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Today marks the 2 year anniversary of my departure from blogging and although I’ve been back writing here for 3 weeks, it’s still a significant day for me.

When I left blogging in early 2012 to spend more time working my marriage, I left something behind that I felt was my calling. After many years of searching for my life’s work, I had finally found it in writing.

And although it was a clear choice for me to walk away to focus on a more important endeavor, it was still painfully difficult.

The Return

Now that I’ve chosen to return to writing to share my story, I thought it might be helpful to share some things I’ve learned in these past 2 years.

Going through marriage counseling was difficult, especially because our communication barrier was very high. After 8 years of poor communication and built up resentments, it made it nearly impossible to break through our issues. And as hard as we tried, it just wasn’t there for us. There was nothing left.

But the counseling was easy compared to what I have gone through since. I can’t speak for her as we have spoken very little about it, but for me, I have struggled immensely and grown immensely as well.

The hours I’ve spent thinking, reflecting, and reading have helped me through all of this and as I’ve mentioned before, I believe our decision to split was the best thing for us and our daughters.

That Fateful Call

I remember all of the Podcast interviews I’ve done, some with fond memories and some not so much. There was one in particular that was difficult to get though and if you’ve ever read this blog, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

I can still hear Penelope’s voice blasting me as I fumbled to answer her questions in our interview back in September 2011. I listen to it now and find myself cringing. But the truth was that I had no idea what I really wanted in life.

And as of this moment, I feel as though I have found it.

It’s here…..

8 Lessons I’ve Learned While Away From Blogging

1. Love is fragile. I learned the hard way that without proper care and a lot of work, true love can be lost. It’s still painful to think that the woman I chose as my wife has fallen out of love with me and has moved on. And although I have moved on as well and know in my heart that we made the right decision, it doesn’t make it any easier.

In the book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, he states that selecting the wrong life partner is one of the major causes of failure. To become successful in any endeavor, we must have the undying support of our significant others.

I saw the writing on the wall years ago, but thought the lack of support I received wouldn’t get in my way. I was wrong.

2. Make yourself happy. Choosing to stay in a miserable relationship and/or job does nobody any good, especially you. I spent the better part of my marriage trying to make my wife happy without regard to my own well being.

I’ve learned that if I am not happy, I cannot possibly make anyone else happy. For years I thought happiness was a destination. I thought if I could just quit my job, I would be happy. If my wife would just support my dreams, I would be happy. If I just had more money, I would be happy.

Well it doesn’t work like that. Happiness comes from within and it’s nothing more than a choice. Choose happiness.

3. Life isn’t easy. My life has been a struggle for many years and it’s not getting any easier. I have never wished for an “easy” life, but have certainly questioned why I have struggled for so long.

I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and that this is a “test” of sorts for me. God, the Universe, or whatever else we believe in is testing us each and every day and it’s up to us to respond to and overcome the obstacles in our paths.

4. If you want success, you have to take it. For the past 5 years of my career, I was waiting for that big payday when I finally “made it”. I figured it was just a matter of time for me since I had put so much time in.

The problem was that I didn’t put the effort in. I just logged hours and waited for success to just magically come to me.

It never did.

Just remember, nobody is going to hand us our dream life. We have to work our asses off to get it.

Am I living mine? Hell no, but I’m working on it as hard as I possibly can right now. And I’ll tell you this..I’m not stopping until I’m living it.

Looking back, I didn’t do a single day of hard work in my 11 year career in finance. I let myself think I did, but I was fooling myself. I can now appreciate working until my fingers bleed and pushing so hard that I’m ready to pass out from exhaustion.

And I’ll tell you…it feels damn good to do it too! I’ll be the first to admit I was a lazy mofo in my previous career. I took advantage of the system and was in all honesty, a lousy employee.

Now that I am hustling 24/7 to make it happen for myself in my new job and with all the expectations placed on me, I see that I was being incredibly selfish. I should have tried harder and given more. I owed it to the firms I worked  for.

At my old job, I was lazy. Plain and simple. Coming in late, two hour lunches, and leaving early were all part of my everyday routine. This carried over into my personal life of course and because I had no drive at work, I had little momentum for the evening.

I now have zero time for laziness. It’s just not an option. If I don’t hustle, I don’t eat.

5. Stop trying to please everyone. This is huge for me because I want everyone to like me. I hate being the bad guy. But let me tell you, when I asked for a divorce, my wife’s family, who I had a great relationship with, vilified me.

When I chose to leave my job 4 months ago, my (soon to be ex) wife was shocked and angered. My family thought I was nuts to leave my job with all the responsibilities I had. But if we choose to live our lives trying to make everyone happy, we end up being the ones who are unhappy.

I’ve said this a million times before, but life is incredibly short and any time we spend being unhappy is lost time.

6. It’s ALL about action. I was the king of all talk and zero action. Just ask my buddy, Marcus. In the last 6 months, I have been all action and am now in a much better place. The future is bright for me and can be for you as long as you decide what you want and then go after it with your all.

And if you want a great example of action, check out Jacob at Sensophy.com. When I left blogging, he was struggling to get his site/business going. Two short years later and this dude is rocking it! He’s doing awesome things and his business is booming! It was his commitment to taking action that got him to where he is now.

7. Don’t settle. Life is short enough without us wasting time settling for less that we deserve. And we all deserve great things.

If you’re settling for a sub par relationship, move on. If you’re settling for a shitty job, quit. If you’re settling for an average existence, do something radical to alter the course of your life.

I settled for a miserable life for many years and it took a decade to finally make the choice to change it. Don’t waste that time.

One of my favorite quotes is:

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.”

The point is that life will give us what we want. But we have to ask for it first!

8. Be careful what you wish for. All I wanted for years was to get out of my job. That’s it. Now that I’m out, I see that I had it good. I still hated it, but it was a cushy job with lots of perks.

I’m still 100% certain that I made the right decision to leave, but it’s been 10x harder for me starting over on my new path. Just make sure you really know what you want and what to expect before you ask for it. You just may bite off more that you can chew.

 Mistakes Are Good

12 lessons learned

We all make mistakes, that’s how we grow. But to become excellent at something, we must not make the same mistakes.

I’ve learned so much about myself in the past few years and have so much more to learn. I look forward to growing as a writer and as a person and hope to share the journey with all of you.

As always, I’d love to hear your feedback so please share your thoughts with me.

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