Written By Darryl Waugh
“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”
― August Wilson
For many years, I hid my issues behind the facade of success.
I made a lot of money.
I had the title.
I travelled the world.
I drove flashy cars.
I wore fancy clothes.
I chased shallow relationships.
I partied like a rockstar.
It was all a front to mask my insecurity, sadness and lack of fulfillment. I was afraid of judgment, rejection, pain and loss.
It took losing it all; my health, relationships, net worth, and everything that I attached to success to realize that life is incredibly enriching, beautiful and meaningful on the other side of courage.
I faced everything I was afraid of head on. I declared my issues, I sought help, I went to rehab. I stood in the heat of the fire.
I wanted to feel the essence of life.
I began to train jiu jitsu, weight train, swim, study, write, and...
How many of us have sabotaged our own lives in some capacity?
"But I do nothing upon myself, and yet I am my own executioner." John Donne
What have we done personally that has limited our careers, destabilized our closest relationships, hurt our own financial status and derailed our health and fitness? What would it mean to you to be able to overcome these issues and rectify them? What would your life look or how would it change for the better?
I hold my hand up high and state that I have been my own greatest obstacle in a multitude of circumstances. I have destroyed several opportunities, goals, and relationships, (sometimes knowingly) through my counterproductive actions, however subtle or blatant. I have stood in my own way far too many times.
It has taken me a long time and countless sessions on the therapy couch, to not only recognize but to openly admit that I am at times my own worst enemy.
I believe many of us self-sabotage our own lives but we are afraid to come to terms...
When we are under significant amounts of stress we tend to lose our perspective. We become overwhelmed, anxious, and at times irrational. It can feel as if we are contained and restricted.
We can become increasingly impulsive and overreactive. We bounce from one consideration to the next and from one task to another, never fulfilling our obligations or reaching our objectives. Remaining focused gets increasingly difficult.
As we evolve through life, we should strive to learn from the errors of our ways but reflection is easier when we are in a rational state, not panicked.
Evaluating our past during times of significant stress can have negative implications. We can harbor guilt, regret, shame, sadness, and anger. We desperately want to change the fact that something occurred though we understand the impossibility of that...
I was the President of that company.
Who cares? Nobody.
Past success in terms of positions held, achievements earned, levels of income attained, fame, and prominence can all run its course.
This phenomenon is all too common among athletes, business executives, and entertainers.
If you’re not committed and disciplined enough to remain focused on constant improvement, stagnation and irrelevance will quickly be upon you.
The world is always in motion and it’s feast or famine. Stay at the top of your game or become the game. Your past success means nothing in terms of guaranteed future results.
“The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life’s greatest tragedy.” Benjamin E. Mays
Life will forever be an ebb and flow. It is the culmination of your successes and your failures....
You Cant Hurt Me - David Goggins
Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink
As A Man Thinketh - James Allen
The War of Art - Steven Pressfield
Man's Search For Meaning - Viktor Frankl
12 Rules of Life - An Antidote For Chaos - Jordan Peterson
The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth - John Maxwell
Endurance - Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred Lansing
An analysis of how good intentions can ultimately lead to bad outcomes.
Stretching ourselves too thin on the quest to ease the obligation of those we care for as well as meeting the demands and expectations of superiors and partners can be a dangerous undertaking.
What starts as kindness and acquiescence often ends in exasperation and total fatigue. We strive tirelessly to take on other people’s tasks, and in the process, we exhaust ourselves to the point of emotional instability.
“Don’t chain your worries to your body. The burden soon becomes heavy and your health will give too much of itself to pick up the extra load.” Astrid Alauda
Ultimately, this can manifest in a series of unrealistic expectations and a toxic desire for acknowledgment and appreciation. When we do not receive it, our self-worth takes a hit. We can feel unworthy and incompetent taking us deeper into the rabbit hole.
Further, competition in the workplace can force you to make choices that...
“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” Anais Nin
Too many of us are stuck in the past while being blocked from our future.
We all have a history. Some experiences bring back memories of joy, hope, love, and innocence. Other memories bring back feelings of cruelty, anger, sorrow, guilt, and resentment.
Our experiences are as unique to us as we are individual. Nothing is perfectly replicated.
With a past that is defined by pure happiness and success, continuing to move forward is simple. Life is wonderful, let’s keep rocking. I’ll take more of the same, please. Life is grand.
Rainbows and butterflies. That’s not reality.
This is the life of the sheltered. As pleasant as it sounds, living a charmed life by no means prepares you for the realities of life.
Entitlement is toxic. Life will never just give. There’s...
There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time. Malcolm X
Nothing that we learn in life is too late. The experiences that didn’t go our way are meant to teach us, enrich us, strengthen us and guide us.
Wisdom isn’t something you acquire easily. It is the result of understanding the implications of your journey, both good and bad. You would not have the source (pain, loss, resistance) to grow as an individual if you didn’t have unfortunate circumstances. We need them to be the best version of ourselves.
Instead of defining these events as “too late in life,” choose to see them as wisdom gained and an education that no school can provide.
Here is a list of lessons that I have experienced, in no particular order of importance:
Nothing will ever be as important as your own personal health. Without it, you are not capable of helping others....
“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” Confucius
None of us enter a personal relationship with the expectation that it will end badly. Or at least, we shouldn’t. But we are flawed creatures. We are emotional. We are human.
We do our best and commit to being vulnerable and become open to both the beauty and the pain of love. Being completely open is the only way that we can be the best partners that we can be.
Unfortunately, being completely open will also expose our poor traits. It is on both ourselves and our partners to accept, embrace and love one another for all that we are, however good and bad. Leaving judgment at the door is critical if you are both courageous enough to be fully transparent.
Relationships consist of two people with...