We all have the same amount of hours in a day, Therefore each of us holds the key to our own life. The outcome good or bad falls on our shoulders. We can pursue small things that catch our eye, basically distractions or we can choose to work towards a major goal. All of us must keep in mind, that once an hour has passed it is gone forever, there is nobody to blame, but ourselves. So we must choose wisely.
When we are constantly racing towards a destination, what happens to the moments we are living right now? Fast does not always mean better, many times we are in such a hurry we fail to do the necessary work it takes to build a strong base. In life details matter.
When we choose to take a stand, not yield to pressure, we learn that we can triumph over darkness. Facing the truth, we take the actions necessary to accomplish our goals, despite our fear of failure. The difficulties we will face in life are great, when we choose the right path, it may take us into unknown territory, yet if we stay the course we find what we need most.
A habit is not born in a day, change will not come with a couple of days work. It is only through diligent work, overcoming any setbacks while continuing to learn on a consistent basis that we realize progress. In life consistency is king.
I know that I am not the only person to have big internal battles, so today I will share a little about mine.
When my day begins roughly around 2:30 am five days a week, the first of my daily battles kicks off. I may wake up just before my alarm, in which case I wonder to myself if I should close my eyes or just get up. Often I am shocked into alertness by my alarm and I dream about what it would like to just turn it off and roll back over. I always get up, because a few minutes extra sleep will make no difference. It may sound crazy, but I enjoy getting an early start on my day.
After I have read the news and enjoyed a cup of coffee, I take my dogs out for a long hike at about 3am. During my walk I judge how banged up I am from the day before. My leg, foot, shoulder, back or a combination of them all, may hurt.
It may play out in my mind something like this: I am not going to do everything today. Maybe I’ll just do half a workout or I’ll just move around. Then I think about my end goals and I know I will do what I need to do.
The bottom line is we all struggle with many things every day. We know what we should do and yet we often settle for what is easy to do.
This is where personal responsibility comes into play. We as adults should know the cost of any decision as well as understand the reward. We are the ones who will ultimately need to take action to reach our goals.
It is hard, not fun or popular and at times we may feel like we are missing out. If we are honest with ourselves, we all know deep down what choices we should make for ourselves.
Making better choices is a learned behavior and it takes work. The good news is if we practice it, it gets easier. It may be really hard to get up before the time you usually do to get in a workout, but after a few weeks of doing it, it becomes a habit. Keeping our ultimate goals in mind is a great help when we become distracted by something. Immediate gratification is tempting, but if we change the way we look at life, we come to understand while it looks, tastes or feels good at the time it is not greater than the alternative prize.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Becoming an expert in anything is never quite as simple as taking a weekend course to get certified by an organization. The journey for knowledge is never-ending. Many people expect to go to school, take a class or two and become a master at something. In reality, a true master never stops their quest for knowledge.
With martial arts, in particular, I’ve learned that when you teach others you quickly realize how much you still do not know. You realize what faults you have, and if you take the right steps to remedy your faults, it helps you grow.
No matter what you do well, there is always someone who does it better. If we become so conceited that we believe our own hype, we will never continue to grow.
Even if you receive the highest award in your field, you cannot relax and quit working on your craft. If you do not consistently grow, you will soon be outdated.
There is a documentary I have watched a few times called Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It is about a man who found something he loves to do, make sushi, and he works tirelessly to perfect it. He is never content and is constantly looking for ways to make better sushi. That is why his small restaurant is rated the best sushi restaurant in the world.
In life, we must constantly keep learning in order to stay relevant. If we want to stand out in any endeavor we must keep learning and it must be quality knowledge that we gain.
We must change our mindset. Instead of doing something to win, we instead will choose to do something to gain knowledge and grow. It can be humbling to work at things we are not good at, but in the end, it is a valuable lesson. To grow, we must let go of our fear of failure, humble ourselves and often it means forgetting about what the rest of the pack is doing.
I encourage you to pick something you are not good at, and start learning, growing and developing new skills. Each of us has at our fingertips a vast amount of knowledge, why not use it?
When it comes to our faith, the same thing is true. We can never just sit back or coast on our faith. We must constantly strive toward growth. As a Christian, it is up to me to put in the work to continuously grow and become more like Jesus. None of us is without faults. I need to realize what my faults are, and work on them.
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
I must have read and heard the following advice thousands of times throughout my life:
Always do your best. Make do with what you have. Life is a journey, not a destination. You get the idea. Instead, I always viewed everything I did in life as a means to an end.
Let me explain what I mean. I have always been goal-oriented. I would have a big long-term goal in mind and I would work towards it. The problem is that whatever I was currently engaged in did not matter to me. It was just a step toward reaching my bigger goal. I wasn’t worried about the quality of my work or life, as long as I was closer to the next big thing.
Here is an example of what I’m talking about.
In my former criminal life, bookmaking (sports bets) was my bread and butter. It was the fuel for everything else. It paid for my travel to chase after the big scores. It paid for every side project I launched. I did not care about it other than it kept putting enough cash into my pocket to do what I wanted. I also ran stores and other businesses but I would neglect them, to focus on a new venture or bigger money-making scheme.
The problem I encountered in my life, again and again, was this: I would make enough money doing something to get what I wanted in the short term, and then I would be off again on some crazy adventure.
I wasted years of my life not giving one endeavor my full, undivided attention.
I caution you to learn from my mistakes. No matter where you are at in life, no matter what you are doing – make the most of it! Give it all your attention, work hard, master it, make it work and you will have no regrets. Don’t spend your life looking for the next big thing, make the most of every day and be the best version of yourself today.
God has given each of us a specific set of skills that sets us apart from everyone else. Invest your time in growing those skills and working with what you already have right now. Stop viewing your time and your job as a means to an end. Each day is a gift and an opportunity to improve.