Five (5) Ways to Take Yourself Seriously

Posted: May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

I took a few months away from writing on this blog because I found myself essentially re-writing (regurgitating) a lot of the learned information I have come upon along my journey.  I fell off my workout regimen, I stopped focusing on what I thought was important, and I stopped taking myself seriously.  We experienced a death in the family, and an event I’m not yet ready to speak of publicly unfolded before me.

I had written before about how tragedy can be the catalyst for some in breaking through the barrier of fear, but that I didn’t want it be mine.  Well, as it turns out, death and tragedy can remind you of one’s mortality.  And that reminder can help you realize that fear is silly.  It’s silly because your life is precious, it’s sacred, and limited.  Life can be there, and then it can be gone.  Why don’t more of us spend it living the way we want to?

I contend that it is because we don’t take ourselves seriously.  All of us have instinctual responses to three main categories:

  1. Sustenance
  2. Sex
  3. Shelter

When we have these three things, sure, life can be considered pretty good.  But there is always that lingering feeling that something is missing.  It’s why so many people get into debt chasing those new wheels, that faster car, impressing the ladies, new suits and fashionable clothes.  Eventually, the plastic well of money runs dry, and the bills start coming due.  And we still feel like we have nothing to show for it.

I have to believe that passion can become an instinct, like an internal compass towards things you love.  Unlike instinct, it needs to be learned, but with enough fine tuning it should be possible.  Think of the many ways you find yourself wasting time.  For me, that’s Mahjong.  I can almost navigate to it without thinking, as it has become a muscle memory engraved into my body.  If I can do that, then certainly we can all make passion an instinct!

If you can take your passion seriously, something inside of you will begin to change.  You won’t scoff at your own dreams, you’ll start taking action, and you won’t be living vicariously through others anymore.  Like the Dos Equis dude, you’ll start living vicariously through yourself!  Here’s how I gauge it can be done:

1.  Write EVERYTHING you want to do down

The power of listing is quite potent; it’s a physical embodiment of your thoughts, a manifestation of the heart.  Lists can be broken down into steps, and steps establish actions.  Action leads to progress, and progress leads to success.  It is essential that you review your dream and passions daily, which will help you build an intentional day.  All you have is today, so make it yours.

I never got to writing in this blog until I wrote down what steps I needed to take to start it.  I stopped writing for a few months when I stopped listing it as something I needed to get done.

2.   Know when to laugh at yourself, and when to stop

I used to think that my dreams were silly, and would literally laugh out loud about the things that I wanted.  I kept thinking that it was selfish to want to change myself, that I was never good enough for what my dreams envisioned.  I thought it was silly that I might want to get six-pack abs, or do all the work on my car myself, or travel the world, or save up money to buy some land.

I thought it was silly when my wife and I decided to move in with my parents, and we laughed at the idea.  Why would we abandon our peaceful house to make what looked like on paper – and generally socially normative response – as a step backwards?  Given the chance, we would do it again.  Our hearts and hearth are so full of love now it’s ridiculous.

The reality is that this “step backwards” has allowed us so much leeway to pursue our true passions, of which a mountain of a mortgage was not.

Laugh at your dreams if you have to, but then move on and make it happen.

3.   Reflect on what you have accomplished 

Your accomplishments are not just some garbage to be thrown to the wayside.  Be proud of the steps you’ve taken to get where you are now – even if it’s you that’s on the wayside.  Life is about the experiences, and you can’t discount even one bit of it.  If you feel even the slightest bit that everything you have done up until now is worthless, I can say with full certainty that you are wrong.  I don’t care if you’re a drug-addict, homeless, or piled under a pile of debt.  One way or another you have something inside of you that drove you, and you need to reflect on that drive.

It may turn out that your greatest weaknesses may actually be your greatest strengths if you can change your perspective about them.

Don’t ever look at your life like a deconstruction.  Your life has come one day at a time and you built on that every step of the way.  You’re still here, you’ve done something right.

4.  Find a mentor, a hero, an icon

Take the time to figure out the people who have paved the way in your field(s) of interest.  Just that alone will provide legitimacy to your adventure.  If it’s someone you can interact with, all the better.  The stories of their lives will help you understand the challenges that you, too, may soon face.  Mentors can help you through challenges, heroes can inspire you through them, and icons let you know where you’ll stand once you succeed.  By taking them seriously, you’ll take yourself seriously.  Remember, they are flesh and blood, wear pants, and have 24 hours in a day – just like you.  They are special only because they kept at their dreams through persistence and determination, something of which we are all capable.

Destiny is fate, formed solely by your thoughts and actions.

5.  Take ever-increasingly, calculated risks

I’m not saying you need to take out a huge loan against your house and start a Peruvian flute band.  Maybe some people can create success that way (I still wish you the best if that’s the route you go), but that’s not how 99.999% of people got to the top.  Most people get to the top by slowly – and intentionally – expanding their comfort zones.  No band just starts out playing in front of thousands, they start out in garages and work their way up!

Being uncomfortable is where growth happens, and admittedly can lead to failure.  But failures are the paving stones to success. So long as you’re willing to uncomfortably keep laying the path, it will take you somewhere.  Figure out what it is you’d be happy doing, even if your uncomfortable, and take your time expanding.

My friends, know that it is possible to take your vicarious thoughts and dreams and make them real.

Seek out your intentions, write them down, grasp them and cherish them.  Take them seriously.

Man.  Vicarious.


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