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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
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
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.