Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tales from the Front - Personal Responsibility isn't just a catch phrase

"If you're going through Hell, keep going"

Winston Churchill

Hey all,

Been a bit since my last post, fighting some sinus and ear issues while working and training has made the start of 2017 a bit challenging. But during this time, I've also had the opportunity to do some pretty cool stuff as well, things that I believe will help others in similar situations.

About a month ago I was approached by Eric Su, the host of the "Healthy Living"Podcast. He was interested in my story and wanted to know more. As we spoke, I was able to share my thoughts on how and why I regained fitness after a long lay off, as well as a couple accidents. He asked if I would be on his podcast to talk about that, and I agreed. The link is attached below.

During the podcast the one critical point that I kept circling back to, as my motivation, was personal responsibility. I had spent a fair amount of time in my life, prior to 2010, blaming everyone else for things not going my way. Or why I wasn't experiencing the success I wanted, or had the job I wanted, etc. I was great at finding excuses. Looking back, it's fairly embarrassing that I was doing that. I was really good at saying what I wanted to do, but my execution showed otherwise. I had the work ethic, it was part of my DNA. But somewhere along the way, I forgot about it. And it took a broken right clavicle and 5 broken ribs to wake me the fuck up.

I don't want that for others.I don't want them to have to experience trauma to realize they control their own destiny. Its easy to point to millennials and say they have become the greatest excuse makers on the planet, but that's a little unfair. Every generation has people who do this. So quick to blame the world for their problems -most of which are self inflicted to boot. I know I've talked about the need for all of us to take personal responsibility for our actions, for our words, for everything. Because, everything is everything.Let me explain.

Your actions, big or small, cause reactions. If we ignore the small stuff for too long, it will create a giant monster that will follow us wherever we go. And that contributes to our initial reaction to point the finger outward. We lose sight of the genesis of our issues, we lose sight of our goals. Because we became great at putting off what we considered to be small stuff - eating better, sleeping more, spending more time with loved ones, and became comfortable with our lives being kind of ok, but not really great, and definitely not what we wanted. Then, inevitably, something goes really sideways. And there you sit wondering "how the hell did this happen?" We've become so conditioned to dump out and not take responsibility, that we start looking everywhere else for a reason. Well, that doesn't work. You can't put a band aid on a head wound and expect things to be ok.

Its not easy to have, what I consider to be, one of the top 5 hardest conversations - the one with yourself about how you got to where you are. If you have gained 20 lbs in a year, its not easy to look in the mirror and say - "I did this. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I put myself in this position. And I'm the only one who can get myself out". Or  - "I've been working a dead end job for 10 years. I hate it. I hate going. But I never did what was needed to get the job or career I wanted". Look, this conversation is not easy, but its worth it.

The minute you take personal responsibility for your actions, you will find that its not easy. I can't lie and promise that its all roses. But its worth it. You can start over, you can restart your journey. Understand your opportunity to change your life only stops when your in the grave. Is it scary to think that? Fuck yes. But its worth it. Is it scary to admit your failings, yet realize you are in control of fixing them? Absolutely. You have to. You have to take your life back. This might not jive with everyone around you and that's ok.

If you keep trying to make the world happy - you end up miserable. Why? Because the person who is jumping around trying to fix everyone else isn't getting fixed. You aren't taking care of your own shit. Trust me, you don't want to have something traumatic happen to wake you up.

Or don't. Not taking responsibility, is an action. Understand not doing something is actually doing something. Its a choice. So if you choose not to act - guess what - that's on you. If you have the hard conversation and decide - "ah, fuck it, change seems too tough", then you have decided to not change yourself. Which is fine, but you don't get to bitch about it anymore.

I know what its like to be lost. I know what its like to have a hard time looking in the mirror every day. I've been to the bottom more frequently than I'd like to remember. But I got up. And I've got zero super powers, I'm not talented, I'm not special. So if I can do it, so can you. SO CAN YOU.

Get up and stay up.

Here's the podcast link -

Stay strong,