Three (more) Things I Am Grateful For

Over three weeks ago I watched this TED talk which inspired me to think harder about some of the things in my life that I am grateful for. Three weeks ago when I first posted on the topic of gratefulness I found it quite difficult to come up with three things. Times have been dark lately. This time however it seems much easier. Things are looking up, more so every day, and as such I get to pick three things that stand out among a much longer list of things I am grateful for. So here it goes again.

Three (more) Things I Am Grateful For

1. The Snow    

In just over a month now I make my way up to Falls Creek, where I get to stay for the entire Snow Season! This, coming from an 8:30 – 5:00 desk job nearly 2 hours travel from home is such an enormous and welcome change. The reality of the situation has not hit home, and likely wont until I get there. I get to spend every day outside on the snow and among people. Even if I am to work full time hours, I gain a minimum of 4 hours to myself everyday to have fun, be social and work on myself. I can’t wait.

2. Failure    

Had I not failed, and fallen as far behind as I have, I may never had made the decision to escape the professional trap and start my life journey. Now, although I don’t know what comes after Falls Creek, I am determined to do everything in my power to really live my life. Because we only have one. Ask yourself, is your life boring? Or is it an adventure? I am also grateful for the debt I found myself in, which is now nearly gone. Having so much debt has really hammered home the value of money. Fact is the significant majority of mine has been spent on things that have actually been harmful to myself. Now I can really begin working on becoming a wealthy man.

3. My Education  

We really are exceptionally privileged in Australia. It can be hard to understand when this is the only way we ever experience life. I have received a top notch (though it never seems so at the time) education. Now I also have further education in the form of real world experience. Although I am now choosing to leave the profession I educated for, I do not regret my schooling in it at all. Conversely, I found that University really taught me how to think for myself, and ask the right questions. When faced with something I do not understand, I have all the tools available to me to investigate and learn about the subject. It is no longer a matter of what can I do, but what do I want to do. I have the resources at my disposal to do anything.

Thankfully this wasn’t so hard this time. Next time, I expect it to be easier again. Next time I will be on my snowboard. Almost every day.

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Starting Over

From being so far behind, to getting closer and closer to being back at the starting line. My motivation is returning. In torrents. I am the only person in control of my future and I am not satisfied with being average. I am not satisfied with just getting by.

What has been stopping me? Me. Only me. Nobody can tell me what I can or cannot do because they are not me. They do not know me and they do not know what I will achieve. I have failed now so many times. Lost and lost again, been laughed at and mocked. But at least I have tried. I have not settled with the option of slaving away for a boss until I am 65, to then settle for living in relative poverty. I have learnt far too much to allow that to happen. That will not be my life. I have fallen on my face, taken the hits, allowed myself to get trampled on and listened to the voices that have told me my dreams are ridiculous. They are not. My dreams are real. My dreams are possible and I will achieve them. I will not be average. I will fall and fail, as many times as necessary until I get to where I want to be.

I have been stagnant now for far too long. It’s time I got back in the game. No more piss farting around and pretending. My dream is real. My ideas will work. Just because they have not worked yet simply means that I have not worked hard enough at them yet. I want to be great and I am prepared to work for it. I will be great.

Fear. Fear stops us. Fear has halted me and I have found too many ways to find temporary release from it. I have feared and felt the anxiety of failure. I have written about it and allowed it to consume me. Fear of failure is akin to telling myself that I am not prepared to even try. Fear is pathetic. If success was so easy and failure was optional, than why are more people not successful. Why are so many people slaving away. I believe my dreams will happen for me and I believe I deserve it.

It’s 3:30 am. I’m not going back to sleep. I have work to do. Tomorrow, I get back in to the library. The next time I fall over, I will not stay down at all. I will get straight back up.

Failure

Sleep didn’t come tonight. Some days are good and some days are bad. Some days are a mixture of both. This world has too many ways of defining someone as a failure, of keeping someone down and hammering in to them that they are not now, and never will be, good enough.

I find myself looking into the mirror a lot lately, asking myself ‘how did I get here?’ and ‘who have I become?’, when the truth is I know. I am an incredibly driven man, the overachiever, the one that people come to with questions. But these traits are irrelevant and useless when we loose touch with our passions, when we push so far forward in the wrong direction. The longer I remained an engineer, the more removed from what my real passions are I became, the deeper I fell into a depression that I am still struggling with and am not yet free from. Truth is, no matter how hard I think about it, I’m no longer sure where my real passions lay. I know I am in love with mathematics and the sciences. But there used to be more than that. What was it? The hunt is on.

I have faced some serious hurdles now. Woe is me right? Wrong. We all face our hurdles, some more serious than others. It is how we deal with them that defines us. I have dealt with mine in various ways. Some extremely well, leaving me with a sense of great pride, and others extremely poorly, so poorly in fact that I am lucky (and grateful) to be alive. I’m behind the ball now, still struggling back to the starting line. Though this time I am truly educated, truly prepared for what life might throw at me. I think it is likely that my greatest struggles are now behind me. We can never know what the future will hold, I could be struck by lightning today and it could all be over. We are not the masters of our own lives and we are not in control, we just think we are, and so we try our best to drive and steer around the obstacles not knowing that the engines about to blow. It is the best we can do.

Through everything, I know I am not a failure. Even though people laugh when I tell them my story and my dreams and goals, I am not a failure. My life is not going to follow a conventional path, but it will be an extraordinary one. Though I secretly hope I do, it seems unlikely I will ever marry or have kids, but this does not make me a failure. My mistakes and my shortcomings do not make me a failure. Because I am getting better, I am on the mend, and though anxious and frightened, I am prepared for anything. I know what I need to change, I know what I need to stay away from, I know what I need to do in order to be successful in my own eyes, and it is closer than anyone believes.

Live was not meant to be easy. Life was not meant to be anything. It just is. So we live, learn, fall down, fail, trip up, fall down again, get trampled on, laughed at, mocked, but then we get back up. I will keep getting back up. I will not submit to a life of just ‘getting by’ or just ‘surviving’. I will keep getting up until I am exactly where I want to be and then I might ‘lay down’ instead. Soon now, I will turn around confidently and say that I am happy, that I am where I want to be.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison