If You Can Look Up, You Can Get Up

Failure is best described in this manner:

Failure 1

I’ve gone back over the past several years of my blog entries, and I’ve seen just how many times I’v begun to challenge myself, and how many times I’ve failed to produce the results I was looking for.  Each time I’ve failed, I’ve learned something.  Each time I’ve failed, there’s been a take-away…a nugget of information that I hadn’t previously taken into consideration in the planning and / or execution of my efforts to achieve a given result.  Well this time, I failed to stay focused on my intermittent fasting plan simply because I began feeling sorry for myself.

Now don’t get me wrong – this past month has been an emotional roller coaster.  I’ve swung and missed entirely with people that are important to me, with work, and even with my kiddo.  I’m better than this, and I know it.  And I need to find myself yet again.  You think that, at the age of 48, I’d at least be on the path from where I am to where I want to be; however, my internal Google Maps has been getting ZERO bars and I feel lost. This has happened to me before – but this time it has cost me dearly.  Looking back, I now have learned that I should have been more firm with regard standing up for myself, because the result of allowing myself to be pushed around cost me in ways I cannot even describe here.  But I’ve learned two valuable lessons:

LESSON LEARNED:  Don’t be like me.  If you have a plan, act on it.  Words are hollow.  Don’t just allow the days to go by while you throw your life into “Survive and Advance” mode (meaning just Survive today, and Advance to tomorrow).  Procrastination is a killer of dreams, and it can rob you of happiness.

LESSON LEARNED:  When someone throws a massive monkey wrench into plans that are truly important to you without regard for how bad that monkey wrench will hurt you, don’t allow that tool to lodge itself into your agenda.  Fight like hell to yank that damn thing out before it causes some serious damage, and carry on with your plan.  Why?  Because it’s YOURS.  No one else’s.  If it’s important to you, you FIGHT FOR IT.  

Rather significant personal items screwed up my eating patterns.  I broke my daily fast and I couldn’t find my focus to get things back into a the rhythm that I needed.  So I failed in this dietary change as well (by far, the least of my issues).  I’ve taken several HUGE losses lately.  But its times like these that I think of one of my favorite motivational speakers – Les Brown:

Get Up 1 So my plan is simple: to first be the change that I want to see in myself, and then, in the words of Gandhi, be the change I want to see in the world.

Step One: stop feeling sorry for myself.  I’ve made mistakes.  I’ve lost, HUGE.  I fell into a deep depression and I felt like I was circling the drain, questioning the very value of my life to society.  But damn it, this was just Game 1 as far as my life and goals are concerned.  It’s a 7 game series and I’ve got my aces warming up in the bullpen.  Bounce back and win the damn series.

Step Two:  How do I rebound from a game 1 loss this rough?  I gotta be like Stella, and get my damn groove back.  Kick it off with the physical aspect.  Train harder.  Go to bed earlier.  Demand more of myself physically and, by default, my body will demand higher quality fuel to keep me going.  Demand more of myself physically, and the weight will begin to say adios. And, most importantly, demand more of myself physically and the endorphins will kick in and keep the fire lit everywhere else.  Demand more of myself physically, and I’ll begin to demand more of myself in other aspects of my life.  Motion creates emotion.

Step Three:  List out everything I need to address, and don’t just stare at it on paper….TAKE ACTION.  In my personal life, in my professional life, and as a father: STEP IT UP.  This means making some tough calls – but tough calls are part of the game.

Step Four: Stick to the calendar.  I need to take the time to plan out all of the goals I have for myself in every aspect of my life, develop a plan to achieve each one, and stick to the rather strict time budget that this will require.  Some of my goals are physical (races, weight, speed, yada yada yada), some are professional, some are very personal, and all require time and dedication to achieve.  So sacrifice the easy and work toward the great.

As a side note: if you are feeling depressed, don’t ignore it.  Address it.  Talk to someone.  Anyone.  But TALK.  Don’t hold it in.  Life is going to hurt.  Life is not going to go exactly the way you want, 100% of the time.  But it’s like that old saying says: life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  I didn’t react well.  I didn’t fight for what I wanted.  I allowed my plans to be materially altered without doing everything I possibly could to not permit it.  I haven’t been the consistent positive influence my kiddo deserves.  I know how it feels to fail, and fail HARD.  I know how it feels to come up short with someone.  All of these things absolutely suck.  But just mistakes don’t need to be permanent.

I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself.  I didn’t talk out my issues – I didn’t address them the way I should have.  Depression makes you feel like you are worth more dead than alive.  I know this, because that’s how I felt.  Well that’s horseshit and each of you know it.  Each of us are fracking special.  Each of us are unique.  Each of us have a purpose in life and its our responsibility as individuals to work our asses off to find out what your purposes are and strive to attain them.   So you’ll screw up royally – that’s a given.  But – in sticking with the baseball metaphors – if you have an out left, you can still win the game.

Now batter the hell up.

Failure 2