If Wishes Were Horses. Then Dreamers Would Ride

About a week ago, I decided to purge my Instagram account of all my pictures and the businesses and celebrity accounts I followed. I wanted a clean slate moving forward.

I had just setup another account for my photography business and I needed to keep a personal space to share images, stories and my life with friends and family. Nothing more than a digital photo album. Instead of flipping through sticky cellophane wrapped pages of a crusty album, folks could now just swipe down. Easy.

So, before the great purge began, I found an app that would download all 8,557 pictures I’d posted in the last seven years. Even though I was starting fresh I certainly didn’t want to lose those memories. It only took a few hours to download the images to my laptop. There they were in all their square glory. Easy to see and easy to scroll through all the days, months and years.

I’m telling you all this because of the lessons I learned revisiting these pictures:

  • Take more pictures with and of your family. Too many is not enough.
  • It’s okay to take pictures of silly things. That’s life. Enjoy the stupid.
  • Take less pictures of yourself. Way less. Except when you’re on a journey. But when the journey’s over. Stop.
  • Post pictures of what you like. Not what you think others will want to see. That’ll just screw with your head.

Now within those 8,000 plus images, these three lessons were the most difficult lessons to accept:

  1. I posted too many Motivational memes. Memes aren’t a replacement for commitment. Witty words don’t do the work.
  2. I posted too many pictures of what I wanted to be. Not who I was. Always own up to who you really are.
  3. I posted too many fads I was into and dreams I was pursuing. Never fulfilling any. Ego gets in your way and forces you to quit as soon as things get tough.

The Past

None of these three “clicked” until I read what former Navy Seal, and endurance athlete David Goggins told Rob Hill.

1. Motivation is crap
It takes more than motivation to be successful. In many cases, motivation goes away as soon as you reach the first sign of adversity. It takes drive and purpose to keep going in the face of obstacles.

2. Accountability starts with the person in the mirror
This involves getting to the source of who you are by staring at yourself in the mirror. It’s only when we can be honest with ourselves and how we’re actually showing up in the world that we can enable ourselves to do great things in our lives. If we’re not living a life that’s true to our values, then we have to own up to that. If we show up one way to other people, but another way when we’re alone, we have to own up to that as well. We have to fix our issues and align our attitude and behavior with our values and who we truly aspire to be.

3. Stop asking questions and get started
We don’t have to have every detail figured out before taking action. Instead of asking questions and delaying the journey even further, just start. If you want something bad enough, you’ll figure out how to make it happen. You’ll learn what you need to learn along the way and make the necessary adjustments.

To learn more about this amazing Navy Seal, listen to his interview with ultra-endurance athlete, Rich Roll.

The tiny disclaimer at the end:  I will probably continue to post funny memes, gifs, some cool selfies with friends and other random nonsense. But at least now, I’m aware of my own bullshit. That’s half the battle to taking yourself less seriously.