Another calendar year has begun, symbolizing new beginnings for all. Resolutions are defined as "a firm decision to do or not do something." When asked what my resolution was for 2014, my mind flooded with all the things I will be working towards, how I will get there, and what dream of becoming. With my ideals racing a mile a minute, I struggled to come up with a concrete answer for the aquaintance that asked. I then simply muttered the words, "Kill it." and shrugged.
That moment lingered with me for awhile, for of course, I want to "kill it", but behind that stupid phrase meant so much more. What does that really entail? For many, resolutions seem to be more of a hope or wish, rather than something achievable with dedication. I put thought into what it is I want to commit to, and this is what I've come up with. I'm positive many of you can relate.
Some people seemingly have it so easy. Daily tasks and life’s simplicities appear actually, simple for them, as intended. For the majority though, disappointment and upset often cuts into life loud and unannounced, and begins to weigh heavy on us. Only if we are lucky, that is. From losing a game to experiencing heartbreak that pains so deep you could’ve sworn your heart was physically ripped from your structure, cracking ribs on its way out, residing pulse-less in the palm of someone else’s hand, we’ve all experienced loss and defeat at one point in time. Once you find yourself in this demonic-like state of desolation, stripped from everything you thought you knew, so beaten down in every aspect of life that the only thing that separates you from death is merely laying on the ground...well, then that is where you will find infinite power, the driving force you’ve always yearned for. When examination time comes and you do fall short, reveal in it. Failure will provide fuel beyond measure to push ourselves past the point of simply just existing (if you allow it.) It is only when we truly experience and understand great defeat that we become utterly fearless, and that is why those who have “failed” miserably are our successors. They aren’t scared to go to Hell, they’ve been there, and I don’t think there’s much worse than Hell. Fear will single handedly destroy our happiness if we let it, hindering us from ever reaching a position of complete euphoria. The reason our dreams seem so unattainable and distant is solely because of fear, as Michael Jordan said, “Never say never, because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion.” Sometimes we just have to dance with the devil in order to realize this.
If there were no ups and downs in life, it would mean you're dead. Flatlined. Once we understand that we are lucky enough to have these lessons presented to us in the form of unfortunate events, it is our responsibility to take what we need, learn, and apply them from there. We have to immerse ourselves in goals, passion, talents, and overall something bigger than ourselves. (I don’t suggest exclusively love for a significant other, for human emotion has a tendency to be fleeting. Instead, find validation from something that engrosses you entirely, feeds your soul, and it is eternal to the point where it’s wound into the fibers of your being. Love your significant other all the same, just find your own outlet of expression as well.) Too often we plan for tomorrow but tomorrow never comes, so practice what gives you butterflies today. Exist not by acting as you think you “should” or do something because it is worthy of praise, but by just permitting yourself to feel what you organically feel. We have to know the layers of ourselves individually to prevail. Life demands this from us.
Life also demands us to use our brains. “I don’t want you to think like me, I just want you to think.” Look at life from different angles, practice alternative ways of doing things, take risks, test boundaries, and delve into the “whys” of the world, even if it gives you a headache. Seek truth. Knowing too much may hurt you, but food is always more palatable when you don’t know what you’re eating.
Human connection is essential, for many believe that’s why we are here on earth anyway. We communicate everyday to seal a business deal, to quiet a screaming child, to get someone to take you somewhere, but this is manipulation at its core, it’s not truly connecting with someone. Pretending to be nicer, sending an extra meaningless text, pulling out your wallet; we are giving away insincere emotions to get something tangible that we want in return. No organic emotion used. When pursuing a specific thing or person, we tunnel vision to that ‘prize.’ But it’s only when we achieve that initial desire, when our true feelings come forward. It is no longer a challenge, no more plotting your next move, or concerning yourself with that reward at the end. You have won. It is only you and your pursuit. Many come to find out that our original yearn, had nothing to do with them at all, the idea of the fantasy more enjoyable than the actual fixation. Like playing with a new toy Christmas morning and find it collecting dust only months later.
What we need more of is engaging and active listening, rather than only using people to our benefit. Don’t have a conversation with someone just to wait your turn to speak, read them through the freckles in their eyes and notice the way their mouth moves, and above all, really grasp the content of their words. Connect. “It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside when all else falls away.”- Oriah Mountain Dreamer. People have stories to tell and they are meant to be heard, shh!
There are opportunities for inspiration everywhere. As society would have it, we perform under calculated schedules, completing each task needed for the day, without really looking into our actual surroundings. We see birds flying around everyday and think, “another day, another bird” rather than notice the array of colors, textures, and way its wings are flapping in a beautiful rhythm. This is why life seems redundant to most. This is why we don’t evolve, we notice negative imagery first. We have to dust off our childlike wonder and fascination, trust in our environment, and let go of preconceived ideas about how each day will pan out. If you’ve ever seen kids playing, you will notice how heavily engaged they are with what they are doing, nothing else matters, and it seems as if everything is one with the universe at that exact moment. Don't become desensitized by the everyday around us and inhale life. Most importantly, don’t neglect the beauty you don’t instantly see in the world, especially in the most unconventional of places. Within inspiration lies potential and opportunity.
Let go. Stop trying to control every situation and embrace solitude more often. Let negative and toxic environments and people fall by the wayside. They've played their role, now recall what you've learned from them, absorb it, and free them. Above all, work on forgiveness. Even if he is still holding your hollow heart in his hand. It is the only way to internal contentment. After you forgive, he will release your organ from his grasp, free to return to you, exhausted; but stronger than ever. You win. "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." -Buddha.
Manifestation now must introduce itself into reality and goals need to be met and surpassed. This is only achieved alone. When we put our dreams in the hands of others, we hope that they will somehow magically transpire into greatness. This flawed idea results in dependence, and putting more faith into luck opposed to actually working towards the ultimate goal. “Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning happens by accident.” –Welcome to the Grind.
There are opportunities to fuel up everywhere, with every experience there is an abundance of it to keep you going. There is no excuse why one can’t create the reality they want. No one cares if you become great; in fact, there are many people who don’t want you to be. Understanding that “the moment of absolute certainty never arrives” should urge you to start now and never look back. With an appetite stronger than a pride of starving lions, we should always strive for better without ceasing to work, create, and progress. Go.
Only rocket science is rocket science. Meaning, rocket science is incredibly complex, and most things are not. The mind has a habit of making mountains out of molehills, so don’t over think and complicate your life. You may be closer to your biggest goals than you may even realize. We will either accomplish our wildest dreams or we won’t. Simple.
The real challenge comes when we are back into reality, surrounded by things we can't change and people who we dislike. We can let everyday stress bring us down or we can change. That is what separates a hope or wish from an attainable goal.
It is now time to redefine the grind, earn our titles, and dispel any and all acceptance of mediocracy in every form, whether that’s in work, love, or within thyself. We owe this to ourselves. We deserve it all.
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