If you’re flowing with or being influenced by the crowd and people around you, odds are you’ll end up somewhere you don’t want to be. I think many people can relate to this. Have you ever just went with the flow or followed the crowd and you ended up in a situation or circumstance that wasn’t favorable to who you really knew you were or what you really wanted? If you’ve lived long enough, you probably have. The reason why is because rather than being true to yourself and following your heart, or your inherent gift, you let your environment (i.e. the people around you, peers, and influences) dictate your actions and course. This can be a big mistake and it is the last thing you want to do if you want to fulfill your true dreams and God given destiny.
The reason I say God given destiny and not just destiny, as is commonly used on the topic, is because there are many different destinations that you can arrive at on your journey of life, but only one or two really match your true heart’s desires. These tend to be the hardest and most difficult to reach. Some may even determine them to be impossible. But they are the most true and real to you, and the ones you want to achieve and arrive at the most, deep down inside. If you let your environment and associates around you control your destiny, then you never know where in the world you are going to end up. That’s just a fact.
I learned this fact several times over in my life. But as much as I learned it, what I was really learning was how to listen to my heart, listen to myself, and trust my instincts. Shortly after I became a draftee of a professional major league baseball team, I was at a family reunion, which should be a relatively safe place to interact and one of the least places temptations would seem to undermine you. There was a pickup game of basketball in the street and one of my long lost cousins challenged me to play. I didn’t think it was worth it, but he really edged me on, so I joined in. Due to the competitive nature of my family members, I had to up my game and play with more profusion to counter the roughness- it was getting intense. That’s when, in an effort to keep the ball from going out of bounds on the street playing court, I jumped to throw it back in, and when I landed I heard something pop in my knee. This was an ACL tear to my right knee that would require reconstructive surgery and put my baseball career on hold, at best, for at least a year. Anyone who knows the professional sports business knows that the competition is so fierce, you cant afford to lose a year of playing to have a chance, especially when you’ve already shattered a million to one odds just to have a chance in the first place.
My destination changed and altered course. Instead of playing, I was on crutches and in a cast, and couldn’t run for at least several months. Instead of listening to my inner wise self, I let my bullying cousin egg me on into a competitive basketball game, and tempt me into playing hard, and I payed a steep price.
Fortunately, I was barely 19 years old and I had my whole life ahead of me. Throughout the nine long, grueling months of rehab, I had a lot of time to think, to study at school, to ponder, and to start dreaming again. The injury enabled me to explore other areas of life and subjects and rekindled some older childhood and teenage passions I had that I had gotten away from with the expectations of baseball. Pressure for how to go about the next course of action in life was heavier than a thousand pounds of bricks on my shoulders. Should I make a comeback with my baseball career, as my parents and college coach were hoping for? Should I live a “normal” life, and just get a 9-5 job like other family members did? Should I pursue a typical college degree like most of my peers and friends had? Everyone had an opinion, including college guidance counselors and what they thought I should pursue as a college major. My heart was still in baseball, but the rehabilitation process was depressing and time was wasting in the process because of course you want to make it to the big leagues.
Throughout my introspection, I learned several valuable lessons of wisdom from my experiences thus far to that point. First, the reason why I was in the situation I was in, unable to walk, was my fault. I was the one who decided to play. Sure, my bully older cousin challenged me and roughed me up in the game, but ultimately, it was my choice to give into the temptation. Second, I have to take responsibility for my choices and my own actions, no one else. This is why when people around me were trying to persuade me to play a year later when my knee was finally healed, I decided to walk away. Something in my heart told me to. Just like that day I decided to go against my wisdom and judgment and play basketball when I tore my knee, when I decided and opted not to listen to it, it was there, and this time I decided not to override it. As people tried to talk me into what they wanted me to do, I listened carefully, but this time I decided to go with my instinct.
During my nine months of rehabilitating my knee, I rediscovered a former passion for learning and my studies, I built my body up into a major powerhouse packed with serious naturally obtained muscle mass and definition and learned what the science of bodybuilding was all about and how it worked through reading magazines and online research, and I realized I had much more to offer than just playing baseball for a relatively low pay, low quality of life if you don’t make it to the big leagues. I didn’t deny these discoveries, although I could have, and my environment might have wanted me to so I could focus back in on baseball.
In doing this, what I had done is stopped letting my environment and people around me control me and influence me and persuade me to do things that went against my will and my heart and instinct. I decided I was going to follow my heart, and go for my dreams. There were many, and they were all God given because they are what I truly wanted, and although self fulfilling, they all revolved around helping other people in a deeper way.
As this new journey unfolded, another situation popped up that was quite a surprise at the time, but it once again reinforced the idea that no one is in control of my life except myself in the sense of influence and promise. I was under the impression that once you get a good job that pays you well, you made it in life, and you could enjoy the benefits of your hard work. So, when I began climbing this awesome company ladder, I thought that everything they were promising was set in stone. My superiors talked a big game and told me that I was going to the top, and they were convincing. Next thing I knew, within months, there happened to be a major loophole in their corporate contract, and they had to depart from the area in which I lived, which meant the job I had was basically gone. I used this strategy immediately and opted to relocate and travel with them to a new city, very far out of my region. This was good and good use of the strategy, but then down there, they ran into similar difficulties with big corporate contract loopholes, and the whole plan and became very grey and unstable. Despite lots of big promises, I realized that nothing is certain, time is short, and I only live once- if this company couldn’t deliver on its’ word and be trusted, then I wasn’t going to get burned again. I had to pull out. But I did it for all the right reasons- one, my heart told me to, and two, I had a bunch of other goals, dreams, and ideas I wanted to work on that I had put off for the opportunity based on the promises they made, not the stagnation I found myself in that they were experiencing.
I took control of my life again. Rather than leave it in the hands of my vice president or my manager, and have them to blame when things weren’t going the way they said, I saw what was happening and in my gut instinct and heart, I listened to myself. How could I trust them with my life when they had already let me down and not delivered on many other fronts. What destiny did they have me arriving at? Keep in mind, one destiny I know they didn’t want was me taking their job, which was definitely conceivable. I knew what I wanted in my heart and I listened to it once again. Another key decision that led me to a life I wouldn’t regret.
Self reliance was a thing I was starting to master. It is an art, and depending the circumstance it can be harder to apply at times than others, but it is a necessity to living your best possible life and a life you don’t regret and leads to fulfillment and more good memories than bad, which is really all you can ask for. You can’t rely on anyone but yourself for your life. If you leave your life up to circumstance or in the hands of others and allow them to make decisions for you, or influence you into things that in your heart, you know you don’t want, then you will never be fulfilled, you will never fulfill your purpose, and you will never fulfill your God-given destination. But if you live true to yourself, clearly define what you know you want, what you know you love and would love to achieve, deep down inside of your heart, and have the courage to work hard, stay true, and pursue it, then you will live a great life, and you will live your God given dreams, and fulfill as much as you can of your God-given destiny in a world that tries to bring you down. To live your best, most rewarding and fulfilling life, live true to yourself, and go after exactly what you desire and you won’t regret it. That’s the best you can do, and how to take control of your life.
How to take control of your life:
- Stop listening to influences around you taking your life in directions in your heart you don’t want
- Clearly define exactly what it is you’d love to do and want to achieve based on the premise that you only live once
- Design a plan or roadmap on how you will get there
- Use imaginative strategies that allow you to see yourself fulfilling and living your dream and arriving at success and your destination
- Stay true to yourself and continue not to follow the crowd on your journey to arriving at your destination
- Close the deal when the moment arrives by doing whatever it takes to succeed when your opportunity comes
- Reap the peace and happiness rewards of fulfillment once you obtain your desired outcome
- Build on it to achieve your next success using the same discipline and formula
Rapid Results Personal Training LLC.