Friday, February 24, 2017

Part 3B. How Not to Suck at... Letting Go (in Relationships)

B.                 …in Relationships

Here comes the rough part – letting go of relationships. Yes, there are some family relationships we should let go of, but they are family. You can’t exactly get rid of them. You can only change how you deal with them, so we’re going to skip those. It’s the friends and the lovers we really need to address here.

I believe that people come into our lives for a reason – and that reason can be short lived, years or a lifetime. We have to have the discernment to understand when that season is up. We’ve all got friends from k-12. We grew up together, played sports together – they were our best friends. That was 20 years ago. People change and grow… they basically become new people. That new person may be totally different from what we needed as a child and my actually be a hindrance to us as adults. They may still be good people, even great people, but not what you need in your life anymore. Trying to make a past childhood or college friend part of your adult life can disastrous. Admire them from afar – Facebook, Instagram, etc. People grow apart for a reason. When the time comes just let it go. You shouldn’t have to force it. Don’t fight it!

And now the lovers. Some of those we need to let go of as well. I know I love hard. Once I’m in, I’M IN and I try to make it work. Even against all odds and red flags I’ve pushed towards what I thought I wanted and needed. What I thought could work. Truth is, it shouldn’t have been that hard. I shouldn’t have had to force it and be that accommodating. I shouldn’t have had to convince her that I was the man for her.

Sometimes letting go feels like giving up. Like you didn’t try hard enough or give it your all. The reality is letting go is knowing when to move on to what’s really waiting for you.

Let go of what you think is supposed to happen… just let it be. 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Part 3A. How Not to Suck at... Letting Go (in Life)

A huge part of moving onward and upward to better things is having the courage to stop looking backwards. Not letting go of the past is probably one of the greatest obstacles to having something better. There is a fear associated with holding on to something that’s just ok even with there is a possibility of something better waiting on us. We’re comfortable with what we have, even though it’s not perfect it’s, what’s we’re used to. It’s familiar. Unfortunately that familiarity could be holding us back from what we really want – what we really need to be where we want to be.

A.                 …in Life

Before there is room for anything new in our lives, we must clean out some of the old stuff. It’s like spring cleaning. It’s all that stuff laying around that no longer serves a purpose. It used to. We had a reason for buying it when we did, but now we’re just keeping it just because. Because it’s nostalgic or because we might use it one more time – one day. Or because “insert random excuse here.” Fact is, we don’t really need it anymore… and there no room for the stuff we do need.

I freaking loved college. Those were easily the best 4…umm, 5 years of my life. The friends, the fun, the adventures, the life lessons, the plethora of women, the freedom, the lack of real responsibility. I felt like I was living THE LIFE. After undergrad I had a good job offer with my current company but I wanted to stay in college as long as possible. So when the opportunity to stay longer (grand school) my decision was 90% staying to kick it, 5% the free ride and 5% getting a masters. I wanted to live this life as long as possible. I didn’t want to let go.

Undergrad commencement came. We partied hard, we stayed up late but most of all we gradated. We walked the stage, they left. I stayed. That first year was ok - it wasn’t the same, but it was cool. It wasn’t like it was. My friends had started to move on and the things I liked about college weren’t fun anymore. I was older than most everyone, my interests didn’t match those of the underclassmen. I wanted and needed more but I was trying to be fulfilled in something I should have let go of – college life. What I was used to and found enjoyable as an undergrad wasn’t enough anymore.

Year 2 was rough. I was ready to go! Most everyone I really knew was gone and I was stuck. See, had I let go when I should have I could have moved on to the next stage in life, started at my job, became real adult. But because I didn’t want to let go of what I had… because I wanted to live in the past… because I was uncomfortable with change I spent 2 years chasing a forgotten dream. When the degree was done and I had the next job offer I took it.

I couldn’t move to the next stage until I was ready and let go of what I had. It was great for a season. It was perfect as an 18-22 year old. I out grew it and tried to make use of something that no longer fit. Letting go of the past had to happen before I could live in and succeed in my future. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Part 2B. How Not to Suck at... Decisions (in Relationships)

B.                 … In Relationships

Unfortunately sometimes, we don’t get to decide who our family is. We were born into them, and … unless you’re a Huxable, all the family drama that comes with it. We didn’t get a choice in matter. Yet, we do get to decide how we interact with them. And for the friends and lovers… you really do get to decide who these people are. We have got to realize that allot of these relationships are totally within your control!

So if the relationship sucks, then you have already realized that a change is needed. Stop dealing with folks on their terms. Cut them off. Leave. Stop allowing them to kill your mood and suck the life out of you. Stop saying what you should do about the situation and DO IT. Every day you put it off is another day you could have closer to having peace of mind.

Getting to that future peace means we must stop living in the past. Just because things used to be good doesn’t mean that they ever will be again.  Yeah, they didn’t used to treat you like that… but guess what. They do now. Whatever it was they are doing…. They are doing to you because you allow it. Stop taking that shit. Give them a time or two to straighten up. (I said 1 or 2…not 87). You deserve better. Got to stop letting family, friends and lovers kill your vibe.

You must decide that that you can make the change. Yeah, it may mean pissing off some family and losing some friends – but your sanity is worth it. It’s a good chance that while you’re bothered over a situation, they aren’t even thinking about you or what they did. I don’t want to be a grumpy old man looking back on my life, frustrated and pissed about all the people who did me wrong. Do something now while you can. Time waits for no man.

Realize that you are worth it. You deserve better. Make better choices – in how and who we interact with. Change your habits and focus on what’s really important to you. I’m not saying this is going to be easy. In fact, it’s probably going to suck at first. It will be cold. It will be hard. But guess what … It will be worth it.

For the ones talking about the lovers – As yourself “Is this the relationship I want?” You’re in a comfortable relationship but it’s not what you want? GET OUT. There is something better out there for you. You’ll begin to resent them…for being them. But you’re the one that continues to stay – you can’t play the victim. I can understand that you don’t want to start over but every day you stay is a day lost for something better.

The decisions we make each day will be the difference in a decent life and the life we want. They alter the course of our lives and good different choices will make us uncomfortable in the short run... but better overall. Kids, marriage, jobs, location, your standards, traveling, education – these are all decisions within our control. I’m not saying they will be easy decisions… I’m just saying they are ones we can make.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Part 2A. How Not to Suck at... Decisions (in Life)

Everyday we’re faced with a series of decisions. Most of them so small that we don’t even notice we’re making them: what to wear, what to eat, hitting the snooze button for the 8th time, responding to a text, or ignoring a call. Then there are the big ones: do I take the job? Should I buy the car? Do I ask her to marry me? Do I make an offer on the house? Am I ready for a baby? These are all decisions and even the small ones can have a huge impact on our lives.

And don’t forget that even in your non-decisions you are deciding! When given an opportunity to make a choice, replying with “I don’t know” or “I don’t care” is the same handing someone your power. Even worse, not deciding is deciding. You are choosing to allow life to happen to you!

A.                 … in life

It’s natural for us to resist change. We probably are where we are because it’s comfortable. Been on the same job, doing the same thing for years. Change is different. It’s scary. It’s new. It will take us out of that warm place we’re familiar with and make us be more than we are. It will be cold. It will be hard. But it will be worth it.

I was in the 8th grade – average student and maybe a little above average in track. Grades were A’s, B’s and a C I’d gotten in Spanish. I remember the C because I wasn’t allowed to watch TV or play games until I got that grade up – Momma wasn’t playing no games. I struggled to keep up in math class and biology just didn’t make sense to me. Then came D-day. One of the first major turning points in my life.

Normal day, nothing special about it. I was at home watching TV and Momma was talking about my grades. She was obviously disappointed. She said, “You’re going to college. I don’t have any money to pay for it so you better figure something out.” That day, then and there I made one of the most important decisions of my life. I DECIDED that I was going to do better, be better, want more and succeed. I had to give up some TV time, some play time, video games, etc. I had to give up the things that were holding me back from my potential. I traded where I was comfortable being average for the challenge of being great.

4 yrs later I graduated salutatorian with full ride scholarships to several major universities and 3 free degrees later started my career as an engineer – all because of a decision I made one random day in middle school. That’s what life is. A series of decisions that can lead to the difference in being ok, and being better, and being great. Living great. If you’re comfortable, but not happy it’s time to course correct and DECIDE to make a change. Baby steps every day will then lead to big changes.

It’s not that it’s too late. You’re just too comfortable. DECIDE.