Before Your Anchor’s Lifted

(Where’s Your Integrity?)

by J. R. Perez

Quote: “So near is falsehood to truth that a wise man would do well not to trust himself on the narrow edge.” Written by Cicero

The average individual grows up with a dream of becoming someone noteworthy and prosperous. Once their dream becomes embedded in the soul; they hold on to that dream as a    plan for the future and wait for the opportunity to run with it. Most individuals will cut through some extremely crooked corners in order to get there, but don’t have the wherewithal to see that the mission is much greater than the dream. See impatience will lure you to consider the easy route through some things; over experiencing the trials and lessons many others are mentally prepared to endure. Sometimes tilling the fields we oversee comes with expecting to get our knees scraped and our hands dirty.

Moreover, when we are blessed with the opportunities that come our way (whether we earned it correctly or not), then encounter the harsh reality of how important a well invested S.W.O.T. analysis works for those watching the birth of our dreams progression; we find out that it is not the accomplishments and the visual construction of our dreams that our future in question. It is who we are that is brought to inquisition.

Even a captain of a ship that sails the seas; understands that he has to adhere to numerous channels with port command and depend on the consistency of his crew’s capability in preparing the vessel hours in advance. He must be sure that the journey for point A to point B is attainable and repeat the process each time. The captain and the crew have to make their details a standard. There is a stark difference in the words dignity and integrity. Dignity is a sense of pride in oneself, or self-respect; pride as a synonym. Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided; the ideal condition of being unified and unimpaired: sound in construction: Internal consistency or lack of any corruption. If this is not enough information to go on, you’ll understand me shortly.

Some of us will refuse to admit these procured moments of failure and that’s cool; so it is safe to assume that we all have at some point encountered and witnessed someone in our space that keeps making all of the worst decisions ever seen. Since I can’t seem to feel how the words I typed here affecting the readers joining in on this topic, the only option I have is to self-relate. Through most of my youth, I sat around with dreams of being a builder. Architectural designing, blueprinting, and having the skill to put things together was a natural passion for years. Taking things apart and rebuilding it the way I first saw it came easy. Then my correlated Achilles Heel in this profession was exposed and my mind simply wandered away from the idea. For more years than I can count; my mindset was one of complete and utter distrust in other people when it came to leaving my future and progress in their hands. It was a decision that I made years prior to be that way, because of everything that I felt victim to by other individuals who were around me. Then there was the amount of time that it would take to seal the credentials necessary and the different forms of tutelage I would have to forego, in order to officially claim my place in that field. After many aggravating hours of contemplation, I made a decision to research different avenues that ended in success. I can’t tell you that I lost my edge for what I was gifted in; what can be said is the natural talents stuck with me and I only shelved them for personal use.

Making the decisions to chase down those second and third best options that I was willing to settle for weren’t any simpler for me than where I began though. My unyielding pursuit to live the life of an emotional separatist made any choice I chose continuously limited. Most of my trips to the seashore were spent sitting on the sandy beaches and watching the surfers hand paddle their boards deep out into the ocean, patiently waiting for the perfect wave to come crashing in.  Every time I watched, in my mind I would ask why don’t they find a way to make their own wave – as if that were possible. Then the wave of waves would appear and all of the surfers would find a good space and take advantage of the moment. It never made sense to me and I wasn’t going to ask for what I didn’t know either. Being close to the water was enough for me, because it brought me peace and calm when I just couldn’t seem to give it to myself. But the irony of my questions lured me to walk the sands during sundown, watching the waters to see if I could figure out the answer on my own. As I walked along the shore on those evenings, I noticed that every wave in the water was five times bigger than any wave during surfing hours. Right about then, the concept of being one of those guys trying to balance their bodies on a thin board immediately lost my interest. Why challenge the board when I could simply get on a boat?

The time I spent at the seashores were marked with a disapproving mindset; passing my judgment on the select group of time wasting surfers and labeling their ambitions as fruitless. It wasn’t the smartest approach to mingling amongst the neighboring communities and visitors who disagreed with my opinions, but caring about other people’s feelings didn’t fit into my previous existing mandate. Loving the strong smell of the salt water in my nostrils would bring back memories, but the trips to walk along the sand slowly became a distant memory like a changing season.

Carrying along these abstract and orthodox characteristics; extended as a map to all of my pursuits both business and personal. I was not the type to realize how similar these areas were affected, since it evolved into a natural instinct towards anything I chose to indulge. When ideas and individuals would caught my interest, I gave them my attention. Once my intentions were noticed, the slow revelation of each hand began. Life to me was a card game of checking the rotations, to see how much more would revealed. When others would attempt to reverse my first strategy, my options were to hold or fold. My goals were always to discover the next person’s intention, not to allow them to read my own too easily. I lived a life believing all men and women participated in a calculated game of cat & mouse – so why should I be the mouse? Who needs to stay surrounded by the litter to survive if all it takes is a predator mentality? All of the others ran in circles for protection to survive. I wondered was there a defender around to guard the head of the circles surrounding when he needed protection? It may sound ridiculous to many of you and rightfully so, but this was the way I viewed life.

This mentality held true to form within me for countless years to come. Even when I decided to try something different and loosen my normal standards; the moment that concept would begin to crumble and my patience went south was enough reason to retreat into my comfortably sound familiar mindset. Maybe that was why I really strayed away from gambling; I never carried the resolve for blatant games of chance and the frustration of losing something valuable to me. At least this is what I would tell myself. Not too long before now in the present; I avoided facing the image reflected in the mirror and accepting how much of what I convinced myself to believe as simply lies. There’s no actual timetable for when a person steps into their reality. I had to face my revelations in ways that words wouldn’t help or cure.

I gave up on trying to figure the truth out long ago and ran a reckless pattern in my life based on basic assumptions. The average person yawns when they’re sleepy, starving after hours of manual labor, dehydrated after running excessive miles, limbs numb after sitting too long; I’m sure that you get the picture and understand very well. Then there are those individuals who become hell bent on defying what ties them to the rest of the world. They want to lay claim to the unethical and immoral boundaries; all for the sake of being absolutely unique and incomparable to any other person past or present. Every action they take is connected to this unforeseen desire of producing the unthinkable. Hearing and reading the description alone seems utterly insane and impossible, but my life in a sense was not much different which makes the theory proof.

The things that I felt drove me into a disposition of feeling less than and total distrust for everyone, were the very realistically pain inflicting defense mechanisms that I built. They also became my personal weapons of destruction. Everyone (myself included) became victims in the most senseless fashion and it was these corrupted areas in my life that needed to be stripped of. It wasn’t just enough to strip me from this way of living, but it was necessary to tackle my demons one at a time and guide me into the realization that this should not be the path of a person who wouldn’t want to be mistreated or handled the same way. A lesson well learned.

The world is full of dreamers and visionaries; it starts early when we are young and the passion to fulfill our destinies takes flight. Understanding the steps along the path to what we have envisioned is just as important as the vision alone. Everyone wasn’t meant to excel against the next person and their profession. If that were the case, there would be insurmountable confusion with a double edged sword placed in the center of all the cutthroat attention created in the air. Chaos would envelop the land; all because the person standing to our right and left flanks would drink from the cup of envy over a position that produces identical results. Being good or just mediocre at a talent might be acceptable for some individuals, but following the path of what makes us unique or special leads to a conclusion of divine promise. The key to this elemental find is to have proper guidance and patience. If I lost you, the moment of clarity is coming soon.

I want to point out some facts before I close this, because many prefer basic and common English as a reference of proof. Here are some of my conclusions.., just because you can count the knot of money in your pocket doesn’t make you a mathematician, it means you can add well but struggle comprehending the rest. Just because you can spell every word correctly doesn’t make you a valedictorian, it means that your memory is sharp but you might struggle with processing every purpose of the words spelled. Just because you can run fast doesn’t mean it makes you an Olympic track star, it means that you’re quick on the takeoff and need to train for endurance. Just because you can hit hard doesn’t mean that you are heavyweight boxing division material, it means that you have a solid punch or two in your arsenal and need stamina training. Just because you can sketch and draw good doesn’t make you an artist, it means drawing and sketching are no good if the world doesn’t feel the vision you are supposed to be displaying. Just because you can drive doesn’t mean you belong on a formula one race track, it means you know the gas pedal from the brake pedal and the lights from the gears – what about the road rules? Just because you studied model airplanes doesn’t make you a pilot, it means you love the idea of just flying – plain and simple. Just because you’ve held a stethoscope and scalpel doesn’t make you a surgeon, it means you see yourself wearing a lab coat plus need years of training and doesn’t mean every life in your hands is safe under the knife. Why am I still doing this?!!!
The moral here is we all have dreams, visions, aspirations, and designs for our future; even with all that civilization is blessed to see themselves as an eager to become doesn’t mean it will be an easy way to reach it! There are no shortcuts and you will not progress through your life’s pursuits without being tested more than once! Even the most patiently gifted will stand in the throes of trial and error. So if you feel like that description does not fit who you are on an interpersonal, then YOU ARE NOT ALONE! The world is cluttered with people who feel the daily pressures of succeeding and haven’t had the greatest life growing up either! My advice is WAKE UP AND STOP CONVINCING YOURSELF THAT IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU!

Your reputation and integrity are everything. Follow through on what you say you’re going to do. Your credibility can only be built over time, and it is built from the history of your words and actions.” Written by Maria Razumich-Zec