In the end, there is really only one question. There’s only one idea that comes with life. And this comes down to a decision. The question is what do you want? The idea is what do you have to do to make this so? The questions are actually simple. The answers are simple as well.
The truth is we all have a goal. We have dreams and ideas yet another truth is there are times when life doesn’t agree. There are times when life does not support our dreams. There are times when we find ourselves, running through the mazes on a daily basis. We get lost or misdirected. We find ourselves turned around and we lose our sense of direction. We lose our way. Life can be like this.
And we wonder, “Is this a test?” Am I suppose to be learning from this?
There are times when our faith is questioned. Our resolve is pushed to the limit. People test us. Life tests us and we find ourselves lost in a pit of frustrations.
There are times when it’s enough. We want to stand up and walk away. We want to step away from everything and jump out of our own skin.
There are times as adults that we want to run away more than we did when we were kids. Then again, we are adults longer than we are kids, which makes sense to me.
There are times when the ups and downs of life are too lopsided. It’s too much and when it rains, it pours, right?
There are times when we work so hard and come so close only to go back ten steps to make up for the three steps that we moved forward.
Life can be this way. I see no reason to deny this. I see no reason to deny the facts that pain is real. losses are real. Fear is real too, but so are we.
You and I, we are real too.
There is a word that I’ve been hearing. No, wait. There is an idea that I’ve been working on; to be antifragile. The idea is to be unbreakable or better yet, I want to be impenetrable and not only withstand but to grow and improve. To be antifragile means that no matter how hard we’ve been hit or how hard we’ve fallen; every scratch from out adversity does nothing else but makes us stronger.
I find myself on the road sometimes. I am driving and paying attention yet my mind is elsewhere. I am thinking of different ideas. I am thinking about different hopes and different dreams. There are times when I am moving on autopilot, just roaming through the world and wondering when my life is going to begin.
There are times when I wonder:
“Will I ever get the chance to pull off my trick? “
“Will I ever get the words out?”
“Will anyone even notice?”
“Will anyone care?”
“Does it matter?
When the question was asked, “When is it your turn to have the life you want to live?” I had to answer this with another question.
“When am I going to give myself the permission to live the life I want to have?
I had to ask myself, “When am I going to stop listening to other people?”
“When am I going to stop giving in to poor predictions?”
“When am I going to stop reaching for the levels of my own incompetence?”
One of the greatest suggestions that’s ever been offered to me is, “Never be the beast that someone claims you to be.”
“Don’t stoop to their level?”
But more importantly, never allow someone’s limitations to be the thing that limits you.
And of course, we all know this. We know this on an intellectual level. We know this in our mind; but yet, our hearts often tell us differently. We hold onto the pain. We find ourselves caught in the subconscious programs or the trained biases and assumptions that we’ve lived with for our entire life.
Antifragility . . .
Think of a car. Think of a car that’s rear ended by another car. Think of the damage between the two. The front end of the car is smashed or the back end of the car that was hit is totaled.
This is fragility.
Resilience would be an example of the car’s ability to withstand the impact of the crash. Resilience would be the car’s ability to withstand without taking on too much damage. And you would think to yourself, “Wow, that car has a strong bumper.” Or in this case; even if either of the cars received no damage, then either of the cars can only be resilient at best.
But to be antifragile means that regardless of the shock, the car would be better. This means the accident made the car stronger. For us to be antifragile means that we would do more than endure. This means we would be more than able or capable. We are more than durable. This means we would be unbreakable and strong and always improving.
I have considered people from our history who have defied the odds against them. I have listened to speakers and presenters. I have listened to people who had physical deformities and hardships in their life. I have listened to people who were born with debilitating diseases and genetic defects; yet, nobody told them that they were supposed to lose.
I watched a man walk into an arena to fight for the welterweight championship of the world and nobody told him that he was supposed to lose. Rather than fulfill the prophecy of being the underdog, I watched this man destroy the odds against him. He became champion of the world.
Could you imagine that?
I heard someone tell me, “Nobody has the right to beat you.”
I heard someone say, “Nobody has the right to stop you from growing.”
No one can ever stop you from improving.
No one can stop you from doing anything, unless you let them.
I think about the battles we have with ourselves. I think about the ongoing conversations we have in our minds as preparation for the next time we need to defend ourselves.
I think about the talks we have in our head about the unresolved tensions, which only prove to go unresolved the more we interact with them. And next, we are predisposed.
We are subject to commit the murders and character assassinations in our mind. We are prewired to argue, locked and loaded, and ready to fight because deep inside, there’s a voice that’s afraid to be hurt again. There’s an idea. There’s a thought that cannot stand the sense of vulnerable weakness.
There are times when we take the words of someone who is otherwise meaningless and unimportant. For some reason, we make them important by rethinking and reliving their insults.
I once told you that I can’t pay attention when someone doesn’t like me. I can’t think about this because I can lose myself to thoughts like this. I once told you that I don’t worry when my enemy growls or gives me a dirty look. That’s what they do. That’s there job.
I might pay attention to their smiles but otherwise, unhappy people do unhappy things, which means why would I accept them or their intrusions and allow this to destroy me?
In the end, everything comes down to one question.
What do you want to be?
And it’s okay if you don’t know. It’s okay if you are unsure.
There are times when I don’t know the answer to this.
There are times when I’m not sure what I want; but whatever it is, I want it to be antifragile. I want this to be unbreakable and strong. Always and ongoing.
In full disclosure, I don’t always know what I want
But I know what I don’t want – and that’s to be unhappy.
I define depression as a theft of services. This robs us of enjoying the view of pretty things. This swipes the chance to enjoy the moment.
Depression is a theft of our life, which leaves us empty. It’s like a weed . . . to strangle our roots and keep us from the nutrients of being grounded.
I have to say that I know what it’s like to be stolen from. So, I’ve had to learn how to take back. I’ve learned to recover each of these thefts and that one day at a time, I had to learn that I have the ability.
Or wait, no. I have more than the ability. I have the right to improve. I have the right to be more than resilient. I have the right to be better than unbreakable. And thankfully, I have the right to be antifragile. But above all, I have the right to be stronger than my adversity.
That’s what I want to be.