I've never felt this feeling when finishing a book before.
In fact, moments ago, I was doing nothing but staring at the photo of Barbell Buddha on the back. Contemplating questions most avoid on a Monday morning.
I'm not quite sure what the feeling is, but it's definitely reflective and more than a touch sombre. It's also a quiet inspiration. Yes, quiet.
Not the raging inferno of impulse you get from the kerosene fuelled rah-rah motivators, which burns out just as forward momentum is generated.
It's more like a paternal hand in the back, subtly suggesting that the scariest option isn't quite so terrifying after all. Guiding me on a path on which Chris has pushed away some of the foliage.
As I feel Chris' words, nudging gently between my shoulder blades, I'm forced to contemplate something I've been hiding away from for a life time, despite the unexpected and heart-wrenching reminders which have slammed themselves into my life.
I’m presented with a series of opportunities to do the right thing, the best thing or the most loving thing, and I find it all too natural to do the easiest thing.
I find it easy to forget that what I have right now is NOT a dress rehearsal. For all I know, it could be the climactic final scene of the last night in the theatre.
I find myself thinking "this is just a one off". Well actually, I can't verbalise the feeling entirely but it seems to be something along the lines of 'I'll act appropriately when it counts'.
As well all know though, we fall to the level of our training rather than rise to the levels of our expectations.
Of course, logically, I know that this moment right here; this is all that counts. There will be no second chance, but a series of opportunities to be a better man will present themselves.
In fact, there's one right here. Do I take the easy road of writing another generic piece about mindset? Or do I show my vulnerable underbelly in the hope that you know it's okay to have your own then and Carpe Diem like a motherfucker as a result of it.
We both know the answer.
But I still have the resistance. I feel its tendrils dragging me back to the "safety" of being unopinionated, plain. Even when I'm trying to force the resistance out of the way, it clasps back at me.
Distraction, procrastination and a false sense of boredom all nag away at me as a way of avoiding the hard work. More accurately, they try to keep my armour securely fastened to shield me from the imagined barrage of "what if's".
Yes, I get them.
Yes, I know you get them too.
They tell the both of us that it will be okay, because we'll get another shot at doing the right thing in the future.
The uncomfortable side of the truth is that you and I have both wasted hundreds of these opportunities. We squandered them.
The reassuring side is this: you have another opportunity right now. And now too.
And of course, this moment as well.
So the next time you feel like you're still warming up for the big show, remember that the final curtain could come crashing down mid-sentence.
There will be no encore.
Yes, at first this is not a comforting thought; you may be terrified by this prospect…
OR you could take the bold path illuminated by the likes of Chris and take a fearless step - no fuck it, a giant headfirst leap - towards your potential.