Just as gold must be put through fire in order to be purified; so, too, must we endure the raging flames and unrelenting heat of fire to purify ourselves. On the path to success, it is inevitable that we will have to be scorched by the flames of trial and error so that we may build up not only our knowledge, but our confidence and character, as well. We must come to the realization that we are the blacksmiths of our future. We possess the power to forge and shape our lives in any way we wish to. But, the forging of our future is much like the forging of a sword. You have to repeatedly put yourself through the fire and withstand the beatings and poundings you will take along the way; but, it will only strengthen us and put us that much closer to reaching the ultimate goal. Keep going.
Why is that the more expectations we place on our fellow man the more we are let down? This isn’t to say I put myself on some kind of pedastal, but hear me out…
In certain relationships, there exists a bond that is deeper than just mere emotional or sentimental attachment. A code of ethics, if you will. There are mutual expectations in order that all friends and associates adhere to and are expected to stand on. When everyone has this understanding, therein lies the foundation of their relationship. But, placing these expectations on our fellow man is very trivial. There is a saying that goes, “don’t put faith in man because you will be disappointed every time.” I find this to be quite interesting. I mean, I understood the truth in this statement the first time I heard, but until now, I hadn’t experienced it myself. We all have our role models or at least people in our lives that we hold in high regard. I feel this is natural. But, too often we are led to believe that these people are really someone they are not. The bottom line is, only a very small minority of people in your lifetime will stay true to themselves and to you. We can’t place high expectations on anyone for the simple fact that 9 out of 10 people will disappoint you. Even those that you THINK have proven themselves to you. It only takes one wrong move to destroy what years of camaraderie have built. We have to stay down and dilligent and be prepared for anything that comes our way. Expect the unexpected and know that the seemingly impossible is always possible.
One of the keys to becoming successful in any venture is to maintain a positive attitude. That means, rather than focusing and wasting your time and energy complaining about a problem, conjure up a solution. Shoot, if you already identified the problem, you’re already halfway there. Procrastination is a territory all too familiar for many us. In fact, many of us often times LOOK for a reason not to keep going in spite of the many obstacles we are faced with. Remember, it’s not the fact that you fell down that matters, but if you have the courage and determination to stand up again.
For many, your 21st birthday was a day full of drunken stupor and good times. For me, it was a day of reflection. A day to reflect and be thankful that I have made it to see the age of 21. Words can’t explain the emotions I felt as I reminisced on the plentiful memories leading up to April 9, 2014. I thought of my loved ones who never got the chance to see the age of 21, some not even 18. When you look back at your life and the trials and tribulations you overcame, the close calls you had, and how far you’ve come . . . it really humbles you. I invite all of you who read this to make a toast. A toast to life and the fact that you are still here, that you have beaten the odds, that you are a survivor, that you have foughten through the struggle and have the ability to continue to do so. As you take your next breath, someone else is taking their last. Be thankful and cherish every second you have on this planet. This journey of life is not an easy one, but it will be what you make it to be.
What is the source of the light in your life? In other words, what is it that keeps you going even in the midst of darkness? Is it your family? Your kids? Your religious beliefs? Non-religious beliefs? Your inner ambitions and/or goals? Or maybe just faith itself and knowing that, “this, too, shall pass?” Inevitably, we will have to weather a lot of tough storms throughout our lives. Many people have folded under the pressure that these times put on them. My message to you all is, find your source(s) of light. Something that will keep you focused despite the darkness that may be surrounding you at any given point in your life. With this light, we can never be knocked off our square. This light will be your strength, your hope, and could be your saving grace. This light will give you direction and serve as a solid foundation to stand upon. Without light, it is very easy to get lost in darkness and some never find their way back. Always focus on the light.
I’m going to introduce you all to the 3 C’s of decision making that might help you. Carefully calculate the cost. You see, a lot of us make very impulsive decisions that sound good at the time, but what about the long term? Rather than look back disappointed in hindsight, we need to look with our foresight to ensure we’re making the proper decision. This will help eliminate those regretful decisions that tend to get us in trouble or even just to make a better overall decision than you would have made, otherwise. When confronted with a tough decision, weigh the costs and the benefits. What will this do for me in the long run and what are the repercussions if I do/don’t do it? When we make decisions in the heat of the moment, that’s when we tend to screw up. Because either we don’t have time to, or because our emotions at the time cloud our better judgment Stop for a second, breathe, and carefully go over the problem in your head. Is this the right decison? Or is it simply the right now decision? Think…
Things happen in life. Things that are totally out of our control. At times, we allow these things to stagnate us and hinder us from moving forward. Or, we allow distractions to get the best of us, causing us to get sidetracked for a period of time. We even allow our own doubts, fears, and insecurities to come between us and whatever it is we’re hoping to get accomplished. The key to overcoming each of these obstacles is to stay focused. Develop a sort of tunnel vision and only acknowledge what you CHOOSE to. You might be asking, “how the hell do you CHOOSE to acknowledge something?” By choosing what we acknowledge, we are keeping full control of our lives and not being stagnated by external forces. Nothing can hinder our growth if we don’t allow it to. Always be consciously aware of what’s going on around you so that you can handle it accordingly rather than letting it control you. We may stop and smell the roses and venture off our paths from time to time, but never lose sight of the bigger picture.