Elan: Live to the Fullest

There are a few things I absolutely love about life. For one, we all have goals, ambitions, dreams, and desires. For another, we have that raging debate between fantasy versus reality. So, in the realm of fantasy, we would all like to have top notch physiques, live the perfect healthy, active lifestyle, and have the motivation and unlimited time to make our bodies into the best they can be. Then we have something called reality, where we work, are stressed beyond stressed, try to make it into the gym, only we say we can’t, try to eat healthy but typically that doesn’t happen, and continually put off our goal of being healthy, fit, and active. Sometimes we’ve had this goal for years and it just doesn’t happen. Okay, so to make matters worse, we’re always trying the latest one size, fits all fad diet or exercise program that “guarantees” results that you can do from your home but you still aren’t motivated to get anything done because you have a television set in front of you, house chores to get done, books to read (ironically I may indirectly contribute to that particular problem one day), and other times we’re just flat out exhausted from our long day with no energy whatsoever.

So, in this entire fantasy versus reality spectrum, there is one common characteristic between those who wish to make their fantasies become realities and those who believe fantasies will never happen and the harsh reality of life strikes hard at one point or another. Those who know their fantasies will become reality one day are your positive thinkers. They aren’t afraid to play behind the eight ball, go through growing pains, bide their time, enter job professions where the rewards and benefits come later on, believe anything is possible, and anything can happen on any given day. These people know their luck can change at any given time and it only takes one second to go from falling back to springing ahead. And they’re willing to do whatever it takes in order to get there. They realize as long as they don’t give up, they have life. And on the opposite side, you have those who see reality as something that is harsh. Reality is reality to them, and those fantasies they had during childhood and young adulthood have diminished. Sadly, most Americans fall in the reality category. They’re often impatient, are willing to shortcut themselves, realize they’re becoming something different than what they’ve always envisioned they would be. They will tell anyone who possesses dreams and ambitions outside the norm they’re lying and fooling themselves, thinking they can and will one day attain their wildest dreams. These are the negative thinkers. These people believe they have life figured out, because only a certain “select few” attain what they want to attain in life because the circumstances were right.

I have news for those who see reality as being something horrible, those who think you have to conform and fit in with the rest of society while a very select few go on to live their dreams because of supposedly right circumstances: the circumstances are never right, and they’re never perfect. Take a look at (and I know Steeler fans are going to grill me on this because Pittsburgh is my target market) Tom Brady and Dak Prescott. Two quarterbacks taken later on in the NFL Draft who nobody gave a shot. Brady started his first season as the fourth quarterback in New England. How many NFL teams keep four quarterbacks on the roster as the Patriots did in 2000? Brady was fourth on the depth chart. Dak Prescott, on the other hand, was third on the depth chart and was competing for the third string quarterback role in mini-camp. Did anyone think Tom Brady was going to win five Super Bowls in his NFL career. When Drew Bledsoe went down in that second game in the 2001 NFL Season, which Brady started the season as the most faceless back-up quarterback in the NFL, every single Patriots fan threw in the towel. Ditto for the Dallas Cowboys when Romo went down and a rookie quarterback taken in the fourth round that season took the field as the starter because both the back-up (Kellen Moore) and Romo went down with injuries. At that point, every single Cowboys fan said the season ended in Week Three of the pre-season. No one gave these two NFL quarterbacks anything, especially Brady, who was a late sixth round pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Today he’s married to a model, is going on forty yet looks about twelve years younger, and will probably become the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl and I wouldn’t be surprised if he broke his own record in that category.

What if Brady simply said it was just too rough of a climb and living his dream of being an NFL quarterback wasn’t working? He would’ve simply faded into the pages of NFL players just passing by, putting on the uniform for a few years before calling it a career. Yet, Brady knew he could do more than simply be an unknown NFL back-up. He knew he could become not just one of the best, but the best quarterback to ever play the game. And if there’s one guy capable of challenging all of Brady’s records, it’s Dak Prescott, who had the best rookie season of any quarterback in NFL history.

What has always fascinated me are those who take what they’re given and make the most of it. They never, ever complain about their current hand. They know what their cards say, and they find a way to win the hand. They never allow the negative thinkers to drag them down. No matter what these “harsh reality” people say, our positive thinkers just keep on thinking positive and doing anything and everything in their power to get what they want. They never doubt themselves, they only continue to chug forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace, because they’re still lapping everyone on the couch who wonder why others are passing them up and achieving the same goals they want. There’s a reason why my apartment doesn’t have a couch, and I don’t plan on buying one any time soon. There’s a reason why I haven’t bought cable, as much as Comcast tries to talk me into buying it. In fact, there’s a reason why I haven’t even bought internet for my apartment. People see those as luxuries, but a wise person knows these are setbacks. Setbacks to the goals we want to accomplish.

It’s so easy to sit in front of a television set, yet it’s one of the biggest wastes of time we know today. I love to surf the internet, researching meaningless things which will delay my progress and my goals because I’m spending too much time doing something useless, so why would I make the mistake of buying internet? People love to sulk on the couch. So I decided not to bring one up with me. There is no reason for it to be up here. I’m not setting myself back by creating so-called luxuries for myself.

The point of today’s post is simple: people wish for everything when they’re young, but many achieve very little. Others wish for things (such as a fit body) when they’re older but they make excuses as to why they can’t attain it yet the guy across the street can and that they’re simply unlucky and are given a poor hand. I’m telling you today it’s all about the thought process, and what you can do in order to make your goals a reality. A good reality, one that you can look back at that long, windy road and tell yourself you did it and it was worth it. It was worth the sacrifice, the uncertainty, and staying the course. It was worth the early mornings, late nights, few friendships, sailing straight into the hurricane, taking the pain and punishment, yet exiting the tunnel instead of giving up halfway through and being miserable with yourself and wondering years from now what could have been. For those who succeed, the journey is well worth it, even if the odds are stacked completely against you. There is always hope.

Today I want every one of you who read this to reassess your goals and your outlook on life. I want you to take those goals you set for yourself and if you gave up on them, it’s time to make them goals once again and go after them. If you’ve been hating on those who succeed at what you want or have wanted, I want you to stop doing that right now and look at these people as inspiration, admire them, and tell yourself you want to be just like them and that you will get there. I don’t care if you have to sacrifice Friday nights at the bar, friendships you’ve had since birth, getting rid of cable, and just about anything that might be detrimental to your goals, and completely changing your own attitude. Because what you wanted to do is worth it, and even during the strongest storms, things get better. All storms come to pass. You just need to realize this, take action, and finally see your wildest goals come to life. Oh, and get rid of any and all negative people looking to bring you down. They aren’t worth your time.

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