It’s The Climb

When we are running up a hill into headwinds the initial thought might be to zig-zag back and forth to avoid hitting the wind head-on and to help level out the steepness of the hill as much as possible.

But the focus on the climb straight upward, even through the toughest conditions, will create the energy you need to get through it. “Avoiding it” may seem like a more ideal strategy but we can expel just as much energy and not nearly get as far. The headwinds can still push us back off course. Life is going to be hard either way.

The best path is always forward. Through the suck. The discomfort will last much shorter and we’ll stay on course toward our intended path. We’ll come out stronger when we reach the pinnacle.

In the metaphor for life, if we’re going to accomplish something, full steam ahead into the storm is always the way to go.

Brace ourselves and press on.

Life is going to be hard either way.

It’s The Climb2022-06-17T09:18:10-04:00

Progress Isn’t Perfect

We can often get discouraged if we compare ourselves to what others are doing. It’s easy with the access we have to social networks. We get a glimpse of how everyone else appears to be prospering while we are paddling like hell in a circle.

We read their books, see their bodies, and admire their art. We convince ourselves that in some way they are better than us and it causes us to question ourselves and our mission.

What we fail to recognize is they once started from a blank canvas, they had a shitty first draft, and they couldn’t do a pull-up. At some point, they were a beginner. They struggled. They had to tear down their castle many times in disappointment and rebuild it better and stronger than before. They have the calluses to prove it.

Progress isn’t perfect and there is no stopwatch on when you might be done.

Progress can be slow but slower movement in the direction we want to head is better than being stationary with no plans to get started at all.

It doesn’t have to be big or bold, it just has to be something you care about that can strike that first flame to start the fire.

So maybe down the line when someone is admiring our work we can pause and reflect and raise a small grin and remember the time we stared at a “blank canvas” and weren’t sure where to begin.

But we did.

We have the calluses to prove it.

keep moving forward

September 30, 2022

We can often get discouraged if we compare ourselves to what others are doing. It’s easy with the access we have to social networks. We get a glimpse of how everyone else appears to be prospering while we are paddling like hell in a circle.

We read their books, see their bodies, admire their art. We convince ourselves that in some way they are better than us and it causes us to question ourselves and our mission.

What we fail to recognize is they once started from a blank canvas, they had a shitty first draft, they couldn’t do a pull-up. At some point, they were a beginner. They struggled. They had to tear down their castle many times in disappointment and rebuild it better and stronger than before. They have the calluses to prove it.

Progress isn’t perfect and there is no stopwatch on when you might be done.

Progress can be slow but slower movement in the direction we want to head is better than being stationary with no plans to get started at all.

It doesn’t have to be big or bold, it just has to be something you care about that can strike that first flame to start the fire.

So maybe down the line when someone is admiring our work we can pause and reflect and raise a small grin and remember the time we stared at a “blank canvas” and weren’t sure where to begin.

But we did.

We have the calluses to prove it.

Progress Isn’t Perfect2022-04-22T20:09:46-04:00

Keep Chipping Away

keep moving forward

I had a serendipitous conversation today that activated something in my brain which reflected on my time in high school woodworking. Yes, I took woodshop in high school and loved it.

I certainly wasn’t the best at measuring and cutting but I created some cool things. A Poker table with a beautiful Formica top. A breakfast chair that I believe my Dad still has in his house. I also made a Chalace with the lathe machine (it’s a machine where you secure a piece of wood and it spins very fast and you can chip away or sand down the object).  I still have that Chalace somewhere, too.

And that’s what got me thinking about this call today.

I want to have all the answers to the puzzle from day one. I want to know the direction and the destination. I like having the “knowns” of the situation. It helps me. 

But it’s not realistic.

Everyone reading this now is doing something very different today then they were doing 10-years ago. A different city, a different family situation, a different career/title, etc. We don’t have the playbook.

Life is like a game of backyard football, we mostly just improvise on the fly.

So that what got me thinking about my Chalace and the lathe machine back in high school woodshop. I had an idea of what I wanted but as I started to widdle the wood down it started to take a different form. Some spots I had to shave more than expected. Others were a bit harder and laborious. Sanding took way longer than expected.

I focused on the journey and experience of the process and had a “sort of” path to go down but nothing more. I didn’t know what or how to explain it then, but that is what I now call my “North Star”.

The North Star is your mission and vision of where you want to go but it’s just that, a vision. There is no flag in the ground saying “I’m going to be here at X date and be doing X”. Life doesn’t work that way. As long as you start down the path that is leading you toward your mission you’ll find your way. I think we all do, eventually.  When you look all the way back later in life it’s really the moments of the journey that are most memorable and rarely the finish line.

Just keep chipping away at you “Chalace” and don’t get so caught up in the finished product but put a lot of focus and attention on the process and experiences you are building through it now.

In the end, whenever that happens to be, the stories and the experiences that shaped them turn out to be your legacy, and reaching the finish line becomes an afterthought.

Keep Chipping Away2021-03-19T10:42:27-04:00
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