I find myself often wondering where I would be today if I had read pure, powerful, and positive material for 30 years instead of that other stuff. But we are where we are and when we are for a reason. If you are stuck, if you want to stretch, if you want to grow, if you want to become something more, there is a book for you out there. If you want to learn or get better at a skill, there is a book out there for you. Everything you want to do, have, or be is within your reach if you will just learn How to get it and keep going until you get it.
I wish that life wrapped itself up in neat little packages, but it doesn’t do that. It’s a guess. It’s all a learning process to become better. It’s a cycle, it’s a wheel. It just keeps coming. And you can let it roll over you, or you can do what it takes to figure it out. That’s what personal development – self-improvement – is all about.
When you fly in a plane, and you are headed to a destination, there are many forces that are working against that plane, and they constantly pushing it off course. Gravity, wind, weather patterns, all of it could make that plane go off course. The entire time, the pilots are working to keep the craft on course, so they can land at the destination they are supposed to be at.
If the pilots acted the way I acted for over 30 years of my life, they would just say, well, we were supposed to go to Tampa, but here we are in New Orleans, enjoy your stay – we will be happy to try again some other time.
In order to reach new heights, in order to not be living the same day over and over again, there are certain things you need to be looking for, and certain things to reflect on. I could give you a huge list of all the things that you could reflect on, but if you boil every single one of those down to their essence, you’re going to find that the end game of reflection is results.
Elevation is the place where we reflect, revise, and remix our life. I didn’t make any progress, until I began to pick apart my days, weeks, and months, and ask myself about my results in life. I set goals, but I didn’t begin achieving them until I reflected on why I didn’t have them already.
I placed the responsibility of my position on everyone else but me, and when adversity came, there was always something or someone to blame. This went on for years. Sometimes I just let adversity roll all over me, sometimes I got lucky and was able to talk my way out of disaster without any real effort or sacrifice on my part.
I can ask why, just as I was getting to the end of the process of starting an online keyboard course, and struggling already to make things work out – why did the pandemic hit and change everything? Why did my father die? Why did my wife suffer an injury that hurt her body, her self-esteem? Why did my sister have a heart attack? And why did all of this happen within one month, the same month that I was just about to get up and running?
At the beginning it seems like it’s always arbitrary – it’s always a guess about how to apply the information. That’s because we, in our attempt to go with the flow of the normal negative, make things more difficult than they need to be. We add layers of complexity on top of complexity, confusing ourselves about what steps to actually take.
If we were like trees, always giving the maximum, always trying to grow the maximum, we wouldn’t need to work on ourselves. We would be busy already being everything we can be. But for whatever reason – because of the way our brains evolved or the way God made us, we have the dignity to choose our own destiny, and that includes the dignity to decide, if we will, to not grow, to not change, to not participate in nature and be all we can be.
In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield calls it the Resistance. I’ve heard it referred to as the the thief, the villain, the gremlin, one book on eating habits calls it “your inner pig.” Maybe some even call it Satan? The devil? I call it the base. And I tried to study it out of my existence for two years, before finding out that it doesn’t go away – and here’s why it doesn’t and won’t go away.