Three bricklayers are asked: “What are you doing?”– “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth (pg. 159).
The first one says, “I am laying bricks.”
The second says, “I am building a church.”
And the third says, “I am building the house of God.”
The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third has a calling.
2018 was ridiculous.
I started the year thinking I was going to kill it. Whatever “it” referred to. I spent months trying to figure out what kind of new goals and resolutions I’d like to have in my life.
As March rolled around, I felt hopeless. Still, nothing. No defined action I wanted to pursue, no purpose I tried to revolve my life around, no reason behind the rhyme as they say. The year prior I revolved my life around the word “courage.” Defining this word for 2017 changed my entire life in 2017 in many ways, but 2018, still nothing. And then next thing you know, oh great, it’s December.
As the months rolled by in 2018, I was still in debt with no plan on how to fix it, still trying to figure out what I wanted to do moving forward in my life, and still looking for ways to somehow branch out the many ideas in my head.
I was waking up each day looking out my window, excited for the day to end so I could go back to sleep again. What kind of life is that?
This year, I found my word, my defined goals, and my purpose. To help you along the way, here are some values that I read from my books that helped me focus on what I needed to do to fight against the regrets from 2018.
“Massive Action is the Cure-All” – Tony Robbins
Before the clock struck midnight on December 31st, 2018, I had already taken action against the horrible habits that I developed throughout the year. I merely made a decision and had enough. I found money lying in various investment accounts and savings, put it towards my debt, cutting it down to nearly half. What a way to start my year eh?
I read an entire book in one day, making it a goal to read fifty books this year from my collection of unread books. And best of all, I not only realized the importance of a morning routine, but I also took action and committed to it (morning routines indeed change your life, get one!).
Why is massive action the cure-all? Because taking small, itty-bitty steps to your goals aren’t going to set that crazy amazing momentum that’ll you need to change yourself.
To move a bolder, you need to push full-force with all you got and get that thing moving!
Your Habits WILL Define You
In 2018, I slept around 12:00 AM to 1:30 AM each night while looking at my phone watching Snapchat news and Youtube highlights on the Joe Rogan podcast. I set no alarm and woke up whenever with no plan for the morning. When I wanted to read, I kept my phone nearby with the volume up for those “just in case” moments. Talk about a recipe for disaster (no wait, distraction).
Not surprisingly, none of my “good” habits stuck with me. I don’t remember finishing a single book and never got around to writing as often as I wanted to.
I became lazy, irritable, and on the brink of depression, again. My horrible Youtube binge watching led me to learn about what your poop is telling you (it’s quite interesting).
“Oh God, what am I doing with my life?”
In your minds, think of swimming against a rushing river’s current. That’s the situation we put ourselves in when we’re in this constant cycle of bad habits while our hearts have this strong urge to fight against it. It’s tough, yet we end up going nowhere.
Setting the directions in your “good” habits earlier on, mixed in with an intention and genuine purpose in your life will help establish a much better foundation for happiness and motivation in your life.
Just by waking up at 6:00 AM every morning for the past week to work out, meditate, and read already set an incredible trajectory for my entire day. I feel motivated, happier, and even had incredible small talk with my dental hygienist.
Find Your Calling
Have I defined my calling clearly? In a way, yes. But I’ll keep that to myself for the time being.
Going back to the story on these three builders, I found myself to be the first worker. I was laying down bricks. My day was set up into mere tasks. The bigger picture was never apparent to me, and I just went day by day hoping to find it.
As I’m reading the book “Grit” by Angela Duckworth, I see the connection of hard work mixed with deliberate practice and purpose. It makes sense. You’re a living, breathing human being! You have a story; you have insight; you have a mysterious, complex brain that could bring to the table value, change, and love, the most significant gift/power of all humanity!
My Late Realization of 2018
I realized what my focus was this past year: “connection.”
I experienced it with various people in my life, came to further my appreciation for it, and even wrote a book on it.
I don’t remember the last time I ever reached out to someone for advice or help, or to even talk to. However, this year was different. I found the value in human connection, and I ran with it (subconsciously). Unfortunately, if I would have known this was my word, my theme, then I think I would have experienced more of it. I figured this stuff out in December of all months (by then it was far too late).
I challenge you to define your year revolved around a theme, a word. For instance, it could be something like “patience,” “love,” “kindness,” “hustle,” “change,” or a great one that a lawyer once told me, “listening.”
Sounds cheesy? Maybe a bit much? Or as my girlfriend would say, “nerdy,” well, get uncomfortable folks. Stop trying to conform to society’s expectations of what you believe to be “acceptable” and take the reigns of your life. The word “courage” in 2017 brought me to new levels in my life. It made the scary things worthwhile.
Do challenging things this year. Make it painful. “No pain, no gain” as they say. This year of 2019 won’t go by as fast if you’re continually growing every day.
Happy new year everyone. Or should I say, have a “Hard new year” everyone.