The Messages We Are Sending Our Young Men

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Written by: John Glass

On my flight back from visiting with family I overheard a conversation between two women behind me. I was really eavesdropping. As an observer of human behavior I do that from time to time.

The conversation caught my interest because the two woman were discussing different men that they had been talking to. I heard one say, “He just needs to man up and be a real man.” That got my attention real quick. I actually laughed out loud in my seat when I heard that.

I thought, “A real man. What does that even mean?”

I identify as a man. I have man parts. I am real. So, what does it mean to be a “real man” Continue reading “The Messages We Are Sending Our Young Men”

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The Lie About Living Your Purpose

  

 Written By: Jeffrey Craig

 

I remember it like it was yesterday. After almost 20 years of school, I had finally reached the summit in educational achievement. I was about to receive my Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. As they were calling names of the new graduates, I couldn’t help but look back on the years I spent getting to this moment. The hours upon hours of homework, the papers that seemed to take forever to write, the study sessions that robbed me of sleep. I was overcome with a sense of pride and achievement. It took everything I had to get to this moment, but I finally made it.

 

Now, as I sit here writing this article, I struggle to find the motivation I once thought I would have. I found something I am passionate about. I have discovered my purpose in this great big world. Yet, in this moment, I fight to fulfill it. A task that should come easy to me has become increasingly difficult.

 

It’s a confusing experience to have.

 

In college, I hated studying. I loathed the idea of writing a paper. Yet, somehow I managed to pass every test. I would compose papers that were nothing short of a masterpiece. How could I do something so well that I wasn’t passionate about, yet when it comes time to do something that I am, I go blank?

 

I had been convinced that once I found my calling, it would light a fire within me that couldn’t be put out. I was told by the world that the work comes easy when it’s aligned with your purpose. I believed what I was told. In the moment I discovered my purpose, my beliefs were confirmed. But I wasn’t told the whole truth. No one told me the REAL story that comes after the flood of positive emotions.

 

Living your purpose is NOT always easy.

 

Finding your purpose will ignite a fire inside of you. It will inspire you to do great things. It will motivate you to reach for the stars. But, it will not always feel that way. Sometimes, the flame will dwindle. Sometimes, you will have to work hard when you don’t want to. Sometimes, you will not feel the passion behind your purpose.

 

Much like a new relationship, finding your purpose has a puppy love phase. In the beginning, it’s new, exciting, you want to stroll around town and show it off to all your friends. The work comes easy because, hey, when you’re living your purpose, nothing ever goes wrong, right?

 

Soon, the things you used to love about it begin to annoy you. Your purpose begins to interfere with your social life. It doesn’t give you butterflies as often as it did in the beginning. It starts wearing sweats around the house…. Okay, maybe not the last one.

 

What I am trying to say is, the excitement wears off at times and you forget why living your purpose is so important.

 

This doesn’t feel encouraging, I know. If someone told me this years ago, I would question why I would even care to find my purpose. I mean, what’s the point, right?

 

Well here’s the second part to this great truth. Nothing in this world worth having comes easy. There will be times where you want to give up, times where you forget why you are doing it in the first place. But if you can summon the courage and strength to fight through this resistance, you will experience a reward far greater than anything you could ever imagine.

 

Picture a marathon runner. They spend months training for one moment, crossing that finish line. Some days, they get out of bed and are excited to train. They are filled with energy and motivation. The training is fun and rewarding as they see themselves progress physically. Other days, they want to hit the snooze button and sleep in. They want to skip training and instead chow down on a juicy cheese burger.

 

But they don’t. Instead, they lace up their running shoes and get to work. They struggle through every excruciating mile and hate every moment of it.

 

Then the day comes. The day they have been training for. As the marathon begins, they are filled with the excitement and adrenaline they had on the first day of training. They pass the starting line ready for what awaits them. While some miles are easy, others are tough, but they power through it just as they have always done. All those days they got out of bed when they didn’t want to pay off in this moment as they finally cross that finish line.

 

So how do they do it?

 

How does anyone make it through those hard days?

 

Remember Why You Started

 

The reason the puppy dog phase wears off is because it becomes comfortable. Your purpose has become a normal part of the daily routine.

 

The feelings you once received from living on your path are less rewarding because you experience it every day. It begins to fade into your personal homeostasis.

 

You must remind yourself on the hard days, why you started this journey in the first place. You must find your “WHY” once again and hold it tightly.

You started for a reason. Don’t forget it.

 

Get It Done, Even If It Sucks

 

When hard days come, you will not want to work. You will feel uninspired and unmotivated. You will be convinced that whatever work you put into your passion will be fruitless and an epic waste of time.

 

I am telling you now, DO IT ANYWAYS.

 

Some of the most successful people in the world had 100 terrible ideas before they had the one idea that transformed their industry.

 

One of my great heroes, Walt Disney, was fired once from a newspaper for lacking “imagination” and “original ideas.” This may have been true at the time, but due to his tenacity, Walt later went on to create a Mouse that has now instilled magic and wonder into the hearts of millions.

 

Admire Your Progress

 

As you struggle to find the motivation to keep going, it is always important to note how far you’ve come.

 

It doesn’t matter if you started a week ago, a month ago, or years ago. You are not in the same place you started.

 

This progress, no matter how small or large, is a testament to the value of what you do. It has made you smarter, stronger, and more competent. It has prepared you for the future challenges that await you.

 

Just as building muscle takes time, so does developing your craft. It is important to pause every now and then to admire just how far you’ve come.

 

Prove Yourself Right

 

Who doesn’t love being right? I know I do. Even when I am wrong, I will try to convince myself otherwise.

 

There is no reward for giving up on your dreams. You will not gain fulfillment from taking the easy route in life. Your future self will not thank you for quitting early. He will resent you. Life will not get any easier.

 

You believed you could do this in the beginning and you still should. Every moment is an opportunity to prove yourself right. Success tastes so much better than mediocrity, I assure you.

 

You see, just because we are inspired one day, does not mean that every day will be as easy. Just because we have found our path doesn’t mean the road will always be gentle. But that doesn’t mean we stop. It is all the more reason to add fuel to the fire and keep going.

 

As I complete writing this, I look back once again on my experience in college and I’m reminded of how I got through it. There were days I would rather sleep instead of study for midterms, days I would rather go out and party instead of write a paper. I didn’t do it because I wanted to. I didn’t do it because it was fun. I worked through the hard days because I had to. I worked through the hard days for the moment I could finally hold that degree in my hand and say “I did it!”  

 

 

The 3 Step Process To Learning

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Written by: John Glass

Every time we read something new, try something new, listen to something new, and do something new we are learning. As we learn our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors begin to change. Our brains physically change.

Interesting thing about learning is that it is not something that just happens spontaneously. The most basic formula for learning is a three step formula of becoming aware, gathering information, and applying to real life. Continue reading “The 3 Step Process To Learning”

Turn Off Your Autopilot and Navigate Your Life

Written by: Jeffrey Craig

The older I get, the more I see it. Friends, family, and even strangers are living on autopilot. What do I mean by that?

By living on autopilot, I mean that they spend each day doing the same mundane tasks, living the same routine over and over without any change or purpose behind what they do. They are not putting a conscious effort into the way they live their lives and have no goals for themselves.

People who live on autopilot can be seen everywhere. They are the ones you see at a job they’ve hated working at for 15 years, eating at the same restaurant every week, or even getting the same exact haircut that they’ve had since high school. They are the people that wake up each day just to see it end again. You may know someone like this. You may even be one of them yourself.

A few days ago, I met a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a while. While we were catching up, I was so amazed by what she has accomplished in such little time. She had switched companies to a higher position and higher paying job, she had started her own travel blog, and had even begun taking steps into starting her own business. The most fascinating part however, was the fact that her identical twin sister had accomplished nothing since the last time I saw her. She was working the same job, frequenting the same bars, and had no sign of enthusiasm for life or her own personal success.

I was dumbfounded. How could this be? How could two people who are genetically identical in every way and raised by the exact same parents have lives that contrast so significantly from one another? My friend explained it loud and clear. Her sister was living on autopilot while she had made the conscious decision to take control of her own life.

Once a person is on autopilot, it is very challenging to turn it off. Here are 4 steps on how to flip the autopilot to the off position, grab ahold of the steering wheel, and begin navigating to the life you want.

Recognize It

The first and most important step is recognizing that you’re actually running on autopilot. Because there is no actual intent in what the person does in their day to day, it would be near impossible to recognize whether or not you are this person.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

Have you experienced anything new or exciting recently?

Are you currently working on any goals for yourself?

Is your life different now than it was year ago?

Have you struggled with any challenges recently?

Would you say that you would like more out of life than what you have now?

If you answered “no” to any or all of these questions, then there is a good chance you are running on autopilot. Once you have recognized that you are running off autopilot, the next challenge is turning it off.

Turn It Off

The most challenging component of this step is the hard truth that turning off autopilot is not nearly as simple as just flipping a switch. This requires an immense amount of self-awareness. You must be mindful of each action you take in your daily life and ask yourself if what you are doing has an intention behind it or if it is simply an automatic behavior that has no contribution to your life.

Once you begin catching these autopilot behaviors, you can then begin terminating them over time. I am sure you’ve heard the saying “Old habits die hard.” Turning off autopilot falls right in line with that. Some automatic behaviors will be easier to cease than others, but don’t let that discourage you. Progress is the goal, not perfection.

Redirect Yourself

Once you have begun shutting down the behaviors that had you on autopilot, the next step is redirecting yourself to a place of purpose. This is probably the most enjoyable step because it opens you up to a world of abundance and possibilities. In this step, you get to create a map of where you want to go and who you want to be. This is the goal setting phase where you ask yourself questions that elicit inspiration and motivation:

What are some new experiences I can have right now?

What goals would I like to achieve in life?

What are some activities I have always wanted to do but haven’t done yet?

The answers to these questions and more lay the groundwork for what will become the direction of your life. This change of course will create new behaviors that will eventually lead to living the life you want.

Navigate Your Life

Now that you have recognized that you’ve been running on autopilot, turned it off, and redirected yourself, it is time to actually start navigating your life. This step is probably the most difficult because it requires ACTION.

The reason most people are living their lives on autopilot is because it’s easy. Their behaviors are automatic, which requires little to no effort on their part. To live a life of intent and purpose, however, would require struggle, change, and failure. Although unpleasant, these are necessary to achieve what we want out of life.

Ask any successful person who is living their dream and I can assure you they did not get where they were without hard work and determination. Continue navigating your life in the direction you want and I assure you that one day you will reach your destination.