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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
December 11, 2017

#MondayMotivation

In the Moment

So life just kicked you square in the teeth. You’re a bit wobbly on your feet, a little dazed and confused, and a whole lot of embarrassed or frustrated. In the heat of the moment, you vow to change, you vow to never let it happen again, and you vow to take bold and decisive action in order to make damn sure it won’t. You go home. You look in the mirror, and in a moment of clarity, you finally admit to yourself you’re better than what just happened, where you’re at, and where you’re headed.
Never forget these moments. Sear them into your memory, because in the coming days the emotions will wane, the fire will fade, and you will start to fall back into homeostasis and the familiar comfort of the norm. Slowly you will start to justify conducting business as usual again, and dismiss all of your previous thoughts and ideas as an overreaction. In doing so, that person you briefly saw in the mirror so clearly begins stepping back into the murky abyss of unrealized potential and foundationless dreams.
In these moments of chaos and clarity, when all of a sudden you feel the electricity of audacity, and the rush of action coursing through your veins, you must seize the power your mind is showing you. Don’t forget how it feels. Capture it. Believe in it. Harness it into a plan of action you can systematically execute out of the ashes. The mirror to the soul is hung in defeat, and reflected upon in redemption. So when someone shows who you they really are, believe them…especially when that person is YOU.
-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