If success has eluded us, when we know we could be doing so much more, the time to reevaluate life is here. We must be honest with ourselves, the hard choices made, a plan with defined goals, yet with the flexibility needed in the real world should be thought out. Change begins when we recognize that must master ourselves, holding in check our desires, passion, and excesses.
We close out another year and usher in a new decade. All of us tend to make resolutions on New Year’s day and yet how many of us follow through? We often give up within a month, why? Change is hard, leaving our comfort zone is not easy, does it mean we do not want to improve our lives? We all have dreams and aspirations, but are we willing to put in the work that it will take to reach them? If we want something bad enough, we will make the time, find the funds, be consistent and throw away the excuses.
Our lives are constantly changing. We are ever changing. In fact, millions of cells are dying in your body right now and being replaced as you read this blog.
I find it ironic that when we are young learning is stressed, but as we grow older many people no longer see the importance continuing education. Many motivational and life coaches stress the importance of reading so that you continue to learn. To me, this is just common sense. When I finish one book it will usually lead me to another. I always take away something new from each of them.
My life has been a continuous journey of change, and I love the challenge. I constantly find something that I feel I could do better. It might be the way I treat people, or maybe one person in particular.
It takes courage to leave our comfort zone. Getting started on a new path can be uncomfortable, if not downright painful. When we examine our lives we can see that each small endeavor we have undertaken has added to our journey.
My own life has had many periods of plateaus where I stopped for a bit, learned what I could at that destination, and then moved on. History is one of my favorite subjects to study, because life repeats itself over and over again. Most of what we read is about in the news is the lives of politicians or the super wealthy or successful, but the truth is every person will experience life’s ebbs and flows on some level.
William Barclay Masterson was born in Canada in 1853 into a family that would include five brothers and two sisters. They moved and settled on a farm in Sedgwick County, Kansas. After very little schooling William left the farm at seventeen years old with his brothers Ed and Jim in search of work. They found work on a ranch near Wichita, and they worked there until they learned they could make two dollars and fifty cents per bison hide. That began William’s Buffalo hunting period. He and his brothers would be a part of one of the great battles with the plains Indians. A number of tribes joined forces to wipe out the trading post of Adobe Wells. At least seven hundred Indians descended on the small trading post at dawn, but William and his brothers, along with a man named Billy Dixon held them off from the store. Billy Dixon shot an Indian off his horse from almost a mile away with a single shot Sharps rifle.
William and his brothers then helped grade railway beds for a short time before moving on. William was later hired by General Nelson A Miles as a scout against the Indians.
William went on to become a professional gambler, working in the boom towns of South Dakota. He started working in law enforcement in Dodge City, where in 1877 he was elected county sheriff. He worked as sheriff, in a number of small towns across the western United States in the coming years. He had become friends with President Teddy Roosevelt who ended up appointing him Deputy U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York, a job he would hold until 1909.
It was at that point William, now known as “Bat Masterson” became a national sports writer for New York papers.
Bat Masterson lived an eventful life in the American West, but he did not stop there. When the west began to lose its luster, he moved to New York and began to write. He remained a well-regarded sportswriter until his death in 1921.
Many people take long winding paths to their goals, but one thing they all have in common and that is they are willing to change.
Take Saul of Tarsus, who was an educated Pharisee. He studied the law and was very respected in his community. He had begun to attain the fame and notoriety in his time by persecuting the followers of Jesus. He even went on a journey to Syria to help get rid of followers of Christ there, and that is when he had a fateful meeting on a road.
At that point on his journey he changed and his life completely, and his way of life before no longer mattered. He even gave up his Jewish name Saul and took a Greek name, Paul. He spent the rest of his life spreading the Gospel of Jesus and learning to live the life God intended for him.
What will you do with your life? Are you willing to change? Each of us must follow our own path, but one thing is for certain. We can never be content with just existing, we must constantly keep learning and growing.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
2 Timothy 3:7
Always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.