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March 19, 2018

#mondaymotivation

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.
-CPT Ryan
February 12, 2018

#Mondaymotivation

Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down

The snipers are out there…waiting. Waiting to shoot down your pride, hamper your progress, and destroy your purpose. Waiting to take shots at your new ideas, deflate your lofty goals, and destroy your unreasonable dreams. Their aim is your heart and mind, along with any place else they can make it hurt, using your shortfalls and self-doubt as their ammunition. And all along, it is their own desperate sense of self-loathing, lingering insecurities, and missed opportunities that drive them to pull that reassuring trigger.
To them I say: Take. The f*king. Shot. Seriously, just take it. Take the shot, because more times than not, I’m on the move and you’re going to miss. Take the shot to remind me to keep going. Get some hits even, because the occasional hit will ignite me, expose where I need work, and keep me hungry. Fire away, I don’t mind, because when you pull the trigger,you commit to exposing who you are, what you fear, where you are weak, and when life makes you uncomfortable, all of which I truly hope you someday overcome.
Don’t let the bastards get you down. They’re always going to be out there, just waiting for a chance to take that shot at you; because it’s easier to take a shot at someone else, than it is for them to take a look at the person in the mirror. Expect it. Every endeavor, every sacrifice, and every triumph will always be riddled with the bullets of those not daring enough to confront who they are, in order to realize who they could be. Let’s face it, none of us are bulletproof, but we are all capable of surviving the hits along the way, just muster the courage to keep going and it will all be worth it in the end.
-CPT Ryan