Welcome again to the Guide’s January partnership with Brandi Kennedy of Brandi Kennedy: Love Stories and Lifestyle for the Undaunted Woman. We thought we would create a Perspectives series where we did blog posts from a Single Mother’s and a Single Father’s perspective. Make sure to keep following throughout the month of January to keep up on all of the different issues we will cover. We will be posting six days a week, with the exception being Sundays. And I will either be dead at the end of this or feel like I accomplished the most amazing feat ever. Possibly both. Nevertheless, it’s been a great adventure. The post today will reflect on the things we learned from 2017 and how we will apply momentum to make improvements in our everyday lives for 2018. Hence, the Guide presents: “How Momentum Will Transform The Lessons Of 2017 Into 2018 Victories.”
If you have been keeping up with me here, you will remember that I did a whole post about how the Princess Bride reflected on all of the lessons of 2017. I took the quotes from the Princess Bride (With the exception maybe of “Have Fun Storming The Castle” and “True love is the greatest thing in the world. Except a nice MLT—a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomatoes are ripe!”) and showed how they were reflective of things we learned from the past year. Because 2017 was an absolutely crazy year. And we needed a movie with a touch of romance and nostalgia mixed in with a ton of zaniness to recognize the things going on in our mad world. Definitely go back and take a look at the post if you haven’t caught it, or it’s been a while since you have read it.
I’m going to repeat the same ten quotes from the movie here, and discuss how we can use positive momentum to make things better in 2018. Hopefully, at the end, you will not cry after imagining me telling you, “I’ve just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don’t know what that would do to you. So, let’s just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity, so be honest — how do you feel?” And then I will discuss how momentum can get us past these hurdles this year. Because we are going to thrive this year! You can bank on it.
10 Ways Momentum Will Help Us Thrive In 2018
And Move Past The Stumbling Blocks Of 2017
10) “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”
Obviously, we have dealt with some bitter disappointments this past year . . . like the Dodgers losing the World Series. (What did you think I meant???) Honestly, how do you move past the disappointment? You move on to the more important things in the world like actually… living your life. Everyone suffers disappointment. But it’s how we respond that makes everything better. Take the momentum you have built in your life, and keep adding to it. You do not need to be caught in the spiral of depression and defeat. You are a winner.
9) Inigo Montoya: “You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.”
The Man in Black: “You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.”
Take your momentum and work on the relationships you have this year. In this quote from The Princess Bride, we have two people who haven’t spoken to each other. But as they speak to one another, they end up finding they have more in common than they originally thought. Take the momentum you have this year, and reach out to the people you have misunderstandings with. Maybe you will find there was some miscommunication in the first place. Don’t allow fear to hold you back. Reach out.
8) “I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There’s not a lot of money in revenge.”
Getting back at one another will hold you back as well. Do not get caught in revenge. There is little payback when it comes to that. I love the quote which states, “so far as it concerns you, be at peace with all men.” Obviously, you cannot let yourself get run over by another human being trying to avoid a fight. But at the same time, seeking revenge is a fight that never ends. So if you can suffer through the hurt and become a better person for it, you have reached a far better place. Take the growth you have made this last year and realize that revenge has two victims, and one of them is you. Avoid it.
7) “I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake. But for now, rest well and dream of large women.”
Ok, maybe this advice isn’t for everyone or anyone for that matter. But given this is spoken to a giant, it kind of makes some sense. What it really is, in the context of the Princess Bride, is a view of how you want to treat those who may be your enemies. Yes, it’s easy to want to get back at them. But I think when we get in the mud, the only result is we get muddy. Take the momentum in your life, and do not rejoice at your enemies failures. Your life should be about you, and theirs should be about them. And wish them well.
6) Vizzini: “Finish him. Finish him, your way.”
Fezzik: “Oh good, my way. Thank you Vizzini… what’s my way?”
Vizzini: “Pick up one of those rocks, get behind a boulder, in a few minutes the man in black will come running around the bend, the minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock.”
Fezzik: “My way’s not very sportsman-like.”
Take your momentum this year and realize your own path forward. No one is on exactly the same journey. I think it’s great to go out there and establish more relationships with other people, especially in your field. Ask if they are willing to mentor you. Let them be your role models. And live your life with reckless abandon. But in the end, trust your gut. Take the momentum you have built this last year, and go with what sounds good to you and the direction you have been going. Sure, you can listen to wise counsel from people who care about you. But ultimately it’s your life, and you have to live it. So use that momentum and live it. You will be the only person who will regret the decisions you did not make or the opportunities you did not take.
5) Vizzini: “He didn’t fall?! Inconceivable!”
Inigo Montoya: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
I hope for many of you, like me, that 2017 was a year of learning. This past year I have grown so much. I have learned a lot about blogging, social media, marketing, design, etc. There is so much I learned, I couldn’t even really fit it all into one post. So I am hoping to take all of the learning I have done this past year, and build upon that learning to move forward. Because learning, like momentum, always carries us forward to bigger and better things. Of course, with the knowledge, some wisdom and insight are always appreciated. And I hope to attain that as well.
4) “Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”
This has been a year of follow through to me. I have run grants successfully at the library. I have made changes in the ways I have approached things. And, I finally got the blog off the ground I intended on writing for the last several years. I kept starting and stopping. But this past year I finally got it moving. Like Inigo Montoya, I plan on carrying through with the plans I have laid out for me. And I will not let outside distractions get in my way to achieving my goals.
While I do not believe in hurting people to attain goals, I do believe to not allow outside things to cause you to give up your quest. So I will take the momentum I gained from the last year, and push through harder to do even more this next year. And this January series is part of that plan. Thank you so much to Brandi Kennedy for doing this with me.
3) Vizzini: “I can’t compete with you physically, and you’re no match for my brains.”
Man in Black: “You’re that smart?”
Vizzini: “Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?”
Man in Black: “Yes,”
Know who you are and what your strengths are. Vizzini had smarts, Montoya skills, and Fezzik strength. And so they used those strengths to accomplish things. I remember when I started blogging I knew writing was my strength. I have tried to develop some of the other areas of my blogging that I was weaker at when I started. But I think being a good blogger begins with knowing the things you are good at and maximizing those talents. I love to write. And I love to make people laugh. Most of the time I feel pretty good about this. So take the momentum this year and take your strengths and use them to maximize the beautiful things in your life. You will always go farther when you realize what your gifts are and use them to reach people.
2) Dread Pirate Roberts: “Good night, Westley. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”
A million things in life come at you all the time. And each one of those things can kill you if you let it. Well, don’t let it. Don’t live in the fear of the things which will kill you. We are all going to die. So don’t let your death be the death of a thousand small cuts. Take the momentum you have this year of being a risk taker and live each day to the fullest. Don’t let it be ruled by your fears of death. Let it be ruled by your passion for life and for others. When you do that, each day you will truly live. Wesley realized the beauty of that. I think you can too. Keep moving forward.
1) Buttercup: “You can die too for all I care!”
[pushes him down a high hill]
Man In Black: “AS… YOU… WISH!”
Buttercup: “[realizes the Man in Black is Westley] Oh, my sweet Westley! What have I done?”
I think this quote can best be summed up in one phrase. Don’t hold grudges. I know it’s easy to allow ourselves to be ruled by our hurts, which I have expressed before. But when you are ruled by them, sometimes you hurt the people you love. So take the momentum you have this year of building relationships with other people, and make sure you don’t allow yourself to be ruled by the hurts you have which will happen to you. Speak up for other people. And when you are hurt, speak to the person who hurt you directly. Maybe you can make yourself a genuine friend out of that situation. And something beautiful can come out of something which seemed so ugly. But whatever you do, continue to build up, and not tear down.
Continue The Conversation
So what things have you been building momentum in this past year? And how can you use that momentum to overcome some of your obstacles? What direction would you like to see yourself go in? And what relationships would you like to build? Before I go any further, I want to express how grateful I am for all of you this past year. You have caused me to expand my horizons and work on so many of the different areas of my life I needed to work on. You have been beautiful to me, and I want to pay that back in some way. So if you ever need anything I can help with, let me know. I would love to work with you or be a blessing the way you have been to me in some form or fashion this next year.
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Until next time, this is me signing off.
David Elliott, Single Dad’s Guide to Life