DISPATCH: August 23th, 2015

Setbacks are a part of life, but it doesn’t stop them from stinging.  This week I hit a huge one, and I feel the need to say this much about it: It’s one thing to have hit a stumbling block because of something you did, it’s something else when that setback comes as the result of the shortsightedness of others. 

The silver lining in all of this is that I realize that my penance for past sins is done.   Some folks are about to be…surprised at what I’m really capable of. 

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Can we talk for a moment about higher self?  I mean that in the context of the person you most desire to be.  I think we all have some concept of the person we aim to be in life, be it more spiritual or productive, or more present.  We paint an image of that person we believe to be our ‘perfect’ selves.  I struggle with that, because who and what I want to be has changed so much since I was a young adult.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought to it recently, for not any good reason.  My brain is such a weird instrument, I simmer over thoughts like this at the same time it’s trying to work on the deeper meanings of Pink Floyd lyrics and where I left my keys.  Here’s what I’ve come up with on the subject of higher self: If you can get up in the morning and look in your bathroom mirror and not projectile vomit, you may already be more than halfway there.  We all have things about ourselves that we’d like to change or improve, but that’s part of the option package.  We need to first decide whether we’re ok with the base model.  If we’re not, then that’s where we start.  The tinted windows can come later.  

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve only just got the base model broken in.  Took a couple of hundred thousand miles, but he’s finally running where I’d like him to be.  My mirror is a lot cleaner these days. 

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At the risk of tooting my own horn, this was one of those weeks when I was faced with the realization that I’m better than I think I am.  I let stuff like that roll off me; there’s nothing worse for Kris than to get a big head about anything.  But I allowed myself a little moment of accomplishment:  I wouldn’t be working on a rather special project right now if I *wasn’t* good at what I do.  

I’ve mentioned this before, but I keep a little word with me—upasaka—to remind me that I am still a learner of things.  I am a lay devotee of life and the Universe, and there is still much to learn.  

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On the other side of this coin, I feel the need to ask you the same question I ask myself. “Is it really necessary to settle for what is right now? Surely this can’t be all there is for me.”  

Never settle, and don’t be afraid.  

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”  —Samuel Beckett. 

I like the concept of failing forward, that is, turning your mistakes into lessons. Making failure a tool—almost a companion—on the road to success.  Settling almost seems like stopping one exit short on the highway to your destination.  Trust me when I tell you, I’ve failed a LOT.   But, I refuse to ‘settle’.   Settling is the ultimate failure, to me.  I have a very clear set of life goals that I’m not deviating from.  Ever.  The path is not now, nor has it ever been a straight line—the difference is, the guy in charge of the sextant has learned how to use the damn thing. 

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Work becomes other worldly--actually more then enjoyable, it's a pleasure--when your work involves the thing you are most passionate about.  These past few weeks have flown by, and the reason for that is because for the first time in many years, I love what I'm doing.  I simply don't want it to stop.  Sadly, it looks like it may.  I hope that I'm wrong.  I really need to be wrong, because I'm flying Emirates (metaphorically) at the moment, and going back to Delta isn't going to cut it. 

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Here’s a thought to ponder: Do the next right thing.  What do I mean by that?  All of us have something we’re trying to accomplish in our daily lives.  What’s the next right thing to do? 

Ok, there you go. 

It occurs to me that in doing the next right thing, some (or most) of us will encounter resistance of some sort.  It might be a co-worker, it might be a boss who doesn’t crave the work your action might generate for him, it might be friends or family who don’t see you as much because of the work the next right thing might create for you.   However, we’re not charting a course by what those people think.  You have to go with your inner compass on this, provided you were born with one.  I’ve been fortunate in my life for those moments that I stopped and heard that little GPS tell me to get back on the route before I had a complete disaster. 

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A new plan:  On the Roley Facebook Page, I posted two pictures from a long ass spreadsheet I’ve been working on.  That spreadsheet, when finished, will be my calendar for the blog posts and podcasts I’ll be working on until August of next year.  It’s mostly full; there are some empty spaces that I’ll fill in over time, but for the most part, I know what I’m going to be writing and talking about on the website for the next year of my life.  Now all I have to do is produce 24 podcasts.  I know that sounds like a lot of work, and it is.  But what wonderful work!  I get to make something awesome in my free time that I truly hope helps people.  I hope you like it.  

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That’s it from the Cove this week. 

Sail On.

—K

Kris Roley

Virginia Beach, VA, 23453