The Ugly Truth

Let me tell you something you don’t want to hear…

Sometimes–you have to start from the bottom to get where you want to be.

Yes, you’ll actually have to work for it.  Yes, you might have to do it over again until you get it right.  And yes, sometimes you’ll actually have to take a step back and check yourself.

“If it’s easy, then it won’t be worth it.  If it’s worth it, it won’t be easy.”

Starting from the bottom or starting over again, is not always a bad thing.  A lot of people are having entitlement issues these days and don’t understand why there’s so much distance between the things they want and what they have.  When you’re at the “bottom” or have to start over again, there’s a reason for it.  Perhaps there was a lesson you missed in life’s unending classroom.  Maybe you need to learn something different.  Maybe you need to take a different path.  I don’t know.  It’s up to you to figure out why.

But during that process, humble yourself.  Humble your words. Humble your actions. Humble your conversations. To do that, you’ll have to self-evaluate, self-educate and self-reflect often.  You’ll have to keep reminding yourself of the reasons why you started this journey.  You’ll constantly have to battle through critics and negativity.  There’s nothing you can do about that.  You’ll have late nights and early mornings and unnecessary commentary to filter through.  You can’t do anything about the unnecessary and unwanted commentary–so ignore them.  What they think about you is none of your business anyway.

Sometimes you’ll have to start in a place you’d rather not be, but that’s okay.  Learn from the lessons in life and move on.  As you learn and grow, your skills and talents will also.  It only helps you in the long run.

Do you have moments like this?

A few days ago, I had a what the hell are you doing with your life moment, which most people might find strange because I seldom share this part of me.  Most would say I’m ambitious, head-strong (can’t argue with this one), direct (definitely not this one either) and focused.  But uncertain is not a word people would use to describe me.

While I wasn’t unhappy, I realized I wasn’t where I wanted to be in my life.  I woke up thinking, there has to be more than this.  There has to be more than my daily work-life routine.

But when I woke the following morning, I was in a different frame of mind.  I realized I was being impatient.  I had to remember that my journey is just beginning and it’s going to take a lot more to get where I want to be.  In order for me to do more, I must be better than I am…and that’s not always easy.  Change isn’t easy, but it’s better than being stagnant.  Although I know I’m not in this alone, it’s hard to see through my own self-imposed cloudiness sometimes.

And even though the feeling of uncertainty was brief, the moment was needed to remind me to keep pushing through the doubt.  Life does not reward procrastinators nor does it reward those who aren’t willing to go the distance.  I needed to remember that this was part of my journey and from time to time, these feelings will surface, but I cannot allow these feelings to linger nor should I dwell on them.

No one ever said this was going to be easy.  But will it be worth it? Yes.

I write these posts as much for you as for me.  If you can relate to this at all, I encourage you to stay strong and keep pushing through my friend.  We have too much work left to do.

Learn to Love the Journey, Not Just the Destination

Had lunch with a friend a while back.  We had just finished enjoying a movie and was on our way back to the city when I mentioned how much I loved road trips.  What he said next made me want to laugh…not the funny, ab crunching laugh out loud type of laughter, but the you’ve got to be joking kind.

He said he hated road trips.  Completely.   He hated the ride, hated the people, hated the time it took to get there.  He was only interested in the destination.  If there was a way to teleport himself to where he wanted to go and there was a company building a teleportation device, he’d be the sole stock owner.

I was shocked.  Who didn’t like road trips?  It took me a minute to understand that some people are in it for the destination, while others enjoy the journey.  There’s even a select few who enjoy both.  This applies to people in different stages in their life…be it career, family, hobby or business.  Some people are only in it for the end result, forgetting what it took to bring you there.

My point is this. The journey is just as important as the destination.  There’s lessons in the journey as well.  Much like writing, if you’re true to yourself and your craft, you eventually come to understanding yourself better and as a result…you write better, you do better, you become better.  That’s what the journey is for. Things take time.  You may not be there yet, but if you stay true to the course, before you realize it, you will reach your destination.  Sometimes it’s not the destination you wanted for yourself,  but a more fruitful and meaningful one.

So don’t get upset about how long it’s taking you to get where you vision yourself to be.  If you’re in the process of learning a new craft, take time to really learn it.  If you’re in the beginning stages of starting your business, take time to plan and learn what’s required.  Learn from the bumps in the road.  They’re not just bumps, but learning tools.

Enjoy the journey it takes to get you where you want to be.   You can’t rush the good stuff.