Yesterday.

Yesterday always plays a part in who we are today because who we were yesterday determined what we are able to do today. Today’s success started with yesterdays efforts and the struggles that we were able to overcome. When I was younger I often would hear people talking about their past and the “what if’s” had they decided to stick with career x or hobby y. The echoes of yesterday with all its former glory were holding them back from a better today, and their desired tomorrow. Yesterday is in the past, we cannot change it, we can only learn from it and move forward.

Living in yesterday isn’t healthy for anyone, yesterday was a lesson we learned and today are utilizing as we go. I think about a few things I learned yesterday and have utilized today. First from work was new policies and a better understanding of the processes we need to make things work for all parties involved in a transaction. At home, I refreshed my technique for making yellow coconut curry and a better balance of water to coconut milk in the simmering phase of the dish’s preparation. While I was at the climbing gym I practiced a few routes that I am hoping to send in the coming weeks and found better hand and foot placement for balance as I climb. These are all valuable lessons for the next time I work with someone on policy at work, invite friends over for curry, and send those routes I was practicing. All great lessons learned yesterday to benefit me in the future.

If you messed up yesterday let it stay in yesterday if you can. If its a small oops leave it there stop dwelling on the things you cannot change and work towards the things you can. We all have those experiences that have weighed us down and that we sometimes think back to with embarrassment and hope that someone else doesn’t remember it. Most of the time you are the only one who remembers those moments and it’s best for every one of you forget them too.

Yesterday was great, wasn’t it? Yesterday was a learning experience, so today lace up your shoes and use what you’ve learned to do great things.

Encouragement.

Why is it beneficial to be encouraging of others in their day to day tasks? I’m not talking about their specific work or school-related assignments but the little things they do every day that makes our lives a little better. Think of your friend who smiles at you when you are having a tough day. Think about those challenging days when a parent offered encouragement and reassurance that you could make big things happen if you put your mind to it. This is what the world needs a little more encouragement towards better things and a little less weight behind negativity.

It starts with me. A better world starts on a personal level more trust in others, a better believe that people are generally good, and a little more effort to listen to each other.  Sounds pretty easy right? It isn’t as easy as it sounds to trust others when we hear all the bad that could, has or is happening around us. It’s a challenge to see others as good when we lie to each other and even ourselves about the reality of the situations we live in daily. It’s hard to listen when we want to be heard, to be recognized, to be understood. We want so much from others but are at times unwilling to give to those we want to listen. Three simple steps to a better world that sound so easy, but are so hard to commit to.

Acknowledging that we can change the world in three steps is encouraging and a direction we can all get behind. If you start to look outward at what you can give to others you’ll see more easily all that others are giving to you. Life is a great maze that we all navigate a few feet at a time, why not be brave enough to trust others to help us forward, speak good words to each other, and listen a little better to those who need to be heard.

So who agrees that it starts with me?

Connect.

We are all connected in one form or another through the small things that we don’t often think about. I had a conversation with a friend once about how all roads are connected, that the road we were driving along in Salt Lake City could be driven all the way to his home in Michigan, the roads were connected state by state, and mile after mile. That was a very interesting way to look at how we are all connected by the little things we utilize every day whether it is the shops we purchase from, the food we eat, or movements we follow. We are connected in more ways than we realize.

These connections influence our day to day behavior as we interact together in our common interests we tend to treat each other with a little more kindness, a little more understanding, and a bit more willingness to cooperate when the situations are less than desirable. I say this because I’ve watched a wide variety of people with various different backgrounds come together united to aide in change.

Think about the Live Aid concert in 1985 that showcased talent filmed in the UK and televised throughout the world for a single cause to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans. People from different countries contributed around 127 million to the cause while hearing some of the greatest music acts of the century. Wherever people watched the concert they saw on the backdrop the “Live Aid” logo and were informed and inspired to unite and donate to the cause of lifting others from poverty through their donations.

In more modern times we have similar opportunities to unite together for the betterment of the world we live in. Uniting in causes that we believe in by taking action verbally or digitally we are able to share our feelings on the causes that inspire us. As we decide on what causes we stand behind remember to stand with causes that build a better world and avoid those that divide and destroy the communities we live in.

Goal.

Once you set a goal what is your actual endgame? Are you willing to put in the work to see it from inception to fruition? Can you visualize yourself along the journey working through the ups and downs, are you prepared to fall, then rise again to the next wave of challenges ahead? It’s easy to set a goal, the hard part is the steps in between where you have to stick to it and work for your desired outcome.

Tonight we watched “Free Solo” a visual tale of Alex Honold as he prepares to free solo the freerider route on El Capitan. Watching Alex interact with his friends and family as he worked toward his goal was very interesting due to the fact that he remained vocal about his desired outcome and the risk that accompanied his lofty goal. Throughout the film, you watch as he experiences injury, personal preparation both mental and physical, doubt, and finally the completion of his goal. The way the film is shown allows the viewer to experience the actual scale of the challenge and find themselves sweaty-palmed and ready for the next movement on the journey.

As we decide on what challenge we want to accept we need to recognize the challenges there will be. The road will be ready for our feet, but will our feet be ready for the different objects along the way? Personally, the best way I’ve found if I am ready or not is by doing the thing I want to do. If I want to be able to run a 10k I need to start running a few times a week at various distances, recording my time, preparing my mind and body for each step along the way and acknowledging that there will be good days but there will also be bad days. Days where I do not want to run, I can choose on those days if I am going to walk my needed distance, a combination of walking and running, pushing through the pain of the run on that day, or just avoid it altogether.

At the end of the day, week, year, or years how you decide to start and complete your goals are entirely up to you. You can allow these goals to stand at the front of your priority list or have them as passive companions to other worthy pursuits. Either way, you decide how to set out and complete your goal. The key is to set small manageable goals as you start out, then after you get better at achieving your goals set larger loftier goals that stretch you a bit more than your previous accomplishments did. Don’t limit your opportunities because you fear failure, embrace failure to allow for more opportunities to see your goals from dreams to destinations.


Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.

Procrastination.

I am a great procrastinator; perhaps you relate. Since I started writing this tonight I have gone out for some food, played with my dog, watched a few clips on the internet and attempted to write. Procrastination has been something I’ve been good at my entire life, I have been great at holding off doing my daily chores, my school work, and many other things. I don’t think I do this out of complete avoidance of accomplishing the tasks at hand, I think I do it because I’m interested in going in so many different directions at once.

We are fortunate to live in a time where there is open access to almost everything. Curious about a current event, sports statistic, video on how to _____? Just google it right? Endless information that is fighting for our attention that divides our abilities to focus on the tasks that need to be done leading to more procrastination, rushed efforts, and often sloppy unfinished tasks. As a procrastinator, I have joked many times that I’ll get my act together, tomorrow.

This mindset hurts no one but myself and can harm the opportunities that come my way in the future. I’ve had to learn that while working on projects I have to remain focused on the task at hand, not multitasking trying to do everything at once. A previous employer once told me that I was good at doing everything and needed to learn how to better manage my time to accomplish everything that was required of me. That hurt, so I started working with a list that has helped me accomplish more, and not waste time doing things that don’t matter.

Finding a way to accomplish your needs to the day with a schedule that fits your daily routine best can be a challenge working through all the fluff we let ourselves get sucked into. Try and find your most productive hours and schedule the tasks that need to be completed the quickest during those hours. During those hours put down your distractions and try and exercise a little self-control until the tasks are completed. Find your rhythm and let your efforts show through the quality of the tasks you complete during this time.

Is being a procrastinator the worst thing? Not at all. Is understanding how procrastination can hurt your opportunities to grow on a personal and professional level a necessary realization? Yes, understanding this can allow you to find a way to best utilize your skillset and focus your energy on the most important tasks and showcase your talent to those who are watching for it.

To those who are prone to procrastination, I say start today.

Direction.

What is your passion?
What direction does your passion pull you towards?
How have your passions guided you to where you are today?

These questions are perfect to answer when you are looking at where you want to go next. We live our lives in different phases that spn from a few years to a few decades. Perhaps you stick with one hobby or job for five years then decide that it no longer drives you like it used to. You begin to look for change and find yourself doing something new and life pivots.

As you pivot into that something new your daily routine changes, your workplace or surroundings change, the people you interact with are different, and you change. This change can be seen little by little, or dramatically depending on how quickly you immerse yourself in the new direction you are moving in. As we adapt to our new lifestyles we might not only shift our day to day routines but also our behavior and outlook towards different opinions, ways of life, and activities might change too. This is a strange natural part of the process.

A few summers ago I became friends with a guy named Kevin, he was a person who lived a life filled with adventure, hard work, and was one of those people who could lift you when you were down. He was an adventurer and lived life a day at a time and explored the far reached of the earth any way he could. He lived by a motto that I think on almost daily, “I follow my own trail, not worrying about its odd twists and turns because I have faith in my own sense of direction.”.

He always knew that no matter what everything would turn out for the best, that he could make the best out of any situation. I believe he did and it’s something that we all can take a lesson from. To have faith in our own sense of direction, and move forward knowing that you can make the best of the next steps, being a kind person along the way.