Sometimes life sucks.
Let that sink in for a minute. It's true. You may be like me and listen to motivational speakers who seem like they have everything together all the time. They'll tell you that with the right focus the universe will hand you roses every day and money, love and happiness will seep form the walls like milk from a mothers teat.
Well, I call shenanigans. Sometimes life just plain sucks. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Against every better instinct, you'll sit, stare and these weird warm droplets of something will fall from your eye holes. Or maybe your fists will find themselves thrown through walls by some unseen force that you can't control.
Either way, things happen. Life goes wrong. Loved ones die. Defeat lingers at the onset of every new day. Your heart will ache. Your soul will cry out for reprieve and none will come.
So what the hell do you do? I propose, in those moments, you own it. You be authentic. If you cry, you fucking cry. If you punch a wall, you punch a wall. If you stare blankly to oblivion and wonder what it would be like to step in to that oblivion, you own that to.
And when you are done. When the tears have been shed, when the wall has been met, when oblivion has been explored. You stand up. You breathe deep. Square your shoulders. And you begin again.
"Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength and move on." Henry Rollins
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. It’s How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers and blame other people. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!” Rocky
There are a hell of a lot of people out there that are smarter, better looking and better spoken that I am. At the end of the day what has made me more successful than these people has been my ability to get hit, knocked to my knees over and over again and still be able to get back up and keep going. No matter how much I’ve wanted to, I never gave up. But I’ve known a lot of people who have. I’ve known a lot of people that have been hit and have lost the courage to fight, the courage to get up again.
There have been too many times to count where I felt like everything was lost. There have been too many times where I’ve lost the will to fight any more. Feeling like everything is lost and its no use to get back up this time.
But I’ve always had this thought that nothing lasts forever. Not success. Not loss. Nothing. Everything is temporal. The sun will always come up and the haze of the rising sun is always strongest after the darkest of nights.
I was expelled from school in the third grade.
Watched my mother leave my father when I was fourteen.
Was homeless at fifteen.
Watched my "friends" walk away from me while I hung to life by a thread laying on a cold, dirty bathroom floor.
Watched countless friends walk away either by the end of a gun or because I was an ass.
Lost everything at 25 and 28 and 35 and had to start over again.
I have stood at the precipice of death by myself too many times to count. Peered into the endless abyss and questioned my own existence. And each time, each event, stood up from my knees. Bloody. Broken. Feeling half the man I was and had to recreated existence.
Truth be told, that’s life sometimes. It just is.
It’s so easy to think that successful people have it easier than we do. That some intelligence, talent, luck or comic book strength gave them the fortitude to rise above it all.
Shenanigans. Listen to me now. Personalize this.
Things will never go how you plan them to go. Life will never be easy. You will get knocked down. You will hit walls you never knew existed. You will find things inside of you that you never knew existed. That’s life. And that’s okay. These difficulties and challenges will be what helps you create the most beautiful tapestry the world has ever known.
In 2011, when she was 24, Arunima was thrown off a moving train by muggers who wanted her gold necklace. She was thrown onto the opposite tracks, and lost her leg when a train drove over it. Two years later, she became both the first female amputee and the first Indian amputee to reach Everest’s summit.
‘My left leg was amputated. A rod was inserted in my right leg, from knee to ankle, to hold the shattered bones together,’ she wrote on YourStory. ‘I pondered on the most impossible dream I could set for myself. I decided to climb Everest.’
In 2000, Oprah Show guest Kelly told viewers how she survived abandonment, a plane crash and leukemia—all before she turned 12. As a baby, Kelly was left on the side of the road in Vietnam by her parents. She had a short stay in a local orphanage, and then, in 1975, she was part of Operation Baby Life—a program that evacuated thousands of babies from Vietnam. Kelly was placed on a plane destined for the United States, but her journey did not go smoothly. The plane she was on crashed, killing 150 passengers.
"I really don't know why I was chosen to be one of those survivors. I feel incredibly lucky, and I feel like I've gotten a lot of second chances," Kelly says.
Kelly was eventually adopted by a couple in Seattle, but the obstacles did not stop there. At age 11, she was diagnosed with leukemia. With fight and determination, Kelly overcame her disease and went on to become a healthy and successful adult.
"These obstacles that had happened in my life gave me strength and fueled my motivation to live and to succeed and to go on,"
When he was just 10 years old, Ibrahim Hamato lost both his upper limbs in a train accident, but that didn’t stop him going on to reach his goals. With his paddle in his mouth, the Egyptian father-of-three went on to win a silver medal at the 2013 African Para-Table Tennis Championships.
So, if you want anything in life, you’re going to take hits. The more you want, this bigger it is the more hits you’re going to take. There is a price for everything.
Sometimes the price in life is enormous failure, pain, frustration, and hard work.
Nothing comes easy. Not in this life. But you can make it amazing.
Realize now that defeat will come. And at that moment you are at a cross roads. You can chose to take the high road. It’s hard as hell. It hurts. There is no shelter and you’ll be exposed. But at the end of it. Oh at the end of it, is an amazing view that few ever get to see.
So, prepare. Expect. Excel.