Off to the circus!

I’m not one for motivational quotes. Just seeing the words doesn’t connect with me. This is a new approach to the motivational quote, it’s the motivational story. When something unfair comes my way, nothing is worse than someone saying, “Well, life’s not fair.” But now, I can conjure up the image of Admiral McRaven covered in sand on that beach and remind myself, “Sometimes you’re a sugar cookie.” Now that visual might actually help me move forward.

Week 3: Chapters 4 to 6

These stories are so visual. He does a great job of making you feel like you were there. I get physically uncomfortable and stressed for him. When he was sliding down that rope, my hands actually started sweating.

The story of Moki and him never showing pity for himself – amazing. People that can move forward like that and think, “Ok, what’s next,” as opposed to “Woe is me,” are everything. We only get one life, and I hope that I’m the kind of person that when faced with a directional change can go where it takes me. I think you get better at these things as you move through life – because you’ve been to a circus or two. Correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I hope that as I move through more of life’s experiences, I’ll learn to have a bit more grace and my skin will grow a bit thicker. I hope I’m not going to be this live wire for life! I may be in dire need of some more circuses for that to happen, but I’m sure I’ll get my turn.

Dare greatly. Another one of my personal not-so-strong suits. I’m very risk-averse by nature. My only solution thus far is to surround myself with people that push me. My sister is one of them. She’s always pushing me to step outside my comfort zone. She does it all – she’s an Ironman, a mom, travels, is always looking for a good time, sends everyone she’s ever met a birthday card (on time!), she doesn’t stop. Not a day goes by that she’s not inviting me to go here or go there. For about every 10 asks, I say yes, and I always have the best time! She asks for what she wants, and most of the time, she gets it! This is a bad example, but I bet she’s talked her way out of a dozen speeding tickets. She sees no barriers, no is not an option, and she’s very goal oriented. She dares. My husband, same way. So, in watching those closest to me, I’m learning. I’m learning not to be such a tightwad, stick in the mud, boring, a hater – or whatever else they’ve call me

Discussion: Once you’ve read/watched the assigned section, answer this question in the comments section.

This is a two part question:

What is something that you’ve “failed” at, and are you better or worse for it?

What is one thing you’ve dared to do that you are so glad you did?

8 thoughts on “Off to the circus!”

  • One thing I’ve failed at… I am a military vet myself and have failed many times throughout my military and civilian career. My training was not as intense as SEAL training, but still very physically and mentally challenging. One thing that has stuck with me is my Drill Instructors saying “there will always come a point in life where you feel like giving up.. the question is, will you? This is what separates you from the rest.” Like Thomas Edison said when asked about failing to make a light bulb “I did not fail 10,000 times. I found out 10,000 ways how not to make a light bulb.”

    One thing I was dared to do… I always enjoy a good challenge. I was challenged to backpack the Appalachian Mountains with a group of friends. At first I was hesitant about it being new to backpacking. But I finally agreed to do it, and it was a great decision. I learned how to rely on others when backpacks got too heavy, some knew how to make food from scratch, some could build fires… in the end I learned that we all need each other to complete any challenges.

  • For me, I think the “fail” is similar to the narrative, in NOT taking risks or looking for adventure. An introvert by nature, I am most comfortable at home, doing little to nothing. And while I’m usually fine with that, I’m sure I have missed out on some great times connecting with people and making memories. This year, my word of intention is SAVOR–enjoy each moment and not be in a rush for the next thing. This includes looking for opportunities to savor something new.
    My dare has been the decision to return to graduate school and pursue a master’s degree (after 30 years out of college). In my 50s now, I am the oldest person in most of my classes (including the instructors), and struggling to keep up with new technology and learning environments I’ve been thrust into. It’s be a challenge, but so far, I’m hanging in there and learning a lot. Definitely a big risk, but one I think is paying off.

      • How very exciting for you! I went back to school to get my bachelors degree in my late 40s. I loved it! What you lack in technology you will make up in life experience. Remember to Savor every class!

  • What is something that I have failed at…There are many things I don’t do well, but all of them are trivial compared to what I have accomplished or what drives my passions. I definitely believe that being 56 years old has provided me perspective that I might not have possessed 25 years ago. When I disappoint myself or others, I try to look for that opportunity to make it better the next time. I really try to not be too hard on myself.

    When I reflect upon my choices in life, one measure where I fell short was having direction early in life. I was a bit lost in my 20’s and 30’s, unlike the Admiral. I did not make good use of precious time and physical health. But, I did have resilience and finally found direction with major life changes in my late 30s.

    Dare to do…I changed jobs at age 38 and got married at age 40! Both were BIG leaps of faith for me. I guess I was super cautious or afraid of the commitment and change. However, letting go of the fear proved to be the best mid-life pick-me-ups I could have ever imagined. Both marriage and job are still going strong and serve as a consistent source to “follow my heart”.

  • One thing I’ve failed at – breastfeeding. As a dietitian, I thought for sure I’d breastfeed (like they say to do) for at least a year. I thought I was going to be this laid back, hippy mom and that mothering was just going to be so easy for me. bahahahahahah – nothing could be further from the truth. 4 months in, I thought I was going to lose my MIND. I wanted my body back, I wanted to be ME again. I couldn’t take it. When that child sucked down that first formula bottle, I can not explain the relief that came over my body. Like a 2-ton weight had been lifted from my shoulders. After that, I was a better mom. I was happier, more relaxed, I played! I learned a lot from that – sometimes failing isn’t failing, its changing your approach.

    Dared to do – the crazy jobs I’ve had. Each summer, starting the summer after high school I would go somewhere and take a crazy job – I worked at a weight loss camp in La Jolla, CA, I was a water ski instructor in Maryland, worked at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, etc. I’m smiling just thinking about those summers. Solo adventures. Nothing better.

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