly–we killed it. We were prepared, we did incredibly well at competition, and we had a freakin’ ball. That’s what Joe and I do, really. We go places and we have a fantastic time being with one another, yet we still know how to produce at a high level. I love that about Joe. He’s an incredible kid.
Remember, most of the people you meet are going to tell you about the things they want to do. The question is, are most of the people you meet going to hear about the things you want to do, or the things you’ve done?
A commitment to yourself. It’s a simple idea, but it’s got a lot of different pieces jammed into it. I don’t know all of the pieces, otherwise I would be the most successful man on the planet, but what I understand about a commitment to one’s self, I’d like to share with you.
Let’s start here: a commitment to yourself will get you anything you want.
(Hence the whole ‘most successful man on the planet’ thing)
I talk a lot about making making choices (Every Moment Is A Choice). To me, that is undoubtedly the first step towards any type of progress, any sort of change: you have to make a choice, you have to decide what you want to do. And sometimes, that’s hard. It’s difficult to force yourself to make the decision to work instead of sleep, to run instead of walk, to fight instead of succumb. Making that choice can definitely be a difficult thing.
But I’ve got some bad news.
No matter how hard that choice was…making a commitment to yourself is going to be harder.
A lot harder.
Look, when you’re trying to be successful, when you’re trying to accomplish something, you’re constantly seeking improvement. That’s what this is, that’s what we’re talking about, a constant state of self-betterment. And when you’re in that constant state, when you’re constantly seeking improvement…well that means you’ve got some tough decisions, some tough choices to make. They’re tough because they require humility (Humility: The Impetus of Improvement)–they require that you admit flaws within yourself, they require that you accept your weaknesses and work on them, hammering them into battle-tested strengths.
During this hammering, during this work, when you’re constantly taking your weakness and exposing it to yourself, when you’re consistently revisiting your flaws…you hurt. You hurt a lot, and you want to stop. This is a terribly difficult thing you’re doing, and a painful one at that–this is a grueling fight, this is an uphill battle, this is a seemingly endless mountain which you must painstakingly claim.
This is a commitment to yourself.
You can’t get better at things without a commitment to yourself. You will slowly dwindle away into…I don’t even know, into nothingness, if you don’t have a commitment to yourself, and the rate at which you improve is directly proportional to your commitment to yourself.
A commitment to yourself implies a couple of things: firstly, you’re aware of both your strengths and your weaknesses. In the beginning of my week, every Sunday, I write down the things I improved upon last week, and I write down the things I want to improve upon this week. Acknowledgement of both the good and the bad. This is an understanding of the self.
Secondly, you want to improve yourself. You feel this desire to be better, to provide for your children, to support your spouse, to make your parents proud…but you also feel something more than that. You feel an obligation to yourself–YOU FEEL OBLIGATED TO YOURSELF (this is probably important)–to improve. To be the best person you can be, because you are you, and that will not change, so if you’re gonna be stuck with you, you’re going to be the best person you can possibly be. This is a desire to improve the self.
Thirdly, you choose. I told you it was the first step, and it is. The understanding of the self and the desire to improve the self are intrinsically human–everyone knows themselves, and everyone wants to be better. If you feel like you don’t know yourself, or that you don’t want to be any better than you are…well, you should sit down with yourself and just think for a bit. I have abundant faith you will discover what you believe you lack. So the third step is choosing to act on that desire, deciding to become better. And it can be very, very hard. But alas, this is your choice, and I have further, overflowing faith that you can make the right one.
Fourthly and finally, you commit to yourself. You made that decision to act, you made that difficult choice to admit your weaknesses and work on them…but you haven’t committed yet. You’ve made the choice to climb that endless mountain, to fight that grueling fight…but you haven’t committed yet! You haven’t plugged your nose and leapt into the freezing waters of self-betterment! The commitment to yourself only becomes evident when you’ve got the opportunity to improve yourself, and–where others would balk, make excuses, be lazy, or flee–you fight. You fight, and you fight hard. You are committed to yourself: you possess the intergrity to decide that you are far more valuable to yourself than any pain can overcome, and hardship can withstand, any difficulty can deny. You are committed to yourself: you are unaware of the mountain, for that is not where your focus lies; you know not for how long you’ve been fighting, all you know and all you care about is that you’ve been fighting hard. You are committed to yourself: you’re going to do what it takes, no questions asked, no excuses made! I love it!
You are committed to yourself, so bring on the dragons and the wild beasts. You are committed to yourself, so life, summon your greatest challenges and stiffest obstacles, for you can overcome them!
I love it!
As a kid, you must have imagined what it was like to be an adult. Now that you’re a grownup (or becoming one), how far off was your idea of adult life?
Well, I must say, I’m very excited to talk about this one, because I’m 17, which is right about the beginning of that transitional cusp from childhood into adulthood.
So, when I was kid, I imagined what it was like to be an adult. I imagined…wealth. Exorbitance. Possession. When I was a kid, I forever sought an equality, a justice…I didn’t like the fact that I couldn’t deal with my parents as equals, that my opinions couldn’t matter as much as an adults–these are things with which I still struggle today. I think, when I was younger, I saw age as power. The older I got, the more things I could have and the more things I could do, thus I could control more, affect more, and be more powerful.
I kinda sound like a sociopath.
I’ve always wanted to do things. I’ve always felt this yearning, this congenital and insatiable desire to produce, to be of value to the world, to give good things to good people. I’ve always wanted, without fail, to touch as many souls as I can. That’s why I do what I do now, that’s why I work on this blog. To bring it to others. That’s my why.
I think my idea of adult life wasn’t too far off. I think I missed a lot of the intricacies, the complexities; I think I didn’t fully understand some of the focuses, the shifts in concern; I think I overlooked most of the give-and-take, the compromising, the rationalizing. I epitomized adulthood in my mind as a time in which we had the power to chase that why, to do what it is we’ve always wanted to do. But the truth is, I think adulthood is still that chase, that endless race to reach our goals…but things get in the way. As a child, I was an idealist, and as a young adult, I still am one–but I’m far more aware of the real issues before me. Do I still think anybody, child or adult, can go out and reach their goals, sure.
But becoming an adult makes it a lot tougher.