man leaning on railing

I’ve been practicing “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses for over a year now. This morning, I finally hit a milestone that I’ve been wanting to achieve ever since I started playing; playing the opening riff without looking down at the guitar. Having finally attained that goal, I realized something about playing guitar.

Part of playing guitar is knowing what notes the play. Where the real magic comes in in knowing how to play those notes. In the case of Welcome to the Jungle, it isn’t playing the 1 and 3 fret notes that make for the iconic sound – it’s where Slash slides from 1 down to 3 before starting the iconic riff. That little slide-in is what makes the sound flare the way that it does; sounding larger than life.

That little slide-in takes a lot of practice to get right, and it’s where I’m currently stuck in the riff…

Mastery takes a while to figure out. I saw a question online the other day that asked somebody whether or not they’d take $10M in cash right now, or go back to their 6 year-old self knowing everything they know now. For me, the question was easy to answer. I’d go back in time and with a few smart moves, far surpass that $10M cash offer…

I thought a lot about that question, and asked myself if it were possible to adopt that mind set right now in my life. Knowing what I know now about the world and how it works, as well as where it’s headed, can I dig in and create a future that’s far better than the one I have now? Am I that confident in the tools and knowledge that I have?

Yes, I am.

I’ve run Tripleskinny for over a decade. I’ve taken it the point where I’m a Master at what I do, and can help clients from every possible demographic go from A to B in their goals. There’s something about this business that I know inherently well, and that translates well into being able to intuitively help clients from a pool of knowledge I’ve acquired over the years.

There are a lot of times where work feels fun and exciting. Namely, when I’m solving problems and delivering actionable solutions to my clients. The other time it’s exciting is when the invoices are paid and I wake up to more money in my account – being able to provide for my family through the vehicle of my hands/mind is something I find really rewarding.

All this being said, I’m burnt out. There, I said it.

I’m not fighting burnout. I’m not worried about it. I’m square in the center of the worst burnout of my life, and the calm moments I feel are far more akin to being in the eye of a hurricane than actual peace.

It’s difficult to be burnt out and also conscious of the impact burnout can have on your life. Admittedly, it’s scary. It’s scary to feel like your life is grinding to a halt while your mind screams at you to reset and find some sort of peace.

It’s difficult to show up to client meetings every day and put on a smile, when you’re feeling completely depleted on the inside. There’s a part of me that prays my fatigue doesn’t communicate itself during the meetings. I’m simply tired, war-torn and in need of a break.

Every day, I pick up my guitar and work on that opening riff. Every day, I see a little bit of improvement.

Guitar reminds me that my own life is no different than working on an iconic riff; it takes time, patience and dedication to get to the point where you’re on your proverbial stage and have thousands of fans screaming your name and throwing their underwear at your feet.

Just like I want to nail that riff, I want to nail my own life, business, family and way of living. I don’t want to be in the rat race for the rest of my life and worry about the future – or the present. I want to build something that operates whether or not I spend time in front of my screen. Most of all, I want Atlas to grow up in a world where he feels at peace, and never has to know any sort of struggle or hardship.

To me, it’s worth it to push through these difficult times if being a better Dad is on the other side of them.

I remember when I grew up, I’d often look at fancy SUV’s driving through the snow in December. I wondered what it was like to feel like those kids on the inside, driving up to a large house, having their own room and feeling safe. In many ways, I experienced these things – in other ways, I felt like they were far away.

As a Dad, I still feel these things. I still look at the people driving out of the driveways of their miniature palaces and wonder what life is like on the inside of a home where the family is intact, secure, loving and kind. I wonder…

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