I don't think we realize the significance of Y.O.L.O. ("you only live once") until it's too late.
"I could have won that fight"
"I could have went to Law School"
"I could have been a CSM in the Army"
Today is one of those days where I wish I could do things over again... It's not that I feel like a failure, there are just some past experiences that I could have done better had I known my capabilities at the time. Some things just continue to eat away at me and there's nothing I can do to change the past. These nostalgic thoughts constantly linger in my mind like a dark cloud as I often assess my performance in life...
I've learned that most people don't live their life to the fullest; most people would never think they could accomplish something that seems challenging so they take the path of least resistance. I don't even know why I feel so defeated. It's as though I scored a "C'' on the test of life so far but I want to be a straight "A" student - yet you cannot retake the test... Y.O.L.O. I've realized that a lot of self-graded "scores" result from having a lack of self-confidence at the time. For example, "I could have won that fight," had I known my own strength. Or, "I could have went to Law School," had I known I was smart enough. And, "I could have been a CSM in the Army," had I pushed hard enough to create the career I envisioned. However, I walked away... I took a different path at each of those points in life and now I have regrets. The truth is that I lacked a key ingredient needed to win [at anything], and that is self-confidence.
Well, I'm "all-in" now and it scares the sh*t out of me. The scary part is that passion is dangerous if you don't control it. Meanwhile my past eats away at me, and I'd honestly rather die than to lose another fight... I don't care if you're bluffing or not, I'm not going to fold. "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" (Mark Twain). There is a reason I like to bet on the underdog, because I can relate more to that person who needs to give it 110% to win.
Baz Luhrmann — 'Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh never mind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded...'
Now, at 36 years old, all I can do is share wisdom with my son and hope that he deeply receives the message. There are several delivery methods at which I go about this... and it's not always so direct. For example, I go out of my way to randomly tell him he's handsome. I know that doesn't carry much weight because he's my son, but he is truly a good looking kid and needs to hear it. What he doesn't realize is that I'm subtly boosting his confidence level by planting these subliminal messages into his subconscious. As he gets older, there will be times when he questions whether or not he's attractive enough and that's when his mind will quickly run through past comments giving an "authority to proceed" or not. However, I would never tell him to go engage in fight, BUT if he had no other options to avoid it then I want him to know that he capable of beating someone 10x his size. Basically, the sooner he knows that he's fully capable of accomplishing anything he puts his mind to, the more successful he'll be in life - including becoming a respected CSM or highly successful lawyer.
Thanks for reading,
Chris P. Hudson