Just mere life is not victory, just mere death is not defeat.

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Sunday Evening Thoughts

The above is a short I heard earlier today, I reposted it @vdmsr story's.  The topic Tait touched on, however, I feel needs to be expounded on.

First and foremost, understand that no one is going to provide you with any blue print or way to achieve success past the time you are 25.  Anyone who says they will are trying to profit from your stupidity because they would be achieving success if they knew the formula on how to properly do it.  The only exceptions are family members and members of a group you may belong to at one point or another in your life.  If your family did not teach you how to succeed properly that is a serious issue on their part which will likely weigh you down but does not need to define you.  Thankfully we are all capable of changing our circumstances through proper training and education. 

Each one of us should be constantly working towards the betterment of ourselves and those around us.  If you are not, then unfuck yourself.  If someone you know is not helping, you need to tell them to work on themselves or you will have to do it for them.  If they are impervious to being set on the correct path due to some kind of character flaw they refuse to work through, leave them behind since they are not worth your time or effort in going through that whole process.  If they are worth the effort, then put the effort in and make sure you get the right results.  If you find yourself constantly working on a specific person trying to help them fix whatever issues they have you should seriously consider cutting your losses as it becomes taxing and unfair to your personal development. 

A lot of people have this shiny object syndrome in many different facets of their personal lives.  The person who is constantly on "the next best thing" they are forgetting what they need to be working on.  As one of my old coaches used to say, "those 800 meters don't care about what type of shoes you have or if you took a shower this morning" and he is 100% correct.  We each have a path to walk, that path may be ours uniquely, but more likely we are going to be walking with others down the same path.  Being distracted by something new, or specifically something which does not allow us to progress down the path we are on is tantamount to failure.  When you see someone constantly chasing that shiny object, get out of their way and let them fail.  If the failure of their actions does not educate them properly and they do not take the recommendations from others it will become a reoccurring process of failure for them, you should have nothing to do with that because it will drag you down and keep you from your personal progress.

What does this look like in reality?  Think about the guy who cannot shoot a worthwhile group at 7 yards and its always the pistol's fault.  He buys every new pistol on the market because its got this or its got that.  Meanwhile there are literally hundreds of expertly competent people telling anyone who would listen to not spend their money on anything new and just work hard to reach the goal of getting good groups with a Glock 19 or 17.  Amazing how when they finally listen they start to become much more consistently accurate.  This repeats itself constantly in the 2A world with people suffering from various forms of shiny object syndrome. 

Most of all, you are working towards a median goal of competency in any particular skill set you are considering investing your time and effort into.  That should have started in your early childhood development in the form of proper instruction of various life skills.  As we get older we need to invest in ourselves and burn the proper repetitions early in our lives so that when we are in our most viable years we have the most to gain from our developed skill sets. 

If you are reading this and wondering if you are over that hill and that it may be too late for you, let me tell you that it is never too late regardless of age.  You should always be striving to better yourself and your abilities.  Furthermore, you probably have children or will eventually have children and those children need to benefit from your effort and time spent cultivating those skill sets.  Teach your family, teach worthwhile others, do not let those skill sets go to waste.  There is plenty of opportunity available for the honest and ethical instructor who demonstrates a proven understanding of particularly viable skill sets.