News & Updates
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
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.
November 6, 2017
The Struggle Is Real
You will never figure out who you are and what you’re made of in the midst of success. The real you won’t surface when life is calm, cool, and comfortable. You will only see the true image of who you are when you allow yourself to experience the struggle. Whether it’s on the way up, or on the way down, the struggle is there to show you, prove to you, or remind you, exactly what your capable of, which will always exceed where you’re at, and what you thought.
The struggle is real. It brings out the realness in all of us. When we are just starting out, it shows us what real work looks like and that we always have more to give. When we start reaching our goals, it shows us the real value is not in the achievement, it’s in the work it took to get there. And when we think we are at the top of our game, and we start getting a little arrogant, complacent, or even lazy, it brings us back to reality, shows us humility, and can reignite that fire to achieve through adversity.
Don’t fear your struggle, be real with it. Whatever your struggle is, don’t look at it in terms of what it is keeping you from, look at it in terms of what it is giving you, because it is giving you so much more than just a hard time. It is giving perspective to your life, value to your achievements, and a reality check to your ego, which are all essential pieces to the puzzle of success. If you are in the struggle, embrace it. If you are hiding from it, go find it. And if you don’t think you need it, that’s when you need it the most. The path to your dreams is built on reality, and paved by the struggle, so take every step with pride, and go get what you’re really here for. – CPT Ryan
September 25, 2017
Be Someone Who
Starting today, don’t just be someone…be someone who. Don’t just be someone aimlessly wandering through life, taking it as it comes, lost in a revolving door going to nowhere. Be someone who is unwaveringly guided by a set of core values, sticking to them through thick and thin, no matter the odds or adversity. Don’t just be someone standing idly by, simply watching life happen, taking it as it come. Be someone who takes action. Someone who steps up when everyone else is afraid, or nobody else is willing to, and starts the movement against the odds and impossibility.Starting today, don’t just be someone sitting in silence, being told this or told that, mindlessly obeying orders without your best interest in mind. Be someone who speaks up. Be the one who tells the world what you want from it, voices your ideas about positive change and growth, and speaks up for others when they can’t speak for themselves. Furthermore, be someone who is a protector. Be someone who is not only willing to fight their own battles, but also fearlessly goes to war in defense of others, with a greater hunger for victory than if it was merely fighting for yourself.And starting today, don’t just be someone with a cold shoulder and a blank stare, who rattles the earth with confidence, fire, and action. Be someone who also walks with gentle compassion, a knowing empathy, and a sincere kindness. Be someone who people are excited to see walk in the room. Be someone who everyone wants to watch their back, who everyone wants by their side, and who everyone knows will lead from the front when the time is right. Starting today, make just being someone a thing of the past, and start being someone who leaves a legacy that will last.
August 8, 2017
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