Nearly a year since I last clocked in. Oh well, here I am. I recently had the pleasure of turning 36 and have been thinking those thoughts one tends to think when you hit the middle 30s around one's birthday. It has actually been a phenomenal year on all counts, and I'd like to share my current guiding approach to life. At this point I am coming to realize the tale of mastering one's self as put forth by almost every version of hero literature out there (video games being my drug of choice) that Survivor had it right with one half of their twin masterpieces in Burning Heart:
Deep in our soul
A quiet ember
Know it's you against you
It's the paradox
That drives us on
So how to win against yourself? I have it down to three steps:
- Lower your expectations
- Learn to rest
- Keep going
That's it! Good luck
For those of you want to hear more...
Lower your expectations
Credit to Leron Finger for introducing this one to me many years ago in a Saturday in the Ochsner Pediatric ICU. Even better, listen to Vienna by Billy Joel, it captures the concept perfectly.
Learn to rest
Saw this one on r/getmotivated and it hit me hard. So much of my ethic has been driven by the internal belief that I am lazy. Therefore resting was not due to normal human factors, but rather due to my laziness. You know what happens when you don't rest? You quit. And then you fail Step 3, and that is the whole game.
This is the advice that matters the most. Nothing else comes close. Advice as old as time, and yet it always needs to be repeated. Ben Horowitz calls it the Struggle. Duncan Reece kindly reminded me back in January 2015 that we needed to stay in the game until we can go back on offense. Michael Keaton did a great Ray Kroc ripping off a proto-Tony Robbins in the Founder. Hell, Dory from Finding Nemo had it right.
So remember- lower your expectations and learn to rest so that you can keep going. Because that is only chance you have to do something worthwhile.