Tag Archives: Life

Step 9: Thriving in the Battles

     I have tried multiple poetic ways to start this post, they have all failed. Let’s just be blunt and real about it:
     When you make the decision to live a huge life, value the impact you leave, and constantly strive to level up, life will often be difficult.
     This is not because you’ve done anything wrong. Actually it’s the opposite, you’re kinda battling the whole status quo for all of time in the history of EVER. Most people settle, we’ve discussed this so I won’t kill it again here with the whole “most people want an easy button, glad you chose the Game of Thrones” route to life. So let’s just say you chose the right path young Padawan.
Okay so in all seriousness.
     Here’s how I see it. I chose the hardest route possible when I decided that my life needed to be lived for something more. That everything we’ve talked about this far in these posts had to occur. That BIG was possible. That IMPACT was possible. That living a HUGE life was possible. This decision to live for something bigger then me was kinda my personal turning point. From here on out, I would never end up choosing the easy way. Even if I wanted to, at this point…my heart simply wouldn’t let me.
     As life goes on I constantly realize that the grass is often not greener on the other side, and no that’s not because I failed to water it. When you choose to live a life bigger then you, you are constantly pushing yourself to higher levels. This creates a continual battle. Occasionally there are moments of reprieve where you stand at the top of the mountain you are conquering and take in the view but then you notice another mountain, a bigger, greater, more thrilling mountain…
And so the story goes and off to another mountain you go conquer.
     And as long as you “stop to smell the roses” and take in the moments, this is a win. You’re conquering, you’re growing, you’re impacting.
     However, there will come a point where you exhaust yourself, where the battle is tiring, and quitting has never looked clearer. I’m still in the process of finding the best way to make it through these moments, but I’ve semi-nailed it down to a few key points.
      1. Constantly remind yourself of what’s at the top. Is it a promise your waiting on? Is it an achievement your fighting for that will change your life? Is it other people who will finally get to share in your victory? Whatever it is. Hold to what is at the top of your mountain. It’s important to not wait until you are totally exhausted to do this, trust me. It’s a lot harder to remember the simple reason that made you start to climb this mountain you may be resenting. 
     
      2. Avoid Naysayers. People love to start talking when you start complaining. As soon as you hit that “What have I done? This is stupid why should I care moment?” somehow those who didn’t support your mountain trek has ALL the reasons why you should have stayed home, on your couch….being comfortable. In these moments be VERY careful who you listen to. Remember most people want easy. And let’s be honest, if there’s an easy way normally it would make logical sense to take it. Maybe the easy way would have cost you character, maybe the easy way would have left less impact, maybe the easy way would have been through a lush trail down a beautiful hillside, not up this massive mountain with rocks, debris and a steep incline. Sure, there was easy. But you didn’t choose it for a reason. Don’t let those who don’t have your heart, didn’t make it’s decision, and aren’t wanting a massive life to cause you to question your mountain. You made the decision climb because the victory would be worth the building of character to get to the top. 
     
      3. Hang out with other climbers, group with people who want to level up. Here’s my number one point of advice (ironically placed in no. 3) If you are around people who aren’t going where you want to go. Go where you want to go without them. I have found that you normally need to start this journey alone before you find others who want to tag along or climb beside you. Alone is sometimes good, find you first, solidify what you want, and find a mountain to conquer. Trust me, there are other climbers out there…. and you will find them.

 

     4. Be careful who you let in to the close parts of your heart. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The only people I let into my inner circle are people who want more out of life. If you are interested in settling, that’s totally cool, I love you, I care about you….all that stuff and you can be my friend without a problem. But my heart, the depths of me, to know that is reserved for those who are also going to remind me why I’m fighting. Bear in mind there is a whole lotta me to know outside the depths of my heart so there’s lots for those who aren’t interested in leveling up, but the heart zone is by invitation only. I need to know that when my life gets whacky and I need someone to remind me of the whys behind my choice that those in my inner circle will step up.

     5. Don’t quit. This one is simple. Decide now. Just don’t quit. Whatever the battle,  whatever the mountain, whatever the terrain. There is some reason you decided to embark on this challenge. Don’t quit. You will make it. You will win. And when you do it will be epic.

     Sometimes I think we try to look for this perfect life, where we do all the things that we love, we thrive and we yet are never uncomfortable. That’s not life. And it’s not a life I want. I love to fight because I love to win. I love who I become. I love the feeling of reaching a climax. I love growing. I love watching others grow. I love what happens when we are uncomfortable and we embrace it. There is so much to be had in life if we can make it through the seasons that require us to armor up and battle on.
     There is a whole world waiting for impact, wanting growth, and desiring to level up. How will we ever reach them if we quit half-way up our own mountains?
     Heroes aren’t born, they are built. Let your days of struggle motivate you, let it challenge you, let it push you to push harder then ever before. Remember the victory happened at your decision to live heroically, now you just need to walk it out. Battles are an opportunity for victory.
Step 9: Pay attention to how you prepare for those rough days, and don’t quit when they hit. 
If you would like to read the prior Superhero Chronicles post you can find it here!
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Step 5: Legacy offers no second chances.

“A great legacy is the teacher of time for how to continue to live.” 

-The Superhero Chronicles

So far we’ve discussed quite a bit on how to live a life of impact. However, let’s just be blunt about it all. Impact isn’t easy. Impact isn’t for the weak. It’s selfness, it’s about others, it’s often inconvenient, and often you get zero recognition. It’s sometimes totally not what you enjoy doing, what you want to take the time to do or what seems logical in a world that promotes the self-serving attitude. Yes, impact is hard but impact leaves a legacy. And in short a good legacy is EPIC.

You see, people may not say thank you immediately. People may not tell you how much of a difference you made in their life. People may never tell you. But almost always people WILL tell someone OF you. 

I probably don’t need to point out that true impact, big impact, massive impact is hard but it leaves a legacy. Because for every action you take that someone else can share, it inspires. For every challenge that you help someone else overcome, it builds. For every moment that you take to change the world around you, it impacts. Maybe not right now, maybe not today, but someday…..

Part of the problem with the generation we have built is that most people don’t choose to define a successful life in part by what legacy they will leave behind. More often success is measured by their income bracket, the square footage of their home, how many investments they have or whether or not their child made honor roll. Now, bear in mind all of these ambitions are good but I’d ask….do they really matter? Are they the whole picture of who they were?

At the end of your life are you going to care how big your house was, how many stocks you had or how many degrees were on your wall? Maybe? If so, no biggie, I mean hey it’s your life. But did you leave anyone to talk about you? Are there hearts that are going to be saying “so and so made a huge difference in my success” or “so and so changed my entire life by taking time to invest in me”? When it’s all said and done the achievements are only a small fraction of the legacy you leave behind.

Achievements don’t talk nearly as loud as people.

When we talk about impact we have to realize that impact isn’t limited. Impact doesn’t just last for today. Impact is never just about THIS moment or THAT moment or THAT action. Impact is about something that is going carry through the entire legacy of you. Who you are now, who you are tomorrow, and who you are when you are gone.

We need more people who are willing to measure their success by the legacy they are building….

Legacy is talked about for generations.

Legacy is that story told over and over.

Legacy is the teacher of time for how to continue to live.

Legacy is powerful.

You see a great legacy is built by impact and impact is continued through legacy. So it’s not about making a name for you, its about being the type of person who’s very name still impacts generations long after they can’t.

Say what? Yup. It’s like the superhero, after death, life. No marvel comic talks about it. It’s humanity for the win.

So is impact hard? Heck to the yes, impact is so hard, and as we discuss it further we will find that we really just need to get over it. Because it is. It’s not easy, it costs a lot and it takes a ton of effort…. that’s why people don’t leave lives of massive impact. People live, they make a difference in their friends and family and they die. That’s not enough for me. I want to impact generations. I want to impact a good portion of the 7 billion people who exist. I want my legacy to impact long after I’m gone.

Impact is hard. But I want it. All of it. With every ounce of potential it carries.

So if you want massive impact, you have to go into it knowing that you can’t afford to not care about what you are leaving behind. Your success is largely in part measured by the lives of those you have made a difference in. Your legacy HAS to matter to you. It is the most powerful thing you will leave behind. It’s the only intangible thing you will leave that you build everyday you are alive. Here, right now, in this moment you are building legacy. What you do with this moment defines how you will impact generations to come.

Don’t waste it. Legacy offers no second chances.

Step 5: This is going to sound like the strangest thing but I swear it is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. Write your Eulogy. Then use this as a reflection tool to keep yourself focused on why daily impact matters. 

 

If you would like to check out the previous Superhero Chronicles post you can find it here!

 

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“I always thought I was too much, but your box was just too small.” -My Heart.

So here’s to taking a short interval in the writing of the Superhero Chronicles to share my heart… I’ve got my coffee, let’s get real.

I have always been a hugely passionate person. Regardless what it was if I was all in consider it done because I would stop at nothing short of achieving my goal. When I was little it was gathering together friends on the neighborhood street to do backstreet boy concerts in my parents garage, going through grade school I continually made honor roll, then there was getting together seniors to plan our graduation. Paying my way through school, consistently on the dean’s list, then living on my own, working my way up the corporate ladder, and graduating with almost zero debt. So on and so on……

Life has been a world of achievements but if you knew my heart you would know that the greatest achievement hasn’t been any of the above. Because if life has taught me one thing its that the beauty of the heart can’t be written. It’s not about how good we look on paper. And it’s not about the resume we write with our accomplishments.

The beauty of the heart can’t be written.

My greatest achievement has been beginning to live life with 110% of my heart.

Because the truth is accomplishments wouldn’t show you the opposition that I let consume me. My resume wouldn’t show you that most of what I achieved I did while only letting part of my heart into the game.

My achievements, my resume, degrees….do nothing to tell you the story of my heart. And that’s really the only thing that matters. Ironic, huh? The most important part of the puzzle in this picture of life is the one we spend the least amount of time talking about. 

All my accomplishments could’t tell you of the countless nights my heart wondered if it could ever be whole and not be too much. They couldn’t tell you almost every relationship I’ve ever been in has held me back.  They couldn’t tell you of the passion inside me that sought thrills because I couldn’t find true release.  They couldn’t tell you of the amount of times I’ve sought adventure because I couldn’t find fulfillment in friendships. They couldn’t tell you of the amount of times I’ve been told I was too intense. They couldn’t tell you of the relationships I tried to make work without realizing that I couldn’t ever be wholly me. They couldn’t tell you that I climbed the corporate ladder multiple times because I wanted to find a way to release the drive inside of me….there’s just so much that my accomplishments couldn’t tell you…

You wouldn’t know on paper that I’ve spent the last 7 years of my life settling. 

Yep. I’ve settled. I settled for living as less then who I am. All the passion. All the drive. All the intensity. And I’ve still settled. I’ve let life tell me that there was too much inside me and that in order to retain friendships I had to hide some of the intensity, I had to hide a lot of me.

The reality is I never wanted my life to be enough, I always wanted to break walls, push boundaries and test limits. I’ve done this in every area of my life except my heart.

I’ve let my heart be just enough when everything inside me craves limitless. 

So this is a post on my heart and the simple realization that I can’t. Can’t isn’t a word I use often but I can’t.

I can’t continue to be just enough.

No. I will be more. I will break walls. I will test limits. I will build. I will do. I will live. I IMG_0178will love fiercely. I will encourage you so much it’ll scare you how much I believe in you. I will fight for you. I will defend you. I will show you what you’re worth when you can’t see it. I will be unbearably happy. I will level up. I will spend my days loving, living and fighting with more passion then most.

I will be more then enough, I will be too much and I will be wholly me. Because my heart craves 110% and I’ve settled for 7 years too many.

 

 

Step 4: Heroes don’t “half-ass” it.

“It’s not who we are underneath, it’s what we do that defines us.” -Batman

Alright so let this post come with fair warning that it’s not cozy, coated in candy or seasoned with a massive amount of the “We’re all winners” mentality. So get ready because this post is pretty dang true to me and very close to my heart…

I’d love to think people have good intentions….I’d love to believe that every co-worker I work with truly wants to support each other, I’d love to believe that people want to be more encouraging and less jerk-ish, I would love to believe that we all want to make the world a better place just by being in it….but intentions don’t matter until they are supported by actions.

When it comes to impact, it really makes no difference what we intend to do. There are so many people who intend to change the world, do something big, create something to help thousands, build a massive empire to solve world hunger…..You name it and someone has dreamed it.

But I can promise you not everyone has done it.

Dreaming is one thing, and its very powerful. But dreams and thoughts that never turn into action are just really good feelings. At some point you have to draw the line between what someone intended to do or thought about doing and what they actually accomplished. This sounds cold, I know it does. And I really did try to think of a better way to say it but I just can’t, because the truth is that this is too important to candy coat.

We live in a world that’s taught us that we can become whatever we desire, that all we need is to dream it. They are wrong. If we truly want to make an impact we need to become the doers. We can read a million books on how to change the world but none of them will matter until we decide it’s worth it enough to make it an action. I could write a million posts on impact but without action they are just some super motivational words. You could watch a million talks on leadership but if you don’t want to change, if you don’t want to become the person it takes…..why bother?

Dream it, but then DO IT.

Think it, but then DO IT.

Plan it, but then DO IT.

And again, yeah I get it. This all sounds extremely cold. I mean after all shouldn’t the “little bit” matter? What if everybody just did a little something extra and called it good, wouldn’t that be better then nothing? Sure. It’ll be better then nothing, but comparing progress to its complete absence will always make it look good.

The truth is, if you want to make an impact to touch a few lives, make a little difference, you don’t need a book for that, heck you don’t need a blog post for that, you just need half a heart. And it’ll work, you will do some good, and it will matter. However for me half a heart has never been my dream.

I don’t want to see a generation of people who kinda know how to impact. I don’t want to build friendships that kinda understand support. I don’t want pour into close relationships with people that kinda want to change the world. I don’t want a marriage that kinda understands love.

“Kinda” ….will never be my game. I don’t play in the realm of kinda. I’m in or I’m out. We have enough people in the world who will half-ass their way to the top, half-ass their way to impact, and half-ass away their whole life!

People can half-ass life, Heroes don’t it’s that simple.

Step 4: Decide. How much are you willing to build a life on your ACTIONS not your intentions? Remember intentions don’t change the world. 

Congratulations! If you made it here you either hate me or are wondering if there was a Step 3….yes there was. You can find it here.

Tweet. Share. Message me if you want to chat more!

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Step 1: You are never too old to wear your cape.

Were you that kid in the Batman cape? Were you the princess with the fairy wand? Maybe you were the little boy with the firefighter hat….or were you like me and had magic glitter dust that you used sparingly and only for “special”, really “needed” things to happen? We all had something as a kid that defined our invincibility….and we thrived in the moments we embraced it. We threw ourselves around the house soaring in our capes, or we threw glitter dust on our little sister and told her she could fly if she jumped of the swings. Most of us had that moment where we felt completely powerful….

The tragedy is that as we grow up somehow we forget this feeling we had where we could conquer anything. You see it was never the cape that made Batman, it wasn’t the fairy wand that made the princess, and it wasn’t my glitter dust that made me feel like I could conquer the world…..it was the fact that I believed in who I was.

Did you catch that? It wasn’t what we wore, it wasn’t what we held….it was a belief in who we were that made us powerful. 

Our ability to impact the world around us is first determined by our belief that we are capable of greatness. If we believe that in our maturity we lost our right to be capable of the same impact as the heroes we admired as a kid then we already lost the battle.

Yes, I am telling you that if you don’t believe you are capable of massive impact then why bother trying? You’ve already told yourself what will happen. In simple terms, your thoughts have already determined the outcome. You can’t expect to live out massive impact if you don’t believe you are capable of it first. So stop, and change your belief now.

 

…I’ll wait. Be sure you believe you are capable of the outcome you desire to have in your life.

 

Really…… it’s okay to stop believing in Santa Claus…… but it’s not okay to not believe in you.

 

No but really…

 

Okay….now read on.

 

We are never told old to pick back up the cape and remember the kid who once wore it. You see the first step to winning the battle of living an impactful life is to believe you can. It’s really that simple. Belief is a decision that is characterized by action. So start by believing that you are capable of greatness. And watch as you become capable.

So who do you believe you are?

STEP 1: Make a list of everything you believe you are and circle any or all portions that are characteristic of superheroes. 

Now, don’t be discouraged if this list doesn’t look like the heroic kid who wore the cape. It’s all okay. The next post will talk about who that kid is, where he or she went and how to get them back. Check out the prior Superhero Chronicles before this as well!

 

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The Superhero Chronicles: Think Big

      “Dreamers think about a better future, Visionaries ask how they will create one”. -Andy Stanley

So many of us want to leave an impact, make a difference and truly change the world around us, but do we know what that looks like? Do we know what it takes to be the difference we want to see in the world? Do we want to become the type of person big enough to make a difference?  Because if we are going to be honest, the world is full of dreamers but dreamers aren’t the ones who change the future. Its the visionaries.

The future is written by those who believe they will be the ones to create it. The ones who are constantly asking how it will be THEM who make the difference they want to see. The ones who are constantly pushing themselves to be better then they were yesterday. The ones who realize that its not about what they say or think, life is about what they DO that makes them who they are.

Let’s be real, we all want to change the world, but we all won’t. Really, did you catch that.

We all won’t change the world.

Some of us may even make it worse. We all have the same opportunity to make a difference but not all of us will. You see only the superheroes of our generation will leave a massive positive impact. Its that simple. The ones who change the world will be those who are disciplined enough to become a person big enough to do so.

To change the world for the better, isn’t easy. The superheroes have it right. It takes motivation, drive, disciple, character, integrity and a desire to impact the lives around you. And the last piece of the puzzle, you truly have to believe that you were called to make a difference. We will talk more about this last piece later but you’ll find that every superhero felt fulfilled by acting out in their ability.

This is the first of many posts on how to become a person who’s fulfilled, a person of impact, a person of vision….a person capable of changing the world.

These are the Superhero Chronicles.

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Maybe.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be easy. 

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be comfortable.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be convenient.

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be understood. 

Maybe it wasn’t meant for the weak. 

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be simple. 

Maybe it wasn’t meant for the follower. 

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be for the mediocre.

Maybe it wasn’t meant for the ordinary of heart.

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be for everyone.

Maybe it wasn’t meant to be for the average. 

Maybe it wasn’t supposed to be for her or for him.

Maybe your destiny wasn’t meant to be just for you. 

Maybe you weren’t meant to be limited to your vision of your capacity.

Maybe you weren’t supposed to leave a small mark on the world.

Maybe you weren’t meant for minor impact. 

Maybe you weren’t supposed to ever settle.

Maybe you weren’t meant to carry the same weight as others.

Maybe your life wasn’t supposed to make sense.

Maybe you weren’t meant to conquer easy. 

 

Just maybe….

 

Maybe it was meant to be hard. 

Maybe it was supposed to be uncomfortable. 

Maybe it was meant to be inconvenient. 

Maybe it was supposed to be misunderstood. 

Maybe it was designed for the hero. 

Maybe it was supposed to be complex. 

Maybe it was created for the driven. 

Maybe it was supposed to be a fight.

Maybe it was meant for the extraordinary of heart.

Maybe it was supposed to be for the select few.

Maybe it was meant to be for the above-average.

Maybe it was supposed to be for you.

Maybe your destiny was meant for the benefit of others. 

Maybe you were meant to be bigger then you ever thought possible. 

Maybe you were supposed to be this huge person. 

Maybe you were meant to impact masses. 

Maybe you were supposed to never settle for yesterday’s version of you.

Maybe you were meant for great challenges.

Maybe you were supposed to overcome where most have failed. 

Maybe you were meant to inspire others. 

Maybe you were supposed to build more then you imagined. 

Maybe you are stronger then you know. 

Maybe you have more courage then you’ll ever need.

Maybe you are far more necessary then you realize. 

Maybe you are going to change more lives then you’ll ever be able to count.

Maybe you will teach others how to be heroic.

Maybe you were made to leave a massive impact on the world. 

Maybe you were meant to live a greater life then you ever thought possible. 

 

JUST MAYBE you’ve underestimated you.