Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air


spiceSo, tell me what you want, what you really, really want….

We have all heard this “what do you want from your life” question before – before the Spice Girls asked us in 1996, and many times since. The more important question though, is have we ever learned how to answer it? And (– OR? -) is that even the right question to ask?

This speculation has been spinning around in my soul for a couple weeks now, courtesy of Mark Manson and his article “The Most Important Question in your Life” (Manson, 2013). Manson poses that instead, the right question [– the most important question –] to ask is, “What are you willing to struggle for?”

Hmmm…. What? Let’s let him explain:

“Because if you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs…. If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy, an idealization, an image and a false promise.”

So – he is saying that the things we are willing to struggle for are the things we truly want versus the things we just fantasize about.

Think about this.

Go back to the days you dreamed of being a dancer or a drummer, (or to last week when you [okay I…] wanted to get something published) and why that didn’t (or maybe it did for you) happen. And the answer is exactly what he said it would be – we weren’t willing to struggle for it, so it stayed a fantasy. So in this thinking, it doesn’t even deserve the status of being a disappointment or unfulfilled dream, because we never went (far enough) beyond just wondering what it would be like to be this.

“Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it.”

I can’t argue with his logic. And if you can, I would call your BS.

So where does this leave us? If we want to move something from our fantasy to our factual, where do we start? The answer is actually super(califragilisticexpialidocious) simple:

“You start at the very beginning; a very good place to start… when you read you begin with A-B-C, and when you sing you begin with Do-Re-Mi”. Translation (from this Julie Andrews’ musical mash):  you start with (learning / applying / monitoring / and living) the fundamentals.


The fundamentals are the foundation; they are the path for our process, the road to realizing our real (aka sustainable…) results. The fundamentals are the first step, and they prepare us for the struggle that is the ‘s’ in ‘success’. So if you want to be a dancer or a drummer, live that as your life and train and practice, train and practice, and then train and practice. Do this every day; you are not off on Sundays. And if I want to get published… then I need to do my research and start from scratch so what I produce fits the product I am aiming at. And I need to read more pieces and practice; read more pieces and practice; and then read more pieces and practice.

So after hearing what many others have to say, here’s my set of fundamentals to start with:

  1. Find out the facts (the fundamentals).
  2. Commit. 110%.
  3. Skip the shortcuts because there really aren’t any.
  4. Really.
  5. When you look anyway because we all think we can improve the process refer to rule 3.
  6. Don’t make or take excuses, because for every reason not to, there is a better reason to do if you are on your road to your right life.

Actions stay louder than our words, and our wants stay defined by our actions (or lack thereof). Where there is a will, there is a way… but our will must be strong enough to survive the struggle.

So when you are really ready, find the fundamentals and say “F-U” to the fantasy.


“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”  – Jim Rohn


Manson, Mark. (November 6, 2013). “The Most Important Question in your Life”. Retrieved from on June 23, 2017.


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