Joseph Campbell’s work continues to inspire me. A few months ago I watched his documentary Finding Joe. Since then, I have watched it another three times. It is just packed with wisdom, all threaded together by his idea of the hero’s journey.
Each and everyone of us is our own greatest hero. We will embark upon adventures, face dragons, experience crisis, fight, fall, and persevere. But in the end, it’s not the happy feeling of accomplishment we did it all for, it’s the feeling of being alive. It is about the moments of overcoming your dragons, the chase of the one you love, the fear of falling, and the courage of picking ourselves back up.
It is simply about being alive.
It’s easy to tie together hopeful words about the advantageous outcomes of unknown situations, but when it comes to living out those words, the story becomes a bit more laborious. Here I am, teetering at the edge of the board, about to do a leap first dive into a very real, very unknown situation.
There will always be a reason not to do something, but what makes it worse is when that reason is 5 foot 7 with 2 gorgeous green eyes and a smile that makes your melt on the inside. Sometimes, all you can do is smile back at the satirical mystery of life’s intentions. Timing was never my thing.
I had a gym teacher who used to say life’s like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the quicker it goes. Hoping I’m not yet close enough to the end of my life to fully grasp the meaning of that metaphor, I can apply that analogy to a similar paradox of time.
A leap that was once months away, has now arrived. 7 days seems to be my only shield. And as each passes, the next goes by quicker. Until there I will be, defenseless. No more moments to inch myself nearer to the edge. The next one is it. And although today comes with the comfort of knowing that the leap is yet to come, a week from now it will be a moment in the past.
Five days from now, I will be packing a box of clothes and shipping it off to Reno, Nevada. Seven days from now I will be getting on a plane to Dallas, Texas (slight detour) and then Reno.
Joined by several of my co-workers of the semi start-up Be Legendary, we will be working under one roof to try and bring the company to a new tier of success. This is no doubt, very exciting. The move, the work, the experience. Which is why it’s almost funny that in the midst of all this excitement I can’t get my mind off of a girl.
It’s like one movies from the 80’s, where romances are setup to be bowled down by the wake up call of the real world. But if you look through the eyes of those teenage heartthrobs, odds mean very little when it comes to matters of the heart.
So perhaps there’s some hope. When Ione Skye says to John Cusac in Say Anything that “nobody thinks it will work.” He responds by saying, “No, but you’ve just described every great success story.”
I try and remind myself, that we cannot connect the dots looking forward. If I find myself becoming detached from that idea, I find that I am removing myself from the current moment.
The dots will connect, we just haven’t seen the line yet. And things that seem difficult or unlikely seem to be the key ingredients to any great success.
It’s funny how the most cliche advice can be the most comforting, but the one hue of inspiration that has been keeping me going is the idea that if things are meant to happen – they will happen. You cannot push a stop button on your life to wait and see. Jump off that board and see what happens. I’ll let you know what it feels like in a week!
I was commenting on a Joe’s post on How Do You Trigger Positives? sharing what I had discovered thus far for living a positive life, when I thought, “hey, that be a cool project to work on – listing out all my life mantras and lessons.” And so I began leafing through my favorite books and thinking about some of my more memorable experiences. Through all my travel, networking, reading, and interacting with extraordinary people, these are the life lessons I have picked up…thus far. Please feel free to add on to what you’ve learned along your life’s journey!
Happiness is a decision.
The only limits that exist are the ones we create.
The most important moment in life is this one.
Everyone else’s opinion is still just your self created thoughts.
Nothing is catastrophic.
Love your fate.
The idea of paradise is just on the horizon, always, while life is here, under my feet, now.
Fear means your getting somewhere.
Worrying means your not.
There’s an important difference between your best and the best.
Failure is the pathway to success.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
Enjoy the little things because one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.
It always seems impossible until it’s done.
There will always be a reason not to do something.
Not much can be learned from a perfectly smooth road.
It’s all relative. Against the backdrop of sickness and poverty, life can take on a completely new meaning.
The title you have does not dictate the impact you make.
Regret stings 100x more when you don’t do it.
Any human perception of reality can be no more than a tiny sliver of infinite reality.
If we don’t let go, we make prisoners of ourselves.
Appreciate emotional reactions and then let them fly away.
We don’t always see that we’re growing and changing, but we have to keep on trucking along, and one day we make wiser decisions.
Life is in the journey not the destination.
Sometimes you’ve got to get a little lost to figure out where your going.
Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.
Everything is a life lesson. If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting. And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.
In modern America, most people live with almost as many luxuries as a prince had 2,500 years ago. True contentment does not come from external circumstances.
Author the stories of your life.
Do so much with so little. We don’t need stuff to be fulfill us; we just need memorable moments and loving relationships.
Making one person smile can change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So start small and start now.
j.k.livin, the ‘j’ is for just the ‘k’ is for keep.
In an effort to better understand perseverance, courage, and following ones dreams I looked to contemporary literature, particularly Ernest Hemingway’s, The Old Man and the Sea. The story base’s itself around the most unfathomable circumstances – an old man, Santiago, capturing one of the largest fish in the sea. Remove this story from the context of a novel and the premise seems all the more impossible. But what was once perceived as not possible has once again found an unexpected way to show that the outcome is completely viable.
The story is driven by the idea that the battle of hopelessness can be won through the power of your beliefs. When situations receive the title of hopeless, it usually causes us to naturally withdraw from its cause. So much so, that people would view it as silly or stupid to persevere.
Hemingway’s story is driven by the key points of facing one’s obstacles allowing for passion to steer the reins. His story does not come lightheartedly, as he clearly depicts the pains of adversity. Santiago’s hands were bleeding and cramped, his head delusional, his body malnourished, but his belief in tact. The belief that he could land the marlin, this gigantic, 18-foot marlin.
Success seems to be a fleeting entity. Like dangling a carrot in front of a horse, sometimes we feel like we are never really getting any closer to succeeding. It is at these times that failure taunts us, seducing our ambition and disarming our drive.
Talking about thinking in impossible ways and seeing the world in unique perspectives opens up possibility, but believing and acting consistently are two tools that can help us navigate possibility and transform it into reality.
The precursor to success is hope. Hope is the belief that this is attainable. Latching onto hope can serve as a buffer against failure. And even in the face of failure hope remains dogged and steadfast.
I only know what I have experienced. We take comfort in our current worlds as it is the culmination of familiarities. We learn, practice, and master the attributes of what is known. But just as an embryo might be a master of swimming around in the womb, there are entirely vast and unfamiliar circumstances and prospective abilities awaiting in a surreal and strange world.
Living beyond your experiences segues known into new. We should appreciate the fact that we, as the embryo, may not realize what we are missing out. It is clear to people who’s experiences perpetuate a lasting, growing self that everything that is current and known is none but a fraction of the impressions this world can leave.
A means to an end. Many of us toss this expression around as validation for what we are doing. Things are tough now, but if I get through it, all will be well. We become so focused on the result that we are desensitized to all the unwanted tasks and undesirable times we go through to achieve it. A means to an end has become a societal norm. We spend large amount of unenjoyable time to obtain something. That something could be status, money, power, or prestige, but it is something we want. We just imagine how happy we will be once we reach that point. Then you get there, you reach your destination, and you are excited. You have done it. How long do you think that happiness lasts? An hour, a couple of hours, maybe even a day of euphoria if your lucky. Then what?
Happiness is in the doing. Psychologist Richard Davidson says there are two type of positive affect. One called “pre-goal attainment,” which is the pleasurable feelings you get as you make progress toward a goal. The other is called “post-goal attainment,” which arises once you have achieved something you want. This feeling generally resides in the category of contentment. It is short-lived, especially in comparison to the length of time working up to said goal.