Never Stop Moving Forward

But don’t forget to count your small victories along the way

Image by yours truly

This photo was taken 7 years ago. I had moved out to California after graduating with my bachelors degree in aerospace engineering. I was ready to conquer the world and chase my dreams.

Although, what that meant was I was going to buy as many toys as I could and party all the time.

Mission accomplished!

It wasn’t all shallow though as I did invest in myself through a variety of channels. I learned about my underlying potential (usually through difficult conversations with friends and coaches who had to smack me around a bit and tell me to grow the fuck up) and developed my abilities in areas like leadership, confidence, public speaking, sales, engineering, storytelling, and seducing the pants off of anyone if they didn’t come to hate me first (the latter was much more common).

My twenties contained more great memories than I could ever recall in a single post or even a book.

I used to say that I lived more in my twenties than most people did in their entire lives. Yet in addition to those great memories were also several years of darkness. I spent the first half of that decade exploring my innocence and naïveté and the second half exploring the consequences of acting rashly upon that innocence.

I spent years wandering through darkness. I was ashamed of who I had become. I was guilt ridden by hurting someone I loved because of who I had become. And the pain caused by our selfish behavior crippled me.

I didn’t know who I was anymore, let alone who I wanted to become.

I don’t know if there is a worse combination of feelings than to hate who you worked so hard to be while experiencing a pain so intense for months on end that you don’t know when or if it will actually end.

When you hate who you are the normal advice for getting through pain doesn’t apply.

I couldn’t spend time with friends because my friends expected me to be the person I hated. I couldn’t pass time with work because I was unemployed and the only thing I knew how to write about was the lifestyle I used to lead as the person I hated. If I went to my gym I was surrounded by people who expected the old me, and if I went to a different gym I couldn’t find the motivation to give a shit.

While my friends were celebrating the last years of their twenties I was wondering if those same years were going to be the last years of my life.

But as you can see I’m not dead.

I did survive my hell to rise above it and pull myself out of the darkness I spent all those years in.

My core is the same, but how my soul expresses itself in this world is different.

This is not a post about following your dreams or quitting your job or traveling the world. This post is about handling what life throws you and moving forward.

Just don’t stop.

When things are good, be grateful they are good and charge toward something, ANYTHING.

Take advantage of knowing you’re in a good place!

And when things are not so good, try with everything you have to take at least one step forward every single day. It might not feel like progress at the time but I promise you one thing… Once you pull yourself out of that shitty place you will feel so much better about that small amount of progress than had you done nothing at all, potentially wasting months or years of your life waiting for someone to give you a second chance.

YOU are the only person capable of giving YOU a second chance.

YOU are the only person responsible for YOUR happiness.

Regardless of what life throws at you, YOU have all the power necessary to succeed and be happy.

Never give that away to anyone or anything.

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FYI: this originally appeared on my Facebook.

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