Thursday, August 22, 2013

Looking forward

From Flickr

A kick in the pants

Sometimes I fall behind in my work. Other times I fall behind in my life. I mean to say that progress on one or another projects, personal or professional, has lagged, and I've become aware of it. Sometimes this happens when attempting to juggle too much, other times it's just a matter of distraction. I know you've experienced this - we all have experienced this to some degree.

It's frustrating, isn't it? When the realization rises to the front of your skull that you're slipping. You are not meeting certain requirements you've set for yourself; not hitting the goals you had your mind's eye turned to.

Maybe that's just it though - you're looking away when you could be looking ahead...

Sometimes it's because we're focused on the past that we get distracted from our path. Perhaps the distraction stems from the thought of people who are no longer in your life, or of the person you used to be, or the path you used to be on. Maybe it's external pressures like finances or finding yourself unable to follow through on a promise. Maybe you're telling yourself that you'll fail again, like you failed before. That's the worst way to be looking back. It's not reminiscent, just merely a distraction of self; your past haunting your future.

In a similar fashion, we can be distracted by looking sideways. These are moments when the red herring gets the best of us and we focus on non-essential, cluttering diversions. These diversions will float into our lives if we let them, and while having some distractions from reality can be a healthy escape, it's important to note that they can take us off our path if we allow it.

It seems then, 
that the final direction we have,
is forward.

Looking forward takes some courage, and to have courage you need to believe in yourself. It's scary, isn't it? To believe in yourself? It's terrifying to believe in yourself because you're the only one who can. Looking back on your failures, though, can give you the confidence you need to press on if you shed positive light on it.

Do not mistrust your abilities to overcome future obstacles.

Ok one more time, I'm really going to club you over the head with this one - nobody else can believe in you but you.

Now, what does any of this have to do with a column about the outdoors? Quite simply… everything. I've been writing about my adventure to become more of a woodsman for well over a year now, and as I've taken on learning new woods tactics and thrown myself into different adventures, I've learned a great deal about myself.

I have learned that adventure breeds adventure. Making new contacts and trying new things leads to making new contacts and trying new things, and this is a great recipe for growth. If you're growing, you're changing, and as long as you're not afraid of that change, you'll continue to grow. Am I talking in circles yet?

Offer value.

Let me put it this way - the greatest equity each of us have as individual human beings is to continuously find ways to offer value. Think about that. Reread it a few times, word for word, and slosh it around in your head a bit. This is a keystone concept for learning to believe in yourself.

Learning how to cut wood, how to hunt, and how to fish are all great ways to improve your value as a person around here. Just the same, learning how to handle conflict, remain flexible, and inspire people are important non-tangibles and the list goes on and on. Not only will learning new skills make you a more self-reliable, capable, and confident person, but it will increase your ability to offer value to others.

If you're willing to continuously work on yourself, then you're looking forward, and forward there is always hope. There is always hope for a better tomorrow if you're earnest in your struggle, I promise you that.

Reduce your liabilities and increase your assets; offer more and demand less. I don't believe in good and bad luck, just planning and hard work. You'll get there, just keep moving forward.

“Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”
- William James

See you out there,
A woodsman in training.

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