At some point in your life things are going to get serious.
It might happen because of a Life Storm, a family crisis, a personal failure or maybe just the sudden realization one day that the clock is ticking. Or maybe all of the former all rolled up into one. Whatever the case, there will be a new weight to your existence and you will become keenly aware that your time has come.
It is from this point on that you will really define who you are. Life will now become about your core, your character, your soul.
You will realize the importance of intrinsic values and doing the right thing. There will be some critical pursuits that will come to the fore and you will want to accomplish simply as a matter of principle. And your superficial interests of old will begin to fade into the past.
Getting things done and getting them done right will now become paramount.
There will still be joy in your life, but it will be based on implicit values, Virtue and right action. And how you manage your state of mind, your emotions and your actions along the way will become just as important.
You won’t give a damn about what other people might think. Finally, you will be over that. It will be a huge relief; it will be a weight off your shoulders everyday and amount to a new level of freedom to simply care about what really matters to you.
The difference at this point in your life as compared to the past is that you’ve come to a decision. And unlike many decisions you’ve made previously this time it’s different.
It’s different because this time your life is on the line.
You will not stop and you will never quit.
And this is how you will do it.
You will find and develop your Life Mission.
It will become the foundation for your life. It will give you Purpose when life gets difficult, when life gets confusing or you just plain run out of gas.
A Life Mission is not a goal or set of goals, but a philosophy for how you want to live. It should guide everything that you do. It will light your way each and every day. And it will pull you out from under when the darkness comes.
If your Mission is based on Virtue, then it will always have value. It will always be something you can fall back on and it will steel your resolve when the going gets tough.
If you fight like hell to do the right thing each day then your life will be a success. Because a life based on Virtue is simply the right way to live. You will be in congruence with the natural order.
Live clean, live clear and live with power. Keep things simple and focus on your core values. Consider everything else a bonus. Always revert to your Life Mission because you will lose your way. Life has a way of diverting men from what they know is right. We are all fallible and we live in a broken world.
So if you do disappoint yourself, put it behind you and get back on track. Don’t use failure as an excuse not to pursue what you know is right. The Creator is well aware of your weaknesses and your fallible nature. We are all the same in this respect. Each of us is indeed prone to some type of breakdown.
The only answer as I see it is to stubbornly get back up and double down. There is no getting tired of it. Keep getting back up without fail. This is the only answer.
Some disappointments and failures can be a real killer to a man’s morale. They can suck the life right out of you. If you’ve got heart and care deeply about something or someone and you give it or them everything you’ve got and then some, you are setting yourself up for a possible hard crash.
This is just the way life is. It’s a reality you have to accept if you’re a man of character and action.
To live with ambition, vitality and verve can make a man vulnerable. Caring about someone or something enough to give it your all, will put you at risk. But then these are the choices we make. Life is for the living. A man must consider the possibility of failure and disappointment if he is to engage in this world. Most of us would have it no other way.
But then there are some investments a man makes where everything he has and more is put on the line. Where blood, sweat and anguish have been burned through many times over. And after perhaps years of effort to finally come up short or be let down by another for whom we’ve given it all can be brutal. None of us are robots. Even as an ardent Stoic, a man can be left dazed, demoralized and confused.
Employing willing acceptance in the face of adversity will certainly help in coping, but then how does a man continue when all has seemingly fallen a part? Perhaps you’ve tried it all and nothing has worked. Perhaps it’s been years of diligent effort, all to no avail.
In this case a man has two choices: he can acquiesce and move on or recalibrate his expectations and get back to work.
Sometimes there is no final answer or solution in the end and the only realistic choice is to acquiesce and simply drop it. If you’ve given everything you possibly can and done all you can possibly do, then you will need to let it go. Killing yourself for something for which there is no apparent answer is a waste of time. Some people and some things are just not worth it.
No man will go through life undefeated. Better to spend your energy elsewhere.
But if there is still the possibility of success and the goal in question is worth it, then after accepting what is, the next step is to recalibrate your expectations.
None of us are omniscient. Life and people can be complicated. Perhaps your expectations were too ambitious. Or perhaps the issues were more complex than you anticipated. If so, then reset your expectations to a simpler level. Back off some. The end goal can be the same, but perhaps you need to start at a more basic level. Or perhaps your timeline needs to simply be extended.
Restructuring your goals and expectations to something more rudimentary when necessary can be a key element in your decision to never give up.
If the goal is worth it then always be willing to reset things to a simpler level—recalibrate.
Get Back to Fundamentals
To become great at something you’ve got to master the fundamentals. As a humble beginner in any endeavor you will start off with the basics and then work them over and over again until you get good. And then those basic skills are often compounded together to get really good.
Beyond that, some of us can take it to the instinctual or intuitive level. A high level of performance can become second nature after enough effort and time. One might even call this mastery.
But then life is not always about performance and achievement. Sometimes obstacles will come up which will simply require a determined resistance. Shit happens as they say and as a man you will require an indomitable spirit if you wish to push through and keep moving.
Many times in life it isn’t about skill or knowledge, it’s all about grinding it out; about being willing to get your hands dirty and take care of some unpleasant business.
Problems and obstacles are what they are for a reason; they are very difficult to solve and figure out. Tell yourself this when you get stuck at some point in your life. “This is it; this is one of those times.” And then take a step back and ask yourself if getting back to the fundamentals will help. Sometimes that’s all you’ve got. If anything, along with recalibrating your expectations, at least it’s a start.
So if you’re lost for which way to turn, simplify things in part by getting back to whatever fundamentals may apply.
Perhaps it is nothing more than sticking to your basic core principles. Life can get confusing and with some sophistication a man can let his ego take over and lead him astray. If this is the case then get back to what you know is right and then roll from there. Action will lead to more action. And then action will lead to inspiration and you will get back on track.
If a relationship has come off the rails, once again try to keep it simple. Be humble and attempt to start fresh with courtesy, empathy and care. Brush all the complexities aside and get back to square one.
When you are just not getting the job done in some endeavor, get back to the fundamentals. Practice and work the basics over and over again until they become part of your essence. If anything, at least it will reset your foundation for another run at whatever you are pursuing.
And if it’s you that’s broken down because of some bad decisions or improper actions, the best way to get back on your feet is to start over. Begin at the beginning. Work the important fundamentals of life such as virtue, discipline and restraint. Rebuild your core and center yourself.
And then vow to never stop and never quit.
Go All In
At some point you are going to have to draw the line.
At some point in your life, who you are at your core will be tested at the deepest level.
When this time comes you will know it. There will be nothing else that matters on this earth. It will be between you, your soul and the Creator. It may be hard, it may be exciting or it might just be your destiny. But you will grab hold of your life like never before.
You will now be living with a force of purpose and you will be all in. Everything will be on the line and you will bite down hard and never let go.
You will live more in each day than all your years prior. Even if you are in pain, you will embrace your situation like nothing you’ve ever done. You will accept what is, use all of your faculties to plan and then take righteous action.
You will never stop and you will never quit.
All the best,