Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reality Check

I originally had another post in mind today but decided on a reality check instead.  For the past week or so, I've dispensed a fair amount of fancy talk.  That's because I believe it.  If you don't first believe it, you're already half defeated before you start. I'm a believer. 

Fancy talk resonates with me.  Not because I am lulled by its promises.  I believe great initiatives begin with that kind of talk, in fact, they require it.  In my own experiences of trying to motivate people to be better than they believe they can be (myself included), to achieve the seemingly unachievable, to make a difference, to simply not accept what every other fiber of their being is telling them cannot be done, the essence of success can only be embodied in that kind of fancy talk. Achieving begins by doing, and doing begins by believing. Knowing the obstacles and eliminating the doubts is not the same as pretending they don’t exist. I believe solutions and improvements always exist, even when they might not necessarily be apparent. Because something is behind a wall, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Finding the way over, under, around or through the wall is the challenge. It can always be done with the right belief, determination, and perseverance.

But make no mistake, I understand life is hard. Harder for some than for others.  Sometimes it's so f-ing hard it shatters the lives of the strongest among us.  "It's a long climb up but a quick fall down," was a line I heard just last night in the movie Being Flynn.

I was never an addict.  I wasn't abused.  I'm not homeless.  But I've had my own set of struggles and hardships to endure.  I have my own set of personal demons and inadequacies to battle.  I don't assume to know your set of challenges but I'm certain of some age-old qualities that are vital in combatting them.  I'll start sharing some in the posts ahead. You've heard many of them before I'm sure.  It's a matter of adopting them as personal rules.

I don't like being a victim, certainly not of myself.  I have limited patience for those that do. (Patience is perhaps my most difficult ongoing struggle.)  Is that callous, cold-hearted, even selfish? Maybe.  Probably. I suppose so.  I'm not proud of my deficiencies but I know who I am and I'm comfortable with accepting it while I try my best to improve it.  I'm flawed and weak just like everyone else.

That doesn't neccessarily mean I'll just ignore your troubles but you've got to truly want to help yourself.  Some have to hit "rock bottom."  I think that's a lot of wasted time feeling sorry for yourself or making excuses.  I guess at the bottom of the barrel you finally run out of excuses.  Call it fortitude, willpower, or whatever but I'm not going all the way to the bottom of the barrel before I get a grip and help myself.  You don't have to either.  I call it discipline - plain and simple even though we both know it's anything but simple.  Couple it with a few other things and it's a program for living life richly - the good and the bad.

I said it in my Choice in the Quest for Calm post the other day - there is no magic formula. Life is hard. But your choices can make it easier.

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