Find your Stu

So lets be clear. Stu doesn’t know about this and I won’t tell him.

So I met Stu at a competition. I had gotten crushed. I was not his student. He came to help me get better in between matches. Two others from his school came to me as well. From that day on, my life changed.

Stu’s demands were simple. Excellence. Nothing less. Put in the time and show respect. Laugh.

So I did. But it was not just competitions. It was every part of my life. I demanded excellence and respect from myself and others. Nothing less.

My life was different. I hurt but had no regrets. I got hammered on the mat and smiled. I gave more than I thought I had. Pressures faded. People changed how they treated me.

Look for your Stu. They are out there. No bullshit people who will respect you once you respect yourself. Keep working hard and look for Stu.

Your life will change too.

Be well. Live, laugh, and love.

You Can’t Fix Them

So you fall in love. They are great, you enjoy each other, and you are good friends. You become serious and maybe move in together or become exclusive or make plans to marry.

Then things arise. Could be small, could be large, but like that pebble in your shoe, you can’t ignore it. You do the right thing – you talk to them. You ask for it to change in a way that works for you. You cannot reach them. You keep trying. You fail.

So what do you do? You try very hard to make it work and it does not. Face it. You can’t fix them. If you lack confidence, ask your friends, etc. if your requests are unusual or harsh. Get some backup. Then….do what you must. You must move on.

You will hurt from this deeply as you wished and wanted soo much more. And if its crazy stupid love, well, hold on for turbulence ahead. But keep going. Never stop.

You have value. You are important. You will be an amazing unique partner to some lucky person. You deserve happiness. No one will ever hand this to you. You must be grateful each day. You must be externally focused. Never lose sight of this. You can’t fix them.

When it just feels too much

Life is strange and wonderful. Even at its worst, there is beauty. Sometimes the hardest things create wonderful outcomes.

So today was hard. Maybe its a demon in your head or heart. Maybe its a failed relationship. Maybe you are too weak to fight an addiction. Maybe your body is ravaged by pain. Will these events define you?

Will you do your best to rise above or will you fall to the lowest common denomiator? Will you stand up for yourself and those you love? Or fall? Choose. And choose wisely not easily. Pay the price. Stand proud.

Today is another chance to choose.

So choose.

Why today matters

There comes a time for everyone when getting motivated is hard.  The goal may even be just to get out of bed.  But think about it – this is all you have. No matter how successful how happy how lucky – today and now is all – it is everything.  Memories are great and hopes and dreams keep us alive but now is the best.  Why?

You can change everything right now.  Good decision = better future.  Bad decision = worse future but to be fair its hard to differentiate good vs bad.  So fo your best face the reality, find the beauty, show gratitude, smile, and laugh.  It is a wonderful life and a true gift.  

Create good memories by living a great now.  Its that simple.  Be well. 

Those days

We wake up and it already feels wrong.  We try to excuse the feeling, ignore it, shunt it aside.  It sticks with us. 

So here is where things can change.  Do we let it become ‘one of those days’?  Or do we look for the good regardless?  Sometimes it is hard to find the good.  We all struggle with it.  The pain, the shame, the regret, the anger – they all play a part in making us worse off.  How can we fight that?  

Starting small is the best way.  Anyone still six feet above versus six feet below can find a reason.  Maybe its the color of your skin.  The smile that makes people laugh.  The love of your family.  Whatever it takes.  You are fighting a battle. Dont let the negative win.   

You deserve better. Your family deserves better.  All those around you and those you love deserve better.  Look around you and find something beautiful.  

Today is not just a day worth living but a day worth enjoying.  Smile.  You deserve it. 

When it hurts the most

We all experience pain of several types and there have been many explanations for the experience.  If you enjoy pain, are you a sadist or simply someone who accepts change as the only real constant in our lives?

Nothing in this world is constant (there are mathematical and science related constants that we will excuse from this discussion), so why do we fight it so much?  In our lives, many of us play from behind in that we constantly prepare for the tomorrow we expect and adapt to the tomorrow we receive.  We need to receive the day, adapt, and accept.  On most days, we can do this but what about on the bad days – when it hurts the most?

Do we retreat from our best, and become less in the face of the adversity?  Or do we step up and become more?  We need to become more.  Our world deserves better than what we give it daily.

How do we do this?  Here is a list that may help.

  1. Slow down – consider both your words and your actions.  What will be the logical outcome of the words and actions?  If it is positive, proceed, but if it is negative, take a new course.
  2. Change how you think – instead of disliking someone for something said or done, ask why are they acting this way?  Can you get a better idea of why they are acting this way, or think of a scenario that would make this their course of action?  This is very hard at first, but after awhile it becomes second nature.  Combined with slowing down, it will give you surprising results
  3. Stop expecting anyone to change – accept who they are, warts and all.  Use this as a foundation upon which your interactions will build.  This does not mean you need to build relationships with negative people, but simply that you understand where they are and can move forward.  Your actions are all you can control and they speak volumes about you, not about them.  You can love deeply flawed people.  That is a good thing, because we are all deeply flawed.

That is it.  Take your time, think about it, change how you interact, accept what you receive and move onward and upward to a better place for everyone.

Defining Courage

There comes a time, some sooner, some later, when we have to stand for something or someone.  These can be defining moments or more simple ones, but their importance is not always apparent immediately.  We may have been fighting this battle internally for months or years in silence and all of a sudden it comes out.  A common reaction to a person who has always cooperated, always been selfless, always worked to find a way, but now is standing firm, is shock.  To those who always took advantage of this situation anger, frustration, and fear creep in.  The aggressor wants to keep the status quo, maintain control, have it their way.  The mental games that are then played by the aggressor can either stop, continue, or escalate.  For someone who is not used to standing up, speaking up, and not backing down, this requires a change in mindset and transition from passion to discipline.

This show of courage must be sustained every day.  This is not simply about a passion, but about a lifestyle.   As the receiver of these negative emotions instills this discipline, there will be hard times.  This is not an easy path to follow.  But if the discipline is allowed to survive then the redefinition of the relationship and all relationships can happen over time.  The rewards are phenomenal.  The pain can also be phenomenal.  But unless the pain is endured and lasting change made, the original and damaging relationship will continue.

Some of the outcomes of these interactions include loss of friendships and a sense of loss of control.  Friendships that do not endure this change were generally not positive friendships.  They were based upon the same negative principles as the main negative relationship.  Make new friends that love and respect you as you are, not as they wish you to be.  Loss of control is simply due a change in the perception of reality.  What was really there was hidden from the negatively impacted person, who chose not to see these things.  Now all of the ugly of the past is in plain sight.  How could you have not seen this?  Why was I so stupid?  How could I let myself be treated this way?

These painful questions are easy to answer but hard to accept.  You chose not to see it.  You were clouded by emotions – love, fear, lust.  You were afraid and unsure that if you stood up that no one would love you.  No one would accept you.  These are the emotions that kept you bound as a prisoner of your own misguided thoughts.

So you have made the choice to stand up and not back down.  You have endured the pain and loneliness.  You bear the scars.  You are also free.  Finally and truly free.  You define who you are and can become.  Find someone who will lift you up, not push you down.  Someone who wants the best for you, because they love you, not because they want what you can provide for them.  Stand.

Live, Laugh, and Love.  Be well.