Leveling Up.

A quick follow up from yesterdays post, today I went on an spontaneous adventure with my friend to the desert three hours to the east. It was a great time searching out petroglyphs and walking through dry canyon washes looking at the sandstone features with our dogs. Just a follow up that saying yes a little more pays off, it made all the difference in how today turned out.

I listen to a number of podcasts that vary in topic from personal growth/development, business tactics/processes, food/restaurant development/managment and regular life stories that have a motivational tune to them. Most of them have a common theme about leveling up and doing better at what you do. The people sharing these messages are usually extremely dedicated to one or two things and have become world-class at using those skills to make money from them.

One of the most constant things you hear is taking the next step, leveling up in one way or another and using that momentum to maximize your opportunities to grow your business, brand, portfolio, or influence. After you level up once and you master your new level you seek out new opportunities to level up again. It’s a constant series of leveling up and extended growth so you can reach your ultimate level. The ultimate level might be wealth, successful businesses, or life balance.

For each of us, the end goal is different. We all want different things this is why our paths vary, the way we earn and spend money varies, and the way we look at life is slightly different from the people we spend the most time with. What I have deduced from each of these podcasts and their mentors and guests is that you need to deduce what you want to become and jump feet first into whatever you decide to pursue and become the best you can be at it.   

Enthusiasm vs Endurance

I saw a quote posted by a friend today quoting Angela Duckworth that stated the following:  

“ Enthusiasm is common.
 Endurance is rare.  “

That hit me pretty well after my confession yesterday about making excuses, falling short of my intended goal for this project,  and falling short in many different aspects of life. I say this not to post a sign that says “pity this guy” but more as an acknowledgment that we are the biggest reason why we don’t see a goal from concept to completion. It’s something more of us could benefit from doing, admitting our own faults and weaknesses as we review our list of in-completed wishes and aspirations.

Getting back to the quote I felt I am extremely enthusiastic about so many things that I begin. I really dive into the motions of becoming fully engrossed in the activity until some sort of unexpected twist joins my journey, then derails my forward motion and enthusiasm for the new project. Something that could cause me to derail might be a change at work, increased homework from my university studies, or a challenge I’d rather not face up to at the present time.

When the forward motion is slowed or stopped it is a challenge to start again and regain the momentum you previously had; for me at least. I think this is where pacing yourself might come in handy. I know that I have written about how we should look at things with a sprint vs marathon mindset in the past and I try to live that practice daily but it can be hard to do all the time. Many around the world might share this sentiment, “It would be nice if there was a faster way to…”. For some things yes, there are shortcuts, for others, there are only steps to take in a specific process to attain the desired outcome.

This is where learning endurance comes to play, one step at a time with a mindset that somethings can take a long time to see to completion. We need to teach ourselves how to endure better through the challenges we experience for the long run. Learning endurance is not an easy process at all but it’s one that will help us the most if we are to learn. Learn a little more each day, read a little longer, study a little better, run a little farther, be a little more confident each day, and eventually, you’ve become a marathon runner and learned to endure more than you thought you could.

Catch.

Relationships are just like a game of catch. They require interaction, cooperation, and a mutual understanding of where the “ball” needs to go. I’m not just talking about relationships between couples either, I’m talking about various types of friendships that require a little give and take at times, a few hard times, and a little forgiveness. Relationships vary between people, but the sentiment is the same we trust those who we have relationships with.

When people play catch there is plenty of back and forth between the participants at play. Each person involved needs to maintain awareness of what is coming their way and also be aware of what they are tossing out. Having knowledge about how far someone can throw and their catching abilities is key in knowing the pace at which the game of catch can be played. Yes, this is a metaphor, knowing your partner or friend is necessary for knowing what information your partner can take in at a given time and what their emotional state might be at any given time. What you know or don’t know can help or hurt your relationship, be attentive and aware of where you both stand.

In any game of catch, an effort is required by both parties playing. One person needs to be on target as they throw and the other needs to be aware of what is coming their way as they prepare to catch what is being sent their way. The effort needed by all parties involved in making the game enjoyable, successful, and continuous as long as both players stay involved and invested in the time together. When you are in any relationship or friendship put in the work, keep the ball moving, and your interest in the relationship at hand.

A game of catch played by at least two people working together to toss a ball back and forth.

Two players who are aware of the other person, their needs, abilities, and interests as they work together to catch and continue with whatever comes their way. People can drop the ball at times and adjustments are made to ensure the game is to go on if both parties are willing to continue. Be invested as you play and learn from one another as you go.

Classroom.

As a child I was not a fan of being in classrooms. As a student I found myself bored and uninterested in the subjects I was mandated to learn. I wouldn’t say that I was a terrible student, but I wasn’t invested in learning the information I was required to at that moment. I appreciated my teachers and the time they would invest in attempting to shape my young mind, but I have always wanted something different based off my interests at the time.

As an adult attending university at times have been an uphill battle for me because of that mindset. I struggled even in subjects I was interested in all because of the rigid structure that higher education requires students to conform to. I had to break my mindset of the avoidance and distaste for classrooms and what they meant to me. That process took me two years of university education and thousands of dollars. I still don’t enjoy classrooms at all, but I am now able to listen better and learn easier behind a desk while being lectured at.

Learning for me was something that was never limited to classrooms. I was always learning outside of school either at home from books or out with my parents. I was and still am a questioner, I always want to know the “why” behind things, I want to understand the process and the mechanics that make things happen. From paving roads to the law process questions have been a tool I’ve used to learn a little about a subject and pursue what I wanted to learn or drop what I haven’t

Self learners tend to be able to pick up a subject and guide themselves to a working knowledge than a mastey of a desired subject. Many of the self learners I know are in a constant state of educating themselves and are often either early adopters of trends or find themselves in a constant state of catch up trying to rejoin the industry they are involved in.

Classrooms can be the best proving grounds for some along their educational experiences. For others classrooms can be places that dam learning and hinder the progress of different individuals. Each of us learn differently so find the place you learn best and excel in your education.

News.

We hear it left and right the worlds biggest influencer that is updating and sharing stories non stop the news. It’s always updating us on what went wrong today, who was hurt, who is on trial, and sometimes what good is happening in the world. The news fulfills our desires to be informed then keeps updating its stories and drawing us back in for more. The news can be used for sharing good deeds but is often used to sway public opinion towards one viewpoint or another. Often this results in varied opinions about what is happening around us and where we stand on different sides on an occurrence.

We listen to the various stories adding our personal bias and joining with the side of a story that fits our bias best. You can look up one photo of a current event and find stories told from five different angles and a hundred different photographed points of view. Newsagencies know that to attain and keep readers they need to tell a story with passion, a few facts, and a small cliffhanger of what could be happening next. This cliffhanger often keeps readers, listeners, and watchers interested and interacting with the story as told by their favorite agency and building their opinions often based on one-sided research.

What the real challenge today is admitting that our biases cause us to stand in one section of thought or another. It is a rare case when someone can stand evenly between two or more schools of thought and belief and say they either understand, can relate, or would like to learn more about an another’s train of thought on a controversial subject without subjecting their own bias into the conversation. We often join with like-minded people in order to hear thoughts and ideas that match our own and validate our thoughts and feelings.

We struggle to join in friendly conversations or debates about politics, policy, and beliefs at times because we are inclined to be invested emotionally into these topics and it’s uncomfortable to have our beliefs challenged by others. These conversations can be uncomfortable but are well worth the investment of our time if we are willing to listen, speak clearly with confidence, and accept that others may not see our values as their own.

Listening to the news is a great way to become informed and to be aware of current events that are happening around the world. Just try and listen to multiple news sources to see the story from more than one biased angle.  

Blank.

Today I sat down to write and drew a blank at what to write about. My mind shuddered and my thoughts became incoherent strands of incomplete ideas and thoughts. I started glancing at memes, revisiting old ideas, and procrastinating putting thoughts into digital text. Nothing came to mind I drew a blank. I sat here and reviewed my day and wondered what caused my absence of thought tonight?

Was it the four walks I took my dog in today? Where I played tug a war with an eight-month-old puppy who wanted to befriend every dog, cow, and pig we passed today as we walked? Was it my frustration after toiling around the yard today and not feeling that enough progress has been made in my desire to redesign our greenspace? Were the blank halls of thought a side effect of revamping my eBay store and shipping out orders from the weekend? Where was the lack of inspiration coming from? I still don’t know.

Perhaps it is stemming from the change in the air, two major changes are happening this week a new shift for me and a new job for my wife. Both are extremely exciting because they are putting us both closer to where we want to be in our professional careers. Change can be a challenge when there is a lot of motion in a short time, for me this feels like a lot of motion.

Life is a juggling act for most everyone where we are figuring out what is happening, how we want things to happen, and how they actually are happening. Along with a dozen other things tossed into the said juggling act we are often life like a spider in rollerskates, attempting to find our footing as each foot slips out from under us. Life is in constant motion and we know that motion will always be happening around us. Our best option is to join the locomotion and continue doing our thing the best we can.  


Time.

Daily we decide where to invest our time. Perhaps you spend many hours at work, a few hours at the gym, a bit with friends, working on hobbies, or some time alone. Each of us has a day that is broken up between twenty-four hours, between the hours of sunshine and darkness. We choose where to put ourselves during these hours and who we will invest our time with and the activities we pursue.

Many of us are required to work to cover our day to day expenses or the cost of living. The hours we spend at work are what we choose to make of them, you might have a job that some look down at but it might be the right fit for you. Each of us can be happy at what we do each day, even if it isn’t our life passion we can still show up with a good attitude and a willingness to accomplish our tasks. This makes our hours spent working less of a drag on our personal lives, and us less of a negative well for others to feed off in their own struggles with life. Recognize that a good attitude will bring about better opportunities and better days.

Time spent with other people can make or break our days. We have routines that are built around the lives of others, we might look forward to seeing someone at work, after work, when we get home, or tomorrow at 11 am sharp for brunch. These plans with others can increase our overall life satisfaction and help us to find a better way of living. Lives are better when we have others to support and those who can support us. Friendships allow for happiness, sadness, misunderstandings, and collaborations. Life with others can test us, break us, and build us into better folk who can be better friends when the occasion arises.

Wherever you should decide to spend your time do so wisely. Invest in real opportunities building better experiences for yourself and others. Find yourself being the best friend you can be to others but most of all be a friend to yourself.