Flashback to June 1st 2016…
The date I had written atop the private entry in my journal I randomly happened to stumble upon the other day. As I read the entry, I began noticing the strong emphasis I’d placed on the low-down, personal, nitty-gritty aspects I had going on in my life at that time.
This was a very uncomfortable period of my life (I’ll be filling you in on those details later on in the second half of the article), but coming back full circle, reading the depictions of my previous experiences made me realize how these same lessons still felt incredibly applicable and very much relevant to what’s happening within my current life today.
I’m referring to emotional gunk. That stuff we all have living inside us but would rather neglect until we’re absolutely forced to look at it whenever it decides to inconveniently resurface, and resurface it will no matter how resourceful we think we’ve become in keeping it all tucked away safely under tight lock and key. I don’t blame you. Who doesn’t feel like keeping their emotional unpleasantries hidden sometimes?
Uncomfortable emotions can feel like enemy foreign invaders, although as experiences they’re the furthest thing from foreign since we all share them in common. It just may not seem like we do because the majority chooses to rarely comfortably display any uncomfortable feelings out in the public eye. This has become particularly noticeable since the dawn of social media, where true vulnerability and rawness become easily overlooked and oftentimes replaced by heavily stylized, over-glossed content displaying fast-track schemes of becoming rich, physically fit or beautiful. And while there’s noting inherently wrong with having or wanting any of these things, I see the issue as how the attainment of success is being displayed in the way these adverts conveniently leave out any details of discomfort, hard work, growing pains or the discipline required from you to achieve such high levels of success.
As I sat writing this article, what came to mind was perhaps my favorite quote in reference to success, and I like it so much, I even decided to use reference to it in my title, but just as a warning, this quote drops the “F bomb,” and occasionally I’ll be dropping the “F bomb” throughout the article too. So if certain language types offend you, do yourself a favor and please stop reading.
Now without any further ado, may I present to you this fabulous quote which of whom the author is unknown:
“Success is like being pregnant, everyone says congratulations but nobody knows how many times you were fucked.”
Keenly accurate, and quite humorously, this quote really plays on the perspective of how the world only seemingly pays attention to the end result of success, but rarely if ever glimpses into the sheer depths of resilience dedication and mindset required to get you through the many sleepless nights, hunger, heartache, hard work, pain and struggle you will face along the journey of getting there.
Do you actually have what it takes to be successful?
Do you have the ability within you to get fucked by the process countless times on your way to the top with the resiliency to continually rise up, choosing to hold your head high each time it happens again and again?
Or are you part of the majority of people who believe there’s some magic elevator out there you can just hop onto in order to fast-track your way straight into the pinnacles of success?
Well, from personal experience I can tell you these magical elevators don’t exist. To become successful means taking the stairs all the way up, and there’s a lot of goddamn stairs. This is not a trek for the weary and if you feel incapable of mustering up within you the willingness to put in the work to formulate the necessary growth mindset you’ll require to get there, just duck out now and save yourself the hassle, and you’re better off going back to the comfortable box from which you came, because without the proper mindset aimed at the ability to grow, adapt and change you won’t make it, and truthfully, this is why most never do.
You can’t avoid failure. In fact becoming successful demands failure. You can’t learn the “ins and outs” of what works for you and what doesn’t any other way. An entire library of knowledge and all the Google searches in the world don’t mean anything until you actually dive straight into the line of fire, stick your neck out and put what you believe it is you know to the test. Then and only then will you prove to yourself what you’re capable of and make the necessary changes you need to get better because success can only be gained through experience, and I can promise you, there will certainly be times when it feels like these experiences fucking you…long, slow and HARD. So be smart and always wear protection.
Which type of person are you?
The type of person who gets fucked sideways a couple times, decides packs their bags and run back home with their tail tucked between their legs? Or are you the type who when reaching the end of their rope they tie a knot in that sucker and hold on for the ride even tighter? The second type knows that regardless of whatever happens, they’ve shown up wearing the adequate protection of the growth mindset so no matter what life throws their way, they’ve got this.
You have to realize that long withstanding success is a gift not given to everyone, and it’s definitely not granted to the weak of mind. The famous saying “only the strong survive” is applicable here, because a strong vision, passion, drive, and support are required of you to push through the muck of struggles.
This journey of success will test you, so when life’s shit hits the proverbial fan, the proper mindset is needed to keep you from getting emotionally too far ahead of yourself and returning back to the present moment.
No matter what’s happening in your world externally…remember this too shall pass.
The seasons of life are cyclical and forever always changing in nature. The same can be said for any adverse situation you may be facing because just like the turning of each season, whatever struggles you may be in now, shall most certainly pass too.
It always seems darkest before the dawn, but when dawn finally hits the sunlight exponentially grows brighter and brighter until suddenly you look around and find yourself basking in full-blown daylight.
So regardless of how dark life can sometimes gets, just keep on keepin’ on my friends. The sun doesn’t care if it blinds you, so be like the sun and don’t allow any adversity dim your fucking shine.
Climbing the stairway to success isn’t easy.
There are plenty of moments where emotions run high, intense frustration, anger and sinking disappointment, and I know every single one of these feelings all too well…
When I eventually hit rock bottom back in November 2015, I had already spent two years prior inadvertently spreading myself thin financially, thus by the time November arrived, it catapulted me into a life of not only being spread thin financially but also now physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally too.
I found myself stuck in a position no one ever wants be, choosing between whether I’d spend my last dollars on putting a roof over my head or eating once a day. I decided to opt for the roof.
I’d just moved to Bali two months prior, and everything I’d planned out to prevent something like “rock-bottom” from happening, specifically my online job and the yoga teaching gig I scored at a five-start resort, both fell through within my first week here. I was actually stuck in Bali, and even though I can think of far worse places to be stuck in, this didn’t negate how the mere thought of becoming homeless in a third world country quite frankly scared the crap out of me, and the equally terrifying exchange of now only being able to afford to eat just one piece of fruit per day felt no better.
Talk about being tested.
Talk about wanting to give up.
Talk about feeling like I had just been royally FUCKED.
In fact, I was about to live out my worst nightmare as someone who’d previously spent his entire life successfully basing it on financial security. The concept of death never much scared me. For me my greatest fear was to be alive but unable to afford basic survival.
The critical aspect of my mind went nuts. I could practically hear it scream “YOU’RE KILLING US YOU FOOL!” But oddly enough my heart seemed to know the entire time that I was exactly where I was meant to be…and back then in those moments I was meant to be was lying on the floor next to a puddle-like mixture of vomit and tears losing my freaking mind.
The scenario above hardly paints the dreamlike portrait of success often portrayed in social media fairy-tales, and honestly I felt more like my life had become the punchline of some insidiously cruel joke. Like somehow the Universe had gotten its rocks off by dropping me on my head and leaving me with felt like at the time, abandoned to die. Ironically it’s when I finally surrendered to the way my life was in those moments, was precisely when a new version of life rush in and thus “The SoulTrekker” was born.
But my long Trekk up the stairs to my success was FAR from over…
“The SoulTrekker” became the new identity I needed to overcome these hurdles, and I had to release my past self in order to step into my transformation and become him. The old fixed mindset I had used before was now dead, but I didn’t mourn its passing. As Fredrich Nietzsche so eloquently wrote: “… I threw roses into the abyss and said: ‘here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.”
Fast forward to a year later and it was like damn deja-vu all over again. May 2016 eerily reminded me of November 2015…
Eight bucks to my name and once again unsure how I would put a roof over my head, but this time it was a bit worse. I wouldn’t be able to eat just one piece a fruit per day…I wouldn’t actually be able to eat anything at all.
But this time around my mindset had shifted and I was seeing life through an entirely new lens…this time around it didn’t feel like my worst nightmare. In fact I wasn’t afraid at all. I’d already done this same dance before and I survived. Not only did I survive, but recognized how painful experiences can become the gifts we need to propel us forward into new heightened levels of self-awareness when we decide to not remain locked inside them like a prison.
The pity-party was over for me. I’d turned the chapter on my old story of “I Am a Victim” and wrote a new story with an entirely different title called: “Empowerment.” I was breathing in a newfound humility with a much different understanding as to what the acts of trust and faith truly mean. I realized I had the meaning of surrender all wrong, I didn’t needed to surrender to anything outside of me, I only needed to surrender to myself.
This experience was my second awakening.
Another chance at rebirth and another opportunity for the legendary Phoenix to rise from the ashes once again.
I welcomed in the experience this time around. Did I warmly welcome this experience with a false sense of positivity? Hell no I didn’t, I’m human. I was fucking pissed. My welcome was more the frustrated grumble of “Oh come on! Really?! You’re back AGAIN?!” but since I’d danced with it before, I decided to do the tango in welcoming part two of this experience in to the best of my ability.
Is there honestly any part of the birthing process where it doesn’t get messy? I doubt it, and as a man biologically incapable of ever physically experiencing giving birth, I may never know, but one thing I do know is the end result is usually beautiful, and the re-birthing process really is no different in this sense, including the whole process of getting fucked countless times before it finally happens.
Success is like being pregnant and the entire process of getting to achieve success is worthwhile because life can reveal the incredible vastness of your true potential, and the abilities you have to go hard by following your dreams into creating something really big in your life.
The role of men is changing in the 21st century. Want to keep up?
Photo Credit: Pixabay