Posted: Sunday, November 05, 2006 by Travis Cody in

I'm seeing a lot of struggling in blogs and comments today. It makes me sad, and I'd like to help. All I can really offer is hugs - cyber hugs. So I offer Trav hugs today to any who want them.

Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tight. Feel it? That's me hugging you. I'd like to whisper in your ear that everything will be OK. I believe it will. But y'all need to do a little work for yourselves to make it happen.

Here's what my stepdad taught me many years ago, when I was feeling like I was going nowhere.

Step 1: Decide what you want. This is the hardest thing you'll do because it's entirely about you. If you don't know what you want, you're just spinning your wheels. Spinning wheels don't move forward or backward - they just go round and round and you never get anywhere. So figure out what you want and move on to. . .

Step 2: Order your world. If you live with chaos, you will constantly become distracted from what you want. You must always keep the thing that you want foremost in your mind. To do that, you have to be able to see what you want. Clear out the clutter in your world, visualize what you want and write it down, and keep that with you at all times. Once you can see what you want you can move on to. . .

Step 3: Make a plan. Nobody does anything without a plan. Your plan is your series of short term goals that are designed to get you what you want. Each step in your plan helps you break down this huge idea of "What I Want" into much smaller and more easily achieved parts. After you have devised your plan, you can move on to. . .

Step 4: Do the work. This is the final step. And this is quite often the one people forget to do. No one is going to hand you your dreams. You have to go and get what you want. And if you've done a good job in Step 1, then you should be able to get to Step 4.

I'm working hard in Step 4. It's not easy. I often lose my way. I sometimes backslide and let clutter pile up. But the good thing about these Steps is that you can always move yourself around and repeat a Step if you find yourself struggling. If you know what you want, you can always go back and re-clear the clutter, adjust your goals, and then resume the work.

I wrote this poem as I was learning these four Steps.


Do you say no to me?
By what right and who's authority?
Neither father nor mother are you to me.
How dare you say no to me?

I am free to go and to choose;
Free of shackles and ready to cut loose
The bonds which seek to bind and confuse.
No is a concept without meaning or use.

Are you by chance afraid of me?
Do you envy my pride and my sanity?
I have no time for such vanity
As I strive toward my destiny.

Away with such pettiness and trouble me no more.
Make way for me now as I push to the fore.
From a shy sparrow to eagle's height I soar;
Knowing the truth fills me with strength to my core.

Yes I can accept and yes I will dare
To move forward, fully capable and aware
Of the freshness and brightness that flows in the air.
I am consumed by the fire of wonder unquenched by despair.

Now do you see why I do not hear no?
Take your fears and your doubts and go
Back to your halls and your dark places of woe.
I will not listen to you when you say no.

At the end of the day we must all face whatever constrictions are upon us in order to achieve those things we want. Whether those constrictions originate within ourselves or from external pressures, there must come a time when we face them and decide whether they will continue to rule our lives.

Setting aside the things that bind us to an unfulfilling course in our lives is never easy. But it is worth the effort not only for your own peace, but for the peace of everyone you meet.

Go forth and do.


  1. Anndi says:

    *Hugs Trav with everything she's worth*

    Have I told you lately just what a good friend you are?

  1. julie says:

    Thanks Trav!

    **takes the kick in the pants and knows what to do with it**

    Hugs back atcha honey!

  1. Anonymous says:


    Love you for all the good you bring me and our little group.

  1. Tina T says:


    You are a dear friend and an amazing writer. Thank you always for believing in dreams, yours as well as others. To you I owe so much gratitude, to you I owe my confidence that had slipped away, but is now starting to return.

    Go forth with all your hopes and dreams, and know that I will be happy to always lend a listening ear, and many warm hugs.

    Thanks for choosing to inspire, you have achieved much, and inpired a great deal. I am honored.

    Love and hugs from your friend,

    Tina T

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the hugs Trav.

    What a brilliant poem.

    I stand in awe....

  1. Coco says:

    It's an odd thing, Trav, but it took the Soul Patrol and FBB to show me what a "man" can and should be. Thank you for your many kindnesses. They are never taken for granted, and are always appreciated.

  1. Anonymous says:

    OK reading list:
    Step 1: Decide what you want.
    Well I'd love to win the lottery

    Step 2: Order your world. ummm is this like a Pizza with everything on it?

    Step 3: Make a plan. OK go down to the buick, cut left and I will throw you the footbal when you get to the manhole cover

    Step 4: Do the work. See, this is where it all falls apart..can you do it for me?

    Great poem Trav... sorry about the above...just in a weird mood today...maybe it is all that time behind the wheel of a 14" truck....

  1. Anonymous says:

    :writes these down:

    :snogs Trav:

  1. Anonymous says:

    From the mind of Meribah:

    See, now, that's what makes you one of the good guys: you care so much! Here, lemme lick your ears! **slobbers all over Trav's ears** LOL
    By the way, loved the poem! It's one of my favourites.

  1. amynoroom says:

    I like those steps!