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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.
July 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

The Power Of One

We are one. We are one person, one heart, one soul. We are one life, one story, one chapter per phase, written one page at a time. We are one dream from a goal, one failure from success, and one success from our dream. We are one thing one day, and another the next, because we are anything but one dimensional. We are one of many, but we are also one in a million. And we have one chance at life, to take a million chances in life, to make the most of this life.

We are one person, capable of changing one world. Not THE world, but ONE world. This earth is made up of as many worlds as there are people, and that means everywhere you go, you are walking into someone else’s world, reality, or realm, with the power to change it for an eternity. The question is, are you the one who is unafraid of the status quo, the norm, and the way it’s always been? Are you the one willing to put the weight of a world on your shoulders, and to be held responsible for its rise or fall? And are you the one who can fearlessly chase a legacy defined by character, and emboldened by compassion?

You are the one. You are the one who can decide to change one world, one life, one story, and one chapter at a time, by bringing out the best of every world you touch along the way to your dream. You are the one who can alter the course of history with effort, vision, and compassion for others. You are the one who can fight, sacrifice, and grind, so that others may thrive, succeed, and achieve. And you are the one who, despite all of your own accomplishments, will be remembered less for what you accomplished in your world, and more for what you brought to others. So be the one, because we are all one. – CPT Ryan

July 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Back Forward

There was no doubt a time in your life where nothing mattered other than what made you happy. It was a place where dreams were inches from reality, opinions were irrelevant, and life was simple. It was a time where you felt as though your whole life was ahead of you, and it was not just a possibility for it to be full of adventure, achievement, and fulfillment…it was a certainty. And it was a way of life devoid of negativity, full of creativity, and overflowing with a healthy hypothetical outlook, which filled you with an overwhelming sense of purpose.

For some of us, as time goes on we start to lose that flare for the improbable, and our world becomes infested with the impossible. It’s been proven that as we age, we seemingly lose our ability to think abstractly. But do we really lose it? Or is it just that we somehow allow it to be suppressed? Suppressed by a disease known as “logic”. Suppressed by our own self-doubt. Suppressed by the opinions of others. And suppressed by our failings and shortcomings, which we needlessly give eternal life to as a reminder of why we simply “shouldn’t”.
Just. Go. Back. Go back! Go back to that place where your imagination and ambition ran hand in hand. Go back to that place where you could craft your own reality, defy impossibility, and ignore negativity. Go back to that world where passion overruled logic, you didn’t get bogged down by the details, and you moved with a supreme confidence that your future was a direct result of what you intended it to be. That person is still alive and well within you. They never left, they never died. They just need you to come back, so you can both move forward. – CPT Ryan
July 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Blind Clarity

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 are going in order to know how you are going to get there. The fire inside of you doesn’t always need to know what it is burning in order to burn, but it does need fuel to stay lit. Do not settle for mediocrity in the face of blindness. Just because you may not yet be able to see your future, doesn’t mean it doesn’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 open your eyes to a reality you never imagined possible. – CPT Ryan

July 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

Unbreakable

They are mine. They represent me both physically and emotionally. People judge me based solely on how I present them, how I carry them, and how I employ them. They are the foundation of my strength, just as they are the window to my weakness, and I may never fully comprehend the power they hold. They are battle tested and always ready. They bear the scars of internal and external wars gone by, where they emerged stronger from each skirmish, through victory and defeat.

I have foolishly doubted them at times. I have thought they would buckle under the weight of change, the pressure of the grind, and the burden of self-doubt. But they persevered. I thought surely they would crumble in the face of insurmountable failure, ill-advised missteps, and gut wrenching rejection. But there they stood, only emboldened by the adversity. And I had no doubt they would fall under the crushing disappoint of missed expectations, falling short of my potential, or worse yet, letting people down. But they unwaveringly remained, vigilantly waiting for the next challenge.
These are my shoulders. They have never been broken. I have tested them at every turn, only to find that the very things I thought would break them, only built them up over time. Their weakness only lies in my mind, and even at that, they will continue to carry the weight of the world, whether I believe we can or not. They exist to show me there is nothing I can’t handle, that there is no adversity I can’t overcome, and that I cannot be broken, no matter the odds…but they beg me to try to prove them wrong today, tomorrow, and forever. – CPT Ryan
July 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

The Fight is On

We all have a tendency to fight ourselves right out of opportunity, achievement, and fulfillment. We become transfixed with the idea that who we really are is not at all who we should be, and that person starts to repulse us. We think that person is lackluster, boring, awkward, and weird. We start to wonder how anyone would like them for who they are, or what anyone could possibly see in them, or how there’s any way they could achieve success.

So we adjust, we reformat, and we cover up the person we think is dragging us down. We start to model ourselves in the image of someone else, and begin to slowly fabricate a façade. We find ourselves suddenly sacrificing our values, devaluing relationships, and losing our identity to a passionless rat race. All of this in an attempt to give life to this new person we have created out of a place of insecurity, only to find it was actually nothing we ever wanted.

We are all comprised of two people; who we are, and who we pretend to be. The fight between the two will rage on forever, unless you are willing to see that you will only start moving forward when you are willing to fight harder for who you are, than who you aren’t. You may not be where you want, you may not have developed the skills you need yet, you may want to kick some bad habits; but the core of who you are, that place where your passions burn, your values are conceived, and your very being live, that place doesn’t need change…that place needs power. So fight for its life, so you can truly start to live yours. – CPT Ryan