If you've ever known a United States Marine, these are words you're probably familiar with. It's one of the unofficial mottos of The Corps and probably embodies the warrior ethos that separate Marines from us regular folk.
Now, I'm not a Marine, but some of the people who've impacted me the most over my professional life were, so I've heard this line thousands of times. It's pretty self-explanatory: when you hit a roadblock, you can choose to either curl up in the fetal position and cry about how life isn't fair, or you can evaluate the situation, examine your options, and figure out a way to move ahead.
Ever since I've embraced the idea of being an actual adult (3 weeks?), I've settled on the overall strategy of trying to better myself in all facets of my life. Every day, I strive to be better than I was the day before. I want to be a better husband, father, son, brother, friend, co-worker and neighbor.
If you're not better today than you were yesterday, then you're stagnant. And being stagnant isn't good. Think of that puddle of murky water that's been collecting in the bottom of the kids' inflatable pool in the backyard since July. Would you want to drink that water?
Mark probably would (and would eat a handful of crickets afterward and then poop in the yard), but us regular people certainly wouldn't. Stagnation is gross and unhealthy. But the only way to know if you're stuck in neutral is to evaluate yourself honestly and objectively on a regular basis.
As it relates to trying to live The Simply Human Lifestyle, it means looking at how you sleep,
move, enjoy life and eat. We all have our struggles when we commit to trying to become the healthiest versions of ourselves. Let's face it: we all live in a stressful world full of distractions and roadblocks. We have families, jobs and other responsibilities that come with being grown-ups.
Those things demand our attention and our effort, but if you're not taking care of yourself, can you really expect yourself to be able to handle those things too?
So what I challenge you to do, fellow Humans, is join me in a month of commitment. Look hard at where you are and how you got there. For many of us, that's a difficult conversation to have with ourselves. But it's a conversation that needs to happen if we expect to experience personal growth and self-actualization.
Look at how you eat, sleep, move and enjoy life and ask yourself, "can I be doing better?" If the answer is "yes," then adapt and overcome! We have just about a month left until Thanksgiving. Over the next month, you can make positive changes that will not only have an effect on you, but on everyone around you. Maybe you could decide that it's turning off that laptop or TV before bed time or hitting the sack a few minutes earlier. Or you might realize that you need to spend more time or focus in the gym. Or if you're super stressed out, maybe you block out some quiet time for meditation or maybe even check out a funny movie.
Now for me, it's the food. I do well for a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks, but invariably I let my guard down and the next thing I know, I'm grabbing bear claws two at a time getting them lodged in this region here ("Tommy Boy" reference, for those who didn't catch it)!
So for the next month, I'm not going to let my guard down. I'm going to look at what I'm doing and see if it's something that's going to help me achieve my goals. The good habits get stronger and the bad habits hopefully fade away. Now some days are going to be better than others, but no one said improving yourself isn't without its struggles.
I find that I get the most satisfaction from the things that don't come easy. When you hit a roadblock and you improvise, adapt and overcome, you just might find that you're a better person in the end