Tag Archives: hope

If I Don’t Leave I Lose

Who knows what waits for anyone over the threshold of our front door? Ok, I leave through my garage with a push of a button. The first line sounded more dramatic. Either way what did you imagine in your mind after reading the first line?
Was it as simple as a twisted ankle taking the first step or was it grandiose horror such as opening the door to find all existence completely vanished other than your house?

If you were like me about 6 years ago then it was somewhere in between these such as failure at work, friendship, etc. Now this may come as a surprise to some, but it could be the house has been transported to another dimension where you are king (or queen) ruling with a gentle hand to loving subjects or maybe just the hope of a 5 dollar bill laying in wait just under the doormat blown there mysteriously by the wind. Somewhere between the king and the 5 dollars is where I am now.

I use to wake up and put on my shoes, sip my diet coke (my version of coffee), let the dog out, and take a deep breath and pray the beating I was about to receive from life would end quickly as I returned from my day to the safety of my home. For me this was caused by a couple of things. My health and my mind set (my ‘vict’). It was set to failure and misery before I even left so it should be no surprise when failure found me. Heck, I was looking for it.

I thought of shutting myself into sameness and predictability, but I realized that if I don’t leave I already loss. I can’t grow if I don’t go.

Then I realized I would attempt to hold onto one good thing all day. By doing this I found it easier to leave the sameness of my house. For me I started with a smile from one person. I looked for it I searched for it and 9 times out of 10 I got it from the first person I would see. That person was the girl behind the register that I stopped to see every morning as I got my breakfast. Till one day she asked me a simple question, “Why are you always smiling?” To which I told her “I didn’t realize I was.” She proceeded to thank me for making her smile and it dawned on me that I was smiling with anticipation that they would smile back. Because of that she smiled.

This whole time I was acting shut off and in turn I was shutting everyone else off. So next I thought I would try a “Good Morning.” I found myself saying it before others would even offer it then in turn I got it back 9 times out of 10.

From there I let my victor grow reset my mindset to the positive and before you knew it I was leaving the house confident in my success and the impending adventures that would await.

I’m not saying there aren’t bad days because there are. To be honest I just don’t notice them as much as I do the good days and it started with one foot out the garage. So I challenge you before grabbing that handle or pushing that button to change your determination of a catastrophe endurance to an onslaught of possibility. Even if it’s as small as anticipating a smile.

There are plenty of people telling you evil awaits around the corner. I encourage you to be the one to shine the light of possibility on that mythological boogie man and show others there is nothing to be scared of behind the closed door. If you don’t leave then you’ve already lost.

Remember to keep your ‘vict’ set to ‘or’ rather than ‘om’!

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Help Wanted – Hard Work & High Reward

I am looking for a new hire. There is no travel, there is no set hours, and you can perform the job from anywhere. Whether you are grocery shopping or laying out by the pool. Of course there is no cash involved, but the payout can be just as beneficial and at times priceless.

You probably thinking this is a scam, but it’s not. The job I’m referring to are random acts of kindness. While you may be rolling your eyes I can promise you that if you are looking for a way out of your situation or victim mindset then this can help.

I admit there are times I myself have to force myself to come about to perform the act and there are times I have kicked myself for not thinking about helping as the moment has passed. However, the more you do the better you will feel.

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I rarely “feel” like helping someone before I do it, but I always “feel” good about performing it. Maybe it’s not selfless, but it’s sure not selfish. I’m not talking about throwing money at situations. This can help, but I’ve found it rarely feels as good as getting physically involved.

I often try to make time to help my friends out by patching a roof or by fixing a random item around the house, but I find holding a door, flashing a smile, handing someone something they’ve dropped, and other random things like this, while seeming effortless, can make a big impact on others whether they know it or not.

I have had a lot of people not even thank me when I do something for them, but a lot of times I’ve had others comment on what I did that weren’t directly effected by the random act, but just witnessed it.

When I was laid off with nothing to do, but work out and apply for jobs I would always try and do things for others. Little odds and ends and one gentleman from one of the volunteer activities I had gotten involved with saw me and asked what I did I explained to him my profession and he happened to work with a firm locally that he ended up getting me a job with. It is the best job I’ve had and has given me opportunities that I couldn’t have imagined 5 years ago.

This man works with another firm and still calls me to this day offering me jobs and while I appreciate it, and the offers always get better, I am completely happy with my current position and opportunities. That one act landed me a job when I was looking, but was not expecting it at that venue and it got me a job better than the one I had previously.

I also was never able during that two months to ever feel sorry for myself and become the victim of that economy. In fact it was the opposite, I felt like a rock star. I increased my pay from the previous job by three times and I was the youngest member in the company in that position all in a one year period.

On the opposite end of the spectrum I watched as a gentleman within the company got passed up for a position that he put his time and effort into and he use to ask me for advice at lunch and I remember him telling me he felt like the wind had been taken out of his sail. To which I responded it just meant he had to row till he found the wind again. It takes a little effort, but eventually it would pick back up. Also, by focusing helping on the new boss, no matter your stance, and helping him it would not only take his mind off the wrong that he felt, but it would also help the company.

Unfortunately he didn’t listen and became offended and left the company. Now if he would have just stopped looking at the situation as a victim the gentleman that took his position didn’t even last a year and this gentleman would have been perfect for the position if he’d have just stuck it out a little while longer. Instead he had the victim mentality unfortunately. Don’t get me wrong he was a great guy and great at his job, but just got stuck in that mentality at the time, which only hurt him in the long run.

I wanted to share both of these because one way to stop focusing on your situation is to focus on others and just reminding yourself that while there are situations that effect you they can only effect you to the extent you let them.

Pain is inevitable and lasts for a minute, but it’s up to you how long the pain will effect you by what you do after that pain to cause you to fail or succeed.

My father use to tell me there is no use in crying over spilt milk. He is right the milk spilled and the longer you look at it and cry the further it spreads. Same is true with focusing on yourself for to long. The longer you look at the pain the longer it will stay there and on top of that the more pain you will find.

Just remember no one is perfect and if we look long enough at ourselves we will find the imperfections and focus on them. Try not to focus solely on the situation at hand and how it affects you, but instead focus on the effects of the situation and the needs of others. That could include family, friends, or strangers. In the long run you will see the benefits yourself.

Remember life’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. Pace yourself, if you haven’t been training the way you should you’ll wear yourself out.

I Was Robbed at Gun Point!

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Yes, I was robbed at gun point. I was pistol whipped, I had the cold steel of a barrel placed against my head and given a countdown of 3 seconds to live. I’m here writing this story, so I’m sure you can guess which option I chose.

Though it was not the choice of the car jacker’s that I chose, but it was more of an innate victor response that allowed me to survive.

I suppose I should explain. Let me start with the hormonal choices of a teenage boy that lead me to allow myself to be placed in this situation that opened the door for me to be a victim of the crime.

I was 17 so my choices were limited and I was grounded to further limit my options. For the life of me I don’t know why I was grounded, but knowing me, I’m sure I deserved it. I was allowed to drive my sweet ’92 Chevy Lumina APV Minivan and go to my girlfriend’s birthday party, but was to go straight there and come straight home and I had to be home before dark. Which considering the circumstances were not bad options.

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The problem was I broke every one of these rules.

1) I did not go straight there. I picked up a female friend who lived close by.

2) I took her home afterwards even though there were other people more than willing to give her a ride.

3) My friend who I brought home was not to have boys in the house when she was home alone. While we followed the letter of the law we did blur the spirit of it by sitting and chatting on the front lawn.

4) We talked till dark and so as you can guess, I broke the “be home before dark” rule.

An interesting fact is, that while we were sitting on the lawn, 2 cars drove by hopping curbs and erratically navigating the open streets of the neighborhood. This lead us to the conversation of “What would you do if held at gun point?” To which I literally told her, “I’d wet myself, I’m not even going to act that tough.”

We concluded the night with her having to use the restroom and me deciding that the time being after dark was already pushing the limit of my parental guidelines.

On my way back to my hot rod (I say loosely) a car pulled up similar to the one that drove by about a half an hour before and a gentleman jumped out the back driver side with his shirt pulled over the back of his head and his hand (or so I thought) under the front of his shirt with a protruding silhouette pointed at me shouting something unintelligible. Though it embarrasses me to say so, I hadn’t fathomed this would happen to me, so needless to say I was in a minor denial state as to what was going on and just stared like a deer in the headlights. Until a gentleman stepped out of the driver side with the gun in my face demanding me to lay face down on the ground.

Well that I understood and at this point I brilliantly followed the instructions given to me and I laid face down and hands up with my keys on my index finger. The one man I could understand instructed me to stay down and the other two patted me down. This was the attempt to find the obvious buried treasure of a minivan-driving 17 year old boy.

Who was I to complain. I was finally getting the physical affection that I had hoped for that night. The affection was just not in the manner or from the gender I had been hoping to receive it from.

When they couldn’t find my wallet, one kicked me in the side and rolled me over on my back. I don’t know why, but I kept my face covered and when they asked why I quickly explained to them it was “so there was no confusion to the fact that I could not ID them”. At least I was hoping they’d believe that I couldn’t identify them, though seeing them pretty clear on their initial arrival.

They proceeded to ask me where my wallet was and I told them it was in my right front pocket. They dug around and when they couldn’t find it they asked again. I claimed someone had either already gotten it or it had fallen out during the confusion. They could not believe that one of them was withholding the wallet, I’m assuming honor amongst thieves and all. They told me to search the ground for it rather politely by giving me another swift kick to the other rib.

While searching they held the gun to my head and then hit me with it, causing me to see stars, out of frustration when I couldn’t find my wallet. The man informed me I had 3 seconds to find it or he was “blowing my head off.” I frantically searched as he counted down “1…2…3…” in the unusually long pause after the three, something snapped, and I was yelling at them to either shoot or go at the top of my voice.

This was my reaction and not a planned response. Looking back I probably would have just requested the latter part on its own. However, for whatever reason, it worked and they told me to quiet down and stay down till I heard both cars pull away. Which I patiently obliged.

Now while nothing I did deserved the crime that was committed against me I can say there were choices I made that lead to allowing myself to be in that situation.

All of these choices ignored the fact that everyone of the guidelines were in fact set in love for mine or my friends safety by our respective parents.

The first choice caused me to clearly abound on the guidelines set for me, but in such a minuscule way there seemed no harm. By detouring to pick my friend up there was a harm and it was setting a precedence for making choice number two easier to make despite my given boundaries.

Choice two was the one that brought me to the “scene of the crime.” If I hadn’t taken her home I would not have been there at all and they wouldn’t have had me as a potential target.

The third choice, while not a rule directed toward me specifically, was in place for a reason and had I respected that reason I most likely would have been home before dark in my PJ’s preparing to watching Quantum Leap reruns.

Which brings me to number four. The old “before dark” rule which I’m sure we all know personally. This was setting me up with the wrong time for my being at the wrong place in choice number two.

Again the choices I made did not justify these men in any way to commit their crime. Nor is it my fault they chose their criminal behavior. To me, they are a victim as well (‘vict’ is the mind set and ‘im’ is the choice to give yourself in sacrifice). By making choices to allow them to commit this crime they were a victim of their own mindset. However, I only have control over my own mindset and there are clearly things I could look at and adjust to ensure I was never on the business end of a handgun again.

Now in case you were wondering. They were caught about a block away where they parked my van and due to lack of witnesses later they beat the charges though they were arrested. I hope that they learned from it and moved on making wiser choices in all honesty.

As for me, my parents found out. (They were surprisingly not mad though I think they saw it as a learning experience and a testimony to following instructions.)

I had some sweet black eyes and bruises to show off at school and it was finals week giving me extra time to study.

The girl in the story grew to be one of my best friends throughout high school and not to mention from then on I was the only boy allowed in her house while mom and dad were not home. We respected their house for anyone thinking it.

Finally I got this amazing story to share with others.

In short we all cannot stop crimes committed against us, but we can make smarter choices to reduce the probability of them. We can all choose to let those uncontrollable circumstances either define us for positive by learning and growing from them or negatively by weighing us in that moment for days, months, or even years.

That’s not to say we don’t grieve or have a natural recovery period. It took me a while to ride with my windows down in that area, but I can honestly say I made a decision to not let it change my life out of fear, but to let me learn and grow from the experience.

Thank you for bearing with this one I know it was long, but I tried to make it as entertaining as possible for you. I’d love to hear your stories and feedback. Comment below and have a victorious week.

Hope

The victor mindset is based in hope. When we lose hope we lose the foundation and the tool that makes us great. People will call it false hope. People will call it pipe dreams. Don’t blame them they just don’t understand. They’ve either lost it, don’t want it, or they never had it. Similar to those that don’t
If this stirs something up inside that’s good. Grab that and hold onto it. It’s the necessity to becoming a victor. It’s the one thing that others cannot physically take from you without your permission. They have to tear everything you’ve built up in order to remove your foundation. It’s also the thing you’re going to build your life around and on that won’t always be remembered. How often do you remember your house, TV, walls, family, and everything else that you see in your home is standing on.
Now how you build this foundation is how your house will stand. If you build it on a philosophy that is sound and on a culture that thrives then you’ve built your foundation on solid ground. If you build on things such as vengeance and fear these are things you have to feed and tend in order for your foundation to stand.
I try to see the brilliance in anyone and everyone. They may not always exercise it or use it, but I try my best to see it. I may not know you personally, but I know for a fact there are two things you can do. There’s something you can do that no one else can or there’s a way of doing it that no one else can. You may not see it, but you feel it. You may not know it, but you sense it. You may or may not know what it is, but it’s there.
I challenge all of you to start hoping. Remember their a few things to remember with hope. The first is that similar to waters on a river bank people will go against your hope and erode at it to where you it can be shook. Similar there are those that will help and protect this hope. The key is while you can’t always stop the water you can surround yourselves with those that can minimize it’s damage.
The next thing I would like you to understand is that we all have hope as long as we are breathing. Every breath is a hope of another day and as long as we have hope the next breath is a gift. As a mighty oak can be cut down as long as we have roots in this world we have hope for another sprout to grow and rebuild.
Finally hope can be guided in one of 2 ways for better or for worse. This is the key that not everyone gets. We live in a society that can have a tendency to scoff at this thought, but deep down we all know it to be true. For better focuses on benefitting others and for worse focuses on hindering others. A lot of times we can hinder others by focusing on yourself.
There are a lot of things I’m excited to share with everyone. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask or comment the only way I can grow is to know.