Defined by isolation, either by design or failure, the otherwise pack bound creature must move forward as a unit of 1 – traverse, hunt, survive.
For the lone wolf to make it, the wolf must evolve to be stronger, more calculated, and determined.
Sometimes the journey is a phase which time itself resolves. Other times it’s the option that – by choice or destiny – sticks for a lifetime.
Going it alone comes about for many reasons and not all are bad. Moreover, whatever the cause, all is not lost if the pack leaves you or you must leave it.
This trade off of shared living for full autonomy is one we’re free to live out of and with the ensuing (total) control there is a senses freedom. If you’re willing to accept the cost then going alone is legitimate.
This being said, you’ll rarely, if ever, be able to take on a hunt as great as you could otherwise with a pack. Being the lone wolf puts at risk the likelihood of succeeding at achieving something greater than yourself that reaches out beyond your own territory to influence and better others. You can only safely live beyond you’re own limitations when you allow others to assert their strength and effort where and when you can’t.
To enable others to do this you must be willing to cede full control so that which you could never do alone can be done.
For the most part, Go Start (Living) focuses on what decisions we can make to live a thriving life and those choices that can bring us closer to the quality of person we’re born to be. (It’s all in the name!)
But on the way towards living this out, sometimes our dreams are defied by a different reality that stops us in our tracks.
A lot of the time it’s a reality we don’t see coming.
For all the positive talk and action we can (and should) make, we also have to acknowledge that not all of our dreams will work out as we hope and that we’re going to take some knocks. Sometimes, those dreams may even get a hammering.
That experience is a disheartening one to say the least. It’s the feeling where your stomach drops out and you realise that you’ve lost before the game is even over. Even those that have superbly conditioned themselves with more than enough resiliency can feel the dark shadow of disappointment. Such can be the lottery of life.
When it’s your own dream, that shadow is a very lonely place.
The pathway to recovery from such things can be quick or it can be long. It seems that just as the dream is unique to the dreamer, pulling ourselves back up is as equally a unique and deep experience (one that can be a lot like the process of dealing with grief).
However, there in the gloom of disappointment is a silver lining and it’s found in the merit of engaging the pain rather than recoiling from it. The knowledge that we can recover is often all we need to begin.
While we may never shake the complete imprint that a major setback imparts on us, something worth taking heart in is that when success is about how you choose to engage life, and not just what you get out of it, no failure is fatal to the human spirit.
The formula is simple.
We err in judgment and must pay our dues.
Sometimes, the reparations start and finish with a real apology. Often however, sorry is just the beginning with ramifications – to career; to reputation; to trustworthiness – far reaching. When the mistake is big, the ramifications will have their own steam and will play out whether an apology is uttered or not.
The act then becomes a choice of consciences and an enterprise of healing. It’s a matter of character – maturity, true remorse, and humility – and therefore saying sorry is acknowledging that these things matter.
You’re going to make mistakes – we all understand that – so it is not your perfection that defines your greatness, it is your response to failure.
Sometimes the very thing you need is to have your sails trimmed, your balloon popped, and your ego squashed.
A swift and resolute push back on your next great idea – particularly when not expected – knocks the wind out of you and leaves you humbled. Though unpleasant, the experience has a silver lining. It forces you to reconsider what it is about your idea that isn’t convincing.
Sure, a push back is just someone else’s perspective – and they probably don’t understand your idea as well as you do – but I’ve never been the poorer for being challenged to go back to my idea and improve it.
Bad news sometimes means greater opportunity.
Time for a pep talk.
Not me to you – you to yourself.
I’m wont have been the first to tell you that encouragement is a powerful change agent. However, even knowing that as the bright person you are, we all need a gentle reminder sometimes to not only encourage others but to also intentionally build ourselves up.
I’m not saying we should walk around telling ourselves “I’m so damn awesome” – that’s wont get us very far. I’m not trying to sell you infomercial wishy-washy snake oil. While you may have seen this idea on TV, there’s a bit of wisdom out of the self-encouragement school of thought we owe ourselves to find.
Are you game?
The practice begins with defining your statements of future facts. These are boasts – brags even – that you say to yourself and which focus on your aspirations as if you’re living them in the present (writing them down for your eyes only isn’t a bad idea either). Being aspirations they should be more daring than safe. They might be statements that you’d be mortified to say aloud today (that’s a good sign), but don’t worry about how you get there, just for a second imagine the “there” is your current reality.
What would you say to build up that future self?
What these statements do is create a story in the present sense and a powerful one at that. You’ve probably heard about the idea of a self-fulfilling prophecy but perhaps in a negative light (as in self-sabotage). However, positive or negative, the concept of developing a narrative for your likely future is an extremely useful tool - particularly when you create prophecy that a vison of an empower self.
Here’s a challenge for you. Over the coming month begin your day with a 60 second pep talk as if your dream future was your today. It’s actually a lot harder that it sounds (just try it), but the worst thing that will come of it is that you tell yourself some nice things to hear. The best outcome is that you’ve taken one more step in unlocking your potential and the future facts slowly become present ones.
So go on and like you mean it.