To have what no one else has, you have to do what no one else does.
So many of us want to be great, to have lots of money, to be seen as successful. All of us want to feel wanted, to feel important, to feel needed, loved and desired. How many of us actually achieve these desires? When we think we are entitled to these aspects of life, we are continually disappointed. Once we realize that our lives are under our control, we begin to see every moment as an opportunity to learn and grow.
For 80% or more of my life, I thought those good circumstances would happen simply because I wanted them to. A series of “harsh” events smacked me in the face (figuratively) with the truth of the matter: we have to work for what anything we want. This might seem like common sense, but the fact of the matter of is, common sense isn’t all that common. We tend to get delusional when we choose to think more than act.
As the adage goes, “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.” As the human species has evolved with technology, we have made many parts of survival much easier. What we have not fully discovered, is how to pull our full potential out of ourselves. How is that line crossed, that decision made? Traumatic, immediate life-changing experiences, or in other words, intense happenings. Whether this is through an internal or external event, is up to the spirit.
Do you play for short-term pleasures, or live for a long-term legacy?
I used to think that feeling good, feeling happy is all that mattered. I told myself and anyone who asked that what I wanted most in life was to be happy. While I do want to have as many happy moments as possible, that life mission has since changed. Happiness can come in many shapes and sizes, and some are very harmful, even if we don’t see it at first. Now, my purpose is to leave a legacy behind me and to help as many people as possible.
A man named Gary Newell once said that “It is in the unseen that the secret lies. Activity is the physical seed of your future.” When we plant seeds, we do not dig them up after they are planted, to see if it is growing. Everyone sees and wants the harvest, the fruits of your labor. What they don’t see, is the process, the growth. This is where you will win, and becoming a master of the mundane is where we begin to shine.
I recently read a book called “Chop Wood Carry Water: How to fall in love with the process of becoming great.” by Joshua Medcalf. This book taught me that to be great, to have the magnitude of influence that you desire, you must love the process. The reason people who win the lottery end up losing it is because they did not build themselves up to the wealth. If you wish to climb a mountain, start at the bottom. As Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Patience with the process is your most valuable ally.
What does this mean then? Time is our best friend. Rome wasn’t built in a day. The pyramids, which now have existed for over 12000 years, and took 20 years to build with 100,000 people working on them daily. Frustration, anger, impatience, disgust, sadness, envy, and all other negative emotions will only delay you achieving your success. While necessary to learn, they must be short-lived.
Be honest with yourself as you progress through your journey: are you working to inflate your ego, or to leave the Earth a better place than you found it? More often than not, negative attitudes and emotions are a result of selfishness and a lack of gratitude for our blessings. From my experience, all positive emotions and attitudes, all positive thoughts and actions stem from being grateful. Once you begin to realize that every day you wake up is a win, you will truly never lose.
From here, patience will develop. There are a few books I have reviewed that have greatly aided in my development of patience and gratitude for the wonderful life we have been given. Ask yourself constantly if you are doing the best you can. Ask yourself if what you are doing is helping more than yourself. With that said, you must fall in love with, and master your process, before you can fully help others.
Surround yourself with people who build you up, and have patience with the journey; you’re right where you need to be. If things are getting worse, it means you’re closer than you think. Keep pushing.