during each day, you need to pause to think, you need to clear your mind so that the answers come through. there are 3 key times during every 24 hours when you can find the answers to all of your thoughts and all of your questions. these 3 times are – when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep – when you exercise, preferably running or walking – and in the shower. during these times, you take your focus off the daily routine – off the daily work – off the daily troubles. your mind becomes clear and void of the usual thoughts – and you can let your mind wander through all of the daily questions that you have about what is going on in your life. you can solve problems, you can solve issues, you can discover new ideas and new approaches to your problems. these 3 times are put into your life to help you listen to your thoughts more clearly – you move past the daily noise. it is a relief and revelation to know that these times exist every day so that you can evolve and progress through life – so that you can ease your mind and know that everything is going to be alright. look forward to these times with joy, relief and excitement – just like you do for every other important event of your daily life. the beauty of the 3 times is if you don’t figure things out the 1st or 2nd time – you can get it solved in the 3rd time. think about this and use these times to solve your problems.
fight of your life
Life is exciting, life is exhilarating, life is a fight – especially when you are down and out – when the biggest recession of any lifetime has hit you hard – has hit everyone hard. Like millions everywhere – you have been laid off due to the covid virus recession – you are down to you last paycheck, you are waiting for unemployment payment relief, you have a limited supply of cash, you switch your healthcare to your spouse’s company because she still has a job (fingers crossed). Your debt is rising, you have cut costs the best you can – you haven’t told the kids so they don’t freak out. You are in the fight of your life – the biggest fight that you have ever been in – more than the great recession – more than all the various issues that you have fought through over your life and over the 20+ years of your marriage. You just want to survive for now – you need to find a way to push through – to find work – to reinvent yourself – to do whatever it takes to make it through this fight. You can do it – you have to do it – you can preserve the life that you have achieved – you can still hit your goals for the future. This is what life is all about – fighting through these times to make it to the other side – intact and maybe even better than before. You must wake up every day with a positive attitude – you must know that you are going to be OK – you must feel good about the future even though everything is crumbling around you. You must get through this fight of your life – you will get through this fight of your life – this is the big one that has been waiting for you. You will survive – you will thrive – you will be alive to look back and see that you won this fight. You want that feeling in the future – so you must get out of bed, you must put one foot in front of the other, you must try everything possible to survive and succeed at surviving. You will win this fight of your life, you will win.
sometimes you take a pause in life. sometimes someone tells you to take a pause. a wise person told me once – “even a boxer needs to rest while in the ring”. this reminds me of something kahlil gibran might say – there is a balance across all things in life. even though we are in the middle of the action, we still need to balance that action with inaction. it is ok to pause in the middle of the action as it is part of the action itself. even though you are in a time of pause, you can still keep busy doing other things. you can still be productive. don’t let the pause affect your mindset. this type of pause is ok. everything is still moving. there is no need to panic. you must still prep for a possible imbalance after the pause. but be positive in the pause. get things done that have been on your list. use the pause to get ahead. use the pause to organize. use the pause to plan for the future. use the pause to think. use the pause to your advantage. a pause during action is rare, so take advantage of it. this is not the same as a permanent pause – which is retirement. this is a pause in the middle of the action phase (between college and retirement). this pause usually represents a time of transition from one job to the next or moving from one relationship to the next. but it can also be any type of pause. the key message – it is ok to pause, but prep for after the pause and be active during the pause – always be working on things. don’t pause in the pause.
it is what it is
and it ain’t what it ain’t. this is an old expression that states the obvious, but it also makes everything so clear and so simple. it tells you what you already know – don’t fight reality, don’t fight your instinct, don’t fight your gut. you know deep down that whatever is happening is supposed to happen and there is nothing you can do about it. you must accept what is happening as reality and you must act based upon that acceptance. yes, you can still go on for awhile without facing the facts, perhaps waiting for people or things to change, but the odds are against changing reality. it is possible only if other elements of the equation change to create a new reality. other than that – it is what it is and you need to start accepting that fact – and you need to act on that fact instead of wasting time
limbo is ok. it is ok to be in limbo sometimes in life – in your job, with friends or family. it gives you time to reflect, to think, to plan for the next step. limbo is something that always happens in life to everyone at some stage. we keep going on a constant path, juggling all the things in life – our goal is to keep busy, to be productive, to strive for more, to gain more order in life, to understand more, to learn more, to experience more, to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes, to be positive, to push harder, to have bad days, to have good days – and to be in limbo – long or short – we go into limbo in areas of our life. we get confused, we get out of sync, we get worried, we want to have routine back, we want to know what is next, we want to know what to expect each day, we don’t like limbo. but if you look at limbo as a good thing – as a thing to help us get through change, as a thing to help us understand who we are, as a thing to appreciate, as a time of reflection – then we can accept a state of limbo. but you must use limbo to prepare for the next organized phase. do not waste limbo. use limbo to your advantage to make the next stage better. limbo is good. embrace limbo like you should with all change. change will always come. limbo will sometimes come. embrace both and use them both to your advantage.
it does breed contempt – no doubt about it. this is another part of human nature that you cannot control. it is in all of us. even the people closest to us like family – we do not like everything about them – we can’t because no one is perfect and no one can meet every expectation you have. you like every part about them, but there is always one habit or behavior you dislike. the longer you know someone – the longer you are around someone – you will eventually find something that you do not like about them. this is not a bad thing – this is human nature and the “endless” march of time coming together. it is inevitable that this will occur. your best friend for 50 years – there is something you do not like about them. your spouse of 50 years – something that gets to you. your parents – eventually they get on your nerves – and you breed some contempt. as long as we know this is part of human nature – just like hate, love, war, jealousy, greed, kindness, etc – then we know it is a natural thing that is a part of who we are. it is ok if this happens but try to keep it in check or you might find yourself alone one day. just another thing we have to manage as we try to keep our grip and keep our place in society.
last day…(of your 40s)
what can you say about your 40s – except wow and shit. so much happens during the 40s decade. if you have a family – you are in the thick of it – kids grow up, expenses go higher, tensions develop, fighting, yelling, laughs and tears – all bundled into 10 key years of life – right in the middle of your journey. you are forced to finally grow up – you’re not the kid anymore – not the young one. you have more responsibility, more pressure, more decisions, more people dying, more health issues, parents on the way out. you have good times too – exploring more places with friends and family – you re-connect with old friends and lose some as well. you stop saying “yes” all the time and you stop trying to be the life of the party or trying to go to every party – it doesn’t matter as much as before – it never really did, but it takes awhile to figure that out (sometime in the 40s) – on the career side – your try to make more money because you have to (saving for college, cars and braces ain’t cheap) – you try to make good moves from job to job – this is supposed to be your prime – so pressure is on to get all you can out of your job/career – more ups and downs. on the health side – you need to work harder at staying fit – you take up more activities – running, tennis, golf, etc – and you actually find that you feel better than the 30s and 20s – less booze, better eating and more exercise – this trend of the 40s does help you feel better than before. then the inevitable getting closer to death thing seems much more present – you look back and say “50 years, really?” – it must be true since we lived in the last century – back before cell phones, internet, cable and seat belts?!?! – and when you look ahead, you say – “oh shit” – time is running out – only 10-20 years of work left (if you are lucky) – and then a brief retirement, then break-down of body/mind – burden to kids, then death – sounds fun! – but no need to be too negative at 49.99999 – half will say your still young and half won’t even pay attention to you (except your own kids/family because they have to) – anyway – it was the hardest decade yet – hope it gets easier (not)
victory is an amazing feeling – especially in sports. you play a sport to have fun but sometimes you join a team to compete for a title. you develop good connections with your teammates and you work together to win – to beat the other teams. nothing beats the moment your team clinches a title – with everything on the line – coming down to the last point, the last game, the last match. you are alive and in the moment – more alive and in the moment than most times in life – you feel the pressure of the moment – you feel the tension of the next move – will you respond the right way – will you stay focused in the moment and push through to win. it is truly a microcosm of life – the pressure is on – will you handle the pressure and prevail or will you buckle under the pressure of the moment. this is the true test of life and the true test of sport. your team is relying on you – they are watching you, they are praying for you to win – to help clinch the title for your team. and when you do push back against the pressure – when you do focus on the moment – when you do make that last winning shot to help take your team to the next level – to claim victory – to shout out loud your victory – only then will you truly feel alive – when you feel victory, you really feel alive on this earth at this moment – it is so exhilarating. go play a sport, join a team, feel the pressure and clinch victory – there ain’t nothing like it.
people need help
when you are young, you don’t notice much because you are too busy focusing on the moment. you don’t notice any problems going on in your family or if family members need your help. you are young so you figure the adults will take care of things. this goes on into your 20s – it’s all about you. but then you get older and you start to see the cracks of imperfection in your family tree – and this is normal – to see reality and for reality to be imperfect. once you get past the fact that nothing is perfect, including your family, you then start to realize that people need help. people are not perfect and people fall down all the time. naturally, you first look to take care of your own problems and your own immediate family – and this is your first priority. but then you realize that people in your extended family need your help. so you must help them as well. you must talk to them, you must console them, you must try to comfort them – and talk them through their problems. you must not give up helping others – you must continue to help your family and friends as long as you can. all people need help sometime – so help them if you can. one day you will need help too.
we have to accept all stages in life
this whole life thing can be confusing and can leave us just sitting there not knowing what to do or what to think about it all. but i think the one rule of thumb for getting through the idea of thinking about life is to not ponder on it too long. if we do ponder on why things happen and what is happening – it will leave us frustrated. this includes all the stages we go through and our kids go through – from youth to adulthood to old age. it is easier to ponder your own trip through these stages because you are personally living in these stages and you won’t feel sad about going from stage to stage – you will accept it rather quickly. you will say “wow, it is going fast and i am getting old” – but you will accept it – you have to. on the other hand – when it comes to accepting your kids going through these same stages – and you are there guiding them through the youth to adulthood stage – it can be more difficult to accept. you don’t want to see them grow up but you do want them to grow up. it not only accentuates your own march to the end but it just hits your heart to let go more and more. that is why we must not ponder on this too much – it will only hurt and confuse us more. you will ponder a bit – but then quickly move on with life. this is out of our control so no need to waste too many feelings in this area. each stage is exciting – so enjoy it, accept it – and don’t ponder for long – not healthy.