A “Symphony of Your Life” Blog With Mark Hardcastle

2020, “The Year That Was,” happened. Now, thank goodness, it’s in the past. We’ve been considering how to turn away from pretty much everything that happened last year, and turn with optimism and intention toward what’s possible in 2021. Following the example of #United Airlines, we are thinking beyond the more conventional idea of returning to normal. United is encouraging us to return to “new.”

We’ve recognized that returning to “new” means thinking about what we want our lives, indeed our worlds, to look like down the road. The plan is simple. Just 3 steps. Get clear about the dream, figure out how to make it manifest, and begin. Then stay in the process until the dream is real. We looked at those ideas here and here.

So far we’ve figured out how to manage Step 1. Today let’s look at Steps 2 and 3.

First, Step 2. Figure out how.

If Step 1 was the most thought-intensive, this is probably the least. Can you say, “Google?” How about “YouTube?”

I bought a new-to-me car a few weeks ago. My 4-Runner had well over 300K miles on it. It had served me well for 19 years. But it was time. So I bought a 2013 RAV4. It’s gorgeous! I love it! And get this. I searched Google for what I wanted, found it, and bought it sight unseen, all online. Odd? Maybe in another world. Feel free to ask me about the process.

But it came with a worn-out rear wiper blade. And for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to replace it. So I did a search on YouTube, and the first result was a 2-minute video that made everything completely clear. Another two minutes and the new blade was installed. Such is the power of the computer in your pocket. You can learn how to do a lotta stuff on the internet.

Right. Not everything can be fixed with an internet search. Sometimes we benefit best by mining the experiences of others. Now that you know what you want to do, seek out others who have done that. Mentors, who will teach you without charge, and coaches, who will charge for their expertise (and properly so, I might add), can be tremendous resources for the softer skills of creating and building businesses worth owning and lives worth living. Go find a few who look good on paper. They’re not hard to find. Have conversations with them to find the one(s) with the best fit. Then engage at the appropriate level. The “how” you are looking for will reveal itself in due course.

Finally, Step 3. Begin.

I said in jest that Step 1 might be the hardest of the three. In truth I think it could be this one. Starting any new endeavor can be fraught with peril, real or imagined. Our families, our cultures, our environments; all these and many more factors can bear on our sense of capability. Fears emerge from all quarters. The bigger the dream, the bigger the fear may be, even though in many cases it’s simply not necessary.

Inertia, too, is no small factor. We’ve lived the way we’ve lived and done things the way we’ve done them for a very long time. And what we know all too well is that if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we always got. But as 2020 fades, we want something different. We know what it is from Step 1. We know how from Step 2. Step 3 challenges us to summon the courage that will enable us to feel the fear, the inertia, the tendency to procrastinate, and take action anyway. Isn’t that what courage is all about? Feeling the fear and moving forward anyway?

So we do that in celebration of 2021. We begin. With determination to succeed.

And life gets in the way. Those close to us pull us away from our dream. The world intrudes. We revert to the old ways without even realizing it. Then some time later we see that we’ve left the path.

Then what?

The easy choice would be to decide that it was never realistic. We should never have stepped out. We should have known that the dreams we created were never going to be for us. And simply drift back into the way it always was.

Or, we could recognize that stuff happens. Change happens. Challenge happens. We are called to leave the path for a moment. And then we return.

Because we recognize that life is not about what happens to us. It’s about how we respond. If our dream is big enough and we want it badly enough, we keep it in front of us for as long as it takes. Stepping away and coming back time after time, always moving forward, staying in the process, until the dream is real and in our grasp.

2020, the year that was, happened. Now, finally, it’s in the past. We have turned to the “new” future and anticipate creating it with intention and optimism. It will not necessarily be easy. But it will be simple indeed.

Define the dream. Figure out how to make it real. Begin.

And stay in the process.

Thanks for reading!

Captain Mark


Link to Mark’s book, The Symphony of Your Life    

The Symphony of Your Life    

The Symphony of Your Life on YouTube

Mark graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982. After nine years as a pilot on active duty, he left the military to join a commercial airline. In addition to flying B-737s around the country, Hardcastle spends time in the Rocky Mountains and serves on the artistic staff of the Colorado Children’s Chorale. He lives in Centennial, Colorado, with his wife and four children. Need some help figuring out why you’re on this planet? Want to talk about discovering your mission and purpose? Contact Mark today at 720.840.8361 to schedule a free personal consultation. He can also deliver an inspirational keynote or workshop for your organization! email: mark@symphonyofyourlife.com for information.

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