Posts Tagged 'support'

The Fatigue Soliloquy

Fatigue can be wonderful and terrible.

It is just as soon welcomed as shunned, the measure of disgust it generates during the last mile (when much is left to do) is matched only by the reception it receives after crossing the finish line (when the work is completed). In one moment, it shifts dramatically from scheming villain to celebrated friend.

Weariness is the fee for your waking hours.

At the end of the day, your mind is tired and your body is heavy, having written a check for the task you’ve completed. The nature of your activity–and your valuation of it–colors the determination of whether it was time well spent.

I often struggle to keep my eyes open during the evening.

Passing several hours in the service of two masters, I sit down to take stock of what I’ve accomplished. The sun has long since set and “today” is bleeding into “tomorrow” when I am finally able have some quiet and sum up my time.

I dedicate too little of my life to myself.

Only recently have I begun shoehorning a run into my day. Without a few miles of meditation, I find myself disjointed and disconnected. I get about 90 minutes–near midnight, when I’m half asleep–to write for myself and you, my reader.

In all honesty, these are the two most important hours of my day.

This is when I’m able to brush aside the confusion and frustration to express something meaningful–if only to myself. It is the prism through which I’m able to look at the positives and share lessons, to poke around for insight beneficial to me and my audience.

To be effective, the window must be transparent.

Throughout my time publishing on this site and its predecessors, I have concerned myself with many things, not the least of which is how to be valuable to you and the growing number of people who stop by.

What can I do to shorten your learning curve?

How can I give you courage for the moment when everything heads in a different direction than you anticipated?

I have to let you in further.

And that’s what I intend to do. Over the coming weeks and months, I will continue to write essays about how I see the world and the connections my mind makes between seemingly disparate phenomena and the nature of our lives and purpose as human beings.

The last fifteen months have been the most tremendous learning experience I could have asked for. I’ve come to understand much about what brought me to the point I am at, the experiences that shape my motivation and the decisions that reflect it.

I want you to see what it takes.

I want you to understand the amount of work it requires.

I want you to know the drain it is on your mind and body and soul.

Because when your turn comes, I want you to fight through the fatigue and keep going.

ALSO IN THIS SERIES

The Fear Soliloquy

The Failure Soliloquy

The Focus Soliloquy

The Faith Soliloquy

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The Best of Friends

Real friends are crucial to any endeavor.

Something about honesty–even when confrontational–opens new, wider viewpoints.

The questions are pointed and direct.

“What do you think is wrong?” requires you to look at the whole picture. “Why?” asks you to define and defend your perspective.

You gain strength from this clarity.

The challenge is meant to galvanize you, to bring forth your passion–or anger–and fan the flame of your burning heart.

This tunes the instrument of your happiness.

You become focused and driven.

Your batteries are charged by the infusion of energy.

Possibility abounds again in your mind, having heard your cheerleaders chant encouragement.

That’s what friends are for.

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Are You Selling or Sharing?

I stood in disbelief listening to a man in a cowboy hat.

My patience waned as he described the wonder product he felt I should learn more about. He passed me a business card while listing off a host of professional athletes endorsing the thingamajig and guaranteed I’d be impressed by the medical knowledge displayed in the final two-thirds of the eighteen-minute video on his website.

“You expect me to spend twenty minutes of my precious free time watching that after you just hijacked 60 seconds of my life?” I thought.

I wondered how “Where are you heading on your trip?” became “Please tell me what you’re selling!” in his mind.

The sudden shift jarred my brain.

My genuine interest in his 50-day excursion through the Southeast dissipated in the train wreck of his sales pitch. I remembered Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.

The value of his wares–regardless of how grand–disappeared in the shadow of his actions. The clumsy transition from polite conversation to infomercial muted his voice. What began pleasant became unsavory.

I left the conversation somewhat offended.

Later, I pondered how often we confront unwanted communication.  In an age where information reaches across the globe in seconds, the propaganda bombardment mushrooms outward with each passing moment.

Regardless of native tongue, the tagline is always the same:

“You need this.”

The underlying point of most advertising is designed to make you feel inadequate, as though you lack a critical necessity. An oft-repeated mantra in the marketing world states reaching humans boils down to stimulating their desire for pleasure or making them afraid of pain.

Most choose to prey on fear.

I was reminded of a conversation I overheard the day before while dining at a fast food restaurant.

Three generations of black men discussed about the value of experienced eyes. The youngest quietly took in the thoughts of the verbose man two decades older as the the third–and oldest–added his own ideas from time to time.

This impromptu sermon had a decidedly different tone than my interaction with the guy in the boots.

“Can I help you?”

Though I am unsure the 29-year-old asked for the message, I am sure he was happy to receive it. In the midst of an uncertain time, he heard four comforting words:

“I’m here for you.”

Instead of being rapped on the skull with what he should do or admonished for what he did do, he was being offered an ear–and the opportunity to avoid repeating another’s mistakes.

This is the simplest gift you’ll ever give someone.

Showing people you care has incredible value.

Find a way to share yourself.

You’ll be surprised what you receive in return.

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Giving Is Living

My best friend and I have been competing against each other for years.

It’s a stealthy contest of one-upmanship, typically initiated via text message.  The response to the challenge is almost unconscious, something I realized we do just last night.  Every once in a while, one tells the other how much the friendship is appreciated.    This first thrust of gratitude is immediately parried and countered with a heartfelt expression of thanks.  Before long, it dissolves into the ridiculous (and mildly disgusting) argument of puppy-lovestruck teenagers:

I’m the lucky one.”

“No, I am.”

This is a game that can only produce two winners.  Over the course of six-plus years, she’s been there through break-ups and breakdowns, successes and failures.  She’s consoled me gently and encouraged me forcefully.  This woman is one of the kindest and most generous people anyone could ever be granted the privilege to know.  I’ve grown to cherish her so much I constantly feel compelled to do more for her, because I feel she’s given me more than I can repay.  Funny thing is, she feels the same in the opposite direction.

Regardless of how far we drift (or others may attempt to push us) apart, we always have the other’s back.  In the silence of despair, each of us is blindly aware of where to lean in our darkest hours.  Plainly, the relationship is a lasting pillar in our lives.

As I read through The Go-Giver for something like the fifteenth time this week, I was struck by the phrase below and how it encapsulates our relationship:

“It’s not better to give than to receive.  It’s insane to try to give and not receive.

“Trying not to receive is not only foolish, it’s arrogant.  When someone gives you a gift, what gives you the right to refuse it–to deny their right to give?”

The lessons of Bob Burg and John David Mann apply across the spectrum of experience.  That putting yourself forth for someone else–spouse, friends, clients–sets you up to receive grandly is a matter of irrefutable fact.  The people you choose to serve will unconsciously strive to return the courtesy in like measure.

Giving wholeheartedly and without remorse is the simplest way for you to succeed in business and relationships.

You may make a fortune.  You will make a life.

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