I imagine there we people in 1823 writing down their thoughts, their fears, and their desires for a better world. They were trying to craft new inventions and believing that they could make a greater impact.
They pushed forward.
They tinkered and failed.
They wanted better for themselves
They wanted a better world for their children.
Why do any of us strive to do anything more than sit around and let life pass by?
It comes down to purpose. It gives the great days momentum and the bad ones hope for a better tomorrow.
Purpose can be anything. It doesn’t have to be grandiose. It doesn’t have to be landing on Mars. It just has to be real to each of us.
What do we feel at our core?
What do we believe the world should look like?
Where can we make an impact?
That’s our purpose.
If you’ve “found it” then you know. If you haven’t then you aren’t that far behind.
You just have to start looking, trying, testing and tasting. You have to be willing to trust your instincts and respect what your thoughts are guiding you toward.
In time, it’ll click. Something inside you that gives you that focus you haven’t witnessed before. That fire to want to do more. The willingness to step out of the warm blanket of comfort and be naked to the world.
It makes us alive, again and again, as we dig deeper and learn more. We may not be understood by others around us but we understand ourselves more than we ever have before.
As a parent, I’m constantly amazed. Yes, this is a proud dad post but it’s a lesson we all can take.
Cliffs Notes: I noticed my son loving musicals and encouraged him to watch/listen more. He recently started Musical Theatre classes and he knows every word to the show Hamilton so he wanted a hat and outfit to look like Lin-Manual Miranda’s character in the broadway show.
At school, they had a “play day” to bring in a toy to play with in the class. He wanted to bring his hat and he wrote this note as a reminder.
So what, right?
Read the last line of his note.
I didn’t know a 10-year-old could have that much perspective.
What’s the worst that would happen?
Why can’t we do the things that make us happy and show our best selves to the world?
I smiled reading that note. Who am I kidding, I shed a tear, as well.
What can we all take from this?
Start that hobby.
Start that business.
Ask that person out.
Show up as you are.
Forge your own path.
Believe you are good enough.
It’s a powerful question we should be asking ourselves daily.
The old saying “be the change you want to see in the world” starts with one question.
I’ve been bleeding the Just Get Started mission for several years.
The Children’s Books.
The Sales Consulting.
The Coaching calls and guidance.
The venturing out into the dark wilderness.
Almost weekly (or daily) I kick myself thinking I’m not good enough.
I shouldn’t be doing any of this.
Nobody is going to listen.
Nobody is going to care.
I’m not worthy.
And then I look in the mirror and ask myself the question I’ve asked hundreds of times.
“Why can’t it be you?”
Why can’t you be the one to help others who are struggling?
Why can’t you be the one to spread kindness to the world?
Why can’t you be the one to live a purposeful life?
Why can’t you be anything you desire to be?
The struggle is fucking real.
The comparison bias.
The self-limiting beliefs.
The imposter syndrome.
We all have it. We all go through it. Nobody is immune to the demons lurking in our minds.
But, we press on, every day toward our “North Star” because it is bigger than any of us.
To shine goodness in the world and bring forth a new age of vulnerability and transparency that can help us bond and adapt together.
Whatever demons you’re trying to fend off just know you’re not alone.
We see you.
We hear you.
We are going through it, too.
Every time we get down on ourselves we must be willing to stand tall, face the mirror, and ask ourselves, “Why can’t it be you?”
And then look that person straight into the fucking eyes and answer with an emphatic, “It can be and it will be.”
Can we honestly say to ourselves, “I’m happy today?”
If we can it’s important to understand why? What is happening or has happened where we feel this moment, right now, is a moment of happiness? We can’t repeat it exactly but we can work to replicate it again and again.
The same holds true if the answer is “No”. Why aren’t we happy? What are the contributing factors to unhappiness?
Recognizing these puts us in a position to learn what isn’t serving us and navigate away from it.
Happiness is a feeling, a moment, a benchmark in a time of stress-free living.
Are we willing to do the work to understand how we can create more of this?
Clear And Present HappinessBrian Ondrako2023-01-19T20:29:38-04:00
We uncover neat experiences.
We discover new opportunities
We are wowed by new people.
Unfortunately, one of the more difficult things in life is to accept that these don’t always last.
That although we might create great memories, these moments pass by.
That shouldn’t make us sad. It should give us hope.
Hope that more will be around the next bend.
Hope that we will continue to recognize these as they present themselves.
Hope that as we grow so will the value of the experiences, opportunities, and people we encounter.
We could be sad that the moments are ending or we could be grateful that we had them at all.
We choose our path. What happens on it is sometimes out of our control.
All we can do is embrace the moments that come our way because we never know how long we have them.
We are happier more often when we’ve found fulfillment in life.
When we have a responsibility or purpose.
When we have a grasp on things.
How do we find fulfillment?
Start with these questions…
What activities make me feel the most alive? When I need energy I ____? When I lose track of time hanging out, the qualities those people possess the most are ____? When I do ____ I normally don’t feel as good about myself? I get most excited when I do ____?
The answers to these bring us closer to understanding ourselves.
Closer to accepting reality.
Closer to finding clarity.
Self-awareness becomes the accountability mirror we need to be staring into each day.
I’ve been fired.
I’ve been bullied.
I’ve been injured.
I’ve been rejected.
I’ve been divorced.
I’ve been cheated on.
I’ve been broken up with.
I’ve been made a laughing stock.
I’ve been cast aside countless times.
I’ve been physically and verbally abused.
But most of all I’ve been resilient.
Life is not about how we handle the best moments but our attitude when we encounter the worst.
Pain becomes life’s greatest teacher we just never know when class will be in session.
We have a hard time getting off the starting line because we haven’t defined what success looks like.
“Success” is often defined in the mainstream as lots of money, a big business, luxury toys, enormous houses, or exotic trips. People who are deemed “successful” may have fame or notoriety.
But is that your definition?
It might be staying healthy and fit.
It might be walking your kids to school.
It might be having the ability to help others.
It might be freedom to live where you want.
It may be doing things that give you ultimate joy.
Success can be a lot of different things.
When we are working off of someone else’s definition we become stuck.
Create your own and notice how your decisions and focus change.
This New Year let’s not say “New Year, New Me” because change doesn’t happen like that.
Change happens by moving intentionally and incrementally forward.
It’s building one good habit after another.
It’s becoming self-aware and accepting of ourselves.
It’s giving ourselves space and expanding our worldview.
What might be better to say is, “I’m going to work continually to be disciplined this year in the areas that I’ve uncovered aren’t serving me anymore and lean into better decisions, perspectives and relationships. I won’t always get it right but I’m going to learn and keep improving.”
It’s important to start and let the changes come progressively over time.
This way, when the next year rolls around you can confidently say “New Year, New Me”
In business school, we are taught about balance sheets and formulas and all of the different ways to help determine the health of our business and our future outlook. Simple things like Assets (things we own) and Liabilities (things we owe). Those are the basics of balancing the books.
If we were to use this metaphorically for our overall health, would we be confident we’d be in a position to succeed?
If the assets were actions we took to fuel our body and mind, are we putting enough into each day to own the outcome?
If liabilities are things detrimental to our health, are we moderating or removing these altogether?
We can make the excuse that we are busy and life is going a mile a minute. It does, at times, appear this way. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make calculated decisions for our long-term health.
The choices we make today impact us months and years down the road. Small wins, each day can lead us to a better future.
We have a choice whether we are creating assets in our lives or adding more liability to our future selves.
The choice is clear but the work can be hard.
Start easy, make it achievable to accomplish, and start today.
Our future selves are banking on a brighter tomorrow.
Growing up, I was never the first pick. Rarely even the 2nd or 3rd.
Luckily, I was just tall enough to avoid being the last person picked.
I was average. I blended into the background. I didn’t look the part.
But, when you got me on your team you knew what you had very quickly.
I loved to play. I gave an “all-heart” effort. I didn’t mind doing the dirty work and bumping elbows. I’d dive for the loose ball. Grit and determination were my strengths.
Maybe I got lucky growing up with an older brother that made things hard on me. Who was always tough to beat because he was bigger and stronger. Someone I never expected to give me an inch, and he never did.
I didn’t know it back then but the qualities I gained through childhood have served me well.
It doesn’t always matter what you look like from the outside or how you might “stack up” against those beside you.
It’s what happens when you get your chance to get in the game.
I want to talk about practice. Not the game, not the game we all love but practice.
Practice can be anything preparing us for the “game”. Thinking, reading, studying, and testing.
Trying to imagine situations and getting ahead of them.
In practice, we break down a specific area and piece them together. We work on one aspect hard and then move on to another. There are also times when practice becomes a simulation of sorts. A run-through of an event that hasn’t taken place.
In the game, far too often we “wing it”. We show up unprepared for the conversations or the action we need to perform.
We think that just being there is enough. It’s not.
Being thoughtful about where we want to go can be the guidebook to prepare us for that journey. It can influence the things we do leading up to and during any situation.
But we have to be willing to put in the work. That’s how we make things feel fluid and easy. It’s all the hours of preparation prior to the game.
That preparation sets us up for success. That leads us to make better decisions at the moment.
Because we’ve already been preparing long before the moment arrived.
We’re Talking About PracticeBrian Ondrako2022-10-16T17:00:38-04:00
The best relationships in life have one clear thing in common.
There is a complimentary toolset that each person brings on the journey.
No one person is better than the other. Sometimes the tools one person has will be used and other times it’ll be the opposite. Oftentimes, the tools will work together to create something useful and generous.
If we think about relationships this way and work to keep them balanced then we’ll be better served as we deepen the connection and forge ahead.
We can certainly take our toolset and go along the journey alone but that doesn’t appear to make for the most fun and exciting adventure.
Those moments need to be shared and we should strive often to seek out those people to share them with.
We’ve all had more “failed” relationships than we can count.
Friendships are no longer intact.
Business partnerships split.
Divorce and Break-ups.
It’s happened throughout our lives and emotionally those take a toll on us.
But, there is a silver lining to all of it.
If we are willing we can gain a positive perspective and take away gifts.
Although those relationships have soured, the gifts that have come out of them might make a world of difference in our future.
We are more thoughtful about what we want and don’t settle for mediocrity any longer.
We are more decisive about our actions and don’t waiver.
We are more grateful for the opportunities that arose out of the ashes.
I’ve had many gifts that have come out of relationships that haven’t worked out.
What is it that makes us feel so sure about some people while others are hard to figure out and they make it difficult for us to bring them into our circle?
It’s about showing up.
It’s showing up with energy and attention.
It’s showing up when they know we need them.
It’s showing up when it’s not convenient.
It’s showing up with acceptance and an open mind.
It’s sometimes showing up and being silent.
It’s trust and respect at its core.
It’s understanding that it’s mutually beneficial for both parties.
It can’t always be one-sided.
Potential– The inherent ability or capacity for growth, development, or future success.
When we were told as kids, “You have potential”, it meant that we had a lot of opportunities to grow into something more than we were at that time.
However, I wish we interpreted it as the ability to step outside of the box we were in, shake it up a bit, turn it upside down, and then see what happens. I wish we were told that we control our “potential” by prodding and poking our belief systems.
We develop beliefs about all types of things from the time we are young but if we are not careful we start to become those beliefs, even if they are peppered with unfounded information and half-truths.
We have to battle-test our own beliefs and make sure they are not claims we’ve just gone with because they’ve been with us for so long. Because they feel comfortable and make sense to us.
We have to have the courage to at least try. Otherwise, we’ll only be able to stretch as far as those beliefs allow us to go.
We thought differently back then. We observed differently. Our environment was different.
So why hang on to the old belief systems?
We have the potential to change our beliefs if we give ourselves the opportunity to get outside that box that society likes to put us in.
The one that we have kindly accepted all of these years without question.
Have you ever looked at a 10-year olds room? Do you remember yours at that age?
It’s messy. It’s sloppy. It’s disorganized. It can be disgusting.
Because they are 10. They have bigger priorities than keeping their room tidy.
As we age, we can become very buttoned up. We make sure we are clean and orderly. We want to look the part to the world. Heck, some of us even clean their house prior to a cleaning company coming in to do it.
To the outside world, we have it all together.
But, inside we can be messy, sloppy, and disorganized. We can be dealing with a lot of things that we are afraid to share with the world. We can be making decisions that are leading us down the wrong path.
We have to pause and reflect.
Why are we neglecting ourselves in order to be perceived a certain way?
Why are we unwilling to realize we have some shit going on that we have to deal with?
When are we going to realize we have to clean up our room?
We may have taken it for granted in the past but now it must become our #1 priority.
Life has many small forks in the path. We never can know which direction will lead to which future state so we have to rely on the energy we feel, the knowledge we have, and the intuition that has guided us before.
We have to rely on our “in the moment” decision-making and not hesitate when the answer is clearly in front of us.
We have to have confidence and conviction that this is the right thing to do even when the butterflies are sending our body into an unknown spiral of emotions.
That’s the feeling we want to have.
It helps us know it’s the right one.
It helps us trust the direction the compass is steering us.
The decision isn’t that hard anymore.
The fork in the road becomes much clearer to navigate.
We can’t see the forest through the trees. We also don’t know how big it is. Are we standing in someone’s one-acre backyard or in the Amazon rainforest?
Oftentimes, our problems can get pushed to the side and avoided for a short time but if they go unresolved they can resurface and weigh us down creating a bigger burden than if we addressed them head-on.
When problems or feelings arise, zoom out. Look at the big picture. Look at it from different angles. Look at what happens if we solve it now versus pushing it off.
We have to have the courage to get out of the shadows and expose ourselves to what’s happening.
It might be one of the only ways we can free ourselves.
Most of life’s pain comes from how we thought it should be or that it didn’t work out as planned.
But what if it actually did?
Sometimes we can be the worst judge of a situation when we are in the moment but when we step back away from it, as time goes on, we begin to realize it was a moment that changed us for the better.
We become grateful for the uncomfortable and painful moments because they are actually what we needed to grow.
It’s all a shift in mindset. It’s not easy. Of course, it’s not easy.
But our mindset controls everything. We have a positive mindset when things are going our way, so why can’t we take that same perspective when they aren’t?
I know why. Because it battles every part of our being that was instilled as a child. We have to be upset, get emotional, or feel depressed when anything goes against what we thought should happen. We witnessed this countless times in our life. It has been programmed. It’s on autopilot now.
But that’s not how it has to be.
We have one life. One very complex weird ever-changing life where we happened to get into this body. We are conscious beings and one of the downsides of that can be that we feel deep emotions, attachments, memories, or aspirations. It can work in our favor or not. We choose.
We can remember the past and project into the future.
But all that matters is now. All that matters is how we handle the situation we are in now. The future will take care of itself when we get there.
So, for now, instead of losing our shit in one situation or another it might be helpful to remember that we’ve been wrong a lot about bad moments. Out of that despair came a new opportunity, a new relationship, and new learning. All positives are on the backside of a bad situation.
It happens to us countless times but our old way of thinking forgets. It only remembers that bad moment’s equal depression and struggle. It rarely remembers that there is hope and opportunity from all of it.
That’s the mindset we need to take into it.
Is it going to be hard? You bet.
Is it going to be painful? You’re damn right.
Is it going to test us? Fuck yea.
But our positive perspective will dig us out of it much faster and with newfound hope for tomorrow.
It’s not about being easy, life isn’t easy.
It’s about being hard, and managing our way to a better spot.
Are we willing to call ourselves out first before blaming someone or something?
It’s always easier to blame others, and sometimes they are at fault, but what have we done to cause the situation? How have we contributed?
And, more valuable to consider, is this even worth getting upset over?
Most things that happen are so insignificant that the best option becomes not saying anything at all. We can tap down the ego with a dose of humility.
Have we ever made a mistake before?
Have we dropped the food right before serving it?
Have we cut someone off in traffic?
Have we held up a checkout line with a lot of items?
Have we parked poorly between the lines?
Have we messed up an order?
Have we had one of the days where we just struggled?
So do other people.
Before causing a scene or yelling at someone or getting angry we need to be willing to look at that “mirror” and tell ourselves that we are in control.
Our actions, right now, define us.
These are the traits we want others to exude when we mess up or are having a bad day.
We need to take that into consideration next time we are in that situation.