A while ago, I got into a conversation about ‘heroes.’ You know, whether I look up to Steve Jobs more than Bill Gates, or whether I favor the founders of Google.


The funny thing is that I look up to none of them. While I have an undying amount of respect for what each of them did for the world we live in today, they are not the types of people I can look up to in any meaningful way. Outside of learning from their self-confidence and "I'll never give up attitude", there's not much I really care for.


My list contains a few names, but the one I'll be writing about today is Luba Sigaud.


[Eat your heart out, Zack Snyder].


Behind each of these names lies a story worth telling and great life lessons to learn.


Let's get into the list of life lessons I've learned from her. The story? That'll come later on down the line, you'll just have to wait.


This might sound silly, but I’m trying to make the world more beautiful through my work. I’m trying to help people see the beauty of life, no matter how hard their lives may be. If I can put one smile on someone’s face — if I can make one person happy to be alive and excited to wake up tomorrow — what more could I ask for?



That, right there? That is what heros do, and what she accomplished to do ten times over.

 

Let's get into it.


You’ll Never Be An Expert If You’re Not Willing To Be A Beginner.

Our dreams help shape who we are. We learn to overcome challenges as we chase our dreams, and that gives us character. But we all must start from somewhere, and that begins with humbly understanding that we must be okay with sucking and failing in the beginning.

I wanted to be good at rock climbing, of course, but I didn’t want to start at the beginning. I didn’t want to be the only one who had never rock climbed before.

She says. And you know what happened after many repeated attempts? She reached the top of the mountain. She did so not by accomplishing her goal overnight, but by taking one small step today and repeating that over a period of time until the series of small steps merged together, creating the fruition of her goal.

The truth is that we sometimes like to romanticize the struggle and the hustle, but in real life, it’s not always like that. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, yes, but at the moment it sometimes makes you wish it did kill you, in some way. Failure stings harshly. You wish not to have to suffer that sort of pain again. But you know what’s more powerful than the agony and pain of failure?

Hope.

The only thing stronger than fear.

Hope, carried out by action, backed by perseverance and fortified by faith in oneself. Because after the first few times, you never suffer the same way again. It’s a skill you hone.

In this, Luba teaches us that if we give up when the going gets tough, we’ll never make it to the top of the mountain. Our pain gives us character, and only in suffering do we meet our true selves, and unleash our true potential.

Think about yourself last year. Would you have ever imagined being where you are today, back then?

Quitting is an extremely hard habit to break, but on the flip side, we must understand that the strongest metal is forged in the hottest fire. Keep going. No matter what. Because we are all self-made. Whether we like it or not, where we are in life is our responsibility.

So, yes, you can do what is hard and suffer for your dreams and goals, and eventually, you’ll reach fruit. Or you can cling to comfort and suffer the pain of regret.

Your call.

After all…

You’re not a bystander of your life. If you don’t like where you are or what you’re doing, you can and should change. — Luba Sigaud

You’re Not Behind — You’re Just Living a Different Life

For most of my life, I have felt somewhat eccentric. I felt like an outsider because from a very young age, I have endured a lot of unique hardship. I felt like a nobody, and that the world owed me success just for being alive and throwing so much at me.

What an entitled asshole I was, right?

I thought “Why me?” I compared my journey to everyone else’s and thought “How are they so far ahead of me? I must be doing something wrong.”

Do you know where that got me? Nowhere.

When I asked these questions, the world responded “Why not you, man? What the hell makes you different from everyone else? Stop complaining and take control of your own life, and stop comparing your life to everyone else’s. Your self-pity is a party of one. The trick is to use your pain and not allow your pain to use you. Now move!”

Because if you judge a fish based on its ability to climb a tree, it’ll live its whole life thinking it’s stupid.

After a hard look at myself with some insightful introspection, I learned that the world changes its opinion of you the day after you do.

After all, everything you see is a projection of what’s going on inside of you. Reality can only truly be achieved and seen only by those that are detached from desire and expectation.

Rock-bottom is not a place that actually breeds success. It is our desire to become more than what we were yesterday that breeds success. To have gone so low that the only other option you have is to go up.

No one is “ahead” of you in life, there’s no such a thing, they’re not on your journey, they’re not your clone. Your only enemy is yourself, along with your unrealistic expectations. You must be to yourself the friend you have always needed, and understand that even when everything seems to be falling apart, finding moments of beauty in the process, that alone is worth living for.

The hunger to achieve greatness over goodness, the hunger to overcome your obstacles, your motivation to grow, to conquer oneself. That’s fighting for, really. To be better than the person you were yesterday.

And most importantly…

Don’t complain about anything that is within your power to change.

You won’t find your answers by spending all your energy forcing or pleading or begging for one particular outcome.

At this moment, how many fears do you have? Have you ever written them down? Have you ever asked yourself “how are these fears preventing me from achieving my goals? How is this list preventing me from living the kind of life I’ve always imagined, from being who I’ve always wanted to be?”

If not, I encourage you to do that.

Because truth be told, fear is an illusion, whose acronym is False Evidence Appearing Real.

We grow up as children, and as children, our thirst for knowledge and new experiences is insatiable.

But then we grow up, and we encounter setbacks. We experience temporary defeats and we come to see them as permanent situations, and as a result, we become afraid to try once more.

We allow the darkness of failure to mold us into the type of people we promised ourselves that we’d never be.

And that, in and of itself, is the moment we stop growing.

Because the truth is, painful experiences turn us from delicate creatures into warriors.

There’s nothing wrong with darkness itself.

It’s not the fall that breaks people, after all, but their intense fear of falling. Their desire that harsh things should never happen to them.

Don’t look ahead, there’s nothing there to see yet. Live in the moment.

Because it is in the moment you let go of any expectation that you finally are able to accomplish things more freely. You allow life to happen naturally instead of trying to control every aspect of it, which you can’t really do, anyway.

Success is not ‘achieving your goals as you imagined.’ Success is the repeated process of doing what you believe in your heart and mind to be true, and doing those things over and over again until fruit; despite setbacks, and whether or not people approve of what you’re doing.

When your brain and your heart are in conflict, trust your brain. Always.

One of Olson’s points that made a lot of sense to me was this: every day, your life is moving in a particular direction. With every decision you make, you’re moving your life closer to your dream or further away from it.

In other words, every choice you make has an effect on the sum of your life. Pain, failure and all the other things that happen to you aren’t there to hurt you, but teach you lessons of survival. They’re there to tell whether or not you’re on the right track. Don’t avoid them, listen to what they’re trying to tell you.

I’ll tell you what changed my whole life: I finally discovered that it’s all risky. The minute you got born it got risky. If you think trying is risky, wait until they hand you the bill for not trying. — Jim Rohn

Happiness is not a destination. It is, I’m afraid, a series of moments in which you feel as though you have everything you could ever want out of life.

That’s because ultimately, there are no happy endings in life.

And more often than not, life’s a gamble.

So what choice do you have?

Put a smile on your face, because happiness isn’t a destination, but a way of travel.

Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so too does the evidence of your new identity. — James Clear
Are you willing to say “no” to everything that does not move you in the direction of your dreams, hopes, goals and desires?

Yes? Then you’ve already won. :)