I don’t know if the desert can be a friend, and it’s in the desert that I have to search my treasure.” -Paulo Coehlo, The Alchemist

The journey does not have to be your friend — but it’s through the journey you find what your way should be. Are you willing to start?

This is the hardest part of what you must leave behind — you must return to the feeling of being a novice. You must leave behind those who helped you get to where you were. You must embark on the journey, without any certainty you will reach the goal you’ve set.

Maybe you don’t even have a goal at all. You just know, you need to start.

You must become more than a man in the mind of your opponent.” Ra’s Al Ghul

Yeah — you’ve heard it before. But you are your greatest opponent.

When you wake up, use the bathroom, and turn the light upon yourself to start your day — what do you think? What’s the record running in your mind & heart? Who do you see in the mirror? Do you see the kid who loved the monkey bars at seven? Do you see the softball player who caught that one amazing line drive at 15? Do you see the freshly minted college graduate?

Who you see yourself as must be stronger than how you think anyone else sees you.

You’re afraid to market yourself — but you won’t be found if you don’t. You’re afraid to tell the world who you are; the world isn’t afraid to forget you or your contributions.

So many people are afraid to start their journey, because they aren’t sure of their destination. Or they’re afraid of who they must become to reach their destination. But just because you don’t know the end, you may not see the end, or aren’t sure who you’ll become after the end, none of these are valid reasons to wait.

When your world is all organization, where is your spirit for creation? Where is your spark of adventure? How do you take up your own banner and start your own journey?

If you keep taking all those edges that no one else will, pretty soon your neighbors don’t understand you, can’t understand you.” -Sebastian Marshall

No one else has to understand your life. And right now, there’s a fair amount of your life you don’t understand either. That’s why you feel the dissonance. That’s why it feels like you’re joining some sort of resistance movement. An inner insurrection.

But as you focus on what makes your great, not what makes your measurable, you start living a life only you can understand.

Because live only needs to make sense to you. Not all the time, just enough of the time. And when you’re in the longest reaches of the desert, you just need enough sense to continue.

That’s one thing you learn in boot camp: One step in front of the other. Forgetting about graduation, or your first unit — just one step in front of the next. Everything collapses into the smallest of frames. But it’s through the smallest of frames you move long distances.