This is my opus of sort. Each year I get older the more I have to give up...that's life. But for me I have been blessed with a life filled.
I have traveled the world, been the best in the world, loved the nest in the world, have great kids, been at the bottom, struggled most of my life in private or public with some form of something.
But I get to reflect and I won't be sorry for what I have done but I will be sorry for some of how I did it.
“This is the stuff in the basement….”
What this speech is, I cannot define in simple words. I have taken words and lessons which have been in front of us in many forms and for many years and I have utilized them so we may better understand what it means to be motivated, so we can understand the challenges of life and what it takes to overcome the challenge regardless of how big or small it may be. I am not here to tell you anything you haven't already heard in fact I am here to take many of those words and throw them right in front of you so you nor me can escape from them any longer.
I have been often told to start a speech with a joke; well don’t get your hopes up I am not here to tell jokes; fact is I am the guy who everyone says hates to smile. Like I said I am here to clearly state what no one else has ever been willing to say but has always wanted to. You see we are in hell right now. We are; and we can both stay here and get the shit kicked out of us day after day or we can fight our way back. We have the opportunity to climb out of hell; right here , right now. We can do it and we can do it together. As the great Herb Brooks once said; “great moments are born from great opportunity, and that’s what you have here!”
You see, we only need to focus on 1 inch of hell at a time, only 1 inch! Hell is "quick sand" have you ever heard this term before?
Quicksand is one scary thing that most of us NEVER and I mean Never recognize. My deepest fear is Quicksand above all others it's Quicksand. As an example, you're trying to live life, and you think everything is fine, but then one thing goes wrong, and then another, and another, and you try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink, until you can't move, you can't breathe, because in reality, you're in over your head. And most of the time we are either to proud or too embarrassed to know when to ask or how to for help! But we can climb out of hell together, inch by inch.
You see I am here to pick a fight; I am here to pick a fight with second place. I have as much tolerance and patience for second place as I do for flies in my soup. For far too long I have sat quiet, and waited. Waited for something else; a second opportunity.
Not until very today did I discover what I was missing; what was right in front of me. I discovered that not only have I had it with waiting but I have had it with waiting for a second opportunity. I have had it with second place. I said to myself on this discovery of the stuff left in my basement that; hey ; “maybe I like flies in my soup, maybe I like second place.” I have been told so many times the phrase “better luck next time!” Well that is the crap they feed runner ups. What do you think of second place?
Let me put it another way; if you think second place isn’t such a bad deal, why don’t you ask General Custard how he felt coming in second at the battle of the little big horn? Not so good! We know how that one turned out. And you can spare me the “it’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game! I guarantee you whoever said that …Lost the game, not just the game but the whole game including the game of life.
Truly it is – win or lose – it has nothing to do with how you play the game! I have a phrase tattooed on my arm that says: “Fear not the game, I see clearly.” Well; I finally need to live by this saying again and figure out the path, to see clearly once more. A phrase by Pink says – “ the road to darkness has a way of always knowing my name”; Well, I have decided to go down a different road. Lay a new track a track established by me; with a few passengers I would like to take along with me and even the chance, to gain the trust of those willing to listen and travel the same road. Here is the thing that makes life so interesting; the theory of evolution says; “Only the strong shall survive!” And maybe so. But the unwritten theory of competition says; “just because they’re the strong doesn’t mean they can’t get their asses kicked”.
You see, what every long shot, come from behind underdog will tell you is this; “the other guy may in fact be the favorite. The odds maybe stacked against you and that is fair enough.” When you get old in life things get taken from you, that is just a fact of life. But you only really learn that when you start losing things. Be it they are taken from you or you give them up it doesn’t matter. But want the odds don’t know is this; this is no school test, this is a completely different type of test, one where passion has a funny way of trumping logic. I was told once; “never let your passion outweigh your patience.” Well, my patience has run thin. You see in my mind I have not peaked yet. Some say I have but I don’t know, I think I still have some stuff in the basement. Deep down in my heart, I know I am not done; NOT YET! I was put here for a reason and I have sat idle for almost ten years; last time I did that; I came back and the time before that I came back. Why not again! Sometimes it is hard to breathe I get so angry about the way I went out the last time, the choices that were taken from me. I feel like there is a beast inside me waiting, longing to get out! I never knew it was going to be this hard, would have never guess in a thousand years it would always be a challenge. My question is this; “if I am willing to go through all the battling again then who has the right to stop me?” Why do a few have the right to say No, and because I spoke up or they don’t like me?
Maybe all of you have something you haven’t finished yet, maybe you have something… I have taken enough crap to last 2 life times and then some. Be praised one minute then shit on the next. Be the hero and then the zero! All for what! To be cast off , like some piece of dirt on the bottom of a shoe. Given the continual glimmer of hope that maybe someday…just someday if you are patient and quiet long enough if could just happen. Well, no more. I think I am going to take my destiny back into my hands – thank you very much! Who has the right to say No after you have paid your dues – No one. Nobody does! It is my right to listen to my gut, come clean and then move forward! My right! I have earned It! I have earned to be where I want to be and do what I want to do. I found something hidden inside a few movies not long ago and the most prolific of the entire phrases came from Rocky Balboa: “Somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you're no good.
And when things got hard, you started looking for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know: The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get Hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!... Now if you know what your worth then go out and get what your worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not point fingers, saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!
So before you step up to the starting line, before the whistle blows and the clock starts ticking. Just remember the results don’t always add up. No matter what the stats may say, no matter how old you may feel, or what the experts may think, when the game starts – all bets are off! There is still stuff in the basement you can go to, still places to live out your dreams, live out your passion. You don’t have to sit by and watch it or take what is being falsely handed to you. You can set your life back onto the track that you deserve. You don’t have to finish because you are told to, you don’t have to end it because they don’t like you or you’re out spoken. Know your right in what you have done and will do. Regret nothing and fear less. They can’t be surprised if someday I decided to flip script and finally take a pass on yelling uncle. And when that happens, as the old saying goes” Game On!’
Another great phrase is from Marienne Williamson; Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
The morale of the story; Listen to the stuff in the basement, come in first! Still want to hear a joke? Hear is one for you; ‘Knock, Knock” “Who’s there?” “The guy who finished second.” “The guy who finished second who?” “Exactly!” No more will I allow myself to sit quiet and stand by; I am taking out that stuff in the basement.
I am taking myself off the side lines and putting myself back into the game; because God knows the coach isn’t goin to!
Like I said, I am not going to tell you anything you haven’t heard before; fact is everything I just said has been staring us in the face for years, we just need to act on it! Do not follow the road to darkness; Any one can give up, that is the easy part, the easiest thing to do. But to hold it together when everyone around you expects you to fall apart, well that is the strength; that is true courage. Do not lose hold of your aspirations. For if you do, you may still exist but all your doing is respiratating; you have ceased to live!
If you FAIL, never give up because F.A.I.L means “First Attempt In Learning”
END is not the end, In fact E.N.D means “Effort Never Dies”
An if at anytime in life you get told NO and an answer it simple means “NEXT OPPORTUNITY”