Success – Perspective And The Path

The journey to success is not often a linear one, nor is it rife with “yes!”s and obvious, silver-plattered opportunities. Rather, it is littered with failures, mishaps, wrong directions, and “what the hell was I thinking!?”s. Reality can be tough!

But…our perspective of that journey – that non-linear, tumultuous, stress-inducing road – can make all the difference in whether the path ends with success* or another “not-quite.”

*success as defined by us, let’s be clear

When we can take each “failure” as a positive, we are on our way to finding the successes we are aiming for. Why? Because each time we fall, we learn something new – we learn how to better navigate the rocky road of life and about who we are, what we need, and how we function optimally. In other words (and as we tell our kids in Martial Arts classes) when we lose, we learn…and that’s why we LOVE to lose.

It is horribly unrealistic to expect that the seas are always going to be smooth. It is also unrealistic to expect that we will fearlessly and perfectly navigate through every storm and crashing wave. What IS realistic is to expect that each fall we take will provide us with invaluable feedback, a lesson of some kind, and something positive in the end (knowledge gained, new connections, self discovery, an “ah-ha” moment…whatever it may be.)

Open your mind to the possibility of failure being a much-needed life guide – without it, we are incapable of learning that our limitations are often much farther out than our minds might impose, and that we are indeed destined for greatness. 

Fear not if you falter, then, but reap the rich rewards -PLB

Autism Humor – Same Old

I have a profound compassion and respect for individuals with autism, their families, and their caregivers. The world in which they live is one that the majority will not only never understand, but one few make an effort to comprehend on a deeper level.

Though many of my own eccentricities and experiences pale in comparison to these individuals, I believe I am drawn to them because I do – on a minor scale – commiserate. There are certain tendencies or challenges that I deal with such as:

  1. Misophonia
  2. Intense preference for / sensitivity to certain sounds (therefore, at times, need for full silence…or music…or earplugs)
  3. Difficulty focusing or concentrating unless under certain conditions
  4. Sensitivity to light
  5. When I was younger, anxiety surrounding social interaction (I couldn’t even ask for food at a snack bar!)
  6. Need for a heavy blanket or pressure when I sleep, or the sense of being in an alcove in order to be comfortable 
  7. When I was younger, I also had trouble making friends – I’m still very much a lone wolf and need massive amounts of space and time to myself
  8. A tendency to take words very literally, and not forget them
  9. Too quiet and too chatty!

And…though I’m not ultra rigid to the point of breakdown, I have a strong preference for routine. When it comes to food, for example, I stick with the same (fortunately healthy) things. ALL the time. In part, its preference. In part, my body prefers it that way, not unlike some individuals with autism.

I used to feel badly about my “quirks” – embarrassed even! But I’ve realized that not only am I not alone in these traits, (and also not less of a person because of them!) but that they afford me the ability to help others who suffer greatly as a result of extreme variations of them. Certain sounds push me to the edge but then I think about the fact that understanding what that feels like gives me an edge in understanding the more extreme experience someone else is having. . .and that means more compassion. Compassion is something this community deserves in spades.

My “quirks” have also taught me the humor of it all. In life we all face challenges, both big and small. If we can find the humor in our situation, we can help others find the humor as well, not to mention keep ourselves on a healthy wavelength most of the time.

The community I have the great fortune to work with teaches me about not taking everything so seriously all the time…about finding the beauty in each of us in spite of some differences (and we ALL have “stuff!”)…and that a positive approach will help us see the gifts we’ve been given…even those born of adversity.

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Happiness And Peace Are Up To You

As an empath and co-dependant type, this is something I work on regularly – I’m worlds better  than I once was, and I’m able to hear this sentiment in my mind even during the toughest times. I’ve referred to this idea often because it’s juts so powerful. . .

I remember watching Labyrinth as a kid – you remember that film with David Bowie as the Goblin King, right?  Yeah, that one.  (Don’t judge!) Well, for whatever the reason, I always noted – rather firmly – the “you have no power over me” part (the phrase alluded to in my early post, as linked above.)  It just stuck.  That said, I didn’t really apply it to myself until many…many…moons later.

Today I find myself going back to the sentiment – OFTEN.  As they say, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  You never know what’s going on with someone else, and therefore cannot know the impetus behind their actions.  The reactions others have are (truly) their own and what we see is not always an accurate reflection of the full picture. Because of this, it is important we remind ourselves that whatever negativity comes our way – no matter the form – it doesn’t have power over us unless we let it.  

As human beings, we feel – for empaths, profoundly – and that’s okay.  But we do have a choice about whether we go flying off the tracks in anger, sadness, hurt etc…based on the actions of others.  We don’t HAVE to.  Neither they, nor any other junky energy, need ruin a beautiful day, or change our positive approach – only we can decide that.

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Keep Trying

I have not fact-checked these myself but lord knows you could research any number of “famous” folks, take a look at his or her track record, and garner the same fundamental idea. . .

DON’T. GIVE. UP.

We hear about the people who make the limelight, or contribute to an industry or the population on a relatively large scale – but that doesn’t mean hundred of thousands of other people around the globe aren’t ALSO achieving their dreams, crushing their goals, and reaching success…in their terms.  

Whether you fail at one thing a hundred times, or several endeavors once. . .don’t lose heart.  

Keep striving for what matters TO YOU.  

Keep working hard, keep feeding your dreams.  

The failures help us learn what to do better, and sometimes redirect us completely to land us on the path meant of us. You are often so much closer than you think – keep up the great work.

 

(A Few Of) Life’s Helpful Hints

 

  1. Failure is NEVER the end.  In fact, without failure, we might very well miss out on what we are meant to do and meant to learn.  Embrace mistakes and endings, and recognize them as the begging of something great.
  2. Things don’t change just because you want them to / say they will.  If you want change, you must take action – life isn’t going to drop what we need at our feet most of the time.  We have to work hard, set intentions, and put actions into play.  Period
  3. ALWAYS go above and beyond. Promise what you will, and over deliver on those promises.  Your name is on your work, so give a shit and make it count.
  4. Teach others (without being condescending.)  Your knowledge and experiences are valuable, not only to you, but to others who will come after.  Sharing the wealth in this way benefits everyone.
  5. Question before jumping to conclusions.  As human beings, we all often fall into the ass-of-you-and-me trap.  It’s important to step back and recognize that what we *think* may be the case, may be the farthest thing from.  What someone SAYS is gospel, may be in fact be a figment of another’s imagination (or poor googling!) 
  6. Make peace with your past. Tough one, for sure!  Do what you can to make peace with your past, and those in it – this might mean ongoing help to overcome the habits the past has instilled within you, and that’s okay.  Just make sure you work on it – no one deserves to be confined to past challenges.  There is hope, and there’s always room to break free!
  7. Turn. Your. Brain. OFF! Some of us overthink (which can be disastrous –> irrational brain on overdrive!) and some of us conceptualize (read: think about ways to do this or that, but never take the plunge and ACT. As with #2, you have to DO in order to initiate change – things aren’t going to materialize for you while you sit and ponder!)
  8. NEVER, EVER compare yourself to others. PERIOD. If you can’t help yourself, compare you to you yesterday – that is the only person you need to concern yourself with.  You may see good, bad, or ugly in others…and you can rest assured that the flip side of any of those also exists (you just aren’t privy.)  The point being, you have no idea what another’s true reality is, so don’t’ make yourself crazy trying to pit yourself and your circumstances against it.  

There’s An App For That

Ever stood in line longer than necessary because a younger cashier is struggling with basic math functions?  It isn’t a matter of being rude…it’s a little bit frightening!  So much is done for people by way of apps in daily life that they are beginning to lose the ability to function without a device. . .

SCARY, don’t you think?!

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Discipline

It isn’t always about the motivation – sometimes it’s simply NOT there.  Maybe you’re tired, maybe you just don’t feel like it. Discipline is that figure sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear:

“You can”

“Just start”

“You’ll feel amazing once you get through it”

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Motivation isn’t always easy to come by, but discipline can get you through.

One Of Many Resolutions

I’ve got a bunch of things that I’m working on – the New Year isn’t necessarily the starting point, I feel like “working on” is a lifetime pursuit of sorts.  But one of the things that I’m particularly (read: habitually) bad about is taking care of myself.  It sounds a little ridiculous, I know, but I have struggled with it my whole life.

In the past, my parents not only implored, but essentially had to fight me to go to the physical therapist when I had an injury (second ACL tear, meanwhile.)  They had to fight to get me to go to the chiropractor (which I nearly didn’t do, save that I actually couldn’t lie down without severe pain.)  They’ve fought me to go to the ER when I thought I could glue my own finger. They’ve had to tell me to take it easy when I don’t feel as up to my routine because I somehow tell myself I *should* still proceed ahead despite that I have a collapsed lung.

DUMB.

Yes, I know that our conversation with the Universe has a massive impact on our lives (I’ve seen it time and time again – good, bad, and ugly.) But I also feel it’s important to admit mistakes when necessary, as well as shortcomings.  And frankly. . .

I’m not smart sometimes!  

I push too hard, and I refuse – never for a great reason – to do the right thing for myself.

Take Jiu-Jitsu for example… Master Cycle is not just one jump up from Combatives.  It’s SEVERAL.  You learn more techniques, and build on the knowledge that got you to Blue Belt, but you also roll a lot more – free sparring means the injury level goes up.  Generally Blue Belts have learned some control, but it takes YEARS to become proficient enough to be smooth.  Injuries are going to happen at a high level too, but less so from lack of body control… Either way, you have to protect yourself – the element of possibility is always present.

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In the last few months I’ve had my nose fractured twice.  I’m blessed (and thankful!) that it wasn’t worse than it was…but it definitely makes you pause.  I wasn’t wearing a mouth guard and it would have been only an inch difference to have possibly lost teeth.  My husband has urged me to wear my mouthguard from the get go. “It’s uncomfortable,” I said.  “It’s harder to breathe.” 

“Would you rather lose teeth?!”

Of course I thought “NooOoo!” But. . .I still didn’t wear it.

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So I’ve decided that my obstinacy and bullshit stops six days ago.  It’s a perfect time for me to pull it together, and do the right thing to take care of myself.  Loved ones shouldn’t have to fight me over my self-care, for crying out loud – and they aren’t pushing me for any reason beyond that they want me healthy, happy, and able to do what I love.

My parents put up with it for nearly 40 years.  At almost 40, it’s fair (though possibly unfortunate) to say I’m pretty set in my ways.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t learn, that I don’t care, or that I won’t make an effort to be a better person.  We all have room to grow, and I do not consider myself unusually immutable.

For me, being a better person is a top priority – I feel distressed when I fall short of being anything but a positive influence on anyone in any regard (especially my family!)  Of course I will fall short – I forgive myself in advance, knowing I’m human.  But I do try – even if a little later in the game.

Better late than never, so they say, right? 

Or, better before I lose some teeth.

Be…

Wavering in truth not only gives reason for others to distrust you, but a shadow of doubt within your own mind – one falsehood is one too many.  Maintaining honesty in all your endeavors is to live with integrity.  

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Air on the side of kindness.  Because we cannot know another person’s battles – even when it feels hard to do – take a deep breath, and find some compassion.  Even a little will do.  If that is not available, let go completely – better to move on than to allow someone to bring you down.  Life is challenging enough than to allow a small thing to derail your happiness and peace of mind…for any amount of time.

Be courageous, because no-thing is impossible.  There will be whisperings of discouragement, but forge ahead, and follow your passion – for in so doing, you follow your truth.  You can achieve anything you set your mind to.  ANYthing.