The Honesty of 26

Posted on 01/16/2015

This past year was the most challenging year of my life.  I went through several, significant life changes.  Speaking from an honest place in my heart, there were days and weeks when I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I experienced times when I pushed away friends and family.  I questioned my purpose and direction.

When I gained the strength to stand, it was only to be knocked down again.  I’m not telling you this in search of sympathy or empathy.  That itself would lack purpose.  I’m sharing this because even though I experienced pain and failure, I also learned more in one year’s time than I ever thought possible.

I’d like to share that with you today.

I’ve always been a planner and goal setter.  Circle a date on a calendar, accept a challenge and then complete the task.  That has been my driving mindset for many years.

This past year was the first year of my life when I truly embraced living life one day at a time.  It wasn’t a conscious choice but rather a reaction to a series of events.  Looking back, I would admit there were moments when this “life strategy” hindered my progression and others when it catalyzed my personal development.  In 2014, I spent a significant amount of time thinking about the “big picture”.  Here are a few of my present thoughts and beliefs.

We don’t deserve anything…

I used to believe that good people deserve good things to happen to them.  A part of me still holds this belief to be true.  However, a greater part of me now believes that we, as human beings, do not truly deserve anything.  You are not necessarily granted wishes or guaranteed success because you work hard or project positivity.  Several other factors have to fall into place.  Factors we are not always able to control. 

Instead, I believe that working hard, caring for others and living a life of purpose puts you in a position to obtain the goals in which you have set.  This is drastically different than believing in guarantees and the notion of “deserving success”. 

If you live a life of purpose and direction, I believe that you can accomplish your goals.  However, I also know that you will encounter some major road blocks and will most likely carve a unique path, far different from the original plan.  Don’t be discouraged when you fall short of something “deserved”.  Instead, shift your mindset and reevaluate your outlook.

Always stay true to your hopes, goals and dreams.

Sometimes one foot in front of the other is the best method of progression…

In a year when my effort was lacking, I managed to accomplish more than any other.  How?  I’m still asking myself the same question and still don’t have a definitive answer.  Giving this idea additional thought, I believe that we can often times become fixated on the future. 

We forget to allow aspects of life to fall into place.  We forget to enjoy the journey.    

Let me point out the following.  In no way am I recommending or promoting putting forth a lackluster effort.  Effort is an essential ingredient to achieving your goals and dreams.  However, in the same breath, sometimes life simply demands a more immediate, short-term approach. 

And one thing is for sure…

Putting one foot in front of the other is better than remaining complacent. 

Pick yourself up by your bootstraps…

My favorite, most rewarding college course was rhetorical writing.  Not only was I provided with the tools and knowledge to better my writing and writing style, but the class was based on a great book titled, Rereading America.  The essence of the book and subsequently the course, revolved around the notion of “picking yourself up by your bootstraps”.

Is the American Dream realistic?  Does every individual within our society possess the ability to achieve upward mobility or is life potential pre-determined by a set list of criteria?

My rhetorical writing class stimulated a ton of thought and wonder, while forcing me to question belief and reason.  Over the past year, I’ve lived by the concept of “picking myself up by my boot-straps”.  I acknowledged that even though there were moments in time when others felt sorry for me, “those sorrys” didn’t carry the capacity to help me move forward and progress with life.

In a remolded and revised fashion, I used the concepts presented in this college course to carry me through one of life’s most challenging times.

Others may feel sorry for you, but you hold the control.  

Life is a series of reactions…

In the previous paragraphs, I mentioned I'm a “planner”.  The year of 2014 flipped and altered this mindset.  A full year in the books, I’m finally getting back to the actions of planning, goal setting and dreaming.  Yet, I take away another significant lesson from the past year.

Life is more reacting than planning.

Without a doubt, it’s important to have a plan.

Doing so provides direction and purpose.  However, don’t be surprised or feel sorry for yourself when that plan gets rerouted.  Life is full of the unknown.  No matter the extent or degree of planning, significant elements of life will completely change.

That’s guaranteed.

Initially you will feel the wind being let out of your sail.  Feeling alone and lacking crucial guidance, you may wonder how you’ll ever get back to shore.  Don’t worry.  Follow a few of the lessons I’m sharing today and you’ll regain strength and ultimately find new direction.

I could have easily subtitled this portion of the blog, adaptation.  You must be willing to adapt.  Failing to do so will have you lost at sea, lacking the wind to fill your sail.

The year of 2014 will always remain in my memory.  I am forever grateful for my experiences and successes.  As a bit of a time capsule and for the readers stumbling upon the 4th Coast Fitness website for the first time, I’d like to embed a few of those items below.

100-Mile Kayak Trip (Stillwater to Winona)

 

ScentBlocker Matrix Commercial

 

ScentBlocker Release Commercial

 

Colorado and Portland Adventures

Tradition Creek Commercial

 

Tradition Creek Web Feature

IDEA Fitness Journal Feature Story

Recapping today’s blog post, I realize it could be classified as more of a diary entry than a health and wellness blog post.  However, if just one person is able to use the life lessons shared today, than it was worth the words on the page.

Keep exploring,

Matt