A Letter To My Children

Life will present many challenges. When it does, consider these things

black and white photo of children running in a field for article by Larry G. Maguire

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Life will present many challenges. When it does, consider these things

When you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, find the edge. Take your time and survey things. Look for key aspects that you’ll need to function successfully in the space. Look for key people too; the ones to avoid and the ones with whom you need to stay close. Take your time and consider all your options; your entry and exit strategy, the length of time you’ll stay in the game. Don’t rush in full of smiles and enthusiasm. Remain reserved, calculated and open to whatever presents itself. Don’t make rash decisions, digest the variables and trust your intuition. Delay judgement for only as long as is necessary.

It’s like a game of rugby, hurling or football. Practice relentlessly and always aim to beat your previous best by the smallest of allowable fractions. You decide what that looks like, nobody else. There is no competition. All competition lives and dies, starts and ends with you. You are all that matters in the game, and your readiness will always dictate your results. Readiness is born from momentum, and you build momentum in the hours of practice. All failures are successes. There is no failure; only learning and growth.

In the game, there will be periods, sometimes lengthy, when you’ll feel like all is lost. Stay focused on the job at hand and do not allow your mind to drift to fanciful notions of glitter and gold, praise and reward, or fault or punishment. Both are thoughts that will take you down. There is only now and the work you need to do. Focus. Put the blinkers on and go deep. Get comfortable in your discomfort, and it will pass.

All losses, just like the wins, are designed to fool you into your worthlessness or greatness, but neither one will last. They are insubstantial things. The essential thing in all successes and failures is that you allow yourself to feel. Learn to celebrate and denounce both.

Whatever the question, the answer will come of itself. Do not force, coerce, coax or attempt to bring it about by some wrangle or trick for you will trick yourself. You do not need to find it; it finds you. Work with others but do not become dependent, for no matter how well-meaning, they will always be otherwise motivated and will eventually let you down. Do not pedestalise people — they are just as prone to fault as you.

Give your time to idle things like walking in the woods. Seek solitude daily — you’ll find the answers to your most burning questions there. Break the rules, but don’t get caught. No matter how much they say they care for you, people will sacrifice you for the sake of their rules. Trust your family, but not too much. Remember; it always comes down to you and you alone. Set your own rules and live by them until the time comes to change them. Change is the only constant so allow it to be your friend.

Trust yourself; you’re all you’ve got.

Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. Every morning you’ll find me sharing a new thought on life, art, work, creativity, the self and the nature of reality on The Reflectionist. I also write on The Creative Mind. If you like what I’m creating, join my email list to receive the weekly Sunday Letters

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