My Keystone

My Definition

The definition of Keystone is “a central stone at the summit of an arch, locking the whole together”. Maybe another keystone you thought of was Pennsylvania back in the day. Now I’m going to share with you what my keystone is.

If I had to pick one or two words that describe my keystones in my life, I would probably pick determination and passion. I think those would be the top choices for me. 15 plus years ago. I didn’t have much determination or passion in my life. I had a passion for sports, I’m very athletic and that was something I always looked forward to doing. But looking back now, I don’t think I tried as hard as I could have.

I Get It Now

I didn’t like school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation. The only thing I knew was I wasn’t going to college and I couldn’t wait to get out of graduation. I was so uncomfortable, I felt like a loser and I just wanted to get my diploma and keep walking right out the door.

I’m very lucky, I have had amazing people around me when I was in school. I was very lucky and I get it now, I didn’t back then. I had both parents and a great family. I never had a teacher that said you will never grow up to achieve anything special or great with your life. You will be a loser and you will fail and your dyslexia will always hold you back. Thankfully I never had that. But in my mind and the back of my head, I wish I would have.

I Wasn’t Ready

I didn’t want to go back to my school or a reunion because I felt like a loser and I was worthless. Maybe other people didn’t feel that way about me, but it doesn’t matter. In this case, it matters what I think. I didn’t feel good enough for the world and felt like a waste to society. If I wanted to be successful and I wanted to be. Then I need to work harder and change some things, so I did.

In my early 20’s I wanted money because I thought that’s what defined your worth and your success. Yes, it might play a small part, and be one of the sides on your plate, but that’s not the main dish. I created in the back of my head the kind of story that athletes or self-made successful people have. Some of them had the people around them say they wouldn’t do anything great, then what, they went on to do smooth great. I didn’t have that, but I used my mindset to create a life with those words spoken to me.

I Finally Found It

I was my own critic and biggest enemy against myself. I pushed myself to do something with my life. If I wanted to be successful then I have to change a lot, and it won’t be easy. If I want to be a published author then I have to work. If I want to be successful then I have to do the stuff I don’t like or am not very good at or enjoy. I had to grow and get out of my comfort zone. This bubble of mine I was in that was protecting me from the real world. I had to pop that sucker and take a chance and free myself.

That’s why my keystone is so important. My passion is what helped me take my writing more seriously and try and take it down a path I never expected in my life. Now I’m a published author and will be publishing my second book with my wife later this year.

Determination is the other part of my keystone in my life. My passion helped me to get a taste for writing and how free and alive I felt for the first time in a long time. When I was writing I was happy, I was creating something and using my God-given talent that I believe he gave me. When I was writing in my early 20’s that is the first time I think I had that feeling that this is what my calling is and what God wants me to do. My determination helped push me towards a career that I never thought would actually happen. It helped push me to do stuff I never thought I would be doing in my life.

Never Pictured This

A few weeks ago, I spoke at Lindsay’s old church that she grew up in. Now if you remember I had three main goals that I had in my life. The first was to get married I never thought that would happen. A few days ago, I just celebrated nine months. Now I just spoke at my wife’s old church, how crazy is that? The second was to become an author. 76 days after getting married in 2018 I published my first book. My top two goals in a matter of almost three months. My third goal is to become a dad, well hopefully one day if I’m lucky but not yet haha. That scares me more than my first two goals combined.

With that, I challenge you to find your keystone. It doesn’t have to just be one thing, I picked two. This is for you. The point of this is to challenge you and find what helps you every day to keep going and what’s important to you in life. My determination and passion are key ingredients in pushing me in life and pushing me out of my comfort zone. If I don’t have those two then I feel I don’t have purpose and meaning in life. I finally feel like I’m living now and I don’t feel like a zombie anymore. Those two words were the backbone for helping me improve and better my life. What’s your keystone?

A Graveyard

Times Change

When I saw a graveyard when I was younger, it freaked me out with all of the dead bodies. I’m sure that would have scared a lot of kids or made them uncomfortable.

When I was struggling and in my funk in my early 20’s I was confused, lost and searching. I didn’t know what I was searching for, I was just searching for something, anything better than my reality. I was fascinated with death and curious about it. At the time I felt like I wasn’t even living yet or really doing anything special with my life. I felt like a waste of air and felt useless to the world.

Motivated

A couple of months ago I started to get fascinated with graveyards and death again. But in a different way this time. Not like in the dark way that I once thought of in my early 20’s.

I started thinking about and seeing all of these different tombstones at a graveyard. Now I still don’t want to get old, and I’m not looking forward to it. But unfortunately, that’s one fight that all of us will lose every time and we won’t be able to outrun aging and death when it’s our time.

But what started to push me more and make me think more is graveyards. Think of any graveyard you ever saw in your life. Think of how many people die every day. I’m curious the percentage of those people that were happy by the time they died? Have you ever thought about that? What about the percentage of people that liked their life? Were they pleased with the effort they gave why they were on earth, still breathing until death found them?

Can I Be Successful

I know its kind of dark and weird I get it, haha, but stay with me. For most of my life failure and death scared me. I don’t want to get old I’m not ready to die yet. Now success scared me, I never felt like I did anything great or special with my life. Now I’m an author and chasing down my dreams every day. In the back of my mind, I always wondered what if I become successful and everything changes?

You can look at it two ways. First, I could do nothing and stay where I am and go with the flow. Work hard for my wife but just enough to have a safe life. I don’t push myself or don’t challenge myself because that will be hard. Or second, what if I push myself so freaking hard, that all of these years of being a dream chaser and hunting down my goals. Publish multiple books, reach over a million people have my fiction series turned into movies and so on. What if I worked so hard that my dream job became real and I was making enough that Lindsay could stay home with our future kids?

Now One

Between Lindsay and myself we have two different lives. She knew from a young age what she wanted to do in life. Me, I just was focusing on getting my diploma and being down with school. Lindsay makes good money, but it doesn’t come easy she works her tail off every day and for us. I know I’m lucky for how hard she works and I don’t say it enough, thanks, babe. Me on the other hand, I do ok I guess you could say. But my income could not take care of both of us, I will leave it at that.

What if in a few short years my books take off? My speaking starts to get bigger and my impact on the world by helping young adults and people grows? With that change, what if Lindsay doesn’t have to work as much or any more and can stay home. Who knows maybe work on this business with me and we could do it together. Honestly, that will scare the crap out of me because everything will be on me now. But I welcome that and that’s what I’ve been praying for.

Giving Back

This life is what I have been dreaming about since I was 21. Not the money side, writing, entertaining and helping others and making a difference. If I can make enough money doing what I love and have a great life then that is an added bonus and I’m even more blessed then I deserve if you ask me.

When it’s my time and God calls me home I want to leave multiple things behind. Not money, well maybe some money to help my wife and kids hopefully. That’s not what I want to be remembered for. I want to leave behind a work ethic and the fact that I didn’t settle and I was never content with being average. I chased my fears down and overcame them, I chased down the success I always wanted but was humble and didn’t let it change me.

Start Living

I don’t want to die with any regrets or great ideas buried inside of Peter when I take my last breath. I want to leave everything out on the court or the field, like when I played sports. Looking back, I think I could have tried harder in sports. But I can’t do anything about that now. What I can do though, is make up for the time I have now and that’s ahead of me, and so can you.

Now is the time to start living, not tomorrow or next week. That’s not guaranteed. What is only guaranteed right now is the moment you’re in. Now become a dream chaser like me and make the most of your life why you can. Don’t play it safe knowing the time you die, everyone wonders and is talking about the person you COULD HAVE BEEN. That should terrify you if it doesn’t then something is wrong. If you do it right they will be talking about the person you were and what you did with the time you had.