2017 was pretty rough.

I might have had a better time than some but I went through a few emotional times and I’m not even interested in giving a play by play of the incredible number of things that happened. All things considered I ended up accomplishing a few incredible things.

I secluded myself pretty heavily for a few months this year and I discovered a lot about how to function in my life. I’ve spent the majority of my life surviving. Going day to day trying to get to the next step. This year I sat alone and seriously questioned myself about what it is that I’m looking for. The answers were fairly simple but it took a long time to get there.

To boil it down I need to be in control.

Too often I go with the punches. I’m actually incredible at this as anyone who knows me personally will vouch. Still too often these punches might have been entirely avoided if I’d been more proactive. It’s a difficult pill to swallow that some of the problems you face might very well be your own fault. Still I accepted this responsibility and I have spent many months trying to push myself toward being proactive.

Next I tried to figure out what it was that was getting in the way of this proactive behavior. Why couldn’t I easily just do what I needed to do? The answer I found was discipline. Many people consider me to be a disciplined person because I don’t drink or partake in drugs or any risky behavior for that matter. They’re simply mistaking my pigheaddedness for discipline.In reality I just dug in my heals and leaned against expectations to maintain these generally celebrated ideals. I never really worked at anything other than resisting influence which, albeit useful, isn’t real discipline.

So in turn I spent 2017 practicing discipline. I hated getting up early, but I did it. I hated working out, but I did it. I hated holding myself to a schedule of pursuing my passions outside of work, but I did it. In doing these things I realized over time that I didn’t really hate them. I resisted them because they were difficult. I guess it can be said that I did dislike the challenge but that isn’t entirely true either. I learned to love the difficulty because of the feeling I got each time I managed to succeed. I had only ever felt this way through gaming to this point. Accomplishment.

Suddenly I learned that I could apply all the determination I used to beat Dark Souls to better myself.

Seems silly but I’ve lost weight, gained massive perspective, and shifted my values in a way that enriches my life. I’m happier, and more whole than I’ve been since I was a child. This is in spite of the fact that 2017 damn near killed me (literally.)

If 2017 was the year of practicing discipline then 2018 will the year to execute discipline. I wholly believe that I’ll enter a new chapter in my life. It won’t be easy. As I write this post I’m already feeling the trepidation of the unknown. Still I’m determined to move forward and figure out who I can become, and what I’m capable of when I become that person.

If you’ve found this by chance and would like to share your thoughts with me you can reach me most easily on twitter @ThatLuckyBear. Thanks for reading and I hope you find a way to excel in the face of the harshness of life. We’re all here and we’re all suffering. Let’s make the best of it in 2018.

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