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I was talking with a few friends and somehow ended up talking about commencement speeches.

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs is my favorite and has impacted me the most.

I love my Android phone and Windows computer, and have no hate for Apple, but Steve was truly a visionary. Here’s what really hits home with me:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

The above really connects with me, especially as I’ve gotten older.  I’ve begun to learn what really gets me going in the morning, what I love doing, and am passionate about. I love being a web developer, but I also love being more involved with the business end and working with clients, sales teams, and other developers. I don’t like being the coder in the corner.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in your future.

I’ve always been known in my family as the one to “roll the dice” and sometimes I’ve been extremely lucky and other times not so much. Right now, I’m unemployed but have a consulting gig going on, but it’s still a very tough time. However, unfortunately, I’ve been in tougher times. The quote above reminds me that I can’t try and figure out how everything works or the lessons you’re learning while looking forward, but once things get better, I can look behind and connect the dots and learn.

Next up for me is Ellen Degeneres.

Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that.

I’ll never be able to compare her experience growing up as a lesbian vs me growing up gay, but she stuck to her guns and didn’t change. I never graduated from UF and generally didn’t like college in general. I know for some careers, you need to graduate, but I just never felt like I was truly getting anything out of it besides the whole “student experience.” I mostly did it because it’s what my family wanted me to do. However, while a junior at UF I was offered a position with a startup called Mobile Campus and I learned more about business, marketing, web development, and more in just a few months than I had years in college. So I dropped out.

Next up is Jim Carrey.

I’ve loved Jim Carrey the comedian. As a kid, I loved The Mask and Ace Ventura. However, I never expected the advice he gave:

Fear is going to be a player in your life, but you get to decide how much. You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about your pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear.

So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it.

So those are the commencement speeches that I enjoy and have impacted my life the most. Are there any speeches in general (TED Talks, whatever) that you like? If so, post them below!

So you thought it was the end of the story.

You thought that one single event, that one single moment, was enough for him to stand among the greats.

Sleep? ‘I don’t sleep.’ You thought that was it?

You thought it was over?

Well it’s just getting started.

This is the part where you re-invent yourself.

It’s time to get tested, to test your will, your endurance, it’s time to test your heart, to test your limits.

It’s about no days off! No weekends, no holidays, no birthdays. Listen to me! No days off!

It’s about gaining the competitive edge.

You can’t afford to make excuses.

No excuses when you feel pain. And trust me, you will feel it.

And all you wanna do is give up.

And all you wanna do is give in.

When you feel like you’ve given all you got…

…you gotta take one more step, you gotta run one more lap, you gotta throw one more punch.

Until you reach the top.

Do you think he’s coming back?

I don’t know.

What do you fear?

You are no one.

This is your beginning but it doesn’t have to be your end.

Get off the ground. C’mon.

You can do nothing without faith!

You are still special.

Is it beyond our reach?

I’m not afraid.

I’m angry.

You can’t give in.

Behind every fear is the person you want to be.

Fear is self-imposed, meaning it doesn’t exist.

You create it, you can destroy it.

You face your fears and become the person you want to be.

You run from your fears, you’re not living. You are alive but you not dig in the freedom.

You are not running the day, the day is running you.

We all fall down in life. The question is:

Who get’s back up?

You don’t owe these people any more.

You’ve given them everything.

Not everything.

Not yet.

And I’ve seen now what I would have to become to stop men like him.

If you make yourself more than just a man…

…if you devote yourself to an ideal…

…and if they can’t stop you,

then you become something else entirely.

Legend

You go after it and you give it all you have.

If you lose it, at least you tried, man!

‘I failed’ is ten times more of a man than someone said ‘what if ?’

Cos ‘what if ?’ Never went to the arena!

That’s called courage.

Now that’s the stuff leaders should be made of.

You think something’s wrong maybe it’s time to stop. No it’s time to move free and further!

Mentally you must believe it before you physically start it.

I choose to rise, not fall!

I choose to live, not die!

Today will be that day!

Not tomorrow, not next week, but right now, right here.

Belief will change my world!

History will remember me.!

I will define myself.

I will never go home, not without giving everything I have got!

Coz who am I?

I am a champion!

I choose to fight back!

I’m coming.

All you need now is a little imagination.

your imagination got will you gonna believe it or not,

It’s a preview of your lifetime coming attractions.

If you can’t imagine what it’s gonna be,

don’t ever expect physically looking into the mirror and see it.

I do not know what your dream is

I do not care about you in the pursuit of the dream of the process

Is not that disappointing you?

But as long as this dream has been in your heart

It is possible to achieve!

Some of you already know

It is very difficult to achieve it

Is not easy

Or even spend a lifetime of time

In the pursuit of the dream of the process

You will encounter a lot of blows

A lot of failure

A lot of pain

Many times you will doubt yourself

You ask God
why? Why would happen to me?

I just want to take care of my kids and my mother

I do not steal any more

What are these foolish things that will happen to me?

Those that you have to go through

Do not give up your dreams

The moments of suffering will come, but they will not stay
They will be past

Great is not the illusion of the esoteric illusory

It is not a few people can reach the achievement

Is the real thing, in our hearts

This is very important, you have to believe that you are the winner

Most people, to make money to support their families to feed themselves
Then end a lifetime

They refuse to grow and refuse to work hard
They refuse to learn, they do not want to ask themselves

Then many people like to complain
But they do not want to change any situation

And most people do not work for their dreams
why?

One of the reasons is because of fear, fear of fear of failure
Is it not going well?

The other is the fear of success
What if someone else succeeds and I can not do it?

These are those who can not pursue adventure

You spend a lot of time with people
You spent a lot of time trying to make everyone like you

You know other people know you better than you

You study them and you know them
You imagine them as you want to be like them

do you know?

You put so much time on them
You do not know who you are

I challenge you never take the time to understand yourself

If you also want to realize your dream
You must let the group of losers out of your life

A person who is moving towards his dream
Life is a special meaning for them

When you become “the right person”
You will start away from those losers

You start to have your own uniqueness

If you keep following them, you’re just a “copy cat”

You will always, always just the world’s best “copy cat”

But you can be the best of yourself

I challenge your value of self definition

Not everyone to see, not everyone will join you
Because they do not have such a vision

You have to know one thing

That you are extraordinary

You have to adjust your way of interacting with people
In order to attract people interested in your business

In the hunger of success

Is unstoppable
There is no reason to be persuaded

People will want to practice dreams as winners
Because they want to get more

Those who succeed in pursuing dreams are so

Those who pursue the dream they all understand

Some of the dreams will be their own decision

If you want to get bigger achievements

You have to try something you’ve never done

I ask you to invest in yourself

Invest in yourself!

Some of you here think
It is impossible to succeed in reality

So you do not want to go through life and become a victim

Even if you face disappointment, you have to know yourself …

You can do it, even if no one sees you
You must also see yourself

I believe that I am willing to sacrifice life for it

No matter how bad or bad things are

I have to support the past

I want to express an idea
I want to express a possibility

Some of you guys
You want to pursue a higher level

I want to be a consultant, an engineer, a doctor
Hear me out:

You can not reach it

You can not easily reach the advanced level
Unless you start investing yourself

You are not reading

I challenge you dare to stand up

I challenge you to pay the time!

I challenge you can face lonely

I challenge you to take the time to understand yourself

What kind of person do you want to be in the end?

You want to design what kind of yourself
You will create what kind of you

When you become an independent person

What you have to do is to separate yourself from others

I challenge you to find a person less, do not like you
Do not bother your place why?
Because you do not have to please others

Because you want to try to succeed and create a new level

I need you to develop your mind

If you are still talking about your dreams

If you are still talking about your target

But you have not done anything yet

First take the first step

You can make your parents feel proud

You can make your school feel proud

You can touch all the people around you
And your world will not be the same

Because you have made a change

Do not let others stole your dreams!

We face denial and denial
Or when others do not take you as one thing

Or someone says you can rely on me but he just talked about it

If we had that spirit but nobody believed you
You will never feel lost again and again see the light

But you still chase your dreams every day repeatedly said to myself:

Have to end unless i win!

You can live your dream!

Developing new, healthy habits can be hard. For those going through recovery, it’s critically important to understand how habits are formed and how you can build new ones. It may seem strange for people with an addictive personality to have difficulty creating healthy habits, but they’re different as, quite often, healthy habits won’t have the immediate “high” one might have experiences during their addiction. Even though exercise has been shown to help the recovery process by sending out similar “happy” chemicals to the brain, it can take time to develop that exercise habit.

So, let’s go into how you can transform your habits and actually make them stick.

Recognize your old identity

Recognizing who you are now is critically important. Something I’ve learned before starting to form any new habit is to first be grateful for who I am today, even if it’s not who I want to be. As a person in recovery, I’m grateful that my body has learned to survive under incredibly stressful conditions. If I think about it, I’m amazed that I’m alive today considering all the drugs I’ve put into my body. The fact is that your old identity will always be a part of who you are, and you can choose to either hide it or use it to empower yourself. So, take some time and think about who you are, what you’ve accomplished, the storms you’ve embraced, and be grateful that you’re now at a place where you can take on something new and grow.

Think about your new identity

Really spend some time and envision who you want to be, what your new identity will be. To make habits really stick, you need to start believing new things about yourself. Think about the goal you have in mind and then think about the type of person who obtains that goal. This can be hard, but try and think of the identity with the smallest, most viable first step. For example, let’s say your goal is to lose weight. Great! However, as many of us know, that goal may fizzle out (which is why I’m also a fan of battle plans). Think about a person who is fit and what they do, in the smallest measurable way possible. That person probably does something active everyday, it may not be “balls to the wall” crossfit style workouts, but they’re hardly sedentary. So, a small win for your new identity would be to become the type of person who simply moves more every day.

Tie your new habit to something you already do consistently

So, you have your identity in mind… now it’s time for action. Tie your identity to something you already do everyday.  Think about your typical day and things you consistently do without fail. Try and find a place within the parameters of what already works for you. The easiest thing you do without fail is waking up. Can you carve out some time for your new habit shortly after waking up? Remember, you only need to start small, so if your identity is someone who moves more every day, you could wake up and do some pushups, go for a walk, or any other exercise. Think about other possibilities like brushing your teeth, leaving work, going to bed, etc. For example, before going to bed I like to meditate even if it’s meditating while in bed (thank you Headspace). When I wake up, I always do some type of exercise/stretch/mobility workout or go for a bike ride.

Create a routine that supports the new habit

Now that you’ve figured out “where” you can support your new habit, it’s time to create a routine that supports it. When I first started working out several years ago, it was incredibly hard to go to the gym in the mornings. However, once I tied my “exercise habit” to waking up and then set aside my workout clothes and made my workout drink the night before, I almost felt compelled to go since I already set myself up. Nowadays, my car will typically always have a set of workout clothes and my swimsuit, just so that I have little reason to workout after work. The point is that preparation is key.

Reward yourself

Part of any new routine is treating yourself appropriately. This is something I’ve fallen for a couple times, I have a great week of adopting a new habit and I’d end up eating bad food or too much food as that was my “reward” but it was/is counterproductive to my identity. Pick something that is meaningful to you and incorporate it into your post-routine. It sounds silly, but for me I used to jump straight to the computer when I woke up. So, my “reward” now after waking up and exercising is simply getting on the computer and checking in on last night’s TV, my email, or brainstorming new Active For Recovery ideas.

Keep trying.

Defeat is not the worst of failures

Inevitably life will through you some curve balls here and there. But the key thing to remember is that you’re trying to change your life for the better. Don’t how long it takes you to adopt a new habit to others, as everyone is different and this is your change. The only person you’re trying to be better than is your previous self, nobody else. You may have heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but that’s not always in the case depending on the complexity of the habit. In fact, University College London conducted a study and discovered that some habits may take up to 66 days! This is why it’s important to start small. Starting a small habit that gradually takes you to your new identity will most likely pay off better than trying to start with huge changes. So, with that said, when you do fall off the wagon it’s important to get back on without thinking of yourself as a failure. You are, like many others and myself, a continual work in progress towards improving yourself… even if it’s just 1% everyday.

I’ll end this with what I feel is an appropriate quote from Theodore Roosevelt called The Man In The Arena which is an excerpt from his speech “Citizenship In A Republic”:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.