Too many people are waiting on someone else to make them happy.
They make every excuse in the world to do what’s not important to them. They wander around on Facebook, go out to happy hour at the bar every night, smoke weed, play video games, and do every other thing to avoid the hard work of pursuing their dreams.
The thing I’ve realized about becoming an adult is the importance of saving yourself. To look yourself in the mirror every night knowing you gave that day every ounce of passion, work, and sweat equity you could.
My nerd heart was stoked to discover the Nerd Fitness website where Steve Kamb wrote about Captain America and the importance of old school thinking.
Basically, you need to focus on the essentials.
I’ve gotten caught up in my own tidal wave of mindless drivel recently. I got off track and paid the consequences.
Last night I sat down all huffy realizing I am off track and wrote down my three most important areas of focus:
3. Rocky (my dog).
That’s it. Everything else that seems to take over my days needs to head to the back of the list and never take precedence over those three things.
One of the only shows I watch on TV is Agent Carter. If you haven’t been watching it, I’d highly recommend it.
It follows the storyline spinoff of the first Captain America movie, picking up with Peggy Carter and her career in New York as an agent.
A constant theme throughout every episode is that Peggy is always focused on what is important and wastes no time waiting to be saved by anyone. The love of her life is at the bottom of the ocean, she’s working as an agent in 1940’s America which wasn’t exactly a welcoming place for women at the time, and people are constantly trying to kill her.
However, you don’t see her moping around wondering when someone is going to save her, complaining about her circumstances, or wishing she was doing something else. She just gets to work.
All of which are attributes I’m trying to strengthen in myself and I wish I saw more of in the world.
Especially around this time of year, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, all of my social network feeds become full of “woe is me” kind of posts about being single. If you want to feel special on V-Day, spoil yourself. Don’t wait for someone to buy you things in order to prove they love you.
The fact that The Bachelor has higher ratings than Agent Carter speaks volumes about our values in this society. The Bachelor is the epitome of victim “waiting-to-be-saved” mentality.
Watch any hero movie. You will see they spend no time whining about their lives. They work harder when times get tough. They focus on the essentials.
1. A mission.
Everyone needs a mission. Maybe your mission isn’t to drive the tesseract (from the movie) into the bottom of the ocean, but it doesn’t make it any less important.
The problem comes when people don’t know their mission. They don’t have that drive, a goal, to work toward.
I would challenge you to pick any goal for just 12 weeks and see it through. Don’t spend any time wondering if you chose the right goal, studying it on the internet, or comparing yourself to other people who have that goal.
Just pick the one you feel a strong pull toward. This could mean writing a page every day, trying out a new bodybuilding program, reading a chapter of a book every day, practicing your interviewing skills daily… Just pick something.
See, the secret sauce lies in the fact that it matters less about the specific goal you pick and more so who you become in the process. You become someone more disciplined, mentally tough, and determined.
What I learned by finishing Shortcut to Size had nothing to do with the muscle gain (although that was nice) and had everything to do with realizing I could finish something I started. It opened up a whole new world of possibilities. “If I can finish this, what else am I capable of finishing?”
2. Spend less time being comfortable.
Our ancestors would laugh at our complaints today. I know if I was hanging out with Agent Carter and complaining about the snow on the ground she would look at me utterly baffled.
“My generation beat the Nazi’s so you can sit here and whine about the snow?” is what I imagined that look would say. Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but you get what I mean.
The point is, stop seeking comfort. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Suck it up when you’re in the cold. Walk to the grocery store instead of driving. Wait just a little big longer before turning on the air conditioning.
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.” Theodore Roosevelt.
3. Remove complaints from your life.
Generations before us did not sacrifice their lives so we can live in misery.
Nothing good ever comes from complaining. If anything, it only brings other complainers into your life and pushes away the people who want to build you up. We all know those people who continue to complain even though you have tried everything you can to build them up.
Sure, vent about things once in awhile, but after you’re done do everything in your power to change the situation at hand. If you find yourself complaining about something for more than a month, you aren’t working hard enough to change it.
4. Make your own way.
Self-reliance is the most important trait any human can develop. To look at your own circumstances and shortcomings and to decide you want something better in your life. Then to work tirelessly day in and day out to make it a reality.
There will be days when it seems hard and you want to quit. It wasn’t meant to be easy. If it was easy, everyone would be a self-reliant hero.
5. Empower other people.
The true mark of a hero is the sacrificing for others.
“A hero or heroine is a person or character who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage or self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good.” – The meaning of the word “hero”
The world needs the strongest version of you. Your family needs it, your friends need it, your community needs it.
There is a hero within you, and if you’ve read this far, I’d suspect you feel it, too. Quitters already stopped reading this article about 1,000 words ago.
See it through to the end.
Discover you are capable of so much more.