death is everywhere. it is a part of life but not a part of life. it is in the very back of everyone’s mind – but never really thought about. it happens all the time and it happens more around you as you get older. you get the usual deaths with the grandparents, then parents. but you also get random deaths of people dying before they get older. they are living just like you – they don’t think about death, they are too young. then one day they are dead – in 30s, 40s, 50s – thinking they would live to 70s, 80s, 90s – but they didn’t – and they only realize that fact in the last split second of their life – when they know it’s over way too soon and they didn’t do everything that they wanted to do – they ran out of time. it only leaves all of us thinking about death again – but we can’t really comprehend our own death. we think we have more time – and we will think that until the last split second comes. why do some people die younger. when you read their headstone, you will do the quick math and think – they were too young to die. everything they did is soon forgotten. you think about them for awhile but then you shift back to your own life and your own death. we will never be able to articulate death – it is just one of those things. you can talk about it, you can ask why, but you never really understand. all you can do is live.
why can’t we ever escape the social pressures of life. from youth to old age – social pressures exist. they don’t change and they don’t go away. there is always a constant reminder of social standing, social groups, social inclusion, social exclusion, social ups, social downs – everywhere we go and everywhere we look – social pressures are occurring. you can’t escape these things – good or bad – unless you become a hermit and leave the social scene. other than that – you have to clear your mind, you have to not let these trivial things affect you. yes, you still need to be social but you can move past any grief that social pressures cause. this is a battle in your mind. you have to convince yourself that these things don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. you have to be happy with the choices you make. you have to understand that if you have less desire to be social, then less social activity will come your way – and vice versa. also, if you decide to stand against social pressure, then keep that stance – don’t back track or waiver. life is about choices and choosing which choices are most important to keep your life going the way you want it to go. if you have to spend more time working, if you want to spend more time with your family, if you don’t feel like doing the extra work to gain new friends – then do all of these things to make the life you want to live. forget about what others are doing, forget about what others are saying – these things do not matter at all. what matters is living with your mind free of these trivial issues – which are not even issues at all – they are roadblocks put up in your own mind – preying on your own insecurities – making you feel bad – about really nothing at all.
when you look back past your life and all the way back to your parents’ lives – to when they met and got married – and then you see the path they took and you see how old they were – and you then compare to your life, to your age at certain parts of your path – you then start to realize how young your parents were when they got married, when they had kids, why they had marital troubles if they did – why they might have divorced – you start to see it all very clearly. you think about what you did in your 20s – and how getting married and having kids in early-mid 20s might have been major challenges to a relationship. you then see the paths they took and then you see that their lives did not always end in glory or in a way ever imagined. they had dreams too – they wanted to get to a comfortable place too. they wanted to be safe and secure – they wanted to succeed. they are just like you – they are only human – their paths changed too – they are just trying to hold on to life like you – they are trying to keep their grip every day. it is a funny thing when you really look back at your parents’ lives and you compare to yours and you see what they had to do and you see what you have to do – and these are the secrets not always revealed – you just have to look and compare – and you will understand more about you and about them.
we need to avoid the armadillo effect. this is an effect that can come across all of us. we go out into this world – we are brave, we are fearless. that is all good. we need to be brave, we need to be fearless – in order to see the world, to explore the world – to learn from our experiences. this is a must to progress, to eventually succeed. but what we must not do is fall under the armadillo effect. this is when you are so confident that you let your guard down. you think nothing will happen to you, you think nothing will harm you. you think you are invincible. this can lead to great harm coming your way. this can lead to an early grave. you can be brave, you must be fearless – but don’t be naive to think that you don’t need to be alert – that you don’t need to keep an eye out – that you don’t need to watch out for trouble. this is the armadillo effect and it can kill you. the armadillo walks casually across a busy road. the armadillo does not try to avoid traffic. the armadillo does not care about being in harm’s way. the armadillo does not rely on judgement. the armadillo is not alert and ready for trouble. the armadillo only relies on fate. the armadillo is often run over. don’t be run over. don’t fall under the spell of the armadillo effect. stay alert until the end. the difference is literally a matter of life or death.
reunions are a strange business. i think they are good but they are definitely a unique animal. you initially go because you know a few other folks going and you want to see them – so that is all good and that is a good reason to go. even to see 1 person that you are tight with or used to be tight with – is reason enough to go. you feel nervous going to the event – you really don’t know who you are going to see – you don’t know what you are going to say. you do know you might see people that you really didn’t like in high school and they really didn’t like you. you get there and you say hi to everyone you come in contact with – you are excited to see some folks and others you fall back into the way it was in HS – quick hi and move on. it is funny how the differences then are still there now. throughout the event, you are in a frenzied state – you don’t want to miss anyone – you want to make sure you talk to all those you know – you want to reach out to some you might not remember – you want to get the aha moment – yes, i remember you – so you are cruising around – talking, laughing reminiscing – you talk so much and so fast that you forget to eat – and the night goes quick – and then at the end of the night or the next day you feel good but you still feel like you didn’t talk to everyone – you didn’t get to say everything that you wanted to say. you want to hold on a little longer to those bygone days – you want to feel back in the moment – it is a strange feeling that lingers for days after the event. you stirred up those old thoughts from 20-30-40 years ago. you went back in time. almost a double edge sword – open up the past- relive and reconnect – but deep inside knowing that your time is fading fast. the good is you can reconnect with a few – you can include them in your life again. you can look at others in a new light – you can make new connections from the ones that you might not have known so well in the past. this whole thing stirs up unusual emotions but it is worth the effort. these things only come by a few times in life so don’t miss them all.
your mind is always racing. you always overthink things. you wake up in the night stressing. you can’t even make simple decisions sometimes. life starts to push down on you. you don’t know what is the right decision or what is the wrong decision. you see people rising up – you see groups gathering. you allow peer pressure to still affect you – even years after high school. those dynamics are always there – it is you that has to evolve out of that cycle. you have to know that only family and a few friends matter. if you are happy with that – then stop taking your mind down the insecure path. until you reach the next level of existence – where you know what is important and what is not – you will still have these internal struggles. while you still go through these struggles – work them all out in your mind and with your loved ones – then go into the world with a calm facade. the truth is – everyone has to work to be calm in society – to just let things roll naturally. keep calm on the outside – and the turmoil on the inside will eventually fade. the rolling internal seas will merge with the calm waters that you keep pushing out to the world – an even flow will emerge for the finals stages of life.
as you get older, it becomes harder and harder to keep your grip. the challenges of life come at you hard in the 40’s, 50’s – you get pulled from all sides – the folks start dying – the kids start complaining and becoming more expensive – the marriage you need to keep focusing on – to maintain balance. you must steady yourself – you must look at yourself from the outside – you must try and remain calm. you must keep your grip – no matter what is thrown your way. you start to feel the pressure of life – you start to buckle a bit – you lose your train of thought – you have to work to be happy – it does not come as easily as it used to. everything is put in your way to make you stumble. but you must keep your focus – you must work on the smaller picture and not worry about the bigger picture so much – keep things going – keep moving forward – don’t stop or stall – you keep things on track the best you can and you will get through – you will keep your grip – you will get to the other side. step by step – keep your grip.
when you start a new job, you are busy in the first month. but when you start a new job and you are extra busy – that is a rare thing. when you want to work more and more – when you have dinner, then go back to work – when you have so many people to reach to get the word out – when you have a jump on the market and time is of the essence – you want to spend every minute getting out there – when you don’t have time to read the news in the morning anymore – when you don’t have time to write a blog post until the last day of the month – extra busy is good – and we should all want to be extra busy during the heart of our career – of our life. relish that extra busy time.
i have talked about the struggle over and over. it is always there for all of us. there is some type of struggle there – rich or poor. it dominates our mind – in the background – coming to the front with worry, doubt, insecurity. but what is so beautiful about the struggle is that it makes us better people. it pushes us more and more towards our loved ones. it shows us that we are not alone – that we have friends and family – right there in the struggle with us. it enhances our appreciation for others. we feel the struggle, they feel the struggle – we have a common bond – getting through the struggle – and it brings us together. we hug more and hold each other more – we want to help each other through our joint struggle and our individual struggles within the main struggle. we always wish to be free of the struggle – but in reality we are never free. we have to be in a struggle to appreciate the good things we have in life. the struggle gives us an appreciation for what we have – it keeps us grounded. we especially need this during the tough decades – 30’s, 40’s, 50’s – we need this more than we realize. if we didn’t have the struggle, we would appreciate less and we would lose what we have.
don’t talk about money or finances all the time – especially at home. look – you have this business whether you realize it or not – it is called the family business. it is not the family business definition you know – where a family runs a business to make money in the outside world. this is the business of running the finances for your family. you have incoming and outgoing – they go up, they go down. you have an active budget that needs reviewing and tweaking all the time. this is your family business. i am not going to get into the ins and outs of this family business in this post. i am only going to focus on is when you discuss the family business with your family at home. for the kids it is good to go over the family business so they have an understanding of responsibility, frugality, etc. but for the spouse – yes you should discuss the family business on occasion but mostly to make sure bills are getting paid – money is coming in, etc. you should not talk about the bills, the finances all of the time or everyday. this will become a burden on the relationship and one that will lead to the ultimate demise of the partnership. don’t talk about the family business that much – keep it to a minimum – because this will only lead to fights over things that will work on their own as long as you keep working and you keep paying your bills. stop talking so much!