Do YOU

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I have a million things on my mind that I want to blog about today.  And of course, knowing me, I am choosing the hardest one. But as I feel it is the most important one, here I go.

Last weekend it was pointed out to me that I have become less authentic to myself.  Not personality-wise; I am still the same positive, goofy, spontaneous, organizational freak that I always was, but I am in danger of applying other people’s ideas and life goals verbatim onto my own.  In other words, I am failing to take a step back and truly think about what I want for my life and unapologetically issue my personal stamp of approval.

Now, I feel that this happens quite a bit in life.  Parents are a big offender: Sarah wants to try to be an actress, but Mom and Dad want her to have a more stable life, so eventually Sarah takes on their thoughts and ideas as her own the more and more they preach about it, forgetting that she actually has a passion for the arts and not for inputting data.

I think the hardest culprit to discern, however, is the one that is the most subtle: the people around us whom we admire, with strong personalities and goals for their own lives who are charging full steam ahead.  Oftentimes, their belief in their personal project or path is so strong that they come across as looking down upon anyone not on that path without meaning to.

When you admire someone, you naturally want them to think highly of you.  And as the saying goes, imitation is the highest form of flattery.  But the thing is, if you are truly admiring the right people, they will want you to become the best version of yourself, not the second-best version of them.

It is only the secretly insincere individuals who crave followers; leaders want to surround themselves with leaders.

This realization that I had moved into fangirl territory was upsetting to me.  I pride myself on my strong personality, and I have always thought of myself as independent and able to carry my own torch.  The fact that I am in danger of losing my own personal vision for my life is heartbreaking.

This problem could be easily solved if I got rid of everyone in my life and had no outside people influencing me.  But that solution sucks, obviously.  No one wants to go through life alone, and it’s pretty much impossible to avoid outside forces unless you live out in the woods eating roots and berries and communing with nature.

So how do you keep those strong, admirable individuals in your life yet still stay true to your personal vision?

You have to have a personal vision.  Lately I have come to realize that thus far, I have had a vague sense of direction of where I want to go, but I have not taken the time to sit down and specifically map out what I want out of life.  As I have discussed in other posts, this is dangerous; a ship without a compass is pretty much just a bathroom toy subject to the whims of any giant two-year old splashing around in the tub.  You need to have a sense of direction, and a sense of direction only comes when you have a sense of purpose.

You need to be in tune with yourself.  People avoid actually getting to know themselves.  Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Orange is the New Black, and millions of other ways to entertain ourselves are waiting to be utilized at the snap of a finger.  Entertainment in and of itself is hardly a bad thing, but when it is used to avoid introspection and examining your life, it becomes a convenient set of blinders rather than a small moment of fun.  It is critical that you spend some time alone; not alone with your music or your books, but really, truly alone with nothing but your thoughts.  Who is this person you only slightly know as yourself?

You need to stop living in fear.  We are social beings.  We want to be liked.  And that makes us shy away from anything that may potentially end up in us being put in the outer circle of society.  But in all honesty, if you are true to YOU, people who are really true to themselves will recognize that and appreciate it, even if it is different from their truth.  If someone doesn’t care for your vision, fuck ’em.  People who don’t value an honest and true expression of intent aren’t the type of people who are worth keeping.  And it all honesty, it becomes so much easier to shed people you don’t want and attract people you do when you simply commit to your truth.

When we are not fully focused and committed to what WE want to do, we project other people’s judgement onto our lives before they even have a chance to, and for some reason allow this mythical judgement to influence us.

The cliche of ‘dancing in the mirror’ has come to represent freedom, self-expression, and self-acceptance.  It sounds hokey, but when you try it, you realize how much of yourself you are hiding from yourself.  Back in the day, I couldn’t even watch myself dancing for two seconds without being embarrassed and thinking omg, I look SO dumb and stopping–and I was alone.  There was no one to judge but me.  Why the hell did I care how dumb I looked?  I was looking at myself from an outside perspective, and I found lack because I had not embraced my inner truth that I just wanted to freakin’ dance.

When you take the time to get to know who YOU are, you become dissatisfied with becoming anything that doesn’t align with your desires for your life.  Take  the time to get to know yourself; at the end of the day, you go to your grave wrapped in solitude, and eternity is a hell of a long time to spend with a stranger.

 

Mature Communication

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Today my thoughts have been centered around communication and the vital role that it plays in every aspect of life. ¬†However, despite its crucial nature, I feel that so many people either undervalue it or simply don’t put in the effort required to make it effective.

If you want anything in life, you need to communicate that desire. ¬†When we are babies, we don’t shy away from screaming at the top of our lungs when we want food, comfort, or a diaper change. ¬†While tantrums are not the most sophisticated form of communication, they do get the point across rather effectively. ¬†As parents, we know that it can only be one of several things, and it’s a short process of trial and error before the ‘off’ button is magically found.

However, there are many people who dish out the equivalent of an child’s meltdown-screaming, silent treatments, insults-and a) they expect the individuals they are communicating with to go through the trial and error process in order to figure out what they want and b) they believe that this is an okay way to get their needs and desires across.

As adults, we need to be mature enough to admit to ourselves what we want and need, and kind enough to those around us to tell them those things in an effective manner.  It is not fair to anyone, be it a spouse/partner, friend, family member, or business associate, to expect them to figure out what the heck you are wanting.  No one should have to take on the role of Sherlock Holmes when it comes to their relationships.

So how exactly DO you communicate your feelings in an effective manner?

You need to decide first and foremost if they are feelings that actually need to be communicated. ¬†There have been several times where I get annoyed at something that someone has done and I feel like I should ‘clear the air’ or let that person know that such and such bothered me. ¬†However, if I sit on it for a bit, I am able to work through those feelings myself and avoid an unnecessary confrontation. ¬†If I had flown off the handle at the first feeling of irritation, the problem would have escalated rather than slipped silently into the abyss of “stuff that actually isn’t that important”.

If the feeling needs to be communicated, communicate it in the way that is most effective for you. ¬†For me, writing has always been how I express myself the best. ¬†In all of my relationships, the most productive conversations that I have had have started with me writing a note or an e-mail to that person. ¬†I’m not good at thinking on my feet, so taking the time to organize my thoughts in written form is extremely helpful in making sure I include everything I want to mention. ¬†In my most recent discussion, the other person responded with a voice recording because that is how HE communicates the best.

Don’t be afraid to be unconventional with how you communicate. ¬†The status quo of sitting down and hashing things out might work great for you and whoever you’re talking with—it also might cause things to escalate and completely backfire. ¬†Exchanging e-mails and voice recordings might seem weird, but for me, it works. ¬†Always go with what works for YOU.

If you are able to communicate what you need/want in a way that works for you, don’t forget to listen. ¬†Oftentimes we are so relieved to finally be able to express what has been bottled up that we completely forget that conversations are a give and take. ¬†You should want to know how the other person is feeling about what you say; perhaps there is something that you didn’t take into account, or something that they have neglected to transmit on their end.

At the end of the discussion, both parties should feel heard and feel good about the result. ¬†And if that consistently doesn’t happen, then either your communication skills need to be revamped or that relationship is simply not worth keeping. ¬†Many times people think that if there is an issue, it’s an automatic deal-breaker. ¬†For me, having issues does not discount the relationship; it’s the communication piece that reveals if it is a solid investment or not.

Communication is the lifeblood of any relationship. ¬†This includes communicating the good AND the bad. ¬†If you only communicate the positive and sweep the negative under the rug, this is like living on a diet of sugar; it’s delicious, but not life-sustaining. ¬†However, if you only focus on the bad and leave out the good, that’s akin to being on starvation rations; eventually, that relationship will look as bad as a wanna-be Instagram model.

You need to be able to communicate productively with each and every person who is in your life. ¬†If you aren’t used to conveying things in a mature manner, it can take some getting used to, but once you gather the courage to approach it head-on, the results will speak for themselves.

Don’t go through your life stuck in teenage drama mode. ¬†Figure out how you really feel, own that truth, and be able to show that to others in a way that invites quid pro quo. ¬†Resist being sucked into immature exchanges. ¬†And most of all, embrace how you feel without discounting the perception that others hold. ¬†Be bold, be aware, and be open.

LIVE for Something

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Yesterday I was listening to a song, and one of the lyrics stood out to me: “Why isn’t anyone willing to die for anything anymore?” (paraphrased).

At first glance, being willing to die for something is the ultimate commitment.  You are willing to lay down your LIFE for this thing, which means you are willing to give up your existence in order to show your dedication to this cause you feel so strongly about.

But when I was pondering this lyric and internally agreeing that the willingness to die for something really IS lacking in today’s world, I came to the realization that dying for something is hard, but living for it is harder.

When you die for something, it is over in an instant.  You declare your unending dedication by a short, albeit dramatic demonstration, and then it is over.  People remember your act for a while, but it usually fades shortly thereafter.

If you LIVE for something, however, that takes substantially more commitment.  It means that all of your time is dedicated towards that goal.  All of your choices are geared towards furthering your cause.  There are constant sacrifices that need to be made, and you are consistently having to rededicate your mind to the prize and remind yourself of why you are so devoted in the first place.

This is the reason why people who LIVE for something are remembered.  People like Mother Theresa, Ghandi, Susan B. Anthony, and many more are individuals who are commemorated for their fierce commitment to causes that were near and dear to their heart.

Each of these people were living for things greater than themselves.  Which, in my belief, is the key to true success.  When you focus on causes that impact people outside of just you, you will get increasingly more momentum as others appreciate, acknowledge, and even join your purpose rather than simply putting your head down and bulldozing through your own personal agenda.

So, what does it mean to actually live for something versus simply existing?

It means that you are actively involved in the direction your life is going.  So many people allow their lives to be dictated by life events or people close to them.  They lose out on opportunities because they don’t want to leave their current job or the people around them, or they settle down with someone and give up their life long dream of traveling to Europe because that person doesn’t like to travel.

Using a personal example, I could choose to take my layoff as a sign to leave California, or bend to the pressure to move back to Minnesota, or simply apply anywhere there is a job and take what I can get.  However, I know that I want to stay near the coast, so I am only applying to jobs that fit that location criteria.  I refuse to let being laid off dictate where I live, and I am completely confident in my abilities to make it happen.

It means you have put thought into what is important to you, and you have decided what you can compromise on and what you cannot.  If you don’t forcefully put aside time for yourself to figure out what you want, there is no way that you can keep a steady course.  Living FOR something means that you have given substantial thought to this goal or cause, and have laid out the steps you need to take to get there.

I have seen this firsthand in the life of someone close to me.  He has decided what he wants to live for, and he refuses to let anything get in his way.  The reason he can be so absolute, however, is because he has devoted a good portion of his time to figuring out what is important to him and why.

It means you have character.  It is hard to stick to something with so many obstacles constantly being placed in your path.  People who have character stick to their guns no matter what because they have gone through the mental work necessary to solidify how important their goals or their cause is to them.

The best example I can think of for character is my father.  He has beliefs that he considers absolutes, and there is absolutely nothing that will sway him to compromise those beliefs.  Even if it would be immensely easier to give into to those around him, he still unwavering acts upon his own convictions.

Overall, living FOR something versus simply existing is the optimal way to live your life.  Think of your life as a giant puzzle: it is infinitely easier to put together the picture if you have the box to go off of.  It’s just that in life, you get to create the image yourself.  If you don’t take the time to create that image and set it up so that it is constantly in your field of vision, who knows what Kindergarden-like image you will end up with at the end of your life.

Masterpieces take time, planning, and dedication.  Don’t waste your life floating from one experience to the next; decide what you want to accomplish with this one life we are given, and then take the steps to make it happen.  Live FOR something, and your life will be one worth living. 

 

Influence

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Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about what or who influences your choices. ¬†Specifically, I’ve been wondering if it is possible to make your own choices completely uninfluenced by outside forces.

In wrestling with this question, I’ve come to the conclusion that it isn’t–until it is.

Let me explain.

When we first start out as little children, our every action and thought is directly influenced by our parents.  How many times have you heard a 7 year old spout something that you know came from an adult in their life?  They have internalized a concept and taken it as their own without truly understanding what it is.

This is not a bad thing (but it does underscore the daunting importance of parenthood).  It is simply how we develop, and it is an important part of the process.

As we get older, we rebel against our parents, but we do so simply by switching what influences us. ¬†Instead of being influenced by Mom and Dad’s thoughts and actions, we give precedence to the impact that our friends, the internet, and pop stars make.

This too is an important part of the process. ¬†It reveals that our minds are not immobile–there are different influences to choose from.

As adults, we like to think that we have solidified our beliefs enough that we are unswayed by the flotsam and jetsam floating alongside our craft.  However, if you look back at the decisions you have made, how many of them can you say were truly uninfluenced by anything but yourself?

There are so many times where people do things because those around them are doing it (case in point: mob mentality). ¬†Johnny got married, so I guess I should probably propose soon, too. ¬†Jenny is going to college, so I guess that’s what I’ll do. ¬†Jack is happy living at home, so I guess it’s not so bad.

Influences are everywhere; they cannot be escaped without extreme measures. ¬†In my view, if you can make choices without placing significance on other’s input, it is simply because you have internalized your influences.

For example, I started this blog as a result of reading the blog of someone else’s and desiring it for myself. ¬†The idea for a blog was not mine-I had never considered this route until I saw his. ¬†However, if I were to remove this person from my life at this point, I would still keep up with the blog. ¬†I have internalized his influence and it has become my own personal drive.

Internalizing someone’s influence is not a negative thing. ¬†In fact, it is a major factor in people’s success. ¬†If you listen to people who have ‘made it’, they will without fail point to the people or ideas that impacted them in the beginning, which they now have internalized and made their own.

Of course, if you make choices based on real or perceived pressure from others without having first gone through the process of incorporating those ideas into your own personal belief system, those choices are destined to make you unhappy and unfulfilled.

For example, if you are choosing to eat healthy and exercise because you believe that your partner will not be attracted to you if you don’t, you have already failed. ¬†However, if you see your partner working out and taking care of themselves and you allow them to influence you in this positive way, eventually you will be making that choice for yourself and not for them.

Choices should be made out of love, not fear.  If you fear the loss of respect due to choosing one way or another, you are not making the choice based on YOUR internal viewpoint.

The realization of how susceptible we are to the influence of those around us underscores the urgency of surrounding ourselves with positive, uplifting people who are where we want to be in life.

For most of my life, I have resisted admitting to myself that I can be effected by those around me.  However, as I have gone through several different relationships and unwillingly noticed how I changed through each one, I have realized that I am a person who is very malleable if I deem the influencer someone of great importance in my life.

Simply admitting this fact to myself is a giant first step towards making sure that I am heading in the direction that I wish to go in.  Since coming to this realization,  I have been much more able to step back from my thoughts and sift out who and what is influencing my decisions, and from there decide if I actually want to continue to give that significance or not.

Overall, actively choosing who or what you allow into your life is the greatest determiner of where you will end up. ¬†If you do not purposefully choose your influences, they will choose you. ¬†And usually, the things or people that choose you are simply what’s laying around where you are. ¬†Sometimes you’ll get lucky. ¬†Most of the time, you’ll get complacent.

And so, seek out those people who are notable.  Fill your mind with positivity-read uplifting books, have deep conversations, connect with those you love.  Most of all, be aware every. single. moment. what YOU want to be influenced by, and make sure that the instruments of impact on your life are handpicked by YOU.  You cannot avoid being pulled along the current, but you can choose the stream.  Choose wisely.

Living with Intention

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Yesterday as I was driving into work, I realized about half way to my school that I had been driving in silence.  Normally, I have the radio blasting, pumping me up for a long day of dealing with the deep woes and immediate highs that tend to follow adolescent boys and girls.

The fact that I wasn’t listening to the radio didn’t bother me-I don’t mind driving in silence, and in fact it sometimes gives some much needed time for reflection.  What bothered me was that I had not CHOSEN to drive to work in silence.  I had simply continued the silence from when I turned off the radio yesterday to answer a phone call.

In other words, I was just going with the flow.

Now, I am aware that this is hardly a mid-life crisis moment. OH MY GOD, I didn’t choose my station today, now my life is in shambles! *cue dramatic music*  However, I feel like it highlights a bigger problem: we rarely live with intention.

What I mean by living with intention is actively making choices about your daily direction.  What do you want to do and why?  Are you sitting on the couch watching TV because you WANT to sit on the couch and watch TV?  Or are you simply falling into that decision because you sat down and your spouse/roommate/kids had the TV on and it took less effort to just settle in rather than take a moment to stop and analyze what you really wanted/needed to do?

I am not disparaging the occasional night of leisure.  I ended my night yesterday with several episodes of a show that my roommate and I watch together.  The difference is I actively chose this mode of relaxation: I turned the TV on.  I chose the show.  I made sure my work was completed before indulging.  All of those factors made it an experience that I fully engaged in, rather than one that I just let happen to me.

Living with intention and taking control of all of our decisions is actually really tiring, which is why most people simply don’t do it.  Everyone is faced with so many choices throughout the day that we simply have to go with the flow for some things simply to keep our sanity.

The one thing we should not allow to be dictated by everyone else’s current, though, is how we spend our time.  Are you actively arranging your days in order to maximize how YOU want to live?  Or are you acquiescing to the whims of the others in your life and finding your minutes being dedicated to things that you had no part in planning?

Every minute of time that is not dictated by some necessity (i.e. your job, errands, etc) should be spent on something that furthers you.  If you have not mindfully chosen a life path, it is going to be very difficult to cultivate your time wisely.  Not having a definite destination in mind leaves you very susceptible to the currents created by others.

One way to make this easier is to eliminate decisions in other areas of your life.  For example, I eat the same thing for every meal Monday-Friday.  There is exactly zero time spent wondering on what I’m going to eat for dinner, because it’s already made and in my bag.  Additionally, there is no energy spent arguing with myself about whether or not to exercise that day; if it is a weekday, I head straight to the gym after work.  It isn’t even a question.

Those choices weren’t made ‘just because’.  Part of the path that I have chosen includes being physically fit and mentally healthy.  These pre-decided actions move me along that path without the mental struggle of hyping myself up for them each and every day.

If the majority of your steps are decided in advance, you can focus your energy on making advanced strides towards your bigger goals every day.

Living with intention is the only way to actively attain your innermost purpose.  It is paradoxically the most exhausting yet most energizing way to live.  Case in point: if you are a runner, you are used to spending bursts of time with intensity which ultimately leaves you exhausted for a second burst of time.  However, running towards a finish line is infinitely more rewarding than running around the block an unspecified number of times.  Reaching that benchmark ultimately fuels the will to run again.

Our energy is our most precious resource, and if you don’t intentionally use it, it diminishes.  This is why ‘conserving energy’ by sitting on the couch all day does not culminate in an explosion of productivity at the end of the 12 hour binge-watching session.  Instead, you feel like you got hit by a truck.  Conversely, if you spend your time racking up accomplishments, whether they are simple life duties or the foundation of bigger dreams, you end your day feeling invigorated.

Our life happens, and there is no rewind button.  Each day comes and then it is gone. Forever.

In the end, we will either be lamenting everything that happened to us, or exalting in what we made happen.  And at that point, our path will have already been taken, and our choices will have already been made (or not).

Choose with care.  Invest your time wisely.  And most of all, live like you mean it.

“Perfection”

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Lately, my thoughts have been meandering around the idea of perfection.  We all grow up as little boys and girls thinking that when we are finally adults, we will have to power to make everything ideal.  We will find our perfect spouse, the perfect job, and live in the perfect house.

Eventually, we shed this childhood grandeur; everyone “knows” that perfection does not exist.  Yet, somehow, we still find ourselves rejecting opportunities and people simply because they do not live up to the ideals in our minds.

This got me thinking–what exactly WOULD a perfect opportunity or a perfect person look like?  Would it meet all of said person’s schedule requirements, salary requirements, coworker requirements, and have free cookies in the breakroom every day to boot?  Would the perfect person always acquiesce to any request made of them, never do anything annoying, and always know the exact right thing to say each and every moment?

Eff that.

Just writing it makes me yawn.  Becoming in possession of true perfection in all aspects of life, to me, simply means that you will stop experiencing life.  How can something be considered perfection if it never prompts you to grow?  

If you are truly living up to your potential, that which is quote unquote ‘perfect’ for you in May will cease to be so by June.  We change so much throughout our lives, it is ridiculous to have the expectation of finding someone or something that fully and 100% fills our every wish and desire in a manner identical to our glowing mental picture.

This holds true for our self-image as well.  We all have an idea of what we think it would be to be perfect.  I have been guilty of beating myself up when I feel that I have missed the mark, and I don’t think that I am alone.  However, if we ever actually reach our idea of impeccability, we would find that it more than likely is not what we thought it would be.

Perfection as an idea is lovely.  Perfection in actuality, not so much.

There is one place where perfection does exist, however, and that is in the moment.  Sometimes in life, there are tiny little spaces in time where seconds stretch and give us a glimpse of pure flawlessness in the universe.  Regardless of the fact that you are not with a perfect person, in a perfect location, or at a perfect time in your life, those points in our lives can be treasured.

It could be lying on the beach with the one you love, snuggled together as a shooting star zips across the sky. 

It could be straining at the weights, faltering at the final rep but mustering the mental strength to push them up one. more. time.

It could be the moment you hold your first child in your arms, exhausted from labor but exquisitely in awe of the tiny life you now influence.

All we have in life are moments, and those flawless junctures in time cannot be sought or forced, but they can be relished.

The defining factor of a moment is that it is fleeting.  It happens, and then it is gone.  If that pure moment were to stretch into a perfect day, month, week, or year, we would cease to recognize its perfection.

So, rather than seeking perfection, seek instead to find spaces in which to grow and develop in some way.  If a choice gives you an option for mental, physical, or emotional expansion, make it.  If you feel yourself flourishing around someone, keep them.  If an opportunity will help you become a better overall person, seize it.

Perfection is an ideal that exists only in the mind.  We were not set on this earth to be perfect, but instead to seek experiences and wisdom that will broaden us from where we started.  If everything in life was perfect, how would you even know that you were alive?

Savor the imperfection of life.  Appreciate the occasions where existing seems chaotic, because it is only after that storm that you can truly delight in the pure moments that creep up on you when you least expect it.  And most of all, strive for your own personal perfection without condemning yourself or others for remaining in the rough.

The closer you are to the best version of yourself, the more you realize all of the little tweaks that still need to be made, pushing that image just a little bit further out of reach.  Striving for perfection should drive you, but those ideals continuously being pushed ever so slightly forward should not discourage you.

Ultimately, our happiness does not depend on everything flawlessly falling into place at every single moment in our lives.  And that is perfection in and of itself.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Ride

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I love reading successful people’s stories.  You can learn so much by observation, and books are a delightful peek into the mysterious realm of how other people live.  Case in point, yesterday I was finishing up the book #Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso, and one quote in particular jumped out at me:

“If you start out with the finish line in mind, you miss all the fun stuff along the way.”

I love this.  Mostly because I am so very bad at it.  If you know me in person, you know that once I want to accomplish something, I a) don’t stop until it’s done and b) want it done RIGHTNOW.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even fully recognize this ‘head down, full speed ahead’ tendency in myself until I was talking to my mom about something that I wanted to happen and it just wasn’t happening in the timeframe that I wanted it to.  She made the comment “yep, you always did want things to happen exactly how you want it to happen.”

Eye-opening.  Thought-provoking.  Slightly troublesome.  But overall a necessary realization for my self-improvement.

Being goal oriented and bull-headed is not necessarily an all negative thing.  If something needs to get done, and it’s not all smooth sailing, you want a little bit of stubborn ‘oh HELL no’ in you.  Knowing that you will do whatever it takes to accomplish a task is a valuable asset, and those are the type of people you want by your side when the going gets tough.

However, this trait has a tendency to seep into other areas of life where it is not so helpful.  For me, this is relationships.  When I know what I want out of a relationship, be it romantic, a friendship, or a work partnership, I fully expect these possibilities to be realized with little to no delay.

And this, friends, is where the negative side of this FULLSTEAMAHEAD personality rears its ugly head.  It’s all well and good to know what you want out of YOUR life and YOUR goals, but when there are other people involved, they need to be taken into consideration too.

People are tricky.  Push them too much, and they withdraw.  Give them too much space, and they leave you behind.  Finding the correct balance between the two extremes is always hard, and what makes it harder is that you might find the right ratio for one person, and then another person comes along who is completely different.

Knowing your personal expectations and why you have those expectations is a good way to start off any sort of relationship or journey towards a goal.  If you are putting in the honest, sincere effort to make sure you are making headway towards what you want, and that effort is being reciprocated or shown to be getting results, relax on the timeline.  It will get there if it’s meant to get there.

Many times we succumb to society’s ideals of what a journey should look like or when we should reach a certain destination.  Females especially are susceptible to this pitfall.  If you are making progress towards a goal, a life desire, or even simply just having fun, you are doing it right.

The concept of the journey along the way being the ‘fun stuff’ is such a valuable mindset to have.  Life IS experience.  If you are experiencing things, you are living!  There are so many different paths to chose, and choosing the path should be equally as exciting as reaching the end of the path.

However, you should not be experiencing the same things over and over.  One of my friends on Facebook posted a live video today talking about how we need to add drama (the good kind) to our lives so that we can have a bomb story at the end of our life adventure.  This is such an awesome point–who likes to hear about people who are boring?  Not me.

The journey towards your destination IS the drama, IS the fun stuff, IS your life.  How many times have you heard someone’s story and thought wow, that is really awesome.  I want to do something like that.

Guess what?

You can.  Absolutely, totally, 100%.

Everyone needs aspirations.  Everyone needs something to strive for.  Everyone needs to take the necessary steps to improve themselves.  And in the end, all people should be able to point to something concrete and say “I did that.”

But…the fun part is HOW you did it.

The fact that you are here, in 2017, in the exact body and location that you were given is mind-boggling if you really think about it.  Take advantage of it–make your life just as crazy, if not more so, than the chances of you being you.  Because when it comes down to brass tacks, there’s really no other option.

And so, without further ado…

LET’S RIDE.