seeking excellence at hour 24

I seek excellence in all that I do. I do not discern between making my bed, wearing the uniform, or working on a project at work. Even as the output varies, some days I just am not that good, the input and the intention remain the same: give your maximum effort.

There are challenges along the path of excellence, and many of these errors can be fixed. But you have to commit to the vision in order to enact the change.

The first, only seeking excellence when people are watching. If you fall into the habit of only putting in your best effort in the presence of a supervisor or mentor, then you become vulnerable to falling in your performance in the time of their absence. At that point, your excellence is dependent on the praise and admiration of another person who may not always be there to cheer you on. In order to fix this, you have to ensure that your expectations for yourself always exceed the expectations others have set for you. When others think you have done the highest and excelled, that’s the new floor you should work on.

The second, setting limits based on what is immediately attainable. The value of short-term goals is undeniable, they keep you on track. But if your goal is to become a petty officer third class, or maybe one day a chief – or in civilian terms, if your goal is to become a manager, guess what you will become – a third class or a chief or a manager. Great. You have accomplished your goal, but you have also set a limit for yourself. Pursue excellence and set a new standard – let your position or title become secondary. Become truly excellent. Strive to become the subject matter expert, to exhaust every topic, learn it in depth. Practice the skill of blind recall, where you begin with a blank page and recreate entire scenarios, books, missions, plans. Then execute and understand why every decision is made.

The third, see the highest score as the highest score. Avoid thinking in numbers – when you take exams that gauge physical fitness, avoid focusing on the chart. Seek to maximize your output in the 2 minutes rather than reach a certain number and stop. If the max pushups for your age is 74. That is the max for the average group of your peers who are at that fitness level. That should be your baseline.

Pursuing excellence is a 24-hour op. There are no breaks, and there are no shortcuts. You must tread on.

green tea with matcha

Today is a good morning. I woke up to my alarm at 0430, but because it is Sunday I was able to arise without any rush. After scrolling on social media (a bad habit of mine), I went downstairs to the laundry room. I do laundry every 7-10 days now, but I find this period to be inefficient. When too many clothes accumulate, my desire to get it done decreases, and those 7-10 days could become 12 or 15 days resulting in a heaping pile of clothes. How do I approach this problem? I need to find a way to schedule time for laundry and folding two times per week. In those two times, I will designate 2 hours to laundry and clean my apartment in that time. This will include doing the dishes, cleaning all countertops, and vacuuming and sweeping the living areas.

Sundays should not include these tasks. Sunday should be a designated relaxation day, but it has turned into a frantic day of preparation for the week to come. Today, I have so much to do, so it’s no different than the last Sundays, and I am slightly overwhelmed. I know that these small tweaks could be life-changing especially if I am faithful to my calendar app. If I add it to the calendar, I must do it. I have been rescheduling too many tasks and praying for a saving grace on Sundays.

I am happy that I have the chance to write today. Writing, as well as running, has been very therapeutic for me. Recently, I have also enjoyed riding my bike around the base. On Thursdays, I will be joining a weekly group ride and connecting with people with a like-minded interest in cycling. I also have a cup of tea that I brewed 10 minutes ago. This gives me the feeling that I have invested in myself. I made a cup of tea for myself. I will enjoy this cup of tea as I write and my clothes swish around in the washing machine.

This morning doesn’t have to be hectic. It may have hectic elements, but it is a chance for me to re-energize, stretch, go for a stroll in the community, take photographs, experiment with my camera. I am eager to see what this day will bring.

standards rise again

I have been struggling to identify with myself. I have been feeling trapped in my relationships with family, friends, and even in romance. This was so much the case that I would place undue blame on them, and in a toxic manner, I would make them feel like they were a problem. A dilemma exists – because I did communicate that I was at fault, and as I adopted the idea that people are who they are, I wanted to share that I could place no more blame on them. The problem, if we really had to identify one, was that I became very poor at setting boundaries with conviction.

Conviction requires the purest form of commitment, taking a non-negotiable stance. And me, I could be very diplomatic. So that’s how I allowed myself to skip a session at the gym, and that turned to one too many sessions. That’s how I allowed myself to go to bed without washing the dishes, and that became the new standard. Going to bed without brushing my teeth, even walking out of the apartment without brushing my teeth became an acceptable standard. And with no supervision, the standards that I have set for myself became character traits.

The slope is slippery when you allow yourself to descend into a lesser version of yourself. No one caused this, it was I who allowed it. Now I have to raise the bar each day. I have to be patient with the results, but I must go a little bit farther each time. I’ll continue raising the standards, cultivating consistency, and moving forward for positive change.

bedtime rituals

The past few days I have found a semblance of peace. I feel relaxed, at ease, comfortable in my skin. While the journey towards complete self-knowledge and comfort is far from complete, I can say things are getting underway. I felt comfortable reading a poem by T.S. Eliot today, and I made some time to brew my evening cup of tea. My favorite tea is the Traditional Medicinals Chamomile and Lavender tea. It is a soft, caffeine-free, relaxing tea.

Before bed, I want to continue to cultivate the habit of writing out my thoughts. When I am scatter-brained, it’s usually because I have gone too long without writing. For a writer, going too long without writing is self-induced torture. I am sure this is the case with many of my habits. When I go too long without running, I get fat and it is very hard to return back to it. The same with writing and reading. Out of shape simply means out of practice. You have to consistently make progress towards your goals.

There are many things I want to continue to explore, photography, cycling 2-3 times per week (finding that love again), and running (as much as I possibly can!). The best way to do these things are to cultivate groups and communities for these hobbies. I need to find people with whom I can talk about books, and people with whom I can communicate spiritually, go on runs with, go shoot photographs. Create a nurturing environment.

Before bed, I think about what I want to do tomorrow. My room is a mess, a bit, so I want to clean. But I also want to get to the gym in the morning so that I can stretch, run, and work out before class.

finding me

Up until midnight, that’s when I put my phone down for some sleep. I tried my hand at some meditation with Headspace, but my mind was more focused on instagram. I don’t know why, but after deleting the app for one day, I bypassed my restrictions in order to download it again. I realize it’s a coping mechanism. I feel dumb when I read. I can hardly focus on a book for more than 2 minutes. That is an overestimate. It’s gotten that bad. So, when loneliness strikes and the gym is not an option, I go find solace in the digital realm.

That also meant that I wrote yesterday. Thankfully. Because that is a good thing. At least I can say that these difficult times left something behind. Sometimes I go back and analyze what I have written, I can remember exactly what I was going through at the moment that I wrote those things down. Other times, I have no idea. But I am happy that I wrote something on that day. Like I am on this day.

I woke up at 0430 today. I promptly went for a run and I was back in my room by 0500. I ran 2 miles in a span of 20-something minutes, but my legs felt heavy. Even when I try to run fast, it’s like I can feel the fat on my legs and the energy isn’t there. I hope it comes back. I’ve always had the vision that I would run marathons in my 30s. That would be who I am. I have dreams, you know. Sometimes I wonder where the time went, when it feels like I’m lost and I’ve made no progress. More and more I’ve come to think that when people say everything happens for a reason they don’t know what they’re talking about. It’s just a nice thing to say to make themselves feel better.

I don’t see the reason for all of my negative self-talk right now, for the incessant self-critique and self-loathing. But I do see that this path leads only to more darkness. I must snap out of it and write positive thoughts. So, today I must celebrate.

I sold stock yesterday so that I can restart my debt. I bailed myself out! Thanks to me, I will be ok in the future. I ran 4 miles yesterday, and today I ran 2 miles! I ate an avocado and a potato. I played basketball, and I learned that I would be pulled into a new department at work this week. I am energized by this new beginning. I am eager to continue with the work I so thoroughly enjoy. I am going to master this career. Today, I will learn the steps to embark. I will know them front and back and out of order.

Let’s keep an eye open for all that life has to offer.

monday night and loneliness

As I navigate new territory in personal development, I must remember why I have chosen this path. Loneliness is an incessant pest, hovering over my shoulder, watching and in some ways dictating my every move. I sit in my car for 15 minutes before I decide to head into the gym. With self-esteem also low, I become available to help others. Wishing to earn praise, love, but failing to earn respect. Respect, like love from other people, will only arrive once I first prioritize it and deliver it to myself.

Today I tried to study on my own, and I froze. I failed. I am in no state of mind to make public appearances. Right now, today, I want to lay low – draw no attention. I don’t seem to like myself anymore, but that’s ok. This storm shall pass.

In the dryer, my laundry sits. I will go collect it. I may fold it, I may not. But what I do want is to get up tomorrow at 4 am and go run. For god’s sake just go out there and place one foot in front of the other. In some ways, this is healing. As ugly as it seems, I have survived one day alone and tomorrow will make two. Let’s give it a few more days and I’ll be used to this.

My temptation to reconnect with people should be seen as a threat right now, for what I lack most is self-love. That is not an external finding. It is something wholly internal. I must have so much love to give, if only I could find it for myself. I’ll keep looking.

misinformed

perhaps. but no. I’m understanding im right where i need to be.

ib the midst of a crisis. why yo cry sis?

mom tears.

her tears, 2.

uts something i’d want to forget. like in an instant.

hwo i forget my teabag and then too strong tea brews.

oh, if i was misinnformed… who would i ask for help.

im walking aloen in the swiss alps. i lost my backpack, my camera, there.

quality? oh, quality.. where have you gone. you were the apple of my eye

a knack for detail, i’ve had al ong time now. its upsetting that i rush. and

then i triped over and felli nto the wall and the world came down.

tis trueman a truman show experience like you’d never know. underneth

the blankets, its warmer and i watch forest gump, iom so dumb. my iq.

jenny jenny jenny jenny wishing well, and a sack of pennys,

jc pennys

lenny’s

plenty, its sad at the moment to see myt digression. an eco collapse, i mean ego, but both. so no backspace aor delete because space and cnnot ca go back. and delete is not real.

who are tyou to judge. who are you to judge. leave me lone.