I sat by the fire a few hours after the kids went into the cabin and my wife joined them. Alone outside in the woods by the crackling fire I began to look deep within my heart and soul, in my mind and agendas. As I sat there I began to question my actions and non-actions. Realizing that I was making excuses in different areas of life, I asked myself what needed to happen to make progress and get past the excuses.
For a few weeks I’ve been listening to the Jocko podcast, every Tuesday I believe he puts out a new episode. It struck me right in the gut and has been helping me get over the obstacles I create in my life. Normally he reads through a military based book and discusses it and then answers questions from people across the world. He wrote a best-selling book called Extreme Ownership and I don’t need to read it because I get it. The whole point of the book is simple, own everything with one hundred percent responsibility and take charge of your own life.
Simple I thought, and as I got back into the swing of things at the gym and home life I realized much of the problems going on in my mind are created because I’m not owning my responsibility. Before the trip I felt stuck in my writing and actually thought I’d never find something to write about. I didn’t meditate for about a year because I made the excuse of not having time and kids keeping me from doing it.
What all that is was bullshit and fake assumptions and negative thinking. Own it I told myself. Get after it I said. Words enveloped in my language from listening studiously to Jocko and Echo talk about being disciplined and in charge. I call it living your life activated and being awake and alive. Mantras I preached and lived by but words that fell off my shoulders. Being stuck was nothing more than laziness and ill thinking.
The power of negative thinking and burn out can be soul crushing and when we let it linger, it causes excuses. One of the best things that ever happened to me was learning how to say no. I am a generous person and I often give my help to those who need it without question. I drop everything, change plans, do things I don’t want to do to give my help, but learning how to say NO and being okay with it was a game changer. You can call it being selfish but I call it putting my own mask on first. What I found is that being spread thin and sympathetic left me burned out and there came the excuses I created for “writer’s block” and not meditating.
As I learn from the Jocko podcast and through the art of living I learn that we must act, even if we don’t want to. We must find the courage to fight our fear. We must push through the obstacles in the way of our dreams. We must take full responsibility for everything and not be a circumstance of the situation. We create our lives through our thoughts, our beliefs, our goals, and none of it becomes possible without action. Consistent action.
My excuses and failure to see the negative self talk and lack of acceptance of responsibility left me confused, frustrated, and stuck. Now that I stand awake again and alive, my mind is activated and my energy is charged towards action. If you ever want to achieve your goals, live your best life, be activated, and fully charged you must own your journey and accept full responsibility for all that stands in your days.