I am a second behind.

Who remembers number two? In a close race, is the almost winner given the opportunity at the spotlight? Are there morning shows appearances for the one that barely won?

Even if the second place finisher was a second behind, no one will remember. We remember the battle fought by the one that won. He or she with the trophy gets to write history. It is she or he who won who gets to tell the tale.

Second place gets to look up at first place. The mountain top only has room for one. 

Second is easily forgotten. Second might as well be last. Second opens the door to all other contestants. Second gets the pat on the back from everyone. Second gets the crumbs. First gets first choice.

Second is a spectator.

But there are many races left. First comes to those who train more. So, train more. One day the confetti will fall on your behalf.

I am a second behind.

When you pick a different direction.

The result of wandering is exhaustion. To walk aimlessly may start out as a fun experience. But at some point it stops being cute.

There has to be a reason you left on the journey in the first place. Let’s see where we end up is short term. Years of not knowing where to go can leave a mind numb.

Of course one can say wandering is unacceptable when it has stopped being useful. But wandering was never useful. It was deceptive. It was romantic. And it broke your heart.

To travel so far and go nowhere. Plenty of stories, but no accomplishments. Plenty of souvenirs, but no trophies. Plenty of flowers, but no garden.

If you must go, actually have somewhere to go. To live a life of a wanderer, without purpose in your step is foolish and I say childish.

A good time to realize this was on your first step. But, if you’re  on your 1,000th step, all one can do is stop, actually pick a destination and a good map. Then, get there.

Get to stepping.

When you pick a different direction.

Who do THEY say you are? Who do YOU say you are?

There’s the real you. Then it’s the you you show everybody else. Should both be the same? Yes.

But we don’t show who we are for shame. I’m still working out this line of thinking. It one I read in Donald Miller’s Scary Close book. You have a self. Then something happened causing you shame. Then you out a third layer to hide the shame.

So insecure people hide their shame with cockyness. I hide my shame by withdrawing. Now, what I’m exploring is what’s my shame. I know I have it. I’m covering it up with withdrawal. What rings true at this moment is I feel I don’t have something to say. I’ve had a long standing thought of who would listen to me?

I don’t know where that comes from. As far as I know I was never rejected by my mother or grandmother who raised me? Maybe the lack of a father figure in my life? I know I have this sense of not being important. And important is not the right word. It is a sense of I matter. Or the lack of belief that I do.

The outer shell hiding your shame is probably what people would say about you. You made that layer up. Underneath is shame hiding who you are. But you are not your shame. That’s you helping the enemy win. You are surrounded by shame. The job is to clear the cobwebs in your conscience. To seek awareness. To be content with who you are. That doesn’t mean satisfied with who you are. Then ask is this okay?

The thing with lying to others is you have to lie to yourself, first. Are you okay with that?

Who do THEY say you are? Who do YOU say you are?

The Pursuit of Happiness

I’ve read in many book about pursuing your passion. I must not know what that means. I have not pursued my passion in my entire adult life. And when I think of it, I don’t think ever.

Do what makes you happy. I’ve read that and heard that many times. Looking back on my life, it seems comfort has satisfied. I don’t know if I can say it has made me happy.

I don’t think I can tell you what makes me happy. And I say that in the context of how to make money in something that makes me happy. I think that’s the context of the follow your passion crowd.

How can I monetize laying a bed watching my six month old being silly? Is there a way to collect through PayPal watching Netflix while my wife lays across our sofa with her head on my lap? How about reading a good book? Sitting in silence? Anyone? Anyone?

I know there are many who say I can’t believe people pay me to do this. And I want that. Well, I say I want that. I’ve just never pursued it. I’ve never intentionally said this is what I want and here are the steps to get there and take those steps. At least not for making money.

So, now my pursuit of happiness is answering what do I want  then reverse engineer to where I am. Every step I take will be a step in happiness. Doing what you I said I was going to do.

Day 1.

The Pursuit of Happiness

The .01 percent

We get trapped in things that don’t matter. And those things that doesn’t matter become killer whales that matters a lot. They pursue us and makes us feel a certain way.

 But if anyone else looked at that menacing creature you think should be part of a Sea World act, it’s actually a guppy – a defenseless guppy.

But it’s our guppy. And when we don’t know that there really are killer whales out in the deep ocean, our little fish seems vicious. We feel our guppy of a problem needs to be taken up by the United Nations committee on matters that only matter to you.

What are my problems – really – compared to the woman that has been sold into slavery? Or the nine year old African buy who just got given a rifle to fight a civil war. Oh my! We are behind one month in our electric bill! Really?

But there we are arguing about our breadcrumbs. And yet that’s the thing: it’s our crumbs. Yes, in the grand scheme of things it may not be important. It may be the equivalent to a teen emotionally breaking down because there’s no hanging out with friends on Friday night. But in that teen’s world, that guppy is a shark.

What to do when we focus on the .01 percent of life and make it more than that? I think we have to live more. We have to know what are the big things in life and fight for that. Worry when the big things are off center. So what are the big things?

  1. Marriage
  2. Friends
  3. Family
  4. Money – get this out of this list as soon as possible. It really doesn’t belong here, but until you don’t have to think about it, it’s a lion aid a thing.
  5. Health

I’m sure there maybe some others. But it isn’t I don’t get the quiet time I used to. Or I don’t like the car that I drive. It’s good to have goals. But make your goals solve big things.

To paraphrase Jim Rohn, some people major in minor things. And is that serving you?

There are bigger fish in the sea.


The .01 percent

Hoping for a Highlight Life

Along the way we got confused into thinking life is supposed to be easy. We think it’s easy for the most part because we only see performance. We don’t see training.

We all want a marriage that lasts decades. But we don’t want all the misunderstandings, fights and frustrations that come with it.

We want to make elite athlete money without the countless 4AM wake up time for working out.

We want fitness without doing what got us fat.

In sports newscasts, we don’t see the hour long football game. We see the hightlights. We see what someone else thought were the crucial plays most people will want to see. That’s what I think most want out of life. Including me.

That way of thinking is changing. The highlight life where there’s no commitment to a process known to work produces no growth in us.

We fail to become something great in a highlight life.

We fail to have a better story to tell in a highlight life.

We fail to gain confidence in a highlight life.

Successful people know it takes making a decision then time and effort to claim achievement. Eves drop on their conversations and it will be about process – the how of things. The rest talk about how lucky you are to have what you worked for.

I’m rearranging parts of my life and begin implementing process and systems. They pretty much guarantee success. I don’t want to tax my brain with anything it doesn’t have to. I want more habits in my life. I want to play the whole game.

There’s no winning wishing for just the highlights in your life.

Hoping for a Highlight Life

What’s your story with fear?

I’ve heard it said that fear is the your indicator of something you must do. Within reason, of course. Don’t go jumping off a plane without a parachute because you’re afraid of jumping out of airplanes without parachutes.

But you don’t take an opportunity because you’re afraid. But you’re afraid of the unknown. But the unknown is none of your business. There are certain things out of your control. That’s okay.

Yeah right. It’s just that simple.

Some say yes, it’s that simple.

But that simplicity scares me. There are things I need to do in my life, that even the thought of having to do them weigh me down with anxiety. An anxiety based on nothing but the movie I play in my head.

And the story behind that movie is good. So good, it keeps me on the sofa, paralyzed. I riveted by my own story. I’m nowhere near the edge of my seat. If I was at the edge of my seat, I would be ready to do something. And I’m nowhere near that.

Fear is the result of a well told story that most likely isn’t serving you. It’s really based on not know what’s going to happen at some point in the future. Since there’s no clarity of the future, we fill the blanks with something. We give that something authority. And it rules over us.

Some people’s illusions are real.

My fears haven’t served me. I guess if they did, they wouldn’t be fears.

Exhale.

I just exhaled writing this. There are fears to conquer. There is success to attract. Fear doesn’t look good on anyone.

Live a better story.

What’s your story with fear?