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September 18, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Life Unfiltered

Everything we touch today comes with a filter. From our pictures and videos, to what we say and the feedback we get, all the way to how we see ourselves and how we let the world see us. Some are societal, and some are self-inflicted, but more and more we are choosing to ignore the reality in favor of the filter. The problem with the filter, however, is that it doesn’t really change anything, it just strains out what you don’t want to see, be seen, or in some cases, deal with.
You can’t change what you aren’t willing to accept, and you can’t accept what you aren’t willing to see. At some point, the disparity between the filter and the reality becomes so big, that all you are left with is fiction. Remember that progress is rooted in reality, so if you are scared, ashamed, embarrassed, or nervous about what’s behind that filter, realize that whatever it is that makes you feel that way is going to stay right there until you are ready to take the filter off, and stare all that is real square in the face.
Every once in a while, we need a reminder that filters actually exist to highlight or enhance what is good as opposed to covering up what is bad. If everything looks great on the outside, but you are still in unfulfilled turmoil on the inside, try living life unfiltered for a while. It may be humbling, discouraging, or downright depressing at first, but soon enough those feelings will be overtaken by progress, and the only thing left to be filtered will be the haters, the naysayers, and the doubters. – CPT Ryan
September 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

The Space Between

Determining the space between you and your goals is as simple as looking at that space between your ears. Everything you have ever determined to hold you back from your dreams was either created, or has lived, in that space. Those people who hold you back, the reasons you “can’t” do something, the setbacks you experience, and all the chips stacked against you, may very well exist, but their power is only derived and empowered by your mind.
Life is a game of inches, and everything you’ve ever wanted from life starts with taking control of that six inch span from one ear to another. If you give life, people, obstacles, and setbacks a single inch of that space, they are all going to take a mile…along with your self-confidence, your will, and your determination. There will be times where it feels like you have surrendered that space to life, along with your hopes, dreams, and future. But the first step in taking back those inches lies in having the courage to simply decide.
The power to decide is all you need to arm yourself with in order to take control of the most important six inches in your journey. Just decide to no longer give power to those who hold you down. Just decide to finally go after that dream job or career you’ve always wanted. Just decide to cast aside all of your doubts, fears, and insecurities in the pursuit of what truly makes you happy. And just decide that, in all reality, you are the owner and sole proprietor of that space between you and where you want to be, and the process of owning that space starts an inch at a time. ~CPT Ryan
Image result for game of inches
September 5, 2017

Seize the Vision

Opportunity can only be seized when two things take place. First it must be seen, and second it must be prepared for. Without both sets of circumstances converging upon an opportunity, it will pass you by, or slip through your fingers. You can prepare for opportunity all you want. You can have all the degrees, the skills, the fitness, and the connections, but if you can’t see opportunity knocking on your door, you’ll never let it in. Conversely, you may see the endless opportunities in the world, but if you haven’t put in the painstaking preparation, you are damning yourself to a life of watching from the sidelines while other people get their “Carpe Diem” on.
So you’ve tirelessly prepared, and you’ve locked an opportunity in your sights…how do you now parlay that opportunity into success? There is a fundamental difference between sight and vision. Sight is merely identifying something based on the recognition of certain traits and characteristics of what you can see. Vision is your ability to see that which may not actually be within your sight yet. It’s one thing to be ready to seize an opportunity, but it’s a completely different animal to know what to do with it once it has been seized. That takes vision.
Countless people have taken opportunities which they have seen rise out of preparation. But the truly successful among us have seized the opportunities, exploited them to their fullest potential, and used them to move on to the next one long before it actually happens, if only in their mind’s eye. If you a preparing to seize an opportunity, don’t be taken by surprise when it happens. It should just be part of the plan. And when the people ask “Could you have ever imagined this level of success?”, you should be able to tell them you didn’t just imagine it, you visualized it, and you’re right where you always knew you’d be. – CPT Ryan
August 28, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Opportunity of the Underdog

What is it about the underdog that captures our imagination? What is it about the person who shouldn’t even be in the arena, who, despite the odds, choses to step in anyway and roll the dice? Through success and failure, the underdog gives us unabashed inspiration and hope, because through their eyes we see our own doubts and insecurities momentarily melt away, as our eyes open to what can be accomplished by a vision and dedication unhindered by fear and failure.
The underdog will always operate at maximum capacity, because they have to. They have willingly chosen to place their back against the wall, check their ego, and be overtaken with the obsessive motivation of proving the world wrong. They have found comfort in their role, and would rather live there than at the peak of the mountain. So as they summit one challenge, they instantly look for the next climb of insurmountable odds. It is all about risk, humility, and survival, culminating in a grit that far exceeds perceived potential.
Step into the role of the underdog. Instead of seeing it as a disadvantage, start seeing it as an opportunity. If you are succeeding when everyone expects you to, then you really aren’t challenging yourself. Dare to chase success into the farthest reaches of impossibility, where the only thing between your back and the wall, is what you are truly made of. In the end, when the dust settles and arena falls silent, you will find that the lines between success and failure have blurred, and that which truly mattered is what being the underdog taught you about yourself. – CPT Ryan
August 24, 2017

Different by Design

Normally Weird

Let’s face it…we’re all weird. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it; you’re weird, I’m weird, we’re all weird. We all do weird things, in weird ways, at weird times, all while having weird thoughts bounce around our heads. With general weirdness being such a huge part of our everyday lives, it seems weird that being weird, or being labeled as weird, is nothing less than terrifying for most people.
Your weirdness and how it affects your success is a product of your ability to identify it, define it, and ultimately employ it to your advantage. Don’t get it twisted; weird is something identified as different than what people are used to seeing, and different is adaptation in motion, and adaptation is survival. Once you identify that which seems weird to other people, is actually nothing more than a difference of opinion, own it, don’t run from it. Define what it is that makes you different, instead of being defined by chasing “normal”, scared to death of facing someone’s ill informed opinion.
Lastly, make it work for you. The most successful among us were, at one point, considered weird or strange outcasts, all because they had a quality, trait, or vision, that was different than what people perceived as “normal”. The difference is, they turned it into a strength, which they then turned into a brand, which then morphed into the latest trend everyone else wanted to be a part of. So don’t hide what you think makes you different, because your weirdness is opportunity disguised by insecurity, waiting to be empowered, so it can separate you from the rest of the pack. You are different by design, not default, so grab ahold of it and take it with you, because the true tragedy in life is not to be weird, but to be normal.- CPT Ryan
August 14, 2017

#MondayMotivation

What Lies Beneath

Where and when do you find the best version of yourself? Society would have you believe your best version lives on the red carpet, where you are draped in only the finest clothing, garnished in the most expensive jewelry, sparkling under the flashes of a thousand cameras, and beloved by friends, family, and thousands of adoring followers. This belief has become so heavily ingrained in us, that we will do anything and everything possible just to prove to the outside world, and even ourselves, we have secured our spot on the coveted red carpet of life. Furthermore, we will hang on to that spot with reckless abandon, even at the cost of who we who we really are, what we really want, and reaching our full potential.
As vindicating as it may feel to show the world you have reached the pinnacle of self-development from the picture perfect stage of glitz and glam, where you have seemingly achieved everyone else’s wildest dreams and expectations, the very best version of you is lying somewhere beneath that red carpet, just dying to come out. The best of you will only be exposed when the carpet is pulled out from under you, where you can no longer depend on the clothes, the jewelry, the cameras, and supporters, to give you what you think you need in order to make you feel successful.
Sometimes the best thing that can ever happen is for you is to lose it all, when you are all of a sudden forced to see that the only person you need to depend on to find true happiness and fulfillment in this life is yourself. If you can’t depend on yourself, that means you have to depend on everything, and everyone, else in order to fill in the gap. Don’t be afraid to pull the carpet out from under your life sometimes in order to find the way back to yourself, because it’s not the fall from it we fear, it’s what we will find underneath. – CPT Ryan
August 8, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Line It Up

The lines. Everyone seems to think they know just where they are, and they will love telling you their definition of them. Sometimes they are crystal clear, but most times they are blurred, leaving you to discover and decide exactly what, and where, they are. They exist in your imagination just as much as they do in your reality, constantly tempting you to place your reputation, your future, and your dreams on them, all with an underlying fear of crossing their boundaries.

Thick or thin, blurry or clear, know the lines will be there in everything that you do. You will need to toe the lines in times of adversity, draw the lines when enough is enough, lay it all on the lines when the reward outweighs the risk, and fall in the lines when your ego gets checked. Sometimes, it will be your mission to seek out the lines created by everyone else, and not only cross them, but destroy them entirely in the pursuit of something the world has never seen before.

Define your lines. Each one will be in a different place, in a different shape, and a different form. All will require a different plan of attack, at varying levels of aggressiveness and audacity, but all will be crucial in lining up your path to success. Don’t be fooled into thinking the lines exist solely to draw you into a box, or paint you into a corner. Instead, see them as an unfinished blueprint waiting for you to read between the lines, color outside the lines, sharpen old lines, and draw new lines, all in order to create a line by which you will be proud to walk for an eternity. – CPT Ryan

July 31, 2017

#MondayMotivation

A World Apart

I know where you live. It is a place which is heard but not seen, impartial but not fair, and right in front of everyone, but always behind their backs. It is a place where opinions are formed by insecurity, where facts are skewed by jealousy, achievement is marred by resentment, and all that is good is perceived as a threat. It is a place masquerading as “knowing better”, but in the background fear of the unknown runs wild, perpetually being covered up by the highly sought after “I told you so’s” and empty bravado.
This dark world is not singular in nature, as it is comprised of an unlimited array of locations, forms, and constructs. It is in comment sections and anonymous responses, chat room threads and locker room walls, tweets, posts, notes, texts, blogs, columns, commentaries, and conversations. It is a world that can consume its inhabitants, just as much as it can consume those whom it is trying to dismantle. And it is a world where the perpetrators generally go unpunished, while the victims are left to quietly shoulder the burden of this trolling society.
This is not my world. This is not where I live. Although your world has caught me a few times, and I have even faltered into some of its practices, you will never consume me. I live in a world enamored by the unattainable, enabled by the struggle, and enthralled with the risk. I live in a place where I am motivated when other people succeed, a motivator when they fail, and both outcomes fuel my passion and create my purpose. The solitary thing our worlds have in common is a chase for something we’ll never catch; I will keep chasing perfection, while you keep chasing me…and quite honestly, I like it that way.
July 24, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Impressure

They say first impressions are everything, and that you can’t get anywhere in this world if you don’t master the art of the first impression. There are even whole books, articles, and self-help gurus out there solely devoted to helping you sculpt the perfect first impression, just so you can get ahead in the game. But what if they aren’t everything? What if the old adage of first impressions being everything could be debunked with another old adage of you can’t judge a book by its cover? The cover of that book may be an important feature, but in all reality, that book’s legacy can only determined once the final page has been turned.

Think back to how many times you got it wrong. Whether it be misjudging someone you met based on their first impression, or completely falling flat on your face and misrepresenting who you are to someone else. Point being, first impressions are just as important as they are inaccurate. So maybe, just maybe, we can stop focusing ALL of our energy on creating that perfect first impression, and instead, focus on cementing a last impression which is less strategy, and more sacrifice and hard work, exposing who we really are and what we’re all about.

Hype is built on first impressions and talk, but legacy is built on last impressions and action. You will only have a few chances to make first impressions, but you will have a lifetime of chances to leave a last impression. In sports you’re only as good as your last game, in entertainment you’re only as good as your last performance, and in life you’re only as good as your last impression. Stop worrying about your last first impression, start focusing on your next last impression, and build your legacy on substance instead of a sales pitch.

July 18, 2017

#MotivationMonday

I’m Done. I Quit. I Will.

I pledge to be done. Done with the worrying, the wondering, and caring about what other people think. I pledge to be done with the self-doubt, the self-sabotage, the self-consciousness, and the self-destruction. I pledge to be done selling myself short, selling my soul, and buying off on the belief that I don’t deserve success. And most of all, I pledge to be done with regret. Done with regretting my past, regretting my failures, regretting my missed opportunities, and allowing regret to shape my future, and run my life.
I pledge to quit. I quit the “everyday”. The monotonous “everyday”, which is plagued by comfort, free from challenge, and craving change. I pledge to quit giving life to my fears, to my enemies, and to the naysayers, by also pledging to quit believing; for their existence depends on solely upon my believing in them. And lastly, I pledge to quit quitting. I quit quitting on myself, my dreams, and those who believe in me, because to quit on them, is to quit on my legacy.
I pledge I will. I will not be stopped. I will not be swayed. I will not be denied. I will see my dreams through to the finish, and I will never avoid the first step to giving them their start. I will be absolutely unstoppable in my pursuit my very best. I will go through you if you hold me back, and I will bring you with me if you’re ready to go, but either way, I’m on my way. I will get there, hell or high water; for I am done with average, I have quit being scared, and I will absolutely leave my legacy…this is my pledge.