Good Writing Is Tough, But Important!

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As I sit here once again, bug eyed at my computer trying to gather my thoughts, I found this to be an appropriate starting point.  The reason being, I have been trying to create some document worthy of posting for far too many months now.  The deeper I go, the more lost and overwhelmed I begin to feel.  That feeling of complete ineptitude, i know all to well, starts to fester from the depths of my soul yet again.  I begin to ask myself the infinite questions stemming around the who, what, why, how, and where?  The harder I try to create a finished product the more my mind begins to whirl downwards into an abyss of nothing productive.  I finally subdue myself to my ignorance and admit defeat……for the time being.  

I find myself drawn back to the keypad or paper to once again have a go at immortal victory over this craft called writing.  I get through one of the seemingly endless rough drafts from days, months, years past thinking maybe, just maybe, I wrote something better then what I thought.  Never the less, i am once again defeated.  I take the boo boo trash of yesterday and immediately send it into oblivion, for no eyes should be doomed to its nothingness.  

There I sit, clean slate and topic on the ready.  I take one deep breath with my eyes closed, imagining how great these thoughts in my head are and just how amazing they may be on paper.  If only the task was that easy and my thoughts matched up with the words in their physical form.  Undeterred, I begin to write about the same matter at the forefront of my consciousness, hoping there will be something presentable before my time on this earth is up.  Depressing, right?

Wrong!  This is what the whole writing process is about.  The struggle to refine ones thoughts into a presentable physical form that not only relates to the individual, but can potentially become timeless to all who cross it’s path.  Maybe, even immortal.  The ability to take from ones own experience, simplify it to the absolute minimal, and present it to the masses in a matter in which all could benefit from it, is a true art.  As with any discipline of self mastery it takes time, deep thought, and tons of effort on a daily basis.  

You are not a prolific writer immediately, just as one is no horseman in 5—10 years.  The more intentional work done towards writing, the better it will become.  I have created countless drafts covering anything and everything most intriguing and confusing to me in hopes to find some new understanding of them.  Ninety nine percent of those help me personally grow within, but at the end of the day i have no product to present to the public to prove my efforts.  That took me a long time to be ok with. 

With every word typed and reread, I become a little bit better.  Little by little, each one of those seemingly clear thoughts in my head start to match up more with the letters splattered out on paper.  When these moments happen, my thoughts are stress tested.  Each test bringing me closer to what my thoughts are actually trying to convey through new platforms.  One correct word, leads to one correct sentence, eventually leading to one clear paragraph even.  Eventually something is edited to the best form I am capable of at that time, exposing me to real growth or sending me back to the beginning to further develop the thought.

The best edited form of the original mental thought transformed into written form, creates clarity of spoken word.  I must be capable of taking a thought from my mind, speak and write about it in such a manner that others can understand my point and perhaps, even relate with their own similar story.  This is proof of understanding and a indicator that I just may be on the correct path. 

As with anything worth pursuing, in order to become better, I must turn it into a discipline to be intentionally practiced daily.  If done so correctly, I may be able to better serve others.   Serve others in unimaginable ways, opening doors to unimaginable paths, to be taken into the future.  No matter what the discipline is, the recipe is always the same.  Time, effort, help, and deep thought.  Sorry no quick “fixes” or “shortcuts” here!   

In parting words, I challenge you to think deeply through writing.  Try to match up your mental thoughts with the physical and oratory counter parts.  Take your thought, expand it, then simplify it to the purest form that still encapsulates the original thought, then repeat.  In the simplest form you can create, see if you can have that version remain true to you, the person across from you, and finally to the masses.  If that happens you have reached the end of the deep thought process, at least for the time being, until your next growth experience.  Then you get to go back and challenge that simplification to see if it still remains true.  In the meantime, move on to your next challenging thought.   

That is the marker of a truly refined thought.  Simple in written or spoken form, infinite in relatable detail; both personal and to the masses.

The Instagram Effect

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Something I have noticed over the past few years is people saying how perfect someone’s life must be based on their social media page, social status, or profession. All that those people see is the glamorous image that is in front of them at that moment; they never stop to see the whole picture and recognize the long process that brought the person they envy to their current point in life. I call this the Instagram effect.

Those who rely solely on social media’s edited and filtered images to make judgments about the quality of another person’s life are missing the reality of the situation entirely. I have witnessed this time and time again in my own life. A lot of people see my Instagram pictures and think I am just living the dream – and don’t get me wrong, I am living my dream – but they don’t see the other side of my life which is struggling to find my niche away from everything and everyone I know and travelling coast to coast in a truck and trailer by myself for long stretches of time. There are countless days when I would give anything to be back with my family and friends working a 9 to 5 job with a sense of security. Instead, I am always trying to make ends meet as I further my education, moving continually so that I can pursue a life of learning and serving others with the knowledge I am slowly gathering. Of course, I do get lonely and become exhausted, but tomorrow is always a new fresh day to start all over again.

The images that I post on Instagram are invariably the most beautiful and idealistic moments of my life, and this is all that those who follow me on social media see. The reality is that these images are edited to look perfect, and no one’s life (including mine) is actually true to their Instagram photos. If someone were to post honest photos of their day-to-day life, nobody would want to see it. Nobody wants to see and hear about normal every day processes or, even worse, the downsides to certain bad days.  Everyone wants to pretend that if they were that person with the glamorous Instagram everything would be easier and perfect. All their problems would go away. The sad truth is that if they saw the whole picture, they would probably think twice.

I see this same phenomenon with horses all the time. Someone sees a horse they love, they buy it, and within a month or so the incredible horse has seemingly deteriorated into a normal horse.  As George Morris always says with a great smirk, “You can’t buy this,” referring to what he has earned through hard work with horses over a lifetime. Buck offers similar wisdom when he says that “you will need to bleed” in order to understand horses and achieve refinement with them.  You can’t buy a horse and expect it to stay great unless your abilities match or exceed the education level of the previous rider.

No matter how much the “journey” is emphasized as important, however, most people don’t want to go through the hardships in order to reap the benefits. Most people want good results handed to them.  But what would your life look like without the hardships, moments of self-discovery, and the failures that ultimately lead to new wisdom? What if everything was just handed to you and life was just success after success without any effort?  Wouldn’t it be a life full of selfishness and complete meaninglessness? In my experience, the best part of the journey is going through what it takes to progress forward: striving to live a life of meaning by serving others with your special talents and passions. Without the struggle, there is no incentive to continue living life with vigor and a sense of urgency to learn.  I don’t think that I have much to offer now compared to what I will be able to offer in ten or more years, but this is what keeps me going every day.

Don’t get caught up wanting to be someone else because their life looks perfect. Let go of that illusion, and start to do what you can in reality.  Find a way to live a meaningful life by serving others through studying, applying, and reflecting every day.  Nothing is going to happen overnight, and the only way to succeed is by accumulating knowledge over a long period of time.  I wish I had some great success story to tell you about how this process has led me to achieve great things, but I am merely another person trying to survive the journey and learn from the struggle. I have faith that the process will take me where I am meant to go whenever I am meant to go there.

What Makes The Ranch

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What makes the ranch such a special place?  You know, there’s something deeply unique about a place where there are guests that have been returning for over 50 years in a row or guests returning after 30 years had passed since there one visit when they were only 6 years of age.    How is this possible, well the ranch has the ability to create an addiction to an atmosphere through three factors; being the people, animals, and the land.  Leading the individuals who visit, to a certain clarity that was missing where they otherwise reside.

The most straight forward of the three factors would have to be the land, because the other two factors have to many variables that are far from the words that I am going to try to put to them.  When I say the land is straightforward, please don’t mistake that for mediocrity.  The ranch is surrounded by some of the most gorgeous mountainous peaks known to the west, countless ambient springs and creeks around every turn, and a variety of vegetation from the trees to the wild flowers that never induce any eyes to boredom.  The climate never stops changing, with some of the most beautiful clouds and thunderstorms you will ever witness.  Finally, the sunrises and sunsets can stop one from any task at hand to place their soul into a state of total euphoria where time itself stands still.  Whether a person is from the city or from the country, the environment here has a way of relaxing people to a certain place of clarity and gratitude for the moments presented.

Now take the extreme beauty of the environment and couple it with the animals around the ranch.   This creates little harmonious moments in which one stops to reflect on how lucky they are.  Not just lucky to be at the ranch, but thankful for the opportunities that have progressed them to this very point of their life, knowing of the less fortunate out there that may never experience such moments.   These moments are created by the wildlife that are indigenous to the area along with the 200 horses the ranch keeps on property year round.

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The wildlife on ranch far surpasses the word majestic, offering a vast variety of creatures such as; bears, elk, moose, coyotes, antelope, badgers, eagles, trout, beavers, ospreys, and hundreds  of other species.  The wildlife is very predominant in the areas of the ranch so whether your horseback riding, hiking, biking, or driving the encounters are spontaneously frequent.  Every now and then you may be fortunate to come up on a herd of 100 – 200 elk, a huge bull moose, or my personal favorite the mothers with their offspring.  Unless it happened to be a momma bear with its little bear, if you know what I’m saying.  There is something about observing the wildlife in its natural habitat that puts a person into perspective of the bigger picture of life, ultimately giving them a sense of peace.

If the wildlife doesn’t do it for you, the herd of 200 horses will definitely leave an everlasting memory in your mind.  If you don’t believe me close your eyes and imagine 200 horses stampeding through the woods, the creeks, and the vast open meadows coming in and out of pasture every single day.  Imagine 200 horses at a full lope, bucking and kicking, completely free without any hindrances.  The wrangles are the most beautiful asset to the ranch.

On top of watching the herd go in and out to pasture, a person may spend a whole week learning how to communicate with their horse or possibly just becoming more aware of the horses being.  During this process the true magic appears where a person forms a potential life long bond with their horse.  By interacting with horses, one can let go of all their potential problems.  The horse can fill any void of the human, in return for some sort of truthful connection between the two.  The horse will share any trouble, insecurity, or sorrow with a person in a time of need.  Between the special bond that connects two or the freedom felt from watching the wrangles, the horse is always ready to share the experience with anyone if a person is ready to share a little something with them.

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The last segment is dedicated to the people who make the ranch.  The people that perfect the ranch experience have a laid back genuine respect and care for all things, especially people.  The visitors of the ranch don’t want to be greeted by some up tight, suit and tie professional who is forced to care about the guests, only providing the services because it is their professional duty.  They want to be greeted by a down to earth, respectful person who genuinely cares for each individual they meet because it is how they were raised, its what they truly believe in, and its a way of life.  The visitors of the ranch don’t want to be part of a “professional” atmosphere where pranks/jokes aren’t encouraged or a “professional” atmosphere where instead of genuinely caring for a person, you are serving them as a servant being told to do so.  That’s not what makes the ranch, it’s the people who are the ranch that make the ranch.  You can’t make a person into the ranch, it has to be a predisposed sense of pride deep with in a person.

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With the trifecta the ranch offers up, its clear to see why one could come back to the ranch for a 100 years in a row.  With the jaw dropping environment, the abundant interactions with the wildlife/horses, and the genuine people who are the ranch anyone can see how the addiction is created.  With all the factors joined together it brings people together in an atmosphere where everyone is on the some wavelength.  Simply meaning everyone comes to the ranch to let loose in the company of others who all genuinely care for each other, allowing everyone to let down their guard and truly be themselves in a relaxed environment.  Ultimately bringing out the very best of every person while they are here.

This is only my opinion, as of now, so feel free to comment on my page to tell me what you might think makes a place like this become an addiction.  If you would like to here some personal accounts to these moments that I speak of please ask, I didn’t want to add them for this would have become a novel in itself.  Added a few more photos than usual to help you get a bit of perspective on what I am fortunate enough to be a part of everyday.  Hope you enjoy, thanks.

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