- Never drank coffee
- Never drank alcohol
- Never swore
- Never smoked
- Never did drugs
- Never wore blue jeans
- Only kissed one girl
- My only love has been my true love
These are all things I am proud of. Growing up, I was guided by my father, a man I respect above all men, whom I have honored by listening to what he preached and lived.
These rules or principles that I have followed, practically blindly at first, now define who I am and who I aspire to be.
It’s difficult going against the grain, countering the popular culture that the media promotes. It’s hard standing for something – it’s always easier to just go with the flow, to not care. But you grow stronger by swimming against the current, you see things that other people miss, you stand out and have a greater opportunity to make a real difference.
I am proud of who I am and the journey I have taken to get here.
Many may see this as a life of deprival, and I myself have felt that on occasion, but what I’ve come to realize is that in reality I have created a life of True Freedom. The freedom to love who I am and what I stand for. The freedom to love my wife unabashedly and wholeheartedly. Freedom from a life of regrets. Freedom from addiction and vices. And the freedom to truly experience all the authentically amazing experiences and people this world has to offer.
Mastery of Self
I feel I have good control of my mind and body. I once fasted(no food) for seven days – nothing except water and toothpaste past my lips. Achieving mastery of self requires daily practice and constant vigilance because habits can transform daily actions into lifelong rhythms. The trick is filtering out the bad habits and welcoming the good ones.
From a young age, I learned to respond rather than react to situations. This is an important step in mastering the self because if you are constantly in a state of reacting to circumstances and the environment around you, you are at the mercy of chance. However, by stepping back to think things through and then respond, you gain mastery over a situation and you begin to create your own personal destiny. Having mastery, you remove yourself from any limiting beliefs and set yourself free to pursue your life’s great happinesses.
For the past seven years, I made it a constant practice to perform certain actions regularly. Over the years, these habits have fortified into Life Rhythms.
Examples of the most impactful habits I’ve kept up for the last seven years are:
- Running at least twice a week
- Listening to audiobooks/podcasts
- Giving up porn and masturbation and expressing all forms of sexual intimacy only with my wife
- Shifting my mindset to willingly welcome change
- Rising early in the morning
So what happened 7 years ago? I was preparing myself for Stage 2 of life(See about page), I was getting ready to welcome another person into my life. I wanted to be able to offer that person the best possible version of myself. I wanted to remove any snares and burrs that had even the slightest chance of disrupting my future marriage and possibly thwarting my personal life-long dream to create a strong, loving family.
Life Lessons and Absolute Truths
Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the absolute truths that I’ve discovered so far in my life. Now that I have kids, I think more about what lessons I want to start passing down. I feel that the many life lessons my father instilled in me from a young age have made all the difference in my life. I would like to give my children that same sort of clarity and direction in life.
Below is a draft list of Life Lessons I am currently pondering. Some are my own ideas, while others are distilled from books, friends, and family.
- Effort counts for more than Genius
- Be Kind
- Life’s purpose is True Happiness
- Never do anything to embarrass yourself or your family
- Habitually seeking temporary happinesses will assuredly lead to disaster
- Have a definite purpose in all things
- Live life in the present moment
- Time is your greatest asset
- Greatness starts in doing things that few are willing to do
- Leave places better than you found them
- Never take yourself too seriously
- Harmony in one’s mind is only attainable through self control
- Always do more than is expected of you
- The only school of real value is the great “university of life”
- Every defeat is temporary, and comes with it an advantage
- A quitter turns temporary defeat into permanent failure
- Success is usually one quick step from the point that one quits fighting
- Pray not for wants or greater blessings, but to be worthy of those you already have
- In welcoming change, you welcome life
I hope to further examine these and other lessons that will inevitably surface to my mind. I invite my readers to help me add to the list or challenge these thoughts that I claim as absolute truths.
The Straightest Edge
A large majority of the posts to date have involved me showing off my accomplishments and achievements. I typically have not made it a habit of looking back, but recently the enormity of what I have accomplished so far in my young life seems, well, quite prestigious. I will admit I do take some sort of vain pride in all of it, but the ultimate purpose is to show others how to lead a good full life. It has always been my aim to do this in the straightest way possible. Too often, our society’s role models for success exemplify vapid, materialistic, purposeless lives. I’ve always made it a priority to be a good role model. For instance, I myself don’t have an issue with occasionally drinking alcohol, but having been part of a youth ministry team, I decided even an occasional drink wasn’t worth it and the habit wasn’t something I wanted to promote. Too many injustices and regrets have been caused due to the over indulgences of alcohol.
“While you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger
So this post will likely remain in draft form for a while. There are a lot of abstract concepts I am sure I want to rephrase or address differently. But I wanted to leave you with this quote to ponder on for your own life.
What’s important to you?
What are you working towards and for what purpose?
What action and lifestyle choices do you want to be exemplifying?
How are you designing your personal destiny?