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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
January 15, 2018

#MondayMotivation

What The Hell

And then one day you wake up and ask yourself…what…the hell…am I doing? Maybe you started down a certain path because you thought it was the right, or responsible, thing to do. Maybe you were trying to make other people in your life proud of you. Maybe you were subconsciously covering up your insecurities or failures. Or maybe, you don’t really even know why you went where you went, or why you are what you are. Regardless of motive, the day of reckoning between what you’re doing, and what you were meant to do, comes to all of us in due time. The question is, when that day comes…what…the hell…are you going to do about it?
The difference between pain and misery is that pain is suffering with a solution on the horizon; misery is suffering with no resolution in sight. When you wake up and realize you were meant to do something else in life, don’t let that realization turn into festering misery as you watch your shot at a better life pass you by, knowing exactly what you could have done to make it happen. Take the short term pain of starting over, and use it to start laying a foundation for change in order to hone in on what you really want out of life, and to leave the feeling of being unfulfilled behind you.
So good morning, we hope you slept well, but the day of reckoning between you and who you’re meant to be is here, and it’s time to figure out what the hell you’re gonna do about it. Whether it’s your job, your relationships, your hobbies, or your side hustle, let’s get rolling and stave off misery by lining up your plan and taking some action. There will still be pain and there will still be suffering, but your pain has a plan ready and willing to manifest itself in the form of passion…you just have to get up and go get it.

-CPT Ryan

November 21, 2017

All In A Life’s Work

It’s the uncontrollable, nauseating, pit in your stomach. It’s the sweat in your palms, and running down your back, as a flush of heat comes over your face. It’s the heartbeat thumping out of your shirt, slamming its way up into your throat one thunderous beat at a time. And it’s the uncontrollable shaking in your knees, down into your calves, as the adrenaline courses through your veins, desperately wanting to make contact with the ground like some wild lighting rolling in on the storm. These aren’t the feelings of a near death experience, however, this is how it feels to go “all in”.
It’s no coincidence that going all in on something has the same unmistakable trademarks of a near death experience, because it’s an exercise in finality. It’s an eternal sacrifice of what you are, towards what you want to become, and the permanence of that change is terrifying. So sometimes we decide the stakes of going all in are too high, so we resort to the “fall in”. We keep doing what is comfortable, staying noncommittal, half-assedly throwing our hats into a few rings, hoping we miraculously fall into something great without the stress and anxiety of betting the farm on our vision.
You will never just fall into your vision, and even if you did, it would mean nothing without commitment. With commitment comes sacrifice, sacrifice creates meaning, and meaning drives purpose. So when you finally decide to go all in on something, you are effectively setting into motion a perpetual cycle of purpose fueled by commitment, which will be equally as rewarding as it is terrifying. Stop hoping to fall into your life, and start going all in on your life, because the stakes are high, and a lot could go wrong, but nothing as wrong as a life unfulfilled by the unnerving thrill of committing to something greater than yourself. – CPT Ryan
November 13, 2017

Monday Motivation – Living Promise

Living Promise

Life has little use for promises. As soon as you think something is promised, life has a way of wiping the slate clean, leaving you with nothing more than a memory of what you thought was supposed to happen, and a feeling of breathless bewilderment. Whether its health, relationships, employment, money, success, loyalty, or even life itself, none of them make promises, they can only have promise.

Having promise and making a promise are considered to be two different things, when in actuality they are one in the same. Having promise is foreseeing a positive outcome given a certain set of facts and circumstances, combined with a vision, hard work, and a little luck. Making a promise is no different, but somehow we tend to think that it’s some ironclad agreement with the future, when in all reality, it’s merely a hopeful prediction. So when a promise is broken, it can suddenly become a major setback in our lives because we gave it power it never really had to begin with.

Start having promise instead of depending on, and being held back by the inevitable broken promises life doles out to you. Having promise allows you to have flexibility, readjust, adapt to changing circumstances, and even overcome failure. It breeds a positive outlook, sets the tone, and lays out the path forward. Most importantly, instead of worrying about the “What if’s”, it allows for the “What if’s”, enabling you to seamlessly forge ahead, immune to debilitating disappointment. Stop depending on promises you know the world can’t keep, and focus on having promise in all that you do, and you’ll find that promise had is even more powerful than a promise kept.

~Cpt. Ryan

November 6, 2017

#MondayMotivation

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
October 2, 2017

#MondayMotivation

You Are Not Done

You are not done. Not even close. You may have fallen or peaked, lost or won, but no matter the case, you are not done. Life is nothing but ups and downs, twists and turns, and if you are living with fire, you’re bound to get burned. But don’t let the trials dampen your flame, because in the end, they’re never to blame. So pick yourself up, and rage like the sun, because I can tell you for sure, that you are not done.
You’re in a story which must be lived to be told, and it may not be clear until you’re wise, gray, and old. But the very last page ends the same as page one, you may be a lot of things, but you are not done. You are not done ’til you draw you last breath, and even with that, there is life after death. Because after your gone, and become part of the earth, your story lives on, and gives new stories birth. Never forget, through the joy and the hurt, you have to wake up tomorrow, and complete your life’s work.
 
You are here for a reason, to find your passionate purpose, and only hard work will let passion surface. You’re on an endless search to find your life’s grind, and to create a passion which can consume all your time. Try just for a moment to see through your mind’s eye, and it is from that point where you can begin your climb high. You’re not just a passenger on a leisurely ride, so grab the keys and throw the car in drive. There is never a promise it will be easy or fun, but I can promise you this…you are not done. – CPT Ryan
September 25, 2017

#MondayMotivation

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.
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