Blogpost, self-reliance

You Can’t Win!

That’s not a shot against you. In the way that I’m going to characterize it, no one can win! Winning just isn’t a thing that people can do. It’s a byproduct! A result from other actions that lead to it being produced. Just like so many other things that people desire, it is not the thing to be done. Fitness, wealth, health, etc. are not actions that can be done. They are byproducts that come from a variety of other actions. Often the things that lead to these byproducts are difficult and require consistent focused effort over time. And usually the actions taken along the way aren’t inherently fun.

That’s the conundrum and the battle that we’re truly fighting. Can we put in enough effort to the difficult, mundane, hard work in order to get the result that is outside of our control? It’s so easy to just want the destination to arrive at our doorstep without putting in the hard miles. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way! We rarely get to choose the terms on anything of meaning. Sure, there are small prizes available for low prices. But those things of real value cannot be bought cheaply! Yet we want to believe that six pack abs are 7 minutes away and that lottery ticket is going to be the big difference. More than likely, those shortcuts lead nowhere but they’re enticing because all we want is the win. What if there was another way?

What if you could learn to love the work? The struggle. The time spent on the road to wherever it is that you’re going. Unlike winning, love is an action we can do and I believe it is central to a life of fulfillment. What if you could learn to love the process? And when the win showed up you kept going because that was no longer the point. The people, the time, the scenery, the smells, the characteristics of the person you’ve become. What if those were the point?

I hope you find what you’re looking for. But more importantly, I hope you also learn to enjoy the search!


Blogpost, self-reliance

Release Gravity

It’s a scary thought if you consider it for a moment. Any of the forces of nature breaking loose from their predictable norms. Sure there is a bit of chaos in our lives at the moment. However if gravity wasn’t a constant or the sun didn’t rise, life would be exponentially more difficult. The consistencies that we experience in life, often hold us together. Their predictability is a comfort that brings understanding to our lives. However, sometimes comfort is a trap that keeps us from higher heights that could be reached.

Obviously I’m not a fan of getting rid of gravity literally. It is an extremely useful force. There are other forces in our lives that hold us down without reason or for poor reasons. Many of these are based on the choices that we make: relationships, habits, mindsets, prejudices, etc. While we do not get a choice about gravity until we’ve left the atmosphere, we can release many of these downward pulling forces. Sometimes all it takes is simple recognition. However that chaos mentioned earlier can cloud our vision from seeing the forces that need removal.

Perhaps today is the day to take stock. How many forces that are holding you in your present station are useful or by your design? Can any be released? This is a personal decision that needs consideration. For me, there is a fear that I’ve had around a certain situation and it’s probably time to let it go. It’s held onto me because I’ve held onto it. Maybe I’ll be like Charlie and his grandfather floating up to a fan that would cut them to shreds. Or maybe I’ll reap all the rewards of flight. Regardless, I’ll never know until I let go.

Fly you fools!


Blogpost, self-reliance

Your Money’s No Good Here

It’s an easily by-passed scene in the movie “Billy Madison.” After making his way through a second chance at elementary and middle school, Billy finally gets the opportunity to return to high school. In a matter of seconds, he sees that the things that used to carry weight don’t anymore. His REO Speedwagon T-shirt and Pontiac Firebird are not only worthless, they’re mock-worthy. When we think of currency, money is the first thing that jumps to mind. However there are so many other currencies and just like dollars, their value changes or ceases to exist. What are we supposed to do when the currencies that we hold so dear leave us bankrupt? It’s probably going to happen a lot soon!

So let’s consider a currency that loses it’s value almost instantaneously after it was SO important for 12-20 years: grades. Eventually, they become worthless. Especially when broken down into the smallest component pieces. No one cares about the vocabulary quiz that you took in middle school. However, they do care whether you speak intelligently or at least intelligibly. The value of the moment is put on the grade but it is truly the knowledge that has potential power but even it must be put into use. Like a seed that never finds the soil, it can also lay dormant and inert. So in this time of rapid change, disruption and uncertainty; how does one know where to invest their time and effort? If so many of our classic currencies are under scrutiny or attack, then what has value?

There is no way that I can answer that for everyone but the elemental, universal and transferable feel right. Going back to the world of money, gold tends to be valued everywhere. It may not be the best thing to own but it is elemental, universal and transferable. For each of us, we must do the introspection into our own assets. Perhaps that degree is not worth what it used to be but calligraphy skills that you possess are. Money is nothing more than a promissory note. Lots of the old promises are being broken by a wave of innovation. There is most likely no way to out compute a computer but for now, it is still possible to out human a computer. You have value saved up in the bones and brains that carry you through this world. Use them! Possibly in new ways that you never anticipated. Your money’s no good here but we’ll gladly take the seeds of greatness that you have in your back pocket.

It’s spring! Plant if you haven’t already!