The upperclassmen could always count on at least one freshman vomiting into a trash can on the first, brutal day of our 6 week conditioning period. 3+ mile warm up runs, 30 minutes of calisthenics, and then a myriad of stair sprints, hurdle hops, medicine ball tosses, fartleks, continuos relays, etc. I must say, having been both an athlete and coach, that it was much more enjoyable to be watching than slugging through each and every day… finishing up in the sport medicine facilities with ice packs and vitamin I (Ibuprofen) to prepare for the next onslaught.
You don't need a million dollars to feel rich.
You don't need a doctor's help to heal yourself.
You don't need an MBA to start a business.
You don't need a plan to start moving.
You don't need approval from someone else in order to accept yourself.
You don't need to know a person to change their life.
You don't need to check your email every 5 minutes.
You don't need to prove how clever you are.
You don't need to celebrity status to make a difference.
You don't need to be a model to be on youtube.
Fear is a bitch. It will incessantly create 1000’s of illusions and lies to try and convince you that you’ll fail, get hurt, be embarrassed, and suffer from an almost impossible combination of simultaneous pains for doing something as simple as asking for a job or posting something on the internet that is too controversial for your alleged friends. Buy into these lies and you’ll be paralyzed into inaction, contained in a prison of your own creation.
Perfectionism has killed more goals and dreams than the most intimidating teachers, the most oppressive governments, and the worst economic conditions.
Perfectionism is that incessant voice in your head that has the audacity to nitpick and dwell on insignificant details contained within your most impressive creations.
Perfectionism is that sucking sound in your head trying to siphon away the meaning out of your 100+ victories while placing a magnifying glass over your one defeat. And finally, perfection
Sometimes we get so worked up over making something perfect, unique, or special that we open the door for resistance, perfectionism, and self sabotage to come in and kill off an idea before it even gets birthed into this world.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Sometimes a simple thank you and a hug is more important than the most extravagant present.
Sometimes a little encouragement is all that is needed to lift someone up enough for them to walk on their own two feet.
I almost quit.
Several months ago I had this amazingly bold, exciting, creative, “Oh my God this is going to change my life” idea just hit me. I finally discovered what I believed to be my life’s purpose! A euphoric sensation overwhelmed me as my mind raced for over 40 minutes thinking about this new insight. One idea led to another, and then a dozen, and then a fireworks display that was bursting and moving so quickly that there was no hope to capture each and every little streak of light.
The Scenario: You meet a person you really get along with. You share interests, laughs, world views, etc. You hang out a few times and start thinking that this person could be your soul mate or your BBF. But then you find out that they are moving 3 states away in 1 month. Bummer…
Question: Do you continue to develop the friendship knowing that it may come to a close in the very near future? Or do you cut your loses now, deciding that it’s not worth investing anymore time in the relationship?
I had been warned for many many years about the dangers of working long hours at a computer without taking certain precautions (exercises, good posture, taking breaks, etc). I heard horror stories of people having to give up a high paying computer programming jobs to take a significant amount of time off and/or have surgery just to regain their ability to type. I even knew a guy who had to resort to temporary life-hacks to get around this condition, like using his non-dominant hand for half the day just so he could reduce the pain.
I had ignored all the warning. I had not taken any precautions. And 3 years ago, I had my moment of panic.
No matter which way the wind blew, there was always the subtle hint of cow manure in the air. This is what happens when you live directly between two dairy farms, which is where my family was situated for the first 17 years of my life. It was sort of a metaphor for the otherwise beautiful scenery of Glen, NY: namely that life never changed much and it was difficult to get a “fresh” start (pun intended).
Perhaps this is why my math teacher was so adamant about me going to college out of state. He even went as far as driving me out to MIT, probably to make sure I didn’t chicken out. This same teacher would lament about the fates of students that couldn’t quite make a clean break from the hometown and move far enough away. Inevitably, a large percentage of them would return to their parents homes within 6 to 12 months, staying only long enough before setting up permanent residence in the old hometown. And to further solidify the pattern, many would start living the same types of lives and lifestyles as their parents instead of creating their own.
I love poetry. There is something extremely satisfying about creating unique snapshots of the human experience while using the fewest number of words possible. And a single word change, usually discovered after a thesaurus exploration, can completely alter the meaning and mood of a piece. So it’s not unlike a game of chess, where a person must place each piece into position with precision in order to prevail!