The Beginning of a New Journey

This morning I woke up with tears in my eyes. I had awoken from a very intense dream, the details of which I’ll be attempting to figure out for weeks, but the ending will be one I shall never forget. The dream ended with me holding my newborn baby girl for the first time. She had dark hair, wore a pink onzie, and still had her hospital bracelet on and couldn’t quite keep her eyes open at the late hour. For some reason she could talk. She told me she loved me and gave me little kisses on my cheek while I held her close to me.

This is the first time I’ve dreamt something like this before, and certainly the first time since I heard the beautiful news that I felt the true reality that I am going to be a father. 10 weeks ago my wife and I found out that we were pregnant, after we just started trying. It was a powerful and emotional time for both of us. For her, she had been waiting for this for a long time now. She was meant to be a mother and the look in her eyes on the day we found out filled me with so much love and hope for our future. Myself, I can’t believe I am here in this life where I am now.

Not less than 2 years ago, when I first started this blog, my life seemed completely hopeless. And although I was determined to get back on track and make something of my life, I would never have imagined that I’d be where I am now. My future is bright and I am looking forward to being a father. Yes, it’s been a while since I last wrote a post and a lot of things have happened on my journey. I feel like I’ve become a new man for a while now.

When I first started out to change my life by fighting off my immature tendencies, forgiving my past, and doing what it takes to become a real man, I thought I was doing it for myself. I thought I was doing it so she’d (my wife) would be able to look at me and respect me. Now, almost two years since I began my new path, I’ve realized that my changes were meant so that I can be a better man that my child can depend on.

Finding a Career

This journey to find suitable, long sustaining, rewarding employment has been a very bumpy one. Over the past 2 years I’ve had 7 jobs that most had potential to become careers. But due to my lack of foresight and discipline, all of those opportunities fell on the way side and I found myself at the bottom again, unsure where I could go or what I would do with my life.

I am by no means an unqualified individual. I feel that I am an intelligent individual, although I have had an incredible record of doing stupid things. I am highly skilled in many different areas, I am a quick learner, very resourceful and can adapt to pretty much any situation. It is a natural talent I’ve used all my life. This “Jack-of-all-trades” scenario has however, made it quite difficult to stay interested in a single vocation. Many of my jobs over the past years I gave up to pursue other interests or positions, I had little regard for the trail I left, only focusing on the next big challenge ahead of me. This seemed like a foolproof system. Just like a frog jumping across a river, keep focusing on the next landing point rather then the one you are already on and eventually you will get to where you need to go. But this is not a sustainable practice. Careers are built on stability, not constant change, and the wishy washy attitude I took towards my positions and the companies I worked for eventually bit me in the ass.

When everything fell apart, I had nothing to fall back on. I had burnt every bridge I ever had and even past employers with whom were never related in my wrong doings, were still unapproachable because of my attitude about switching jobs on a whim. I had created an environment where it was very difficult to find a new job let alone a career path.

Of course, one can always find jobs when one needs to as long as you lower your standards enough. To get through some of the hardest times, I took jobs at places I never thought I would ever work at, just to make sure I could live. It was a humbling experience. I always felt ashamed, and embarrassed at the place I was at, unable to relax and just do my job, and constantly focused on my failures.

I thought it would take years upon years to pull myself out of that whole and I although I wasn’t happy with it, it was my reality and I had to live with it.

Hard work and determination pay off though. Although I did have a foolish attitude about career building in my past, I was always a hard worker and would do whatever I could above and beyond my job descriptions to make my positions more interesting.

This eventually rewarded me the opportunity to apply for a position with my current company that actually has some respectability and long term potential. Throughout the entire hiring process I figured I would be rejected because of my past and at one point almost withdrew my application for fear of rejection. However I continued to focus forward and gave the hiring process my full attention and determination. Eventually, I was hired and am now thriving in my new position. I am enjoying myself everyday and seeing the long term path I can create with this company. I still feel a little insecure about my past, but each passing day I feel more and more confident in my role and as a result, I am improving my performance each and every day.

This job has the potential to become a worthwhile career, and although my mind does wander to other ventures and potential vocations, if I ever do decide to switch, it will be a long thought out process with a well built plan. For now, I am happy, and this job brings me self respect and worth. It is helping me achieve my goals and ensuring a fruitful future.

She Said “YES!”

I could not have ever imagined that one year ago today, I would be in the position I am in today. It is New Year’s Day and I am now engaged to the love of my life!

I have never been so nervous, but it was all worth it. All the mistakes, the challenges, the obstacles, all of them in the past, all of them bringing me to this point today.

Life will get better if you stay focused and go after what you what. Things can get very difficult but stick it through and you will prevail!

Getting Ready for the New Year

It is about that time of year where droves of people take a few moments to reflect on their life over the past 365 days and see where they might have gone wrong and where they could change things for the better. It is a time of year filled with hope and anticipation as there is countless opportunities and direction ahead for everyone. I love the spirit and the passion that fills people when they start planning for a successful year.

I’m always confused though, why people wait until right now to do it though.

Planning and goal setting, should be a regularly scheduled task, with checks and rewards to keep you on your path to success. It is most likely the main reason why most people can’t follow through past January, it’s too much to do in such a short while.

I had made my own goals and plans the same way for years and I never found the true success I was looking for. This year, has been quite different. I’ve been working on specific goals, with measurable results and keeping tabs on my progress on almost a weekly basis, and you know what? I’ve achieved more this year and changed so much for the better in the past 365 days than I ever had in the last 10 years combined.

This year, focus on the long term. You don’t need to achieve or be working on ALL of your goals in the first few weeks of the new year. Plan it out, 2, 3, 4 even 5-10 years in advance. Your goal map will never be permanent and you will always be making changes. Have fun with it, and just stay focused. You’ll get there.

Forming Good Habits

The last few weeks I’ve been working with the Og Mandino Scrolls, featured in his book “The Greatest Salesman In The World.” The book is designed to teach you lessons that will help you improve your job performance and your life performance as well. It features 10 ancient scrolls that have been passed down from Mentor to Protege over generations helping people improve to eventually become The Greatest Salesman in the World, which is really a metaphor to becoming The Greatest Person You Can Be, sales performance is just a great side effect.

salesman

Anyway, the exercise that is proposed in the book, is to read just one scroll, 3 times a day for an entire month, then when you have mastered that lesson, you can build and move on to the next. The scrolls are full of uplifting messages that should help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

The month of November has been the first scroll for me, which is about forming Good Habits and getting rid of bad habits. Reading the scroll itself is the lesson as I have to read it three times a day, which will form a Good Habit for when the other scrolls are read and new lessons to be learned.

I’ve enjoyed the experience and realized that everything I want, needs to be broken down into a habit so I will do it automatically. I want to be able to wake up early every morning, I need to make that a habit, exercising when I start my day, I need to make that a habit, eating better throughout the day, I need to make that a habit, remembering my yearly vision, I need to make that a habit, feeling grateful for my life as it stands, I need to make that a habit, completing my Man 2.0 tasks and even writing regularly, I need to make them a habit.

Habits drive our lives, especially in today’s world when there seems to be so much going on and so much that could distract you from your goals. But the more your actions become habits, the more they will become natural and the better chance you will succeed.

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.”  – Og Mandino

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.