I became conscious of a weakness in myself today. I have a history of sometimes protecting myself from my own weaknesses.
At times, I am very aware of my weaknesses. I may not be able to improve them, but I can setup fail safes to prevent something bad from happening.
When I was 18, I had some things going for me and some things that were not going for me. I was intelligent, but I was very undisciplined.
I had the brains to go to college, but I did not have the money.
I had the ability to do well in many subjects, but I did not have the strength to show up every day.
I had corrected some social awkwardness through partying too much. I was very good at partying.
After visiting Loyola University in Chicago where I had been accepted, I realized that I’d be very likely to drink myself out of college if I went there immediately after high school.
So I enlisted in the Army to gain the benefits of the GI Bill. I bought myself the funds for a college degree.
I protected myself from my immaturity by locking myself up in the military for four years. I gave myself a backstop. This was touch and go at times in the military, but it paid off.
I matured. I grew up(maybe a little too quickly). I eventually made it to college.
I have a double major in finance and accounting and a master’s in tax law to show for it.
In protecting myself from myself,
I sacrificed some confidence.
In doing so, my degree choices were very practical and aligned with some of my aptitudes. I was fortunate and had many aptitudes to choose from.
However, as I had shut down some of my confidence for four years in the military, I chose poorly.
I did not choose one of my stronger natural skills. I chose an easy skill (for me). I chose math and business numbers and analysis.
Not the last time I hedged my own Actions
Throughout my life since, there have times when I have been more in touch with who I am and my strengths. I have chosen paths that were better and more aligned with who I am, who I am becoming.
There were also repeated situations throughout my life where I hedged my bets. I hedged my bets, to bet on myself and against myself at the same time. This was a practical and safe thing to do to achieve a ‘safe at the time’ outcome. It kept me on a path away from failure, following a middle road. That middle road away from failure lay between a road to success as well.
Sometimes the middle road, the safe bet, the compromise… It is perpetually a half step towards success.
For me, it takes a large spark of energy to set off on a path towards full success. I have to feel it. I have to know it. I have to work against the odds to make the impossible possible. To do this, I have to do things that I know I can’t do.
There is a paradox in all of this and that is a wonderful thing. This is not the type of concept that is logical to anyone that feels that all equations should only have one answer.
Many equations have multiple answers, a range of answers, some have an infinite number of answers.
It is no surprise to me to know that it is possible for me to achieve the impossible. It’s just one of the possibilities that come with some equations or scenarios in life.
Conscious knowledge of my hedges
The other night I stayed up way to late binge watching a TV show. I have a quirk. For me to recharge, I need to occasionally binge watch TV, binge read a book, binge read a series of books and more.
As I go through life, I expend energy left and right. My cup empties out. Fiction, non-fiction, stories, lessons, and concepts that help me learn and grow, these refill my cup.
I need them like a fish needs water.
There is often a price to pay the day after. Today, I am paying that price. 🙂
That same night, was one of a series of nights where I have not had much sleep. I have not slept poorly exactly, I just have not been getting the normal amount I require to function well.
This is often a cue for me to read more, or learn more or experience more even if its through TV.
I have been studying a foreign language as well and reading a Seth Godin book and lots more good stuff to fill my cup.
But the night I binge watched TV, I was up too late. I knew I was up too late. I really needed to have energy for the next day to accomplish important things. I was just about to call it a night, but no I wasn’t. The show had me hooked.
Then out of the blue, I got a message from a friend of mine. We have been friends for a long time going back to just before I made my decision to go into the Army.
We had a positive conversation. My friend and I have both been going through a challenging shift in life the last couple years. While some aspects of this shift are similar, the results of how things have played out for each of us are very different.
In some ways, I am further along transitioning the shift.
This is not some kind of race.
In other ways, my friend took a different path in navigating the shift. It was a path that I would have loved to have tried in navigating my own. Alas, I did not have that option.
I had to play the cards I was dealt and so does my friend.
Now, my friend is at a point in the shift that I have already navigated. I was so very happy to be there and share some wisdom to help with that. I have been very open about my experiences going through Separation and Divorce and single parenting and many more challenges.
Choosing to be open, saved me. It helped me find love again as well. It was exactly the way I needed to manage my shift.
So I was happy to share this with my friend, who is approaching this bend in the path with a stronger foundation and more wisdom and maybe even some preparation too. I am happy to help shed some light or at least illuminate some options to choose from or choose against.
Mine is not the right way or the wrong way or the better way or the lesser way. It is just a way. I do believe that sharing our experiences is something that enables all humans to learn from each other and do maybe a little bit better over time.
Binging Helped me BE There
So my friend reached out in the middle of my binge. I think I was able to help. In doing so, it gave new purpose to my binge. Suddenly, keeping myself up until 2am was not just about watching TV, it was about keeping me available to be there to help someone when they needed it. The call did not go unanswered.
I was able to be there for someone that I care about.
But there is more than that. The day after as I pay the price of my binge, I am moving slower than normal. I’m processing all the things I have done and taken in over the last few days.
As some one that reads the Tao regularly, one of the lessons is to ‘do no thing’ or instead of reacting, do nothing.
Doing no thing, doing nothing is a challenge!
This is an additional reason why reading, binging tv or movies and immersing myself in study help me do nothing, while keeping my brain semi occupied.
Sure, I could do no thing even more effectively by literally doing NOTHING!
This is what I have for myself.
Going slower allowed me to get more in touch with where I am and to reflect on hedging my successes. I would not have had this reflection time if I picked up moving at full speed.
Sign Post to Look for my own examples of success Hedging
I do not know what is in store for my immediate future. I do feel that I need to be more aware of my tendency to hedge a path away from failure and success. I need to strike out more trusting in myself to make things possible and achieve success by doing just that.
There might very well be times when hedging is the right choice.
The lesson for me is to make that choice knowing with wisdom the price of the choice. The compromise option always has a price to pay. Compromise might not be as expensive as failure.
Compromising endlessly can be far more expensive than a smattering of successes along the way!
It is time to rack up some successes!