***Edit*** This has nothing to do with Motorcycling, but I feel strongly that it should be up here
Let’s just start this off by my admittance of ignorance on the aforementioned subject line. Any lessons in life have typically been handed to me by some sort of progress which are oftentimes misdirected by blind ambition and sheer bullheadedness. I am a product of “progress not perfection” and stand behind that sentiment with my hackles at full salute, ready to defend my position.
There are no right and wrong answers to the looming questions of life, the Universe, and Everything. Tons of books have been written on the subject matters of progress and success in professional or personal endeavors and they are all speculative; Much like this narrative. I will admit to generally closing off outsiders from my innermost emotions and struggles as my character takes a minute (or months) to quantify, categorize, and pick apart my synapses one by one to figure out what why where how anything happened that lead me to an undesirable mental state. The funny thing with getting older is that I’m getting more introspective and have learned the true meaning of paralysis by analysis. Never one to overthink options and potential outcomes, in the past, I’ve burdened myself with an overbearing inner voice that seems to relish in doubt and fear as if they are not a part of the human condition that I call courage.
Ah, courage. This topic came up recently at a closed door meeting among new-to-me peers of various professional backgrounds. These brave souls who venture, daily, outside of their comfort zones of the 9-5 Monday to Friday grind to find meaning in this roller coaster of bills, traffic, deadlines and unknown outer motives. Taking charge is an easy thing to say but, mismanaged and unsupervised as we all are, can feel like a cargo truck without brakes or steering ability – just plowing forward without a destination or ability to steer. Some lucky few have the keen ability (natural or otherwise) to get a grip and lead on to bigger greater things – this isn’t about them. They are the exception not the rule, as I’ve learned. Don’t look at the Social Media high powered fire hose that’s dousing you with images and words of “look at me succeed you loser”. They are formulated, edited, spackled and made up to draw you in and suck you dry of the ability to be independent.
Visualize this thing you’re trying to achieve. Don’t over saturate it with lavish thoughts of the end result that’s taken 10,000 hours of blood sweat and tears to achieve. 10,000 hours of a group effort. 10,000 hours of sleepless nights. 10,000 hours of doubt and fear. They don’t show you those 10,000 hours because no one wants to know where the neatly piled stacks of groceries comes from. They just want you to see the perfect candle lit romantic dinner that comes afterwards. Focus. A success plan requires realistic and reasonable goals that happen in steps. Progress not perfection. You are so full of light and energy and it wants a place to go to feel good and refueled. A thousand friends online want to see pictures of kittens not your business/personal plans so only share with those who pick you up and it may not be people you know; find support groups. What if you’re shy and don’t know how to ask? What if you’re hard headed, like me, and don’t know how to ask? I don’t know the answer to this but I know this: support from groups of kindred spirits can lift you up in many ways. You may find an answer or be an answer to another person. You may find a question that you hadn’t thought of or help guide another by asking the question that sparks their imagination. It’s a lonely place in our heads and putting those thoughts out as words to a set of receptive ears is one of the most potent medicines that I’ve ever experienced.
Some of us aren’t natural born leaders but it doesn’t mean that we have to continue to be directed by companies, institutions, and people that use our sweat equity as a means to their own end. It takes 10,000 hours to be the master of anything, including our own minds. Visualize, be reasonable, find support and don’t be afraid to ask. Whether you want to start a hobby that you always admired or a new career path, start today. It’s not easy but we’re all on some kind of path and chances are some of us will intersect at a point and help the other.
Courage isn’t just being brave or mighty. It’s taking steps out of the daily “norm” to find or create a thing that makes you feel complete and substantiated. It’s finding a voice that allows you to speak or question. It’s the daily labor of working through depression or the feeling of worthlessness. Courage is waking up. Courage is helping another person. Courage is admitting defeat and fear. Courage isn’t immediate. Courage isn’t overnight. Courage takes time and I’m here to stand by you like you’ve been by me because as my sweet wife always reminds me: If you win, I win.
My name is Shahin and I’m trying to find my courage as I write this and live this life.