It’s been too long since I’ve written. I keep meaning to write but get side tracked. Many things have happened since I last wrote. I received my first comments on the blog from someone I don’t personally know. It was an incredible feeling to know my experiences may have helped someone in their lives. I moved to Waterloo, to my in-laws house. Eliz left for Cyprus to book our wedding venue. I moved in back to Mississauga to my parents house for the next 3 weeks, until Eliz gets back. The condo we sold didn’t close. The buyers backed out and now the condo is back on the market. All of this in 6 days. It’s safe to say I’ve been ‘busy.’
I’m not going to make the “I was too busy” excuse. I’ve had my opportunity to write but I’ve spend the time doing something else. Talking to Eliz, hanging out with family, going to play basketball, sleeping. I needed to do all those things. It’s been a stressful couple of days. The house not closing was a curve ball.
While all of this is going on I think I remained relatively happy. I’ve been working hard on it. Catching myself when my emotions run wild. There’s a lot of pressure on us right now but with the support of friends and family we haven’t experienced it nearly as bad as it could’ve been. The move was last Saturday and it was an amazing day. All my closest friends were there to help. It went by a lot quicker than we thought it would. It’s all thanks to their help.
I always stress the importance of close friends and relationships. Even going to play basketball the other day was therapeutic for me. It completely took my mind off the entire debacle. I know we’re going to come out on the other side of this unscathed. It will just take some time.
I’m reading a book my sister gave me for my birthday. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. It is mainly about meditation and how it can help when leading our daily lives in today’s fast paced society.
I’ve been putting off taking the pictures for Invictus Beard. I put it off again today. I’m not just sitting around watching Netflix or anything. I’ve just prioritized other things ahead of it. It’s all about priority. Busyness is an excuse. I’ve been telling myself every day, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ for the past week. I mean it this time. I’ll do it tomorrow. Maybe having told you all about it I’ll get it done.
“Happiness is a trait that we learn.” – Naval Ravikant
I was listening to Naval Ravikant, founder of AngelList, answering questions on a podcast and he said “Tell your friends you’re a happy person.” This was his way of trying to make himself happy. Basically, if you tell everyone around you that you’re a happy person than you will have to be or be scorned for it otherwise. He also said something like “Happiness is a trait that we learn.” As in learning anything else, it takes time and practice. I can’t agree with this more. I’ve been working to be a happy person. I’m certainly better off than I was before, for the simple fact that I see my feelings now. I can tell how I’m feeling because of meditation. I don’t think I do a good enough job explaining this because it’s a little above my pay grade but I’ll do my best.
Basically, as I sit every morning and watch my thoughts I begin to become more aware of myself. I take that awareness throughout the day. I’m not aware of each moment but I’m certainly more aware than I was a few years ago. When I first started out, Headspace presented an exercise to be aware every time I stood up or sat down. Before that exercise, I never even thought about the motion. It’s something we all do without being aware of it. Dr. Kabat-Zinn uses the example of walking. We just do it without being aware unless we are walking on uneven ground.
The point of mediation, if there is a point, for me, is to have awareness in these moments. When I get angry, anxious, afraid I recall and focus on my breath. I don’t let my thoughts spiral like I used to.
In the book, Dr. Kabat-Zinn discusses how the moment before he was killed, Ghandi put his hands together in a “Christian prayer” pose and said his mantra. Thinks about that, he could look at the person that assassinated him with that level of calm. That’s an incredible story. Obviously, I’ve heard of Ghandi but I didn’t know he did that. Knowing full well he was about to die he could accept it. He accepted it long before he ever met the man that would kill him. I think that has to do with how present he was throughout his life. He didn’t take moments for granted. He knew his time was limited and truly didn’t fear death.
I’m not nearly there yet. I fear death. Don’t we all? I’m not ready to die. I don’t know if I ever will be ready to die but I hope I will get to that point. As I enjoy more and more of the simple moments I’m growing happier. We take too much for granted. I write in a journal because I think it would be great to look at it 10 or 20 years from now to see what I was going through on April 2, 2017. Do you know what you were doing on April 2? Was it a special day for you? What makes a day special anyway?
Niko does this thing where if I pick up one of his toys that’s the toy he wants. If I leave it, he doesn’t take a second look at it. I make it special for him. Humans are obviously different than other animals. We can be self-aware. As Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am.” Well how many of us truly experience our own thoughts? How many of us get to know ourselves? Be absolutely honest with ourselves? I don’t think I’m there yet, but I think I’m closer than I was before.
I believe we can make each day special. We have the power to make each hour special. We can make each moment special. There is too much glory in the final moment when everything comes together. Everyone sees the champion and soaks in the glory. There are companies that have major IPOs and we all look on in amazement. Well, what about the millions of moments that led up to that one moment? Aren’t those special?
Of course, it’s hard to appreciate every single second. I’m not even close to that, but now I stop for half a second and become aware of certain moments. This morning I dropped off Eliz at the airport and made sure I had that moment when I hugged her. Again, I did it when I had breakfast with my family. I simply told myself this is a great moment. I showed appreciation for it. We’ll never get that moment back. I may never recall it in the future but at that moment, being present, made me appreciate it that much more.
We all struggle. I may have used this quote before but I’m doing it again, J Cole said “There’s beauty in the struggle.” We all go through it. There are millions of moments before that person finds success. There are millions of moments before that team wins a game. There are millions of moments before a company is sold for a billion dollars. I wonder if they take the time to appreciate those moments.
I have an innate feeling that I will be successful. Maybe I won’t be crazy rich. Maybe I won’t get to travel as much as I want. Maybe I won’t get to see all the places I want to. I still think I’ll be successful. We must learn to appreciate the struggle. We must understand that we are grinding every day for a purpose.
My advice is to identify why you’re doing what you are doing. Why do you wake up to go to work? Why are you working as hard as you do? Why do you read the book you read? Why are you doing any of these things? Do you know what you want from it? Do you know what you want from life?
Once you identify your, as Napoleon Hill calls it, Definite Chief Aim, it all becomes easier. If we are working every day without knowing what we are working towards, how are we any different than other animals? We need to be self-aware or else, just like Niko, we’ll look for someone else to pick something up to become excited about it.
You have the power to make yourself excited. You have the power to make yourself successful. You have the power to make yourself happy.
Take a second to make moments during the struggle, great moments.