What to do when the wave crashes over you

Beware your thoughts for they become your words.
Beware your words for they become your actions.
Beware your actions for they become your habits.
Beware your habits for they become your character.
And beware your character for it becomes your destiny.

– The Tao

I’ve really come to appreciate and respect my thoughts as complex as they may be at the best of times. My thoughts are possibly my greatest asset and worst liability. I love them and I curse them regularly. I can play with them, manipulate them, trick them, test them, nurture them and even share them. The only thing I can’t do is ignore them.

I don’t need to waffle on about how your thoughts create your actions in this post. It’s quite a simple thing to say but much harder to execute. Thinking may seem cheaper on the surface but it still has a hefty price tag. It makes you do/not do things.

With thought comes hope, ideals and the ephemeral high; with execution comes commitment, reality and emotional investment. It’s the reason most people don’t execute because thinking feels so good and execution can hurt so much.

I worked so hard in the past year to become objective and meta about life to the extent that I believe I’m an over achiever. I did it with the belief it would make me calmer and with greater insight. To an extent it’s been the case, but there have been many times where I wish I felt something. In reflection, it’s a skill but it’s not what it’s all cracked up to be. Yes attaching meaning to things has the potential for unbearable heartbreak or overwhelming joy but it’s what it means to be a human.

Then there have been the other times where I had great feelings for something.

I can’t explain why some situations were teeming with feelings and while the others didn’t. Over time though, I noticed that I always followed my feelings despite the logical odds and my drive to stamp them out. Sometimes I was met with great happiness; other times with severe disappointment. At least I felt something I suppose.

It’s easy to be loud and proud when mounted on your horse. It’s easy to create more victories when you’re in that mindset; but even victory has its curses – complacency and expectation. We’ve seen all too many times the champion who falls spectacularly from grace with the belief that the number one position is reserved for them. I’ve learned that it takes a healthy balance between confidence and humility, being consistent yet open to change, remaining strong yet still feel pain.

It’s much harder when you fall from your horse. First of all, you have the initial shock of falling from grace, hurting yourself in the process and then realising all those you served with are now looking down from on high. It’s intimidating, embarrassing and overwhelming. Most never get back up.

Others try to clamber back on top and pretend it never happened; then there are those who take a deep breath, take the time to dust themselves off and quietly get back on despite the pack moving on. They still mourn their loss, but do so through gritted teeth, focussing on the technique and the incremental steps that got them there in the first place.

I’ve had an overdose this year of situations where my values, personality and attitudes have been emotionally and physically challenged. These posts aren’t borne from ego or academic prophecy or a drive to make money. They’re the personal reflections of events in my life and what I’m coaching myself to do in order to remain Pauly.

Most days, Pauly infuriates the crap out of me plus I don’t understand why he’s so temperamental. He’s a handful whom I can’t abandon due to some honour code; it just makes the challenge that much greater. Still, I persist with him because he’s all I’ve got and he’s the only one who won’t lie to me.

Yet again I am served with a duly reminder of what it’s like to invest and for it to fail. I’m still not acquired to the taste. So I might be crying from your words and your actions, but these tears aren’t for you. They are the lubricant to my heart, my mind and my soul; the means to service my smile and my courage to get up and try again without prejudice.

And just maybe, one day, my thoughts will become my destiny.

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