Building a Life of Meaning

I find structuring different parts of your life critical to your own success. Take academics for example. The vast majority of successful students that I have interacted with implement some version of planning and structuring within their study system. Different personalities will create different structures but overall, their structure is vital for their success. Employees that plan their days and implement strategies are often more successful than ones who attempt to keep everything in their brain. The list of examples goes on.

Our minds and our hearts are no different from the need of structure in similar ways. Without structure, we tend to go off kilter and either forget the basics or fill our minds with useless things. When we let our minds wander and our hearts yearn, we often lose perspective. We begin to “lose our minds” and/or submerge our hearts in negativity. It’s not so much a negative trait as it is natural.

The same way the student has a planner or structures their study schedule, our minds and hearts need structure too. We need to be centered metaphysically which requires us to give time to reflect on who we are as individuals and what impact we want to leave on society. Additionally, our minds and hearts need a separate reflective space to make sense of everything that bombards us intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally on a daily basis. Structuring our mind and hearts happens in deep reflection. Without this, we will lose our minds to our own internal disorder. Praying is the focal point of most religions because if correctly done, it provides a space to strengthen the structure of your internal life. Sadness is overcome with hope, confusion is overcome with perspective, and negativity in your heart is overcome with love.

Reflection is a patient process that takes time away from your everyday life. It requires you to untangle yourself internally from the weights of your own natural inclinations. The fruits of your internal structure can only be tasted by you. Our power and character isn’t the product of our intellect and hearts as much as it is the product of the structure by which we use our intellect and our hearts. In other words, anyone can think, seek knowledge, and feel deep emotions – but without structure and a plan of implementation which is rendered from reflection, that information can become dead weight. You can have a pile of logs, or structure those logs into something greater.

Structure your internal, build your life, and find strength in meaning.

How to Make Sense of the Elements

“Taking your time is from God and rushing is from the Devil”

This quote struck me as the Achilles heel of how our society is structured today. Rushing to complete tasks and multi-tasking are parts of everyday life on different levels. Reading emails while completing work, reading texts while completing assignments, checking social media while watching TV, etc.

Yet, as rushed as our society has become, we as individuals still seek a sustenance only found in taking time to ourselves. In other words, we can’t process certain levels of intellectual or emotional information very quickly at times. On top of that, we feel pressured to rush our souls into positions based on what we see others post on social media because our natural inclination is to believe their social reality is their full reality.

Our sustenance is reflection. And reflection takes time. There’s a quote, “Everything is written, just keep reading.” Reflection gives you time to understand your life that you’re reading. I think everyone has read a page of a book in their life and had no idea what they just read (I do that a lot and then have to reread the page). Similarly, you can go through life in the same way. What’s difficult about reflection is your mind’s natural inclination to draw an enormous gap between where you perceive yourself to be and where you want to be. We are really hard on ourselves and we shouldn’t be. Once our mind is weighed down by this, we stop reflecting and fill our time with something else.

So what to do?

Firstly, I think we need to realize that everyone’s social presence is a highlight real. Internalizing that will help us find where we truly want to be rather than where we think we want to be based on everyone else’s “perfect” reality.

Secondly, realize that everything is truly written. We are following a script which means the gap I mentioned before doesn’t actually exist. We are where we are supposed to be at any given moment and the more we reflect, the more the words on the pages are going to make sense. The more they make sense, the more we understand about our own lives. Understanding what happens in our life is one of the best ways to find peace in ones heart.

Lastly, reflect on the good before the bad. There is a bunch of stuff we can improve on but there is a bunch of good we have done too. The order by which you reflect upon those things really makes a big difference. PEMDAS

Slow your life down, reflect, and make sense of the elements.




For anyone that knows me, they knew this post was coming. I apologize for any of my readers that didn’t want a sports related post. Read on though, maybe something will resonate.

Twenty four years ago I walked into a hat shop. I was looking for a particular hat that the store didn’t have so I settled for a midnight green Philadelphia Eagles hat. It certainly wasn’t a life changing decision by any means, but what the Eagles ended up meaning to me was much more than just a hat.

I know how meaningless football is in the grand scheme of things. I get it. Honestly I do. But for me, the Philadelphia Eagles were something that greatly affected me. Call it what you will but it was my reality that I’m not ashamed of. This week, after the Eagles officially won the Super Bowl for the first time in history, has brought such a unique joy to me that feels impossible to describe. Yes, I love an inanimate object — no not even an object – I love an idea – a figment of society. But I couldn’t be happier right now.

Its been 24 years of having a dream which was truly a dream because I had no bearing over the outcome. I never “chased” this dream as we all should chase our dreams because I couldn’t. I never once dreamt of actually becoming a football player or coach to help the Eagles win; it was just a dream that never found an exit in my heart.

When the clock hit 0 and the Eagles officially won, it didn’t sink in. I looked across the table at my wife who informed me that the Eagles had WON because the look of bewilderment on my face didn’t seem like I had processed that fact. All I could see were visions of all the disappointment over this team I had for years suddenly vanish. As if every negative Eagles memory was a bubble that popped as soon as the clock officially expired and the Eagles were Super Bowl Champions.

Football, especially watching football means nothing. It really does and this post doesn’t take away from that reality. But things that bring your heart peace can often be unique to just you. There may be something that happens that can literally only bring you peace and happiness. Embrace it.

This was it for me. I’ve come back down from cloud 9 but I’m taking the bliss with me. Fly Eagles Fly.

You’re Not Alone

Do you feel alone in the way that you feel?

I have before and sometimes still do. How can anyone understand what I’m feeling? How can they possibly see how tangled I am in my own emotions? I can’t even make sense of my emotions myself, let alone have to explain them so that I don’t feel so alone. And then there is social media. Superficial realities that often alienate ourselves even more. We feel guilty for feeling anything negative because it doesn’t fit within this overtly positive social reality. Thus we distance ourselves even more thinking we are wrong to feel the way that we do because everyone else feels so right.

Walls are often built highest to guard the most broken.

But you actually aren’t alone. Everyone’s story is certainly different but people still resonate to the same relief. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen strong figures break down and weak figures rise up. People are going through a whole different world inside of them. Just think about how you feel and what you think about on a day to day basis compared to what you portray to the world. You weren’t created as a unique breed for only you to do that. Yet we get caught up so easily in thinking that people’s natural display is their complete reality. It’s not.

I want you to know that anything you feel is perfectly justified because you have the honor of feeling it. The Honor. You can’t surf your emotions by fighting to feel them – you’ll drown. Forget about everyone’s “reality” no matter how perfect it may seem. Your journey, your pain, your blessings, your life is your own ultimate reality. And everyone’s reality has a path similar to yours. It’s one mountain we all are climbing on different paths.

The point of this isn’t to push you to uncomfortably express yourself to anyone. The point is the realize that you aren’t alone. And sometimes company is more valuable than relief.