“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.
~ by Vince Lombardi ~
Every time I think of writing this post I am tempted to change the headline so that it reads “Master ofÂ My Domain.” I blame Seinfeld for infecting my brain for this. It was a memorable episode that has secured a place as a pop culture reference.Â Even though it is supposed to be funny it is applicable to the real topic of this post which is about taking control of our lives.
I really shouldn’t say our lives because I am not writing this to motivate you but me. Sure, I hope that you find it to be inspirational but that is entirely for selfish reasons. If you find inspiration you will come back to visit again and that will help me in building this blog so that eventually my goal of turning it into a significant source of income will be realized. It is one of a number of different objectives that I have established for myself and part of the mental map that I have constructed.
The mental map is something that I keep inside my head. It is a list of things that I want to do. Some of these items are things that I have been dreaming about since I was a boy and others are more recent additions. The mental map is where I store them along side the guide for converting them from something that I dream about into reality. I often write about being a dreamer and how I see visions of the future. OrÂ maybe I should use my preferred term, echoes of the future.
People need to have dreams. It is part of what keeps us going and it is most definitely part of how I motivate myself. It is not secret that I have been fighting some battles for a while now. There are things going on that are troubling me. There are challenges that have presented themselves repeatedly and I have done my best to meet them head on. Sometimes I have found myself feeling frustrated and angry because it has felt like I have been handcuffed. My ability to confront them has been limited because so much has been outside of my control.
It is not easy for me to accept that. It is not easy to feel like I am being forced to play a game whose rules are unknown or subject to change without notice.Â And I find myself thinking about conversations with my paternal grandfather. “You have to play the hand that you are dealt” was one of his favorite lines. The memory makes me smile even if sometimes the words feel flat.
But as a father I hear something different. As a father I hear myself talking to the children about what is and what can be. I hear myself telling them to stop fighting battles that you can’t win and to adapt. Meaning, you shouldn’t bang your head against the wall because your head will break long before the wall does. So figure out a way to do things differently.
And that is what I have been doing. I have been focused on finding different approaches to these challenges.Â I alternate between finesse and brute strength.Â It is not always necessary to knock down a wall if there is a door thatÂ I can walk through.
Alongside that mental map is a little storehouse of quotes and life experiences that I draw upon. When I feel like I need to recharge my batteries it is one of the places that I like to visit. It is also where I made the decision that I was going to work harder on focusing my energy on doing things that are fulfilling. Life is short and our grip upon it can be tenuous. I don’t want to just be. I don’t want to just exist and pass through my days.
So the things that I do and the people I hang out with are those that stoke the fires of my passions. Part of being the master of my destiny means that I focus on that. I understand and recognize that it is not possible to limit myself to that. There are still things that I have to do that aren’t going to fit into that category or people that aren’t really part of that. But if they help me to get to the places I want to be or to stay there than it is a reasonable compromise.
If you have managed to read through all of this mental nonsense the takeaway here is the following.Â I am focused on living a life that is meaningful and not wasted. I may not achieve every objective I set out before me, but if I actively pursue them then I am still being true to trying to be the master of my destiny.
Leigh Ann January 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm
Jack! I was totally nodding my head when you were talking about how our kids cause us to see things in a different light. My kids motivate me to do all sorts of wholesome things, like make my own baby food and refrain from swearing, in addition to all the good stuff you wrote here.
As an aside. I have no idea why you read my blog, but I am seriously enjoying your comments. Thanks. 🙂
Jack January 13, 2011 at 10:18 pm
Children change everything in our lives and if they don’t, well than I would be very concerned. Thank you for coming by again.
wagthedad January 13, 2011 at 11:55 am
Echoes of the future. I like that. I’ve come to a point in my life where I feel very similar to what you’ve just described here. Thanks for putting it into words.
Jack January 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm
That is part of why I blog, to give a voice to the questions and thoughts that lay beneath the surface.