Friday, May 1, 2015

Dreams, dedication and hard work.. Do they mean anything anymore?

They say if you work hard, you'll go places in life.  I'm a dedicated, hard worker.  I've been working since I was 15, now 37.  I'm as loyal a friend as they come, I believe and have strong work ethics and put everything I can into what I do.  That's who I am.  I learned early on in life that if you want something, you need to earn it and work for it.

But as many in my world, including myself, have asked lately; does it mean anything to anybody anymore, I wonder if it really does. No matter, it won't change who I am or what I believe in.

I want to be a part of something big where people have a feeling of closeness, where the traditional white-collar business world does not apply and figuratively bending over backwards for somebody actually means something to people who recognize you aren't doing it to kiss their ass for more money or promotions, you are simply doing it because you believe in working hard and going after what you want in life.

I think to myself, why have I not realized before that I'm stuck in a life where only those select few who choose to pat themselves and each other on the back for how great they are and what a grand job they do are the ones that move up, and the hard-working ones who they command, who never asked for anything but respect, get meticulously put under a microscope, simply because they can't accept that somebody out there is actually better at doing things then they are.  That would be blasphemy.

Well, the time to change is now, not just for me, but anybody else out there that wants something more in life, that wants to be a part of something big.  I'm not looking for fame or money.  I'm looking for good-hearted, hard-working people that actually care about you and allow you to care about them, who look out for each other in times of need and most importantly, who appreciate a person that goes above and beyond, just because, not having to be asked, but feeling a part of something so great they actually want to.

I used to think, for the years I did that in my I.T. career, it would eventually make a difference, but it never has.  I woke up and realized that the only thing holding me back from being a part of something great is me.  I'm tired of being afraid of the "what ifs" in life.  Having that fear is like putting Stop signs all around you and never being able to progress personally or professionally because you have no direction left, all being blocked by a mental stop sign.

I get up at 4:30 AM every day since I can remember, make the 50-mile drive, to work, do everything I can to show people I am much more then what I appear to be, make that same 50-mile trip back, and I'm still in the same place I was before.

That stops now.

I want to wake up every morning, see the sun rising and think "I can't wait to go to work today and show 'em what I got".  I want people to see that I will bust my ass for them, expecting only a Thank You and some loyalty.  I don't even know if that world exists anymore, but I'm saying Goodbye to the Stop signs made of fear, and replacing them with the green lights made of hope.

A few years back, I got really into the NHRA.  I've always been a big race fan, and as a child, my hero wasn't a baseball or basketball player.  As a ten year old, my heros were Al Unser Jr, Mario and Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal.  Even as a child, I knew what a team meant.  As I got older, I wanted to be a part of something like that.  It wasn't about the fame or the money, it was about freedom, about having a second family and just being happy.  Here's why I love the NHRA; when I went to my first NHRA race and realized these people weren't in it for fame or glory, that they were just like you and me, hard-working folks who believed in their hard work for the simple fact of just loving what they do and surrounding themselves with the people that inspire them to be better then they already are, well, that's when I started realizing what I wanted in life.  Not necessarily being a part of a race crew (hell, changing a timing belt on my Volvo wagon and replacing struts myself won't cut it at their level, but would be great to surround myself with good people) but just going to work everyday and being surrounded by all of that positive energy.  That's what I want.  I don't want to be in a place where everybody just puts on an act to be happy in front of the bosses but amongst themselves, they talk about how miserable they are, and those above them are none the wiser unfortunately.

Ever since that day of self-realization and for the past 2 to 3 years after, everything I have done in my life has been to pursue that, but recently realized without putting fear aside, I would not get anywhere.

I'm a happy person.  I always try to see the cup half full.  I don't ask for much in life as I'm a humble guy, but the one thing I want now more then anything is that feeling of being a part of something great.  I always try to see the good in everybody until they give me a reason not to.  Why is wanting to be among positive, inspiring people so hard to achieve these days?

I'm about to give up the one thing that people can't understand how I could, my first home, built from blood, sweat and tears (and a night or two in the hospital), literally, not figuratively. Hell, I don't even want to be a computer guru anymore. I've thought about being a truck driver, a train engineer or hell, even a cruise ship captain, maybe even learning how to fly.  What's stopping me? Simple.  Me.  That's gotta stop.

You have to make goals for yourself and then take it one step at a time until you achieve those goals.  I'm a writer, though not professionally, I am working on a story that will appeal to everybody in one way or another.  Will I finish it? Eh, that's becoming debatable, but I work on it constantly.  I struggle with writing, the same way I do with computers and I.T., thinking to myself that I'm almost obligated in life to pursue these things I'm gifted with simply for that reason.

Is there any profession left out there where you can be a part of a team and be an inspiration to people who love what they do, fuel their motivation and become someone that people love to be around?  I've been there once in my life, and without that, I feel empty.

It's time for a change.  More to come.......

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