failures

Commitment to Yourself

This will be a fairly brief post. The mission of a Work in Progress (A-WIP) is to better ones self. I have, in previous posts, outlined what this means to me. Through photography, philosophy, and creative writing I find the best way to live for me. I share this better self of me on this blog as an example of taking control of my life. Now this this idea of being better is different for everyone. Here at A-WIP we want everyone to reach that ideal self, and we believe the only way to do this is to make a commitment to yourself.

I want say this as gentle as I can, but this commitment cannot have excuses. I know that many people suffer from issues be that of mental, or physical and my goal isn’t to mitigate those issues. However, saying I cannot because of _____ just tells me that you have a crutch that you cannot let go of yet. To make a commitment to oneself is to know that these issues may affect us, but should not control us. There is the difference.

To make a commitment to yourself first find out what it is you want out of life. For me it is to live an accepting Christian lifestyle, this could be different for you, but what does life look like to you in the future? Who do you see yourself being?

Know what challenges are ahead for the choices that you make and create a plan for overcoming those challenges. If you aren’t sure what challenges await then at least create good coping skills for when issues arise.

Finally when you create this commitment let us know, and let us know your progress. If anything we want to be supportive of you in your journey along with us in becoming our best selves.

How You’re Going To Take Over the World and Other Stuff My Mom Taught Me

I have probably the best mother ever. Not trying to brag, but honestly, she is awesome. She taught me so much of what I know today and is an inspiration to me. Anyone who can constantly tell you “Life is supposed to be fun!” is someone you want to listen to.

One of the most important things she taught me was how to take over the world. Not in a literal sense, but in a sense of how to conquer my world. To take on the challenges that I face and overcome them. She taught me how to set goals.

Setting goals is one of those important things that we all believe we know how to do. It’s like budgeting or doing laundry. Everyone believes they have the knowledge to set goals, but it takes time. It takes time, work, and drive to push through completing what is hard now to have something in the future.

In the past I had these outrageous goals like publish a novel next year when I don’t know the first thing about writing, or publishing. Creating a club, and having it be the most popular club on campus when I know nothing about club management. These goals were things that I wanted to accomplish but set the bar too high too soon. There is a saying that you should shoot to the moon, and if you miss you still land among that stars. To me that only means they missed their goal, and if they had spent a little more time calculating they could have made it.

What I am not saying is give up on your dreams. What I am saying is make achievable goals that lead you to your dreams gradually. If the dream is to become the world’s most famous rock star the first step is ensuring you can play the guitar well. If the dream is to own a house, then the first step is understanding loans. In the example of the moon scientists didn’t just shoot the first rocket they found full of people to land among the stars. It took years of careful research and experimentation to complete.

My mother taught me that these baby steps, though small, eventually take me higher until I reach the top of the mountain. If I want to publish a novel the first step is learning how to write well.

Here is how to set achievable goals to take over the world:

Step one-

Create the vision. We ask this question first, so we know where we need to go. It won’t help us one bit if we just do things without knowing where it ends. What is it you want to do? Is there a job that you want, or a skill? What is the final product?

Step two-

Research what it is that you want. I mean actually research, not just a google search and look at Wikihow (though they are helpful). Go to a library, ask a professional in the field, or even look at reviews (if it’s a company, or membership needed). Really understand what you’re getting into. This will save time and money

Step three-

Begin your first steps by creating smaller destinations along the way. If you want to get in shape determine what your first achievable step is. If someone hasn’t ran a mile since high school, then running a block might be too much. Try walking a mile or jogging less than a mile. Continue working up from there. They should also determine what their eating, and if it is a benefit to them getting in shape. If it’s not, then what can they take out of their diet over time?

Step four-

Mistakes WILL be made. Whoever try’s will fail, especially if it is a new skill. We shouldn’t assume mistakes are a sign of failure they are a determination of what we did wrong, and what should be done to improve. Mistakes are for learning and growing. When first trying to fish I used too much junk on my line leaving fish disinterested. After multiple failed attempts I caught my first fish. Approach mistakes positively they are the guide to success.

Step 5-

Create for yourself the drive to complete these smaller goals and push past the point of disinterest. Most people will stop short of their goal because the drive isn’t there anymore. Find the drive in yourself each day to complete the tasks set. As time goes on it will become as natural as breathing. Find someone to hold you accountable and will push you to succeed.

 

Setting goals is the easy part, completing them can be difficult. If you want to control your world and become the master of your destiny you must be willing to work for it. Each day creates the opportunity to learn, but like anything not used it will atrophy.

 

What is the vision you have? Do you know how to get there? Let me know.

Failing Forward an Ode to the Times I Suck

The most cliché thing I love to repeat is “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” All my life I have made plans, and they have never been fulfilled. I’ve given up, honestly I have, and I am letting go of all worry. What is the point anymore? Since I was a child I had this huge plan about where I was going to go, and what I was going to do. There was a perfect outline of events that would create the perfect life. I worked hard every step of the way only to find that the door I was searching for was always closed to me. It wasn’t part of my journey no matter how badly I wanted in.

This has to be relatable to other people. I don’t think I have ever met someone who has said, “Oh yeah, everything I ever wanted came out just as planned.” There is just too much going on for anyone to completely succeed at everything they set out to do. I wanted a completely different life than the one got. Planning was dumb, I was blinded by ambition, and a need to succeed that I never learned a single thing about myself.

I hit my head against a wall fighting for my “dream job” while living in this fantasy that if I don’t give up then I will get what I have always wanted (For some people this works). Giving up has honestly been the best choice for me. I stopped planning. I’ve stopped worrying because how the hell am I suppose to know what tomorrow will bring when I can barely control today. I still have wants, and dreams. I make achievable goals for that, but I’m over creating a five or ten year plan.

God will provide, and I sincerely believe that. Now I’m not trying to proselytize here, but can you say that all those nights spent worrying turned up anything besides bad dreams with upset stomachs? After dealing with one client’s crisis to the next, staying up late at night trying to plan out the perfect situation to get them the most help, I learned it all works out in the end. Maybe not for the best, maybe even to a decompensated state. However, the crisis is over, and they grow from it. They can rebuild.

I failed at everything. I pushed so hard to be let down. I sacrificed everything I had for what I wanted to do, and was crushed for years when I learned I couldn’t do it. I was physically unable to. Yet I persisted, and fought more. I dug myself deeper, and deeper believing in this dream. I had no idea that I would be where I am today, but I am better off for it. I learned to rebuild, and I built the life I have now. With help of course from my religion, my wife (pictured above beautiful as ever), and my family especially my mother.

Life isn’t always pretty, and I understand there are powerful forces at play in people’s lives that cause harm. All I am suggesting is that for all the hours I spent hunched over begging God for help, could have been spent thanking him it’s not worse. Instead of feeling sick and being restless I could have been asleep or enjoying the limited time I have here in life.

That’s what it boils down to, 75 years (If I am lucky) of life. Already 25 have been spent, and a third will go to sleep. More to work, cooking, traffic, and chores. All told I only have maybe 5 years left of time that I get to enjoy. If that time is spent worrying about tomorrow I won’t get to write cool things, love on my wife, and take stupid photos.

Tomorrow I will wake up. I will walk to work with the sun shining down on my face. At work I will speak with clients, and help solve their issues. During lunch I will eat, and work on some more content to publish working on the things I enjoy. I will finish my day at work, and go home. I will play D&D with my friends, and wife. I will cook dinner with my wife. That is my plan, and that is as far as I will go. An infinite amount of things (good or bad) can happen between then and now. I choose not to worry because I cannot know what tomorrow will bring. I will take whatever life gives me, and work with what I have.

Each time I failed I learned, and moved forward. So here is to us, the imperfect, the broken, and the rebuilders. To those who have given up on waiting for life, and making plans for tomorrow. Be here today, and laugh with God about plans made.

What is something you spent time worrying about? Did your life’s plan turn out the way you wanted it to?

Work in Progress

So, why is the blog called A Work in Progress? Short answer, life is a work in progress. When you were born you had the ability to breath, eat, and not much else. Compared to then you’re a miracle now. We are all on a journey with no real destination. We live in the ultimate sandbox with an infinite amount of decisions to be made. When you learn where you want to go in life you gain the ability create action toward your dream. For me it was starting a blog, and learning to tell a story.

Failure doesn’t really exist in life, so long as we continue with our journey. We work perfecting ourselves a little bit each day, and with setbacks comes knowledge. I wouldn’t admit to anyone that I was sad at how things turned out for me. I had this whole plan of where I wanted to be, and what my life would look like. Over time my life continued to divert from this ideal path to something that a few years ago would be completely alien to me. People don’t even recognize me anymore in my hometown. I’m completely different.

I was sad though because I felt like everything I have done has failed, and that it’s the end of the line. Actually though I have learned, and grew as a person. I will continue to grow by making mistakes, and improving upon them to form the life I want to live. No one can take that from me, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter if I stumble so long as I learn from it.

I am a work in progress, so is my writing, my marriage, my religion, and my life. It will never be perfected, but it will grow day to day. It will eventually become my life’s work, and when my life is completed I will have known it was a good one. That is what brings peace to me is the knowledge that I don’t have to be the best, only better than I was yesterday. My life isn’t anyone else’s, and as long as I breath I can still make plenty of mistakes to work on.

 

What is your work in progress?

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