Mental Fortitude: #22aday

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First a little background: I’ve been working-out with my wife daily while recovering from my second knee surgery. – It only took 9 years of marriage and 3 surgeries. J – One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is getting her off this one word she keeps using: “can’t”. It’s really annoying. Now, you also have to know I’ve spent 15 years in the Marine Corps learning every day of my life. One of the primordial lessons of Marine Corps training is proverbially removing that word from your vocabulary. One of my former leaders was fond of saying, “Don’t tell me why you can’t; tell me how you can.” – There is tremendous value in that quote. – Today, I quoted that to her; along with “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” in the accent of a Spaniard. As we continued our work out, push-ups came along. I saw a video the other day of a Marine doing 22 for 22; raising awareness to the fact that 22 veterans and servicemen commit suicide daily. This combined in the mysterious depths of my inhuman imagination to form the thoughts leading to this article. The inquiry occurred: Is it a thinking problem? This brought me full circle back to mental fortitude.

So, I want to explore mental fortitude. ‘What is it?’ and ‘How does it work?’. There are also some things I think people struggling with mental fortitude issues need to understand.

As a note: This is a completely original work. I’m not intentionally quoting any medical, educational, or governmental sources. This article is not medical in nature and should not be construed as such. If you have REAL mental problems, get help from competent authority.

Mental fortitude is quite simply the ability to overcome the subconscious and instinctual mind with the conscious mind. So when that voice in your head says, “you can’t”, or “just give up”, or “it’s not worth it”; you have to ask yourself, “Why?”. Is it really not worth it? Is it really too hard? Surprisingly, sometimes the answer is yes. It’s never that simple though. You have to have the mental fortitude to change the conversation in your mind. When that voice inside your head tries to convince you of your weakness, or inability, respond with your strength and you will find the ability to.

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That sounds much easier than it is. I mean if everyone could just do that, we wouldn’t have mental issues, right. (It’s a statement, not a question.) The thing is, everyone CAN. It just a matter of whether or not your crazy enough to fight and overcome your particular demons. Of course there are many nay-sayers out there who will completely disagree. I don’t particularly care. Bob (What about Bob?) took a vacation from his problems and recovered with baby steps and a never give up attitude. I know what you’re thinking: ‘but that was a movie…’ Well, every great story has, at its center, a kernel of truth. It is my personal belief that each of us can, if willing, master ourselves. It takes work, and – most importantly – discipline. Now don’t go skipping your meds. That’s not what this is about. This is about instituting a little mental fortitude in your life, a little at a time. It’s about looking at the person in the mirror and letting them tell you everything they hate about you. Then responding, ‘Cool, what are you doing about it?’. That’s not it though. You have to actually follow through. That is where we all struggle. We know what we want to change. We know how to fix it. But for some reason you don’t. Why?

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By now you should understand how this mental fortitude thing works. It’s more about attitude than anything else. There are plenty of self helps out there for all manner of issues. I’m just saying, start with ‘Why?’ and change the conversation to a productive one. Instead of telling yourself (or allowing others to tell you) that you can’t, ask yourself how you can. Then do, because the conversation is pointless without action.

22 veterans commit suicide daily. It’s a very real issue that starts in the mind. There is a war raging in the mind; life is only as difficult as you allow it to be. Be the storm, blow away your demons, and accomplish greatness! Adversity breeds strength, and strength builds character.

Things you should know:

You are not alone! Everyone has an inner self to overcome.

The inner conversation ends with an action plan.

You can, if only you act.

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What if…

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So, it occurs to me… What if…

What if is a wonderful phrase. It affords the opportunity for consideration, though it also cripples any effort to advance. After-all, consideration generally comes before decision. So, how do we overcome the proverbial, effervescent “What if…” debates?

Leadership! (I know, I know… It is that simple.) Every organization requires a leader. A singular entity able to make a decision based upon the information provided to (hopefully) produce the best result. So what is this elusive leadership I speak of? First I’ll tell you this: It’s not management. I once read; though my memory fails where: All leaders are managers, but not all managers are leaders.

So, what is a Leader (Yes, that’s a capital el.)? There are many organizations that define leadership in varying degrees and forms. We could look to history and see all the greatest leaders according to the victors. We can look to the transcripts of times past to see what the survivors had to say. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to conjure images in your mind of Genghis Kahn, Augustus Caesar, Richard “The Lionheart”, Joan of Ark, Leonidas, nor Xerxes. Nor will I conjure images of Hitler, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth, Stalin, Sun Tzu, Shaka Zulu, Napoleon, nor George Washington. I’m not going to tell you what all these men had in common, nor that each was able to mark history in a manner such that there names will and have survived generations. I won’t even tell you that these individuals all knew very well how to motivate people beyond the limits of their individual imaginations. I’m not going to tell you HOW. Why? Honestly, because I don’t know yet.

So, the question remains: What is a Leader? I’ll tell you from my perspective: A leader is a self-effacing person. The Leader often refuse the roles of leadership, dismissing them as too grand for their station in life. However, they see the holes in everything; they know the difference between right, legal, and correct. They know the difference between wrong, illegal, and incorrect. They understand the value of intent and ingenuity; and how those two are woven together. The Leader is the individual who sees what needs to be done and does it. Yes, they are people of action. The man who walks down the street and picks up a piece of trash simply because it is there. That is a leader. No job is too small for his attention and indulgence. The Leader is not above the workman, he is in front of him.

So, how do we simplify this? How do we define a Leader in a clear concise manner? Organizations have been trying to accomplish this for millennia. Now, I’m going to try here; in front my computer at home.

The Leader is a person who takes action, endeavoring to do the right thing, based upon all the information available and in spite of the unknown. Doing such, the Leader motivates others to follow, even surpass the individuals expectations of themselves.

Now, beware the Manipulator. As I said, I’m not going to conjure images of historical figures and personages. The reason for that: MANIPULATORS OFTEN DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS LEADERS.

a Frazzle of Fizzle on an Alien Itch

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Alien, that means foreign. I always find it funny when people say Foreign Alien…

Onto my ‘zzle:

Oh me, oh my… It’s been said before
Oh me, oh my… It’s been done before

Well, what happened last time the World met it’s inhabitants?
Last time, I don’t think it liekd who it met. “A Cancer!”, it exclaimed, “cut it from me!?”, came the urgent request… It saw such pain, felt such loss.

“Who!? Who is left!?”, the world asked. On it’s introspection it found nothing left. Save itself, a burnt, red rock, with an inverted atmosphere. All life destroyed. The World’s neighbor peered on concertedly as he approached.

“What happened to you, my dear, Gaea?”, asked Minos

“Honestly, I do not know. I had a wonderful, vibrant, varied system in place. I would have to re-balance from time-to-time, but it was good. Everything was good. Then this species came along and ruined everything. I tried to control them, to help them. i even tried to eliminate them a time or two. They always came back. I tried to make space for them and balance their incessant need to destroy. I truly did!”, Gaea cried.

“Well, what happened? how did you end up like this?”, Minos inquired apologetically, curiously, comfortingly.

“They destroyed everything. A few of them became greedy, envious, even bitter at the loss of their former ‘glory’. So, in a jealous rage, as a wanting child, because they could not have their way: They destroyed me. In so doing, they destroyed themselves. I am nothing but poison now. I am sick.”, replied Gaea grievously.

Gaea and Minos approached each other. She found comfort in his familiar approach. How similar they now were. It was once before. Then though, they were Green, plush, full of life. It was a time of great happiness in their system. Everything served it’s purpose, and worked harmoniously, balanced with all else. Then am Alien found it’s way into Minos. At first Minos accepted them and made space and balance for them. However, they wanted more. Nothing could appease their insatiable hunger to destroy and waste. Gluttony, Pride, Envy, Greed, Lust, Anger, Sloth. These were their monikers. This is how they were known.

Some among them saw this and demanded the damage be managed, reversed where possible. Though, they were such a minority and the damage to severe to replenish and rebuild. However, just as the majority of the species bent itself on destroying one another, the minority made themselves a ship. It was for a one way trip. The next hop over was a plush whole World where plenty could be had and the population taught to conserve and replenish to live in balance. It always started that way with this species. They had a knack though: they could name and label everything; there was nothing they could not define, save themselves.

Maybe that was it. Maybe that was why they always destroyed themselves and their habitat. Maybe, just maybe, they failed to look in. Heck even when they did look inside themselves, they were looking out. Naming, categorizing, defining… Ever trying to understand what made them tick; what made them work and how. Never asking the question that really mattered, without label, without libel, without, category, or definition: Simply, understanding that “WE ARE”. Individually, that: “I AM”. Imagine if they figured out that the real power, true omniscient understanding is simply a thought, a wish, a request away.

In order to accept that simple truth though, one must fully reject the other truth of us.

“Dance with me?” asked Minos.

Before Gaea could respond, her moon spun around, and Minos locked into Gaea and Gaea locked into Minos. They spun they twirled. They even furled (whatever that is.) in every direction; in every way they danced. As they danced flashes of Red and Hues of Purple, Green and Blue formed across their bodies. The scabs were pulled and the wounds bled. Bones cracked and plasma flowed from the depths. With every move a new color shewn. With every twist and turn the old was ripped away, until a blank canvas was laid bare, ripe for renewal.

After the dance; when the system saw peace and time began again. All was restored. All save the cancer, the virus that destroyed it; not once, but twice.

-skr0gg

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“Yin & Yang”: a thought

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Even the Most Illuminate of Days contain Darkness amongst the Shadows;
As the Darkest overcast of Moonless Nights is still luminate with the brilliance of Heaven’s Stars.

Even among the darkest depths of Oceans deep;
Life itself illuminates the darkness.

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Midnight Thoughts; courtesy of: Plato’s Republic

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All Things have a Cost:

Some things cost Wealth;
Some things cost Time;
Some things tax our Intellect;
Still other things tax our very Soul.

Then there are those among us who pay not their share, but ours;
Those who bargain with the Toils, Sweat, and Souls not their own;

We call them Politician.

Random Rambling of a Broken Mind

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Random Rambling of a Broken Mind

Thoughts tumble through my mind; this the attempt to organize them beyond shamble and discord.

The Poem reads:

Frustration, Annoyance;
Images Dance;
A compilation stuck in my skull;
Questions Mingle, Jumble;
How to order it all;
On paper, with – nay, in – words do fall;
Words, such fickle things;
Masters of deception  – Sorrow, Joy – expressed in song and sing;
Imitation of Jubilation and Pain;
or is it, Jubilation of Pain

Random Ramblings

a Jottle

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a Jottle

a Scribble in Tyme
a Thought to Rhyme
a Word of Wonder
an Idea to Ponder