Every day is a struggle. Every day I struggle. At times, the struggles are frustrating. They can be overwhelming, annoying, and so draining. At times, my struggles are relentless, relentless to the point I just want to quit. I just want to give in, give up. The struggles beat me down. Wear me out. Why won’t they relent? Why do I have to daily endure these challenges, these testings, these struggles? Why can’t I have at least a little peace? At least a little rest once in a while? The struggles can consume me, engulf me at times. They never truly stop, they never truly let up. They are constant. I know that they are forever a part of my life. OK. It’s OK. The struggles exist. They aren’t leaving. The struggle can be beautiful. The struggle is beautiful. In the midst of the chaotic struggle, I have learned to find beauty. I have learned to use the struggle for my benefit. I have learned to use the struggle as fuel for my fire. The beautiful struggle. Some way. Some how. I continue on. I will continue on. Through the storm. Through the chaos. Through the weakness. Through the pain. Through the frustration. Through the loneliness. Through the anxieties. Through the struggle. I can’t quit. I won’t quit. I will walk on. March on. Run on. One step at a time. One task at a time. One day at a time. I will learn in, through, and from the beautiful struggle. I will grow. Mature. Change. I will become better. Stronger. More driven. More focused. More disciplined. I will overcome. I will win. I will share. I will endure with gratitude. I am thankful for you, my beautiful struggle.
17 years ago today. America was attacked. America changed. The world changed. Instantly. Forever. I was in middle school. Young. Naive. Living the life I knew to live. I had no clue what the World Trade Centers were. No clue about the significance of the planes flying into these buildings. I just didn’t understand. My parents never talked to me about patriotism, the military, etc. September 11th, 2001 was really just another day for me. The following years, as men and women fought the war on terror, to protect my freedoms, the United States of America’s freedoms, were years clueless, clueless about the price people were paying for me. Clueless in regards to the cost of freedom. You don’t know what you don’t know. Over the years, I am thankful my understandings and appreciation toward 9-11, the military, and the cost for my freedom has grown. I realize now the significance of the events of the events of 9-11-2001. I realize how great our military is, how valiantly men and women have fought for our great nation, for our freedom! I now realize the importance of service for others, for those who cannot protect themselves, for the continuation of freedom. I now realize, freedom isn’t free. There is a cost, a price for our freedom. I am thankful. Grateful. Forever indebted. 17 years ago today, America changed. The world changed. Today, I am changed. Today, I thank and remember those who have given it all.
There are a lot of uncontrollables in life. A lot of things we just simply have no say in or over. Life is crazy. People are crazy. Life is unpredictable. People are unpredictable. You never know what a day may bring forth. You never know what awaits around the next corner, through the next door. And this is why we must realize the importance of preparation. Being an individual who is prepared, is an individual who will find opportunity, endless opportunity. Ultimately, the one who is prepared, will find success. I cannot control a lot, but I can control my personal preparation. I can control my life, my words, my actions, my business. I can do today what I know I need to do, to prepare myself for tomorrow. To prepare myself for whatever life may bring my way. If you want more, prepare more. If you want to fulfill your dreams, your goals, your destiny, be the one who prepares. Do the little things. Be the hardest worker. Be the one who continues to learn, the one who is relentless in all of their pursuits, relentless in their preparations. Be the one who prepares as though there will be no tomorrow.
The pain is temporary. Pain only endures for a time. And then, it’s gone. It’s your choice, it’s up to you how you deal with, how you handle the pain. If you want the pain to linger, if you want the pain to stay with you, consume you, engulf you, then it will. Pain can become your identity. It can become your crutch. Your life-long excuse. And eventually, the pain will be your demise. But you can also allow pain to teach you. Correct you. You can use pain to help you grow. Mature. Become better. Allow the pain to test you. To test your mental fortitude. To test your physical fortitude. Allow pain to be a part of your life. Allow pain to guide you. And dare I say, pursue pain. Pursue discomfort. Pursue the unattainable.
Nobody knows what is on the inside of a human being. Nobody knows what is deep within an individual’s soul, deep within an individual’s heart. What is on the inside of someone, is that which truly defines who they are, and who they become. The inner man, the inner woman, is the expression we see from those around us. Whatever is going on inside of us all, is manifested each day we continue on this life journey. The passion, the drive, the dedication, the discipline, the joy, the satisfaction, the gratitude, and relentlessness of an individual, is created inside, birthed within. We must master the inside, if we desire to master the journey.
I don’t get it. People want to hold others to a certain standard, but they don’t hold themselves to that standard. People want others to act in a certain way, behave in a certain way, but they themselves don’t act or behave in that way. I don’t get it. It literally blows my mind, it appalls me, when I see someone in a specific role or position, trying to assert their power or authority to try to get someone else to do something, and yet, the irony is, they aren’t doing or won’t do what they are trying to get that other person to do themselves! What a joke! How do you expect someone to follow you, how do you expect someone to listen to you, how do you expect someone to respect you, if YOU yourself don’t even follow yourself? You don’t listen to yourself? You don’t respect yourself? You don’t do what you know you SHOULD do! I don’t get it. We want others to live their lives a certain way. We want others to act, behave, respond, in certain ways. But the rules don’t apply to us. We are different. We are above the rules. We are adults. We are parents. We are in this position, or that position. We don’t have to practice what we preach. We can get away with this because we are here, we have arrived, we have this position of authority. It doesn’t matter. I can do what I want. I WARN YOU, you are in very dangerous territory when you allow this attitude to become a part of your life! When you begin to think you are above others, when you think the rules don’t apply to you, when you begin to think you can do and say what you want, you are walking to the edge of the cliff. You are setting yourself up for a life-threatening fall. YOU ARE NOTHING. You are above no one. You are not special. Your position is temporary. There is a replacement waiting. A replacement that will take over as soon as you fall. You had better recognize your arrogance. You had better recognize your frailty. You had better recognize your need to get over yourself, and start living a life of humility. You had better start holding yourself accountable, before it’s too late.
There are two options in life. Option 1: Quit. Option 2: Continue. There are so many opportunities throughout life to quit. So many opportunities to give up, throw in the towel, stop and walk away. Quitting is a habit. It becomes a habit. You quit once, you will quit again. You quit once, it becomes easier to quit twice. So many people are quitters. Quitting is always an option within their life. When things get too difficult, too intense, too complicated, too monotonous, so on and so forth, the majority of people always know that they have the option to quit. They know that they can take the easy route. Quitting is right in front of them. It takes no effort to quit, to give up, to walk away from that which you have started. We all will have opportunities to quit. We will all have opportunities to give up. It is the few who choose to continue.