Sticking to the Plan

Today is October 1 and it marks for me, an important reminder on where I came from and where I am going. I’ve been very motivated the past few weeks and today I took a hard look at where I am, where I’ve been, and where I am going, and I am more motivated now than I ever have been before. My confidence is returning and my determination to succeed is high. I am following my plans and I am seeing the positive changes they are making. They are small right now, but they are positive, and they have been incremental, but always increasing.

Having a well defined plan is absolutely paramount when trying to make changes in your life. Not only does it give you adequate direction on where you should be and what you need to do to get there, but it also provides you with a track record of your accomplishments so far, and keeps you accountable to continuing.

There have been many times during this journey that I’ve fallen astray from my plan, times when I thought things were hopeless and impossible to change. That damn monkey hanging around leaving banana peels everywhere for me to slip on. But I keep looking back to my plan, and what I want to see myself to be, and it always brings me back, stronger, and more dedicated than before to achieving my goals.

I have definite goals, and a definitely plan on how to get there in my mind, and now, on paper. And all I have to do, is follow the steps that I have laid out for me and success will be inevitable. It seemed impossible at first, but now, it seems silly that I didn’t start this earlier.

Compound interest is not just a financial term. If you make small, incremental changes in your life, they will eventually turn into big changes down the road, just stay focused.

This will be a game changing month, I can feel it, and one that will mark the true turning around point in my life.

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Being A Gentleman

One of the many different blogs I have come across to help find motivation and guidance during my journey has been The Fierce Gentleman. Its a blog dedicated to helping men become real, honest to goodness gentleman. And provides a thorough, and quite impressive, Fierce Gentleman Manifesto to help keep their vision on track.

There was one post this morning that I read that really stuck with me. Talking about the 10 Qualities that Make a Fierce Gentleman, this post provided a detailed list of just what it takes to be a Gentleman. All of the items were bang on with what a Gentleman is comprised of, and most of these I am working on, or planning to work on after the priorities are taken care of.

They were all great, but the one that impacted me the most was number 5:  “He has done, and is doing, his work.” 

Summarily, this item mentions that a Fierce Gentleman is always improving himself in every aspect of his life, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, sexual, or spiritual. It mentions that a Fierce Gentleman should not be afraid to consult experts and seek help when pursuing these improvements. I couldn’t agree more.

This is the journey I am on now, and although I felt right when I started pursuing it, it is always good to find qualification on my plan from another source.

I am continuing my journey, making it a part of each and every day. I feel that something has changed today. There is something new, that wasn’t inside of me before. Something that has recommitted me to my journey and motivated me to tackle every aspect of myself that I am not happy with. I feel I can do this.

Last Nail Out of the Coffin

As I was going through all of the issues I had brought upon myself over the previous years, I imagined each one as a nail in my eventual coffin. Each nail representing all the stress and hardship I had put on myself because of my past actions. The end result being, quite literally, my death. Fortunately, I was saved before going that far, and I have been working hard at removing each one of those nails from that pine box in my mind.

Today, I tackled the final nail that was holding the coffin closed. I made steps today to settle the last issue of my previous misdeeds. This issue has been hanging over my head the longest and to be completely honest, was probably the catalyst for everything else that I’ve done wrong over the past 3 years. This issue shouldn’t have been left as long as it had, but fortunately, those involved were patient and it allowed me to tackle the more pressing matters first. I still have work to do to clear this up, but I made a very big step and implemented the plan that will settle this matter once and for all.

I feel much lighter than I did yesterday, and I have renewed sense of purpose and motivation to continue improving myself. I am happy that I am stepping up and doing what needs to be done.

We all make mistakes, its what we do after that defines us.

Finding a Hand to Hold

This past weekend marked the end of something I never thought I’d never have been involved with in the first place. This weekend I had my final session with my counsellor.

The end of this chapter was meet with bitter sweet feelings. I actually developed a great, trusting relationship with my counsellor, one where I was actually able to open up and talk about things about myself that I have been silent about for my entire life. I saw some great progress working with my therapist, and it helped me get through some very difficult times. I was also able to share great joys as well, and it was an uplifting experience to be able to include another in the secret that has been my life.

It does feel a little like I’ve just lost a close friend though. I never thought I would have benefitted from therapy. I am the kind of person that has always thought they knew best for themselves and my inability to trust people made growth counselling a near impossible feat. It took me many months just to start opening up, and I almost gave up a few times because it seemed hopeless. I’m sure my counselor was frustrated with me more than a few times. But my counsellor was persistent and patient, more than I’ve seen in most people, and eventually that persistence and professionalism paid off.

When I did open up, it was like a dam had burst. I had so many emotions, thoughts, and fears bottled up that I felt like I had been broken apart and like humpty would never be put together again. But, as time passed, and we continued working together, I discovered more about myself, and learned ways to control and even change certain behaviours, and it stuck. There were things we tackled that I didn’t even know I had issue with. the more we talked, the more I felt I knew myself. And that felt great.

I never would have thought Id have been able to go through this experience, but now I wonder how I was able to get by so long without it. I never thought that when we started, Id be sitting here feeling completely at peace with myself and feeling nothing but hope for the future.

It is okay to admit that sometimes you cannot handle something on your own. You may go through times where you feel nothing but hopelessness and despair. But you must remember that even if you feel you are all alone, even if you do not have any friends or family to rely on, as long as you have breath in your body, you have the power to change things.

Seeking professional help to deal with my life issues was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I encourage you to seek out assistance yourself if you feel like there is any part of yourself or your life that makes you feel unhappy. You can find that happiness. There is no shame in asking for a hand to hold.

Seeking Professional Help

I’ve been reading a lot of articles and blogs related to improving oneself and one of these blogs that has been particularly helpful is the Good Men Project. I’ve found a lot of motivation from their posts and it continues to inspire me to move forward with my journey, knowing that there are men out there everywhere who are working hard to better themselves.

The other day I came across a very interesting post that hit me a little harder than others. It was entitled “9 Things Men Can Do to Change Themselves and the World” Although I am not currently looking to change the world, there was one particular item on this list that I wanted to draw particular attention to.

Seek professional help in dealing with childhood trauma.

We’ve all had our trials and challenges as children. If you are reading this, you obviously made it through childhood intact to some degree. For most of us though some of these trials and tribulations might have made a deeper impact on us than we may realize and this could have been helping or hurting us in shaping us to the men we are today. Part of my rebuilding process has been seeking the help of a professional counsellor.  It has been a very eye opening experience. I knew I had long standing issues with my parents, including lots of resentment and anger, and talking with a professional has helped me work through it. It has been very beneficial and I feel much lighter because of it. However I have also discovered several other issues that I didn’t even know existed. Things that have held me back and have caused more challenges in my life because I didn’t have the right mindset or experience to deal with situations. Situations that I couldn’t understand as a child that I am now reflecting upon have been weighing on my mind without me even realizing for years. By working with a professional and discovering these underlying issues I’ve found relief and a better understanding of myself. I am facing a lot of my flaws head on and working to be better.

There were a few others that hit close to home as well and I am certainly going to integrate them into my journey. I recommend you check out the full list here.