Every Journey has a beginning.
What is yours? Take a long hard look at yourself; your habits, your weaknesses, your strengths. Do you know who you really are. Can you separate the harsh blemished reality from the filtered Instagram version of you. Can you be strong enough, tough enough, and brave enough to accept yourself and say, “this is me?” I hope so. No problem can be fixed without first admitting there is a problem.
I have a lot of issues. Reading books like the “Daily Stoic” and “Ego is the Enemy,” by Ryan Holiday has helped me begin to come to grips with some of them. It remains a work in progress. I am still only human. Pride is probably my Achilles heel. I can look back at several positions and opportunities that I walked away from now and realize my pride, only hurt myself in the end. I wasn’t teaching anyone a lesson, or standing up for my principles. I was allowing my ego to speak for me. I think a lot of younger people confuse pride and ego for ideals and justice. If I ever hope to accomplish my goals over the next 2 years I will need to tame my pride and set it to use at the proper time and place.
Guilt is another issue I have. I relentlessly beat myself up over events and actions that are decades old at this point. No future is possible for the man still stuck in the past. Self-reflection is a wonderful thing, it’s part of what makes us sentient beings. Unfortunately it also makes us able to hold onto past events far too long. Our minds cannot tell the past from the present in our memories it still reacts to past stress and anxiety as it were real time. The past is dead admit your fault admit what went wrong, vow to never do it again and go about keeping that vow.
We need to learn from the past though. I once worked for a company that was trying to dig itself out of a decade of mismanagement and poor spending by doing the same thing they’d been doing for the past 10 years. The favorite quote of our numerous meetings was “let’s not dwell on the past.” This attitude is the opposite of what I was talking about in the last paragraph. Institutions that refuse to acknowledge and take ownership over past mistakes cannot possibly hope to move beyond them.
Many of you who will read this will be about to set out on a journey of your own. That journey could be weight-loss and fitness, maybe it’s financial entrepreneurship. Regardless the journey must begin in the same fashion. Where are you now? What are your strengths? What weaknesses must be corrected and overcome? Are you overweight? Do you have poor spending habits? What mistakes have you made in the past? These questions need answered honestly and completely.
Whatever and wherever your goal is it’s going to take certain steps to achieve, certain habits, and sacrifices will need to be made. Certain old habits will have to be discarded, and in some cases destroyed. So today needs to become our “You are here,” moment. Take stock, be honest with yourself, brutally honest. We live in a very deceitful pandering world, honesty and constructive criticism is severely lacking.
You are not being positive or negative but objective, it’s a word we’ve lost the meaning to in our easily offended social media ruled world. You must learn to look at yourself, others, and events in your life without attaching emotional significance to it. Observe do not judge, do not react, just observe and note what is and what isn’t. A little levity now will save you tons of anguish later.
Every journey is easier when undertaken with full knowledge of the obstacles ahead. Every obstacle can be overcome with determination and clear headed thinking. Wishful fantasy and blind refusal to accept what is, will only get you further lost and stumbling into dead ends. What is the problem, what caused it, what will you need to do to fix it? What is the goal ahead of you, what path will you need to take, are you willing to do what’s needed to achieve it? Better to answer these questions now than half way there with a busted tire and the realization that you do not have the tools to replace it.