Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons
No babies! is a frequently used term in our household. It is the common phrase we say when one of the other members of the family begins to complain and make excuses as to why they did not get something done. Complaining, making excuses, and grudgingly doing something are all grounds for getting scolded with no babies! Additionally, it might even lead to a long lecture regarding the fact that life will always have challenges, you will always have to do things you do not want to do, and that we are entitled nothing. Other frequent sayings in our house are suck it up buttercup and get over yourself.
On the surface, you would think that we are a pretty harsh and negative household; however, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, often when I find myself whining and my husband says no babies! it breaks the tension, and I return to normal, usually laughing. Negativity and feeling sorry for yourself can come on and take over like a trance, and one can quickly sour the moment, the day, the month, or even the year. Negativity not only affects ourselves, but constant complaining and making excuses can upset the office, home, and relationships.
When we allow ourselves to sink into negativity, whether it's thinking we cannot do or achieve something or complaining about challenges versus facing them are very dangerous corrosive thought and behavior patterns. Everything in life—especially things worth pursuing— will have tons of hazards, challenges, and blockades. A great way to position your mind is to see it like a Stoic. Stoics would say life is simply a series of challenges and that the key to happiness is to realize that and enjoy the actual process of tackling those challenges—versus simply seeing the goal. Who knows, as you become stronger and more resilient, perhaps your goals in life will shift and become more ambitious as you learn to relax into hardship and chaos with a wide smile and the words bring it across your breath.
If you learn to face setbacks, physical and material hardships, and blockades with positivity, a willingness to handle the error part of trial and error, and a Stoic sense of genuinely enjoying tough challenges I promise you have already won the game of life. You will find achieving a goal will only cause you to enjoy another, even taller mountain to climb.
Below is a super great video by YouTube legend Casey Neistat. I really love his work and his story—going from teen parent who had to drop out of high school to work so he could provide for his infant son to moving to New York, NY with zero money and a dream to become a filmmaker. Today, he is a filmmaker and social media legend and I would also say a Stoic champion regarding achieving your dreams. The video is only eleven and a half minutes, and I heartily suggest you take the little time to see it. It could be a game changer for your day and maybe even your heart.
Jennifer Barnick is a painter and writer. She studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. She founded Twenty-two Twenty-eight. “One of the most exciting aspects of Twenty-two Twenty-eight is building a channel for artists and writers to share their work with the world.”
Check out Jennifer’s book. You can read the first short story for free on Amazon here.