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The Night Before The Dawn

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Life has been absolutely amazing. So much so, that I've taken my foot off the gas, dropped a few good habits, and gained a few bad ones. That. Is. Complacency! That's accomplishing a huge feat and celebrating a little too long. That's the result of hard work, early mornings & late nights. That's the result of coming up short, time and time again. It got to the point where I knew an "L" would never break me; we'll chalk that up to ego because I've seen an "L" break the strongest people. But after reaching a major milestone, I'm learning a "W" can break you too.

And that's terrifying.

At least with an "L", you can have the "nowhere to go but up" mentality. Falling off of a peak is deadly and if you feel that you got lucky or don't deserve that milestone, it can cripple you. Luckily, I don't feel that way, but diving into that psychology can help us understand this natural mode of complacency after any accomplishment and most importantly, how to overcome it (in theory, of course).

Usually, when accomplishing something of importance, you're facing a fear (fear of rejection, fear of coming up short, fear of looking like a fool) and at the very least, you're taking a risk. There's a correlation between the size of the risk and the reward that's bound to it, like a sail on a ship at sea. Sometimes small accomplishments end up being huge because of how rewarding the process is and a huge milestone ends up being minimized because of what you had to risk to reach it.


Think about it. That's a dangerous statement.

You may say "I believe in family over everything, that's what I value", and most people will get behind that statement. But there's an important follow-up question that never gets asked...

"Well, what do you mean by believe? Do you mean the words? To say the words? Is what you believe, what you say? Or is it, what you act out?"

To some degree, it's both, but if push comes to shove, I'd say what you believe is what you act out, not what you say. This creates an interesting dichotomy between what you think, say, and do. You're operating on different planes of existence and to be fully integrated those planes must be aligned.

Imagine you're in a position of survival. You don't have much time to think or to say, a majority of your time is spent reacting (doing). While what you act out (do) is important, what really changes your position in life is how you act in tandem with how you think and what you say. That's your aim and without the aim, you're getting pushed in whatever direction life takes you. Merely reacting to the circumstances in front of you and not being able to see beyond them. It's a progression.. before you can do; you must say (proclaim, aim) before you can say; you must think (formulate, plan). You can't walk before you crawl but you can do (act out) before you think. These people are spinning their wheels, doomed to make the same mistakes. You can also think and say, and never do; those are the people that are full of shit, unrealistic about the reality in front of them. It's a funny little game we play. Each individual moves through these different planes of existence.

Imagine, you're working hard, all you can think about is getting out of this position. Tunnel vision. That's all that matters so you start acting out those thoughts. Failures start to pile up. Small wins start to accumulate. Your confidence grows then, BAM! A huge opportunity falls into your lap. You jump at the opportunity and get to know the people you'll be working with. Texas A&M degree here. Yale degree there. Then there's you. All you've known is failure. What felt like confidence turning into insecurity and mounting uncertainty. A foot in the door is not the same as knowing what's on the other side.

Still wondering how a "W" can break you?

Here's something that I'm learning, something that has become more apparent after reaching a huge milestone. Something that has been illuminated by the watchful eye monitoring my thoughts, words, and actions.

It's that, reinventing yourself is a must, along with understanding the frequency in which you need to reinvent yourself. The latter is the key. The person that got me to that milestone is no longer me. The framework in which I built myself to get to this milestone, may not be able to maintain the load that the milestone requires. If I cling to the outdated framework I will surely be crushed. I need to rework the framework so it can become stable enough to hold the load. Wanting to get there isn't the same as wanting to stay or wanting to ascend. These are crucial crossroads. They can make or break you.

That's the long way of simply saying:

I am unaligned. My thoughts/words aren't aligned with my actions.

I believe that's because I haven't reinvented myself. My well-deserved celebration turned into a lifestyle before I knew it. Which, hey, I'm cool with (obviously) but there are parts of me that want so much more and my actions need to reflect that. I need to sit down. Reinvent myself. Redefine my goals, find new motivations, try new things, take on challenges, etc. Along with determining how often I need to sit down, review, and chart a new course of being.

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