T Nation

Today's Draper


#1

Compliments are hard to receive and they are often misunderstood. For
example, when folks look us in the eyes and tell us we're stubborn, stiff,
dull and single-minded airheads, we're caught slightly off guard -- we
blink, we fidget and stammer. What they're really saying is we're
persevering, disciplined, patient, goal-seeking positive thinkers. Thank
them profusely, adding how much you appreciate their tender encouragement.
Friendships are gifts from above.

There is nothing is new under the sun, bombers; you've heard it all
before. But there are some things we ought to repeat regularly despite the
tedium of the process. They are like reflecting lights that illuminate our
way, and our way is one step from the shadow of darkness.

I'm no more serious than a clown in a bull ring. If you find this stuff
rigid, it's cuz you're more concerned about the snorting and stomping bull
than the smiley clown in the barrel. Take the next five- or ten-minutes to
read my tiresome indoctrination; call it endurance.

Seek contentment, abhor complacency and do not be anxious about anything.
The most we can expect of life is a grand virtue; living it with its
hardships and joys, accumulating our time without regret and doing our
best and accepting the rest; be honest, true to one's self and give no ear
to our critics, who are less pleased with us than we are with ourselves.
Try too hard and we fall on our backsides. Put a squeeze on time and it
slips through our hands. Expect too much and our best is never enough.
Steady as she goes, bombers, and she'll go a long way, high and far.

Call it persevering, or stubborn.

Set your goals, ample and wise, and seek them with diligence and might. Be
unique, be yourself, imitate no one and be kind to those who follow your
ways. Work hard, eat right and be consistent, a simple practice that keeps
us untethered -- alive and free. Slip not into apathy, ward off lethargy
and boldly resist gluttony, the shallow characteristics typical of the
masses crowding our path. Don't compromise those standards set high by
your spirit, mind and deeds. Clay feet we have, and soiling our neighbor
is too easy to do and so hard to recall. Be careful. Be aware. Be
grateful. Be emboldened and filled with joy.

Sounds like disciplined, or stiff.

Wait until you can wait no more, and wait again. Do what's right once,
twice and three times. If what you do continues to be right, do it ten
times more. The least you've done is something right many times, and
practiced a quality of greatness that eludes us day after day. It goes by
many names, a favorite of which is persistence. Be persistent, always,
when doing good is troublesome to do, when getting to a worthy place is
doubtful and precarious and when giving up a wicked way is painful and
slippery.

Courage accompanies this admirable weapon in our arsenal. You've heard of
fortitude and marveled at its name. Oh, to have fortitude each morning
when the sun rises and each evening when the sun goes down. Nothing
wretched before us could endure.

Could be patient, or dull.

Living without constraints and wandering freely are priceless lifestyles
with immediate rewards. Looking and seeing, listening and hearing, we
learn, imagine, discover, wonder, invent, play and pretend. It's fun. Yet,
without aspirations toward which to direct our steps, we go nowhere, get
nothing done and accomplish little. To grow we need a place to go, a
purpose to achieve, a target to seek.

Aimlessness and wandering take us around and about, backwards and
sideways, but they don't move us forward. They don't get us ahead. They
don't fulfill our longings. First objectives, bombers: keep our eyes on
the fuel gauge, air speed and altimeter. Ultimate objective: reach our
destinations.

This one is definitely, without a doubt goal-seeking, or single-minded.

Once we know where we are going and how to get there, decisions made with
no small amount of planning and wisdom, we might consider engraving them
on our foreheads or tattooing them on our chests. They are that important.
Better yet, imagining our goals and the might employed in gaining them
will be far more efficacious to bring them to bear than bizarre physical
reminders. We must see what we want clearly, vividly, passionately in our
imaginations, and our creative sub-conscious minds will set to the task of
accomplishing the job placed before them.

Our brains conveniently and carefully located in our relatively small
heads, are sophisticated, goal-seeking computers ready to do wonders based
on the information we feed them. Feed them well -- no garbage, like doubt
or fear or despair -- and they will amaze us with their integrated, highly
technical capacity to achieve our goals. We're smarter than we think.

Hmmm, let me think, this is ...er, no... it's, mmm, no, not that either. I
can't think right, what's wrong with me? How about... it's iffy...
positive thinking, or day dreaming???

We want something, know what we want and want it badly. Good. This will
help us achieve it. Incidentally, we must be certain what we want "badly"
is "good." We don't want something we ought not to want, like the money in
the local 7-11 cash register or Bobby's girl or several pizzas and beers.
We have a way of rationalizing our wants and confusing them with our
needs, or possibilities. At 40 or 50, guys, don't expect a huge and ripped
body capable of squatting 505 and running the 100-yard-dash in 10 flat.
Unlikely. And, girls, 36-26-36 at 46 is another unlikely. As in everything
we do, be real.

Let's, for example, strive for a strong, well-built body, which is about
as good as "good" gets. Now, practice the visualizing process described
above. See, feel, taste, smell and wear that mighty sight as if it were
your own. I don't mean get all goofy like a little kid, but close is not a
bad idea. Determine the methods required to achieve your goals and
implement them with resolve. Know that wavering in your pursuit is
foolish, weak and damning to the process.

There'll be times when we give up, no longer care, get sidetracked,
misplace inspiration, lose ambition, get lazy, procrastinate, encounter
the blues or fall into a slump. That's life, either an affliction or a
challenge. Afflictions attack the weak and take them down; challenges are
moments of truth subject to the strong. Push on, press on; tug, pull and
squeeze with all your might. The day is ours, by God, to add to our
wealth. Don't waste it, make the best of it; smooth its course with
repeated treading. Dedication and devotion, they beat like drums.

Absolutely committed, or idiotic. Yup!

At birth we're given a miracle to enjoy, cherish and care for. We call it
life. Nothing compares to its splendor and supremacy. Without it nothing
is, as no one would know it?

We are guided in our understanding of and regard for life by those before
us, our inherent instincts and our ensuing commonsense. Somehow we miss
the living picture, seeing only an occasional snap shot and a hazy one at
that. Eventually our care for our lives -- our bodies, our mind, our
behavior, our direction -- and the lives of those around us falls short of
its basic requirements and we allow it to slip away. Physical health
deteriorates as we daily miss-feed and mistreat it; the mind suffers as it
is neglected or stressed and overworked; our emotions are abused by wrong
thinking, and we run off in different directions looking for wealth and
unrequited fulfillment and pleasure.

"Neat gift," some say, "think I'll destroy it. In my tool box I have
donuts and soda pop, drugs and alcohol and cigarettes, jealousy and envy
and greed. That should get me started. How about you? There's a guy with
scams and lies and petty gossip. Swell!" And the ball keeps rolling
along... bumpity bump.

Man eats like a hog; he's lazy and apathetic; he's rude and self-serving;
he disregards and procrastinates and he looks for the easy way out. Many
of our wrong-doings, should we take notice, are unintentional mistakes due
to ignorance. They are accidents, not premeditated crimes. This is no
excuse, reason or rationale. And it doesn't mean a crime has not been
perpetrated, and on an inexcusable daily basis.

It's a sad and simple fact of life, that same life we should honor and
protect: Respect has become lost in the jungle.

This one is irresponsible, bonehead, or very uncool.

When will we get our act together, people? Gratefully, we are bombers who
are miles ahead and above the masses of whom I speak, and our ways are
virtuous in comparison. We try hard to do it right, we falter and try
again. We're getting there by confidence, knowledge and encouragement...
and by the corny hot-points outlined above.

Bombers, prepare for take off. We've got places to go, things to do and
sights to see.

God's speed... Draper