You Either Have the Courage to Grab Your Goals or You Don’t.

You Either Have the Courage to Grab Your Goals or You Don’t.

I recently took a trip across the United States: Florida, Nevada, Colorado and Pennsylvania. During the trip, I came across many people: friends, family, and acquaintances. It’s a trip I do periodically. So after a few months, I get the chance to “check back in” on people. This gives me a better perspective than most. I see things with a fresh pair of eyes. I notice things that others might not see.

So what did I find?

Simply put…people do not change. The people that were struggling are still struggling: i.e. the poor person is still poor, the lonely person still lonely. And the rich person is still rich…still smashing away at his goals.

It makes you wonder if there’s any point in giving advice. Is there any point in coaching? In empowerment? In pumping up a crowd?

I don’t think so. At the end of the day, everybody knows what they need to know. It comes down to two things. Two roads diverging in the woods.

You either have the courage to grab your goals or you don’t.

When Should You Say That “Things Happen for a Reason”?

When Should You Say That “Things Happen for a Reason”?

You should only utter the phrase one time—when forces out of your control have resulted in tragedy: i.e. the passing of a relative, being hit by a drunk driver, etc.

NEVER utter this phrase under the following circumstances:

  • You’ve been impregnated for the third time by an El Salvadorian gang member
  • You’ve received a fourth DUI in the last five months
  • Your 20-year addiction to cocaine has caused another suitor to flee
  • Your adult children feel that you’re a worthless piece of shit.

The first scenario is out of your control…in the hands of God.

The second is a reflection of your ethics, your morals, and your intelligence.

Was Christopher Columbus Happy?

Was Christopher Columbus Happy?

The topic is dealt with in The Idiot by Dostoyevsky (via the character Hippolyte).

“Oh, you may be perfectly sure that if Columbus was happy, it was not after he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it…What did the New World matter after all? Columbus had hardly seen it when he died, and in reality he was entirely ignorant of what he had discovered. The important thing is life-life and nothing else! What is any ‘discovery’ whatever compared with the incessant, eternal discovery of life?”

Hippolyte is speculating of course, but his point is well taken. A goal is never the orgasm; instead, the pleasure lies in foreplay. It’s getting from point A to point Z that’s fun – the magical moments on the highway of life.

For Colombus, pleasure most likely came from the process of exploration; not the act of discovery.

I know this to be true. When I was younger, I wrote music that was performed on a major TV show. Prior to that accomplishment, I spent thousands of hours practicing: doing scales, taking singing lessons, etc. And finally, one day, something came of it. Boom! I got a placement.

But the pleasure was fleeting. After a few moments, the elation disappeared and I was left with a nagging question…what next?

Happiness lies in a process….the joy you get when you chase goal. So enjoy every day and embrace every moment. And if achieve the goal, then great! But don’t be fooled…the prize can never complete you.

Once your stomach is full, it’s only a matter of time before you become hungry again.

The Genius Can Never Be Fully Understood

The Genius Can Never Be Fully Understood

This point is made in The Idiot by Dostoevsky (via the character Hippolyte).

“Let me add to this that in every idea emanating from genius, or even in every serious human idea–born in the human brain–there always remains something–some sediment–which cannot be expressed to others, though one wrote volumes and lectured upon it for five-and-thirty years. There is always a something, a remnant, which will never come out from your brain, but will remain there with you, and you alone, for ever and ever, and you will die, perhaps, without having imparted what may be the very essence of your idea to a single living soul.”

Very true.

All the TED talks in the world cannot contain the complete essence of brilliance. All the self-help books, the Tony Robbins presentations…they’re all missing a key element: something that lies in the epicenter of brilliance.

Think of how a novel is written. Countless hours of contemplation, the dull hiss of the computer screen. The writer staring at a blank page, hoping to see the next paragraph of brilliance. How many thoughts are racing through his head? How many ideas that never make it to the page, yet are inextricably linked to the novel?

Think about a star athlete. Countless hours of practice, lifting weights in the back of the gymnasium. The moment of his public victory are proceeded by a million anonymous moments. How many days were not captured for the public eye? How many hours went un-televised, yet were tied to his ascension?

The genius is never fully understood. Something lies hidden—a spark in the fire that burns. An essential element, locked away from the vision of the crowd.

See Related Article: How I Restored My Foreskin

The Only People That Care About You Are Your Family and – if You’re Lucky – a Friend or Two

The Only People That Care About You Are Your Family and – if You’re Lucky – a Friend or Two

A man I know just died. He was a musician that—for many years—threw parties at his home. Every month, the players in town would gather at his house, drink beer, and jam out. This went on for a long time.

Then he got sick…Stage 4 Cancer.

Two people came to visit in the hospital—his brother and son. That’s it…only two people. What happened to the 700 Facebook “friends”? Where did everybody go? Well, they were too “busy”…they had important things to do: like re-arranging the sock drawer, etc.

But when he died, the “friends” did a 360…

All of a sudden, his Facebook page was flooded with eulogies: “You were the greatest” and “Thanks for everything,” etc. All the “friends” were now jockeying for position on the social media highway, fighting for a chance to appear empathetic. They were posting photos, writing poetry.

A week earlier, only two people stood at his death bed. But now that he was gone, hundreds of people were commenting on his social media feed. Did they love him, or do they love social validation? Were they posting for him, or for themselves? Was the sadness real, or was it just a lie?

You know the answer…

Social media is a distortion of reality. It’s a false connection, a pseudo relationship. If you put all your faith in the digital realm, then don’t be surprised if it lets you down.

The only people that care about you are your family and—if you’re lucky—a friend or two.

On the Major’s Short Hiatus

On the Major’s Short Hiatus

The Major had to attend to his sick father. All is well now, as the HE WHO SIRED THE MAJOR is feeling better—a new pacemaker being the solution.

I’ve reflected on responsibility…

The Major is married. And once we marry, especially in the US, the protocol is to make the wife your world. You’re encouraged to forget the parents and the friends—you either bow to Sheryl Sandberg or else. In short, men are encouraged to tongue-punch the asshole of Cuckoldry.

Your old friends, once men of adventure, will now say things like, “I’m sorry, but I cannot meet for a beer. I have promised to lick my wife’s stiletto heels in the linen aisle of Bed, Bath and Beyond.”

I refuse to play along. I respect and honor my aging parents.

Thankfully, I have the support of my wife. Some women are not so kind in that regard; they’re jealous of the husband’s family (particularly the mother) and they drive a wedge into these relationships.

A man should always honor his parents—even if he’s married. If the wife does not understand, you should make her understand. These points cannot be compromised…they’re too important. As the head of the family, you set the ground rule—and the rule should honor the people that came before you.

See Related Post: The “Nice” Man is Not a Great Man

What Is the Greatest Passage from Romeo and Juliet?

What Is the Greatest Passage from Romeo and Juliet?

The greatest passage from Romeo and Juliet occurs when Romeo tries to buy poison from the apothecary. The apothecary hesitates, stating that poison is illegal. Romeo retorts with the following:

“There is thy gold — worse poison to men’s souls, Doing more murder in this loathsome world, Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not sell.”

 Beautifully put.

This passage is overshadowed by others in the play (i.e. “It is the East and Juliet is the Sun”). Nonetheless, it’s a wonderful sentiment…more people have died from money than poison.