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The Red Box

 In Atlas

This is for negative voices out there. The ones that either can’t or won’t, then use their very best keyboard courage to discourage, mock or debase the ones who are trying. Over the years, I’ve found that the loudest negative voices are the ones that either have tried and failed or haven’t tried at all. Misery loves company. But with just a few changes, attitude being the biggest one, everyone can have the same opportunity. If you are one of those voices, you are missing out.

I can’t take credit for the picture above, I saw it somewhere a while back and sketched out a rough copy in my notebook. For whatever reason I came back around to it this week. Maybe it’s because my oldest daughter is starting college next week. Maybe it’s because my knees remind me every day that I’m not getting any younger. Or maybe because I’ve just had it with the handful of negative voices in our industry and I need to block them out once and for all.

The graphic is pretty clear. From birth to 16 years old, you are too young to fully appreciate what you have. You are still developing and maturing. If you wait until you get to the end, age 65 to whenever you die, it might be too late to appreciate what your life was or what you accomplished. That’s why the red box in the middle is so important. My first job was delivering newspapers at 10 years old. I just turned 44. I’ve been working the entire time. However, I didn’t really find myself until my late 30s. Right or wrong, I wasn’t “happy” until that happened. So my red box is considerably smaller. I spend some years blaming everyone else for my shortcomings and unhappiness. That negativity has no place in the red box. It gets you nowhere. It just makes you miserable. And no one wants to be around a miserable person.

Social media has a lot of great features. Block, unfollow, ignore. I’m learning to use them. I’m learning that true happiness comes from loving yourself and loving what you do. Most all of us are living within that red box right now, which should be the best years of our lives. Block out the negative and live your life to the fullest. Don’t wait like I did.

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