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Do You Realize How Much Courage You Actually Have?

One of the major lessons I don’t remember being taught in school is the power of action. Not the power of trying, but of doing. School taught me a lot of things, but several of them I later decided to “un-learn” due to my desire to be different from the average person, to swing for the fences and make something big of myself.

I was taught a lot about being kind to others, about math, English and other core subjects, but I sure as heck wasn’t taught about self-compassion, resilience, behavior therapy (in a way that young people can understand it) or why the violence happening at home was happening, let alone how to learn to open up to someone and actually ask for help.

The irony is that I was a dreamer, a kid with fierce determination when it came to playing ice hockey and wanting to play at a professional level when I got older. None of the shit at home kept me from believing that one day, I’d transcend the home life I was experiencing and realize my dream of playing in the National Hockey League.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how much inner strength and courage we’ve got until we’re tested by challenges that can scar and traumatize us. This is part of life, I now realize, but as a young boy and teenager, I had no idea. Wanting to kill myself in the summer of 2011 taught me courage (even though I tried to commit suicide, I stopped myself from squeezing the cable any harder around my neck, walked upstairs and told my wife to rush me to the emergency room to get help once and for all).

Losing my Brother Ryan to suicide also taught me ferocious courage and purpose, though it broke me at the time, though it crushed my soul.

Dreaming is One Thing – Take Action To Make It Real!

My dreams as a young boy were just the start. I have always felt like I’m somehow destined to be more, to do more and to inspire others through my journey. I didn’t yet realize that the work ethic needed to achieve on a major scale in life would demand all of me, even when I was tired or struggling.

I also didn’t understand that there’d be days when I’d want to give up – no matter how determined I was toward a goal – and that I’d need to stick with it and not simply give up when things got hard. This was a lesson I had to learn many times before it would sink in and I’d accept it. ‘Funny how things work sometimes.

You’ve got to stay hungry, remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and be damn sure you’re committed to doing whatever it takes before starting toward any new goal. You can’t just “try,” you need to do, to take action to make things happen. It’s a mindset, one that will change your life.

Failure Is Necessary. Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Otherwise!

Failure leads us to the necessary learning lessons to be successful. Let NO ONE tell you otherwise – I promise you this with all my heart.

Do NOT look at failure as the end, beating yourself up for the past. The past has come and gone. Now is what you have control over, and you help no one by wallowing in self-pity over past mistakes. In fact – when you learn from them and use that knowledge and desire to do better for good, you become unstoppable in your own way!

You literally become a force for good when you decide to carry on, to dust yourself off, knowing that mistakes are always a part of life since we’re human. You learn from each and every mistake, so look at them as stepping stones to self-growth and success in many areas of life.

This, my friend, is what we call a growth mindset. I have become fiercely stubborn in this way of looking at the world and my day to day life. At this point, nothing can stop me (except for myself or the universe if it decides to shut off the lights), and I’ve learned to be gentle on myself, knowing that my purpose is pure, my gratitude for life is deeper than ever, and my sense of identity is strongly forged, heavily intact.

There’s nothing like self-confidence balanced with humility and a growth mindset. Nothing can stop you when you decide that every challenge presents itself to teach you something in your journey. It takes courage to see the lessons sometimes, but trust that they’ll be there after the dust settles. Every challenge passes with time. There’s hope in that.

– Jeff