I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.Michael Jordan

When I started writing this blog, I had to make the decision of what the blog would be about.  The goal of this blog is primarily to write about, either directly or indirectly, inner peace, happiness, and pursuing our dreams.  I want this blog to not just talk about those things and their related topics, but I always want to relate how those things operate in my life, my choices, and my emotions.

I will be quite honest: it is a bit frightening to make the blog personal to a degree.  I have failed quite a few times in my life, and I have no doubts that I will again at times fail.  But that is part of being real.  It does not matter how inspiring something is when written if it does not have real world applications.  I firmly believe that I and everyone else can achieve our goals, inner peace, and happiness despite the fact that we are flawed humans living in a flawed world.  I am not perfect, life is not perfect, my parents are not perfect, the country I live in is not perfect, and my friends and those I love are not perfect.  But I am not perfectly flawed and neither are the people, choices, and situations that make up my life.

I tend to get into certain thought patterns from time to time.  There seems to always be something that I am dwelling on.  The passed several days I have been thinking about acceptance.  Acceptance is just seeing things for what they currently are, it isn’t settling.  Settling is making the choice to remain that way.  I firmly believe I need to accept the present moment, but I do not believe I should settle for the things in my life that hinder me.  Peace comes with acceptance because it frees me from trying to force something that is not real and it frees me from trying to manipulate circumstances or people; after all, the only things that I can ever really control are what I do and what I think.

Acceptance is seeing the present moment, my life, and the people in my life for exactly what they are.  It is not trying to force my life, the moment, or other people into fitting into a mold or any sort of preconceived notion of what it or they should be.  One of the things I enjoy doing is hiking.  I often use maps when I go hiking because the trails I hike are often in wilderness areas where it would be easy to get lost.  When using a map, you have to first find where you are on the map before you can navigate to where you want to go.  Acceptance is just that: seeing where you are at.  If I cannot accept where I am at in my life or in my relationships, then I will never have any chance of getting where I hope to be.  It is easy to be in a state of denial because I often do not want to come to grips with the state of certain areas of my life, but the denial is not doing myself or anyone else any good.  Settling, on the other hand, is a type of passiveness that leads to me giving up on either my dreams or my happiness.  It is a type of false wisdom that convinces me to just take whatever comes my way regardless of how well it fits my dreams, desires, or who I am as a person.  Settling leads to a life of quiet desperation of your own choosing.

I have had many moments in my life where I did not fully understand the difference between acceptance and settling.  Usually the feeling I get is that if I accept what is happening then I am forced to settle for it as well.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Acceptance is just seeing what is. I cannot navigate to anything literal or figurative in my life without knowing where I am starting from in that moment.  Acceptance actually gives me more choices not less and it empowers my choices because they are based on what actually is and not something I have made either worse or better in my own mind. This present moment arises out of the past through the cause and effect of either my choices or the choices of others. That’s why our choices in the present are important because the moment will evolve out of those choices.  Acceptance is freedom.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.Eckhart Tolle