News & Updates
April 23, 2018
Accept Less, Expect More
“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”- David Morrison
Stop accepting that which is holding you back. Stop accepting people taking advantage of you, treating you and other people badly, and bringing you down by refusing to see the greatness you possess. Stop accepting mediocrity as if you’re predestined to be stuck in its grasp forever, and you don’t deserve better for some reason. Stop accepting your negative thoughts, your negative self-image, and your self-deprecating behavior. Most of all, stop accepting who you are, what you are, and where you are, as something that can’t be changed into something you designed through a vision.
Expect more from your life, more from your time, and more from your future. Expect the very best from those you surround yourself with. Expect them to build you up when you need it, knock you down a peg when you need it, and to be there when everyone else high-tailed it out of town. Expect more from your job, your co-workers, and your boss. Expect fulfillment, expect passion, expect purpose. Most of all, expect more from yourself. Expect your very best, expect to survive, thrive, and overcome. Expect to achieve.
Accept less, expect more. There isn’t anyone, anything, or any rule that says you have to accept today without expecting more from tomorrow. It’s in our nature to accept pain, suffering, and being unhappy. We become numb to it, stay the course, and drive on. But just because it’s in our nature, doesn’t mean that’s the way it has to be. Stop walking past your greatness, this life expects more from you, and you should expect more from life. The sooner you can accept that, the sooner you can create the future you always expected. -CPT Ryan
April 16, 2018
It will not always be clear. You will not always know what it is you want, what your vision looks like, or what your purpose is. It may feel as though you are just blindly wandering along, not really knowing if anything you are doing is really going to help some higher cause, or take you to a place of fulfillment. These feelings are inevitable, and they are just as much a part of the process as defining your passion, your purpose, and your plan. It is in these times where you’ll find the importance of, at a minimum, prescribing to an ideal.
Although goals, plans, and visions can provide us comfort and motivation in the darkest of hours, just because you don’t have them doesn’t mean you are altogether lost. Sometimes the only guiding light you will have is an ideal, or a concept which is completely formless, but holds a deep meaning to you somehow. As you embed these principles into all that you do, slowly a vision will form through opportunity, and that vision will eventually give way to passion, which will power your purpose. You may even know exactly what it is you want to do, but it doesn’t exist yet, in which case you need to derive courage from those ideals, so you can go out and create exactly what you see in your mind.
You don’t always have to know exactly where you’re going in order to know you are eventually going to get there, and your fire doesn’t always need a blueprint in order to burn. Don’t settle for mediocrity in the face of blindness; just because you may not be able to see your future today, doesn’t mean it won’t exist, and just because it doesn’t exist, doesn’t mean you can’t create it. So set chase to that which cannot yet be seen, led only by a trust in a concept, and a passion for change, and open your eyes to a reality you never imagined possible. – CPT Ryan
April 9, 2018
Leave Me Behind
I follow you everywhere you go, I precede you everywhere your headed, and I stay behind everywhere you’ve been. Sometimes I can be the furthest thing from your mind, and other times I will consume your every thought and every action. I will require the utmost commitment throughout your life, but even if you stray away, and we lose touch, our relationship can always be rekindled and repaired, as long as you are willing to put in the work.
My existence is based solely on character. I have little interest in skill, accomplishments, accolades, or defeats. Character. That’s what I care about. I don’t just want to know about what you did for people, I want to know how you made them feel, how you affected the paths of their lives, and how you changed their outcomes in a positive way; all of which I expect to drive you through your own adversity, laziness, and impulsivity, by igniting the flame of passion and laying a foundation of purpose.
I am your legacy, and my life is in your hands. I can live forever, or you can take me to the grave with you. It all depends on whether or not you are willing to sacrifice, whether or not you are willing to suffer, and whether or not you are willing to work. You let me live, and in return, I give you a life worth living, worth loving, and worth calling your own. Now that we’re acquainted, we’ve got work to do, because everyday is another opportunity to leave me behind for an eternity, so let’s get going. – CPT Ryan
April 2, 2018
For every phase of my life, I have encountered someone whom I have clashed with. People who couldn’t even begin to fathom what it is that makes me tick, with the innate ability to cut me down with the exact right comment, at the exact right time, which made me question who I am, what I do, and why I do it. No matter how much I tried to brush it off as ignorance, deep down, I just wanted them to “get it”, to see me for me, and in all reality, I just wanted their acceptance.These people can ruin your life. There’s no other way to say it. The focus and energy we have all wasted at some point in our lives trying to gain acceptance from somebody who isn’t willing to waste any focus or energy on us, has a direct correlation as to how far away we are from accomplishing something truly meaningful, or reaching true happiness. They become walking rabbit holes who divert us from focusing on an ideal, in order to focus on an opinion, all at the cost of our time and even our sanity.Take a hard look at yourself and honestly assess who these people are in your life. (And if you think you don’t have any, look again, because there’s always one.) Maybe you work with them, maybe you went to high school with them, or maybe you grew up with them, and you’re still trying to make them “get it”, even if only in your subconscious. Stick to your guns. They’re not going to get it, and that’s okay. Their acceptance is irrelevant to your journey. Stay focused on an ideal, forget the opinions, and create a life you are willing to accept as your own, because in the end, that’s the only acceptance that actually matters.
March 19, 2018
Hard Knock Life
In a deep conversation about life some time ago, I was asked point blank if I have ever really had to struggle. While initially taken aback, my foolish pride kicked in as I started rattling off a slew of impressive things. “Of course I’ve struggled,” I retorted, followed by a complete biography of “First of all, I…” and “Then I…”, and “Not to mention I…”. At the end of my dissertation, I felt fairly confident I had proven my case in the court of public opinion, however, the real point of the conversation wouldn’t dawn on me until some time later.Life has a funny way of making you eat your words. In boxing terms, it’s a counter puncher. You throw your best jab, and it comes over the top with a right hook that knocks you flat out before you even saw it coming. What I didn’t know in the midst of my rant about my “struggle”, was that life had a right hook waiting in the wings; locked, loaded, and ready show me that even though I had done things that were hard, I had never actually experienced true struggle, and it was about to show me the difference.The time that followed was uncharted territory. Nothing I had done prior, regardless of how hard it was, could prepare me for it. It was a dark and hopeless place, which opened my eyes to a part of my brain I never knew existed. It made me question everything. It made me want to quit. It made me want to change. But in all reality, it was probably one of the most important times of my life because it made me want to take action. It showed me that doing what is hard, or difficult, in life is about testing your will to succeed. Whereas the struggle…real struggle…is about testing your will to survive.In doing what is hard, you may come up short from time to time, fall down, or take a few losses. Don’t mistake those times for real struggle and adversity, as they will leave you hopelessly unprepared. “There are levels to this game,” as UFC champ Daniel Cormier once told an opponent, and life’s challenges are no exception. If you have done things that are hard, I commend you. If you have experienced struggle in its truest form, the kind that takes your breath away along with all your facades, don’t miss your chance to take advantage of this gift from life. It is here where you will find yourself, you will find your friends, you will find your propensity to take action, you will find your hunger, you will find what has true meaning, and most of all, you will find your will to live.
March 12, 2018
When it feels forced. When the harder you try, the worse it works out. When everything you say is misunderstood, and everything you do is misinterpreted. When you start thinking something is just plain wrong with you, and there is no way up and no way out because, really, who would want you anyway? When you start having those feelings, and they start creeping into every aspect of your life, realize that you aren’t a failure, you have simply misapplied your passion into something which is not compatible with what you have to offer, or what you were meant to do.We get so spun up about what we should do with our lives, we lose sight of what we could do with our lives. We mistake acceptance for success, and chase the accepted instead of the unexpected, one day realizing we have worked ourselves into something we never really wanted but thought we needed, and now we just can’t fake the funk any longer. And that’s okay.It’s okay to be a misfit. It’s okay to lack acceptance. It’s okay to have gone down the wrong path, and it’s certainly okay to change course in exchange for what you were meant to do. The most successful among us, the truly successful ones, not the most distinguished or most decorated, but the ones who made a life of chasing their dreams, were all once the misfits who were misunderstood and misinterpreted. So make no mistake about it, you may not fit in, but why would you want to anyway?
March 5, 2018
When you are losing faith, and coming to the end of your rope…look around. When you have tried everything you can to make your vision a reality, but you just can’t seem to get anything to work…look around. When the pep talks, the speeches, and the motivational social media posts lose all their luster and meaning, and you feel like you just can’t find the spark in anything anymore…look around. And when you are just done, tapped out, given up, and all you want is a way out of the suck…look around.Look around and you will see the faces of the people who don’t just believe in what your capable of, they know what you are capable of. They believe in everything about you. They have your back, they have sacrificed for you, they have walked through fire for you, and they would follow you to the depths of hell, all just so you could succeed. No different what you feel, and would do, for them. Just look around. You know these people are there, even if you don’t want to admit it.When you have lost the will to do it for you, look around, and do it for them. Be the person they see in you. Be the person they have invested their time, love, and compassion in. It can’t always be about everyone else, or for everyone else, but until you can do it for you again, do it for them. Behind every success is a low point, a point of seemingly no return shrouded by the darkest of days. But if you can just look beyond yourself for a second, and see the people behind you, there you will find the grit to keep going, because you better believe they would do the same for you.
February 26, 2018
Read For Swagger
I just don’t care anymore. I can’t. Ever since I found what it is I was meant to do, and what I was truly passionate about, I stopped caring altogether. I don’t care that it doesn’t make sense to you. It shouldn’t. I don’t care that you wouldn’t do it if you were me. You’re right. This is my grind. My dream. My life. It has nothing to do with you, unless you’re part of my tribe…in which case you better believe I’m the ride or die you want in your corner, because I don’t even care about my own welfare when it comes to my team.I don’t care about what’s never been done before. That’s what I want. That’s what I need. I can’t do it like everyone else. It’s not in my DNA, and it’s certainly not in my plan. I can’t just read the book, I need to be the book. I want to be the one who showed up, guided by passion and fueled by purpose, who dropped a change bomb on the world that suddenly became the new “way to do it”, haters and naysayers be damned.I don’t care if you think this side of me is too bold, too reckless, or even downright arrogant. That’s the perk of figuring out who you are, and where you want to be. I don’t have time to care about what you think anymore. I don’t care if it’s hard, I don’t care if it hurts, I don’t even care if I fail, because even if I fail 100 times, you better believe I’m coming back for that 101. My life is no longer ruled by that which I can’t have an effect on. My life is now ruled by my passion, my purpose, and my people. As for all the rest…well…I could really care less.
February 19, 2018
Prove Your Potential
Nobody is going to do it for you. There always comes a point where you are going to have to do it yourself. People may see potential in you, they may see talent in you, they may see a future for you beyond your wildest dreams. And while that which others see in us makes us feel good, it’s not getting us anywhere. You’re never going to actually be what other people have the foresight to see in you, until you’re willing to prove your potential through personal action.Proving potential to yourself is a uniquely individual task. You can have a team, coach, or loved one push you, and those people will be essential in your journey to success, but in the end, the livelihood of your potential rests squarely on your shoulders. Its pulse needs a plan, its reality requires risk, and its future needs your unwavering follow through. Most of all, it needs YOU. Success isn’t going to just walk up and tap you on the shoulder because you look like a good candidate; more likely, it will walk up, punch you in the gut, and take your lunch money until the day you decide to get your shit together and fight back.Maybe the process will involve taking blind leaps forward, or maybe you’ll have to take a few steps back, or even start from scratch altogether, but either way, the decision to act is on you. Potential creates opportunity, opportunity calls for action, and action forms a reality which then creates the potential for opportunity. Sew the seeds of confidence from what people see in you, with the vision of a life you see for yourself, and create a blueprint of how you plan to combine the two into a reality which has always been waiting for you to arrive.