Inches Forward

I can remember with pin-point accuracy the feeling of waiting for success while working on the commercial fishing vessel in Alaska and asking myself; is this really worth it? The funny thing about life, is we all have a finite amount of minutes to learn, spend gaining an appreciation for life, or invest in things that allow us to answer everyone’s ultimate question and that is the desire to know, why. Things we will try and fail miserably at, while others we’ll try and succeed at. Lessons are learned from a healthy dose of both failures and successes and the lessons learned aren’t always as immediately revealing as we would wish them to be.

I’ve always been a con-osier of experiences. Life challenges that inspire others when they are experienced and pondered upon. The beauty that resides within the connection amongst people allows us to live through others and at least partially enjoy some of the perspectives that have been realized through the experience. The more you are willing to listen and evolve in your perspective the deeper the appreciation will be for the very connection that binds us as people. Understanding someone’s unique perspective on a topic or someone’s recollection of a life experience can be deeply fulfilling and assist in improving various aspects of life for those receiving the message. Stories about military engagements survived or traumatic life events can render some of these results. Sometimes recollections of those who’ve been faced with their own mortality are the most interesting to listen to because they have come face to face with the fact that life is finite.

I talk about perspective all the time in my social media message. The ability to focus on what really matters in life. Is it money that really matters? In many circumstance people would insist, well yes of course money is everything because without it we don’t put food on the table. Is it our health that matters? Well it depends on how cognizant you want to be while driving your sports car, right? Does a balance exist between common areas of success, or can you master one aspect of success and fail miserably at the others? I think collectively, the pursuit of happiness is much more complicated, yet achievable, if it is broken down into segments. I talk all the time about personal finances and for those who’ve followed me for a while know that I refer to it as a “shallow topic” or “shallow aspect of success.” Why do I say this? You’ll understand more as we evolve together and I’m provided the opportunity to tackle this very intimate topic to me and one that could potentially take a lifetime for me to answer.

I personally invite you to walk this journey with me as we look to gain a new appreciation for life. If you can improve upon your spiritual, financial, personal, social, dietary or physical fitness than we are winning. It’s not the mastery of any one of these aspects that I am after rather a more measurable approach to pursuing each segment in a deliberate and meaningful way. While you are working on your financial budget, I don’t expect you are simultaneously working on the number of repetitions you can do on the bench press. Maximize your individual segments by learning to deploy a deliberate effort to focussing in on polishing one pillar at a time as if constructing multiple statues that take many years to complete. The ability to hit the pause button (after hours of polishing) will be paramount in ensuring progress can be resumed and stopped on a whim while you re-direct your efforts elsewhere.

Ever stayed up super late working on a project that you just couldn’t walk away from because you were so laser focussed on the accelerated progress you were making? If yes, surprise, you’ve experienced a small taste of what it means to stare down success. The idea is to bottle up that peace and inner strength felt during these experiences and re-direct them to other aspects of your life. Now I would caution you not to attempt to tackle everything at once. Remember, the pursuit of success isn’t an end sum game, just in case you were wondering. Successful people exist in all walks of life, from all age groups, from all races and from all socio-economic backgrounds so don’t think for a second I prescribe to a “success label” or a success trophy I award someone in earnest. I don’t have time for those who feel like they don’t need to identify the necessity for improvement and I don’t put people on a pedestal. If you are leader; LEAD. If you need tutelage; become a STUDENT. When it’s time to follow; FOLLOW. When it’s time to listen; LISTEN.

I chose finances as a preliminary step for most people because the pursuit of meaningful relationships or the quitting of smoking presents inherent challenges to each that of which we’ll tackle at a later time when we have other foundational “wins” at our back to build upon. I also think that contrary to societies views on personal finance, it is the most controllable aspect of our lives wether we’d like to admit it or not. Controlling spending can help someone begin a budget but the underlying theme in beginning these initiatives is discipline. Paying yourself first is a great way to establish a bucket of assets that appreciate over time but the underlying theme is discipline. The practice of contributing $25 dollars to a retirement account isn’t really about the money when you start more to begin the practice of instituting discipline into your life. As long as you realize that perfection isn’t the end goal, we will evolve nicely together and hopefully in reflection of our time together you can gain a clearer understanding of what you want out of life and a deeper perspective and appreciation in all that you do.

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