Through the Looking Glass

//Through the Looking Glass

For most of my life, I observed the world as a very fixed set of parameters. It felt like I was standing in a box with four walls and everything painted gray. This was the life I was told would be waiting for me and if I just stayed in the box, worked hard, everything would work out, and I would live a fulfilling life.

What most millennials discover including myself is a life inside the box where we find anything but a purposeful life. It’s why we struggle to find our path and chart our destiny.  We end up reaching a place in our life we don’t fully understand how we got there or where to go next.

A few years ago, I realized that this box sits right in the middle of an open forest of opportunity with success around every tree. The trigger for me was recognizing I first didn’t have all the answers, and I needed to follow the footsteps of others who dared to look beyond the box. What followed was my journey of self-improvement and awareness of my actions and surroundings that is now a lifelong pursuit of new perspective and knowledge.

It was this trigger where the gray started to fade around me, and a glass box revealed to me where I could see potential all around, but it was opportunity overload for me. I didn’t know how to process it all at the time.

Staying in the safe zone of the box, I observed, listened, and adapted to what I saw, but never acted to break free.

Just recently I realized what I had perceived as progress  in my life was me always observing through the looking glass from a safe distance, but not acting.

I had discovered mentors who I wanted to follow, who had developed a purpose outside of the box but I had failed in taking the steps needed to break free.

If I wasn’t willing to change who I was within the box, how could I ever move beyond it?

This awareness of the looking glass is an important realization in any self-improvement journey and one it took several years for me to discover. The universe gives us opportunities every week to introduce cracks in the glass and break free. For me, these reflected my avoidance of uncomfortable situations, and instead I am now using these moments to build confidence in who I am.

If I make the choice to be somewhere different tomorrow, then today I will need to think differently, react differently, and live differently.

Through this new awareness, I had to ask myself some hard questions

  1. Did I know who in this world was already just beyond the box? I couldn’t choose someone who was beyond my reach, I wanted someone just far enough to be able to see the path. For me this is a mastermind group lead by Vincent Pugliese and Larry Hagnar.
  2. Do I know where my mentor succeeds and I fail? This answer lead me to my communication and relationships.  I found I had a huge fear of rejection carried over from my high school days where lacked confidence.
  3. Do I still have some grey on the walls? Yes, how to connect myself with the rest of the world and build up confidence in one of the most critical components of a purpose filled life, relationships.
  4. What was stopping me from breaking through this glass and reaching my full potential? For this answer, I concluded I had not consciously made the choice to put the past behind me and chart a new future of my own making.

Also published on Medium.

By | 2017-09-16T14:50:42+00:00 March 29th, 2017|Your Reflection|2 Comments

About the Author:

I am currently on a path to learn, observe, and develop a mastery of leadership. My journey to become a Marine taught me many things about life and one of them was Marines are natural born leaders. I believe more and more everyday that our problems small to big can be solved through devoted leadership, clear vision, and a great team behind them. I have learned that the best leaders of our time have never stopped learning and will never admit they are finished , but just crossing another mile stone on the roads of success. Everyday that I am on my journey I become more excited of my future destination and meeting my future self. You can have everything in life, if you just help enough people get what they want. Zig Ziglar Core Values: Trust, Integrity, Balance, Curiosity, Wisdom, Growth, Authenticity
  • Hi Ben,

    The fear of rejection held me back terribly. I feared rejection from high school too; although the fear grew when I went to college, and even beyond, from one breakup I tool super duper hard. Being honest about my feelings in this regard and simply being present with the fear and terrors associated with me helped me move forward.

    Super post, super points. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • Ben Killoy

      Sounds like a good lesson in mindfulness. Being an emotional guy I struggle with this all the time and not absorbing negative emotions around me. I am like a sponge, one bad email from someone at work and my day is shot and I never fully recover.

      But through mindfulness and separating myself from those emotions have helped. I love the quote by Zig Ziglar “Sometimes the only piece of success people get is when they take a bite out of yours.” This quote has gotten me through a lot of low points.

      Thank you for the comment!