Captain of the football team, All-Conference, Lineman of the year, All-American, dating the head cheerleader, I was going to graduate with honors, I had job offers, I had “made it”! And yet I had never felt emptier in my entire life. I didn’t feel sad. I didn’t feel angry. I didn’t feel pain. I felt NOTHING. I felt lost. Having all these peaks didn’t fix any of this. Nothing went away…except my distraction…except my excuse for being the person I was. Why was I here? Why did I work so hard for these things? What was my purpose? What
I write this because I see that emptiness in other people. I see the inner demons that torment people. In their eyes, in their souls. I also see the same people making the same mistakes I did. I see them distracting, I see them excusing. I see them on the wrong path. I’m not saying I have all or any of the answers. But I do know what doesn’t work and I have a voice to hopefully help someone.
One of my main goals in life is to write a book, to help people through these situations, to let people know there is something if you keep pushing through these moments. “What Now” is a series of my thoughts that I’m working on developing into a story, into a book and this is my first piece.
There is no Top:
I promise you it’s a myth. That goal you are striving for, that award, that promotion, that girl or boy. I promise none of its going to fill that empty feeling in you. I know, I’ve been there. As a freshmen in college I wrote down 4 goals. One of my biggest goals was to become an All-American. I wrote it everywhere, I told myself at all moments it was going to happen, I put every ounce of my soul into it. I went to bed early, I never went out, I trained tirelessly, I carried around my food everywhere. I was obsessed. With this goal. With myself. Anything that stood in the path of it wasn’t going to last. I thought I had found what I was called to do. I thought when I got that award, that feeling in my stomach would go away. I thought when I got that award, that emptiness would go away. I thought when I got that award, things would make sense. But they didn’t. One of the lowest points in my life, as stupid as it may sound, was when I got that award. Because nothing happened. Nothing went away…except my distraction…except my excuse for being the person I was. So there I was, I had reached “the top” emptier than ever. Unable to communicate with anyone what I was going through. Feeling fake. Feeling all the people saying congrats and how happy they were for me, knowing they didn’t care about me, because I couldn’t tell them who I was. I was stuck. I was stuck in who I created. It opened up my eyes, it made me realize: There is no top. So what now?
The Journey, The Moment, The People.
That’s what matters. Set a destination, set a “peak” so you have direction, but realize that the journey to get there is what matters. The people. The moments. Who you are and who you want to become. How are you treating these things, in every single action you take? One of the most powerful things I did for myself was setting a Why. A mission statement. A reason for doing what I do.
My Why: “To earn what has been put into me and to give my talents to everyone I come in contact with, to make the world closer to heaven than hell”
A why will lead to you accomplishing your goals, the reverse is not true. You will not find yourself, by accomplishing goals. With this why In place I had purpose. With every single action I take in life I know I must repay, grow and pay forward to others in this world. In every single action!
“Nothing is too small”
It’s an incredible responsibility to hold. You are now responsible for your life. You are responsible for things that go wrong, no matter what. It keeps you in the moment. It keeps you on the path. It helps you push others forward. It brings meaning to every small detail in your life. It eliminates that emptiness, that darkness, those demons. Set a peak, create a why, focus on the moment, start to find meaning in your life. It’s not about you, Its about what you do for others. Its about what you leave this world.
It's Not Easy, It's Not Fast, But It's Worthy:
If you’re reading this you’re probably very similar to me. Type A. You strive for greatness, goals, accomplishments. An ego that has been your fuel source for success so far. The short cuts to help fuel these things are everywhere. You could be self-centered and accomplish that goal faster, you could hate and put blame on others, so you don’t ever take that ego hit for your short comings. It’s very easy to get caught up in it all and without a why you will. But is it pushing you forward? Is it making the world better? Is it inline with your why? The changes also won’t happen instantly. You’ll actively have to break the cycle of who you were and work towards who you want to become in every action you take every day. Little by little the momentum will build, and the changes will start to add up. But it takes time and effort, because its worthy. I still struggle everyday with this battle and it’ll never get easier, but the feeling I have now is so much better.
Take a small step forward in life, today, right now. As Stephen Covey would say “Begin with the end in mind” Figure out who you want to be, actually think about it, then write it down and create it. Life your life that way, treat people that way, make the world closer to heaven than hell.