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LEAP YEAR - between the pebble and the boulder

The Earth makes a complete rotation around the sun every 365.2425 days, and our calendar year is 365 days (breaking news!). The 0.2425 remaining at the end of each calendar year equals about one day every four years, so we have leap years with 366 days to make up for it. You knew that already though.

Did you know that leap year overcorrects by a little bit? To make up for the over correction, there is not a February 29th on years that are divisible by 100 but not divisible by 400. The year 2400 will be a leap year, but 2100, 2200, and 2300 will not be.

If we didn’t have leap years our seasons would slip, and summer would eventually start in December. That doesn’t sound like a big inconvenience, really, but our ways of life are dependent on the consistency of the calendar and the seasons.

You can share that knowledge at the next party you attend. You’re welcome. Now, accompany me as we embark upon a metaphorical journey and analogous communication regarding immensely intrapersonal material.

Translation: let’s talk about the deep stuff. Sorry… I have ‘expand my vocabulary’ on my vision board, but I digress.

Have you ever made a mistake or had a failure in your life that caused you to overcorrect? When faced with a simi-lar challenge, issue, or decision, did you do a 180° to avoid repeating that mistake, only to find an entirely new way to fail? Did it hurt more or less than the first round?

The effects of our behavior modification oftentimes aren’t recognized until years later, and unlike a calendar, our behavioral overcorrection needs to be corrected more frequently than every 400 years.

A knee-jerk reaction to a bad experience can torment our subconscious and lead to all sorts of negative feelings and lowered self-worth, and to make matters worse, it takes so long to notice the effects that we can’t identify the source of those feelings. So, why do we do it?

Essentially, your brain is constantly working to avoid pain and seek pleasure, and as sophisticated and vastly mysterious of a machine as our brains may be, sometimes they calculate things much like an on/off switch calculates. Decision A failed; turn off Decision A. Behavior B leads to dopamine release (happiness); continue Behavior B.

Life is not so simple, though, and your individual identity – the real you – adapts and changes at an imperceptibly slow rate. Our true nature, our identities are like a paper boat floating in the middle of a lake with glass-calm water. Each experience of our lives is a rock being dropped at the edges of the lake. Some are tiny pebbles, and the ripples never reach the boat. Some are mountainous boulders that displace all the water when they strike, and the calm seems like it will never return. In those moments, we lose our identity and ourselves, and nothing is more painful than a loss of self.

Wisdom is knowing the difference between the pebble and the boulder.

When was the last time you thought about who you real-ly are? Do you know why you live where you do? Do you know why the love of your life is the love of your life? Do you know why you do what you do for a living, or did it just happen? That’s a trick question. An infinitesimally small number of things ‘just happen’.

Your reality, as you see it, is the collective accumulation of decisions made throughout your life to maintain and stay true to your identity. This helps to keep the water smooth around the boat.

The great news is that right now, you have EVERYTHING you need to create a life of true happiness and satisfaction. You have… YOU. What more do you need? Every action you’ve taken and decision you’ve made was done with your mind and carried out with your body. If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you still have both.

The world craves authenticity, but the rewards of living an authentic life are much richer inside your own mind, heart, and soul. Even better, those rewards can’t easily be taken away.

To have the life you want, you only need to find the unique characteristic within yourself capable of making it happen. It’s there. I assure you.

Happy sailing,

Clint Reese

Professional Development Trainer

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