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Coffee and My Heart: 6 Steps on how to not quit during the hard days.

     Good things happen after coffee right? I’m not sure if it’s that my Iced Americano with extra soy is a comfort drink that then makes my heart start to go again or if just the caffeine reminds me I’m alive and have a life to conquer. Whatever it is, coffee is one of my favorite aspects to every day…. Today I was caught here in this thought of how to overcome the days when quitting looks so much better then moving forward toward your goals. I think to not have days where we struggle to remember why the goal matters would take away the humanity aspect to everything we are. The high seasons of life are beautiful because of the days where we fight to just be…human. So let’s start here:
      When you make the decision to accomplish a great goal, 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  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.  But really, 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 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 better. 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 these 6 steps.
 
     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 have 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 be logical 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 easy 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. 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 are never uncomfortable. That’s not life. And it’s not something 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.

      6: Pay attention to how you prepare for rough days. Often times this is where I think most people’s plan to succeed fails. They are ready for the victory, but victory over anything always costs something! You can have the best plan for how to achieve your goal but you must calculate in the cost of the days that will just be trials and pain. If you aren’t ready for those days where victory just seems to be a distant dream then you will fall and possibly not get back up. You have to do more then plan to not quit; you must have a purpose for the struggle clearly outlined in your mind or the struggle will overtake you. It’s much easier said then done but plan, make a plan for the days that will suck. I promise you they will come, and if you don’t plan to overcome them, you will be weakened. The most successful plans aren’t those that plan for victory, the most successful plans are those that plan for the struggle. 
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My pledge to the failing Church, my pledge to Christians.

 

I promise to not let your choice to be weak, set the standard of strength in my life. 

I promise to not let your lack of character affect my desire and choice to continually build mine. 

I promise to not let your lack of integrity affect my belief that morals do exist and to apply them wholeheartedly to mine. 

I promise to not let your choice of comfort over growth affect my choice to continually push myself to be better and develop in every trial and every struggle.

I promise to not let your talk of love give you the appearance of of being a genuinely loving entity but rather let your actions define your current capacity to love.

I promise to employ the love He talks of, not the love you show.

I promise to look at your predominantly negative impact to this nation as a representation of your actions, character and personal disciplines not who you claim to follow. 

I promise to look at your wounds and your fears and compare them to the strength in your heart, before I assume you will choose to be strong enough to be the person you appear to be on Sundays or on Facebook. 

I promise to not let your decision in choosing to let division tear apart relationships be a representation of God’s desire for unity, his passion for growth or his ability to heal. 

I promise to not forget your potential or purpose. 

I promise to let your actions define your character not the character of your God. 

I promise to let your choice to settle for subpar in so many aspects of your life be a representation of your weakness, not God’s. 

I promise to let the choices you make to live inside your walls and choose protection over healing or restoring relationship be reflective of your wounds and not the worth of those around you. 

I promise to let the stupid things you do and say go, but still forever wish you see how many people you are hurting. 

I promise to not hate you for the self-righteous words you speak to people who have more character then you, and to not choose to be angry at you for the pain others have felt from your lack of self-control. 

I promise to not assume that your role as a leadership means you live righteously. 

I promise to see all the hearts you have left in ruin while you walk in self-righteous ignorance of your salvation and to try to love those hearts in the ways you have failed. 

I promise to not look to you as a reflection of my God. 

I promise to recognize his grace but acknowledge the expansive affect of your choices. 

I promise to set myself apart from you.

I promise to love you, but not be part of whatever you claim to be. 

I promise to recognize that you are failing miserably to represent the God you claim to follow. 

I promise to try to be a conduit of healing in a world that you have helped shatter. 

I promise to love you and God alike, but to recognize that never in my life has there been such a vast difference between the two of you. 

 

I have believed in God for 26 years. I have seen him move in my life, I have seen him do things only he can do time and time again. I have also grown up in the church, and while I absolutely believe in God, I do not condone nor support the choices I see in much of the Church today. If you call yourself a “Christian” then at a minimum you should be a genuinely good person, if not then at least be accountable for your choice to be a below average human being. The church is caught up in what I like to call “ignorant grace”, and its this idea that because you have salvation you somehow don’t need to give as much care or concern to how you handle your heart, life or relationships. You are wrong. If you claim to live covered by grace, then you are also claiming to be a christian which in turn is claiming to be a representation of who God is. Therefore you have subjected your life to a high mandate to give all you have to be a person with integrity, character and love so great that your actions speak louder then your words.

I refuse to let the way “Christians” handle relationships, friendships, challenges and trials change my belief of the standard to live with integrity, character or love.

I will build my life daily. I will love even when its hard. I will grow, I will develop in character and I will live my life in excellence. I will fight for relationship. I will continue to push for more, greater and bigger things then I have seen. I will continue to make an impact, and I will continue to not settle. I will live my life in a way that shows that I love God, but make no mistake that I do not share an association with the current reflection of “god” you, christians and the church alike, are giving the world.

 

 

 

 

Life is…

Life. We’ve been trying to define it for centuries. We take it and we throw in philosophy; we try to teach others its bitter truths and its beautiful joys; we live it everyday and attempt to maybe catch a glimpse of its real meaning. But here’s the simple truth I live by, Life is what I define it to be.

So I define my life as this:

LIFE….

…Is that moment where everything falls apart and I still stand

…Is the second that thrills me.

….Is the hug I desperately needed.

…Is the barista who leaves a cute note wishing me a great day on my iced Americano.

…Is the heart that is so real with me, I wonder how I ever earned the right to hear their story.

…Is the memory that is too perfect to remake.

…Is the depth between my heart and others that only trust can reach.

…Is the seconds I spent conquering fear.

…Is the pain but also the healing.

…Is the tears I’ve cried.

…Is the scars I have.

…Is the secret that one person shares with no one else.

…Is the wins I’ve experienced.

…Is the losses I’ve felt.

…Is the feeling of becoming limitless.

…Is that person who came into my life and never left.

…Is the argument that makes me better.

…Is the wars that I’ve won.

…Is the decisions I’ve made to say yes to the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had.

…Is the time I gave a second, third or fourth chance to trust someone with my heart.

…Is the friendship that has changed my whole life.

…Is that person who’s told me “Because of you, I’ve become me”.

…Is that moment of impact that a heart changed forever for the better.

…Is the time I remembered how I strong I was.

…Is that promise that he made come true.

…Is the depth inside me too great to give words to.

…Is every moment I’ve ever felt joy.

…Is every moment I’ve ever felt heart-wrenching loss.

…Is the hurt that words could never define.

…Is the wholeness I’ve finally found.

…Is that friendship I didn’t quit on.

…Is the person I’ve become in reaching my goals.

…Is the people I’ve made better.

 

LIFE IS IMPACT.

 

Life. It’s endless; it’s what I make it and it’s what I create. It’s taking every second of every day and remembering that something bigger is happening that could leave a mark on my heart and others. It’s not about my personal wins but everything and everyone I encounter along the way. Life is everything I leave and the person I become.

 

 

My white picket fence.

I’ve been told that my standards are too high. I’ve been told that I take on too much. I’ve been told that I should take an easier route. I’ve been told that I should move slower. I’ve been told I need to relax. I’ve been told I need to chill. I’ve been told a lot of things….however I stopped listening. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that, sometimes just STOP LISTENING.

Because here’s what I realized, whether or not the above is true doesn’t really matter. Maybe I could take an easier route, but it’s not as fun. Maybe I could do life at a slower pace, but right now I don’t want to. Maybe I could take on less, but there’s no challenge in that. Maybe I could lower my standards, but I can always meet them so why? Maybe I could do it differently, but I’m not going to. So then the next question that begs to be answered is….Why? Why choose hard? Why want a challenge? Why do it as fast as possible? Why take the difficult route? Why? ……….WHY?

We live in a world where we often try to paint life in this box where we know we will win. We are told to do X, Y and Z and boom there’s your white picket fence and there’s that cute home, and there’s your career and there’s the family you wanted, and there’s the cold beer in the fridge and the loving arms to come home to. There’s your whole life….at the end of X, Y and Z. There’s only one problem with this picture and it kinda screws the whole thing up for me.

I can see my life with a white picket fence, a cute home, in a career, raising a family, marrying the man of my dreams and maybe an evening run or dusk walks while the stars come out (let’s be real I will not drink beer every night…EVER). I can see all of that. And that’s great. Just great. Fantastic in fact, there is NOTHING wrong with that picture. It’s actually pretty perfect. It’s almost unreal perfect, but possible so we will stick with perfect. It’s perfect except for one thing…

The girl with that white picket fence who is she? Because until she knows who she is, everything else is just a perfect little picture….JUST a picture. JUST an idea. JUST a theory. It’s JUST a white fence, it’s JUST a cute house, it’s JUST a dream, she has a family but they are JUST people she loves, and him, he is JUST a really good looking man who maybe smells like Calvin Klein and hopefully wears a baseball cap backwards with a white T-shirt… You see we paint these pictures of our lives and in their perfection we forget that it’s JUST a picture. The biggest component, the core, the one source that draws that picture into reality is the artist.

I love the picture, but I also know that the picture is only as powerful as the artist. So, why? Why do I push myself? Why do I choose the hard way? Why do I strive for more then yesterday? Why do I not move slowly?

Well, here’s my why:

Because I am determined to find the capacity of the artist of my picture.

I want to know what she’s capable of. Is she a 4-year old color page or is she a Van Gogh? Is she a Wal-Mart $5.00 sale or is she the Sistine Chapel? And with every challenge, I find more of her, and she, she get’s better.

I think sometimes X, Y and Z just look too easy. So we start to walk this story of life and we start painting, before we understand technique or brushstrokes. We start plugging and playing and using trial and error hoping we get it right. And when we don’t, dreams shatter, families break and love starts to fade. My life is far too valuable for that and so is yours. We only get one shot, and it will be epic if we do it right and take time to build the core, the foundation. Every great masterpiece starts with the artist. Build there first.

So while I’ve been told a lot about my choices, I quit listening. Because I have my life’s picture to paint, and I intend to be a massively talented artist, so I will test myself, I will grow myself and I will expand in my capacity daily. While it may look like a vain effort to choose this route, I assure you it’s not.

My picture will be built from the artist out. I will be great enough, I will be more then strong enough and I will set a standard. Because this isn’t about today, this is about tomorrow. This is about that white picket fence that wraps around a place to belong, this is about a cute house that became a home, this is about raising a family that has character, integrity and will positively impact the world ahead, this is about having kids who understand that respect matters, morals are to be lived out and champions still win. This is about coming home everyday to go on a late night walks with the man of my dreams because I waited and didn’t settle. This is about him, because he is stronger then any man I’ve ever met, with more drive and passion then I thought possible. This is about us, because together we will conquer the world. This is about the people our lives will touch. This is about the generation my family will be a part of.  This is about the impact my picture will create.

So why have I made the choices I have? Because I’m not building a perfect little life with my daily choices. I’m building an myself as an artist that will build a masterpiece which will build a better world. My perfect little picture is a world of massively impactful people.

I’m building me, so I can better build my life. That’s why.

 

Step 10: YOU define your life.

You. And only YOU….You define your life. It’s really that simple.

We live in a world where everyone is so use to placing blame elsewhere other then taking accountability and owning their actions. However, like most things in life regardless what seems to be occurring there is always the beautiful, wonderful, and sometimes bitter truth. The truth is this: Your entire life rests on you.

We can try to say its because of where we came from. We can try to say we had a rougher start. We can try to say that things would be different if life were fair. But that’s not the case.

You can’t change where you came from.

You can’t change the start you had.

You can’t make life fair.

No matter how much you wish or dream or complain, nothing is going to change that these are things in life you absolutely can NEVER change. So you are left with two choices that will define your whole life.

You can choose to change what you can or you can choose to wallow in what you can never change. 

Did you really read that? Because to be honest I’m tired of victims. The world needs more heroes.

You have your entire life to change, and mold and become something EPIC. But one thing will make or break it. One thing will change your entire future. One thing will dictate you for the rest of forever.

This one thing…….is your decision on how you define your life.

You decide.

Victory or defeat? You decide. Success or failure? You decide. Love or fear? You decide. 

I wish there were less victims in the world, so I’ve decided to start talking about impact and wholeness and heroes…… It was that simple. I’m tired of hearing people play the powerless role. But I also realize that a lot of people haven’t heard differently, they may not know how to NOT be a victim. That’s why I decided to start the Superhero Chronicles, in hopes that maybe the world would start to see more hearts that desire to level up and impact the world around them. Maybe together we could change the status quo, and stop settling for mediocre.

Whether or not the whole world ever hears what I say, or whether or not there is a massive movement of impact and heroes rising only time will tell, but I can promise you this, lives are contagious. So therefore, I intend to live a life of heroic proportions in hopes that others catch a glimpse that life can be huge. Some people may think that sounds conceited, but I really don’t care. I think in terms of massivity (Yes, that is a made up word that says “all the deep things, real things, heart things and hero things”). I believe in heroes. I believe in big people. I believe in conquerors and life changers. I believe in people who defy odds. I believe that there are hearts bigger then most people can handle.

We need to become the generation that can handle bigger people, because there are huge hearts that are tired of hiding.

So how will you define your life? The world is waiting.

 

 

The Superhero Chronicles: 10 Steps to living with IMPACT:

 

STEP 1: YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO WEAR YOUR CAPE.

STEP 2: WHO’S BEHIND THE MASK?

STEP 3: THE WHOLENESS OF THE GIVER.

STEP 4: HEROES DON’T “HALF-ASS” IT.

STEP 5: LEGACY OFFERS NO SECOND CHANCES.

STEP 6: VICTORY IS A DECISION LONG BEFORE IT’S A REALITY.

STEP 7: FACING THE FEAR OF YOU.

STEP 8: WAITING ON EPIC.

STEP 9: THRIVING IN THE BATTLES.

STEP 10: YOU DEFINE YOUR LIFE.

 

If you haven’t been following this series, check out all ten blog posts in the Superhero Chronicles! Comment, share or message with any thoughts!

Photo Credit 

 

Where’s your “safe-world”?

A portion of a series entitled “Conversations with my Heart.”

Me: “Sometimes I wonder why you have to feel so much. I mean don’t you understand that when you let yourself feel, it’s not always going to be good? People won’t always take care of you like they should and you won’t always get the treatment you should and sometimes people will just suck….why feel?”

My Heart: “I’ve learned that if you don’t let yourself feel the bad, the ugly and the hard then you also short yourself the rewarding feelings as well….like the ones of massive impact, deep friendships or love.”

Me: “But you get that logically speaking that’s a really stupid decision at times right? People are mean. And a lot of people just don’t care. Why feel then?”

My Heart: “I do but I also have found that when you let yourself feel, you also help yourself see. I have no idea how these two are connected because it defies everything I learned about my five senses in preschool. But when I let myself feel, I can start to see the hearts behind the hurt they are causing.”

Me: “Sounds like an exhausting savior complex if you ask me.”

My Heart: “I think the best way I’ve ever heard it put was that my caring is at slut level. No joke, someone close to me told me that and I really couldn’t think of a better way to describe it. It’s very accurate. I just can’t, not, care. Most people have sooooooo much potential inside them, they just need someone to see behind the hurt, behind their actions….they need someone to tell them its safe to let go of the mask.”

Me: “Does everyone take off the mask?”

My Heart: “Absolutely not. Some people like to hide. It’s comfortable. They know the world they’ve created, it’s their “safe-world” and to believe they are bigger then themselves would cause them to go outside that world. They don’t want to do that, their world has been sculpted and carved into something they can predict. It’s a safe haven. And honestly, I don’t blame them for wanting to stay there.”

Me: “Did you ever have a safe-world?”

My Heart: “I did. I’d have to think on when and where… I think I built mine in a war zone. ‘Safe-worlds’ are interesting to me because they are such a representation of each person. My ‘safe-world’ was a war-zone. Where I was thriving, constantly the victor, but I was also the only warrior. No one was beside me, no one was before me. No one. I fought everything alone. Yea, that’s definitely mine….My ‘safe-world’ was me, alone. I knew what I would do, I knew what I wanted, I was predictable. I didn’t want to rely on others and I didn’t want others to fight for me, because I didn’t want to be indebted to anyone either. Alone was better.”

Me: “How did you break free of your ‘safe-world’ and into a world where you wanted more, and let yourself thrive?”

My Heart: “I’m not so sure we ever break out of our ‘safe-worlds’ alone. I think it’s always a two-person ordeal. Someone has to be outside of you, they have to be able to touch you, care for you, reach you…and you have to trust them. You have to trust their eyes, their judgement, their love… You have to be able to look at them and say, ‘Alright, I don’t know what’s out there but I know that if you’re telling me it’s greater then what I’ve created, then I’m gonna risk it’.”

Me: “So who broke you free of yours?”

My Heart: “Mine? Hmmm….. it was a process and still is, but for me it was to this day one of my greatest friends. She kinda just had this way of reminding me that what I had created has my ‘safe-world’ was a place that was super intense but it was ok. That as I let me become more me she would still be there. That my intensity wouldn’t scare her. And naturally this enabled me to become even more me which was more intense, driven and motivated…. I guess you could say her belief in what I thought would scare her is exactly realize victory didn’t have to be a solo battle.”

Me: “What happens when they fail?”

My Heart: “People who break trust when you are coming out of your ‘safe-world’ in my mind do some of the worst damage to a heart. One person can literally shatter the believe of another’s heart to think they are worth more, could find fulfillment or ever see their dreams become reality. One person screwing it up can do so much damage.

People like this…. these people who have been put through so much pain, the ones that have been shut down, the ones that have been hurt…..these hearts. That’s where heroes are hidden.

The heroes in hiding, that’s the reason why I feel so much. Because when you let yourself feel their hearts, you’ll see it. Greatness can’t hide forever…sometimes heroes just need reminding that others DO see them. Calling out greatness, you can’t do that if you don’t feel, because feeling is sight. I feel because it helps me see, it helps me see heroes and unearth them.”

Me: “If you could tell people one thing about feeling what would it be?”

My Heart: “I guess I would say to first decide if it’s good for you. No I don’t mean does it feel good, is it good FOR you? If it’s grief, feel it. If it’s love, feel it. If it’s depth, feel it. Then look at what you are able to see when you feel. Remember feeling enables sight. Is this keeping you inside your ‘safe-world’ or pushing you outside of you? Level up. It’s ok.”

 

…To be continued. 

 

 

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  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 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 have 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 be logical 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 easy 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. 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 are never uncomfortable. That’s not life. And it’s not something 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 rough days. Often times this is where I think most people’s plan to succeed fails. They are ready for the victory, but victory over anything always costs something! You can have the best plan for how to achieve your goal but you must calculate in the cost of the days that will just be trials and pain. If you aren’t ready for those days where victory just seems to be a distant dream then you will fall and possibly not get back up. You have to do more then plan to not quit; you must have a purpose for the struggle clearly outlined in your mind or the struggle will overtake you. It’s much easier said then done but plan, make a plan for the days that will suck. I promise you they will come, and if you don’t plan to overcome them, you will be weakened. The most successful plans aren’t those that plan for victory, the most successful plans are those that plan for the struggle. 
If you would like to read the prior Superhero Chronicles post you can find it here!