Fate or fiction.

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Who believes in fate? It’s not as easy a question to answer when you think about is it. Is it a case that everything is predetermined? Every decision and mistake you make you was going to do anyways what’s the point of thinking about what you’re doing? That takes a lot of the spontaneity out of life doesn’t it. All those ad-hoc trips to the beach or crazy impulsive moments were always going to happen anyway. Or… are you in charge of your life? Are you behind the wheel making the decisions that steer everything along the path we choose? AS positive life thinkers we should all be dialled into the latter. To understand that life is choices and decisions, knowing that some of those will be poor or risky leading to some harsh lessons or tricky situations but to know that each mistake, each ‘incorrect’ will leave you with an instruction, a lesson to absorb. We desire these lessons to promote growth, to continue our personal development . For me the thought of all my decisions being pre-decided leaves me a little numb. I like that things need to be considered, that we are forever plotting a course into unchartered waters. That maybe not every step will be a success, not every turn will initially be positive but ultimately it will all form into something we will learn and progress forward from,

Think back to some of the things that have happened  to you. Something you thought was lucky or was a nice surprise. Was that just a predetermined event or did your earlier decisions and choices navigate towards the outcome? I’d like to think that all those good things were the result of my own instruction. The stringing together of multipole decisions and efforts. As with anything the work put in produces the relative results. Apply that to any subject matter and it rings true. Your diet, if  you’re wanting to lose weight but aren’t consistent and you keep falling off the wagon the it will not give you the desired result. If its work, if you’re not applied in what you’re doing then everything produced will be a little sub par. Relationships, parenthood, sports, training, even something as simple as you’re happiness. Put the work in. Do what is required and more, go beyond a level of minimum effort. Raise your own bar in whatever you’re doing because fate isn’t playing a part in it. you are your fate, you are moulding what your life’s and will be.

Why settle for someone else’s rules or plan? I very much doubt that anyone else’s plan for your life is 100% how you would design if you had to map it out form the start. Each and everyone of us have a different idea of our ultimate happiness, our ideal life. Not a fate where we merely remain as passengers along the route. If you feel that you are then leap off of the tour bus and start your own adventure. Start narrating your own story, you control the plot. There is that saying that you are the star of your own movie, but if you read the small print it actually says that not only do you have the lead role but your are also the producer and director too. What does that mean? It means you get free reign to how it is told. Now don’t get me wrong, life will make a few cameo appearances and pop in a few rewrites here and there but a bit of ad-hoc acting is good for you too. Actually, thinking about it in those terms a bit of life improv is only going to make you a better actor. Meaning better equipped at dealing with hat life mat throw at you along the way. Not an actor in terms of falseness and fakery. We don’t want that, no one wants that.

Now what of the fixed path, what’s the argument there? Well in truth both paths are interlinked. Theres a lot of scope to say you cant truly be fully one of those. If you don’t believe everything is mapped out and that you are in control of each and every decision then it could be said that you was going to make that decision anyway? You can tie yourself up in knots thinking about too much. Which we don’t do, we don’t overthink, we don’t over analyse. We know that’s a pointless path of wasted energy that will ultimately bring about negative results.

But what if something is meant to be? Surely that is fate? No, no no no no. Something (in my opinion of course) is not meant to be, it will be born from a series of decisions, a series of linked choices that have made that particular thing feel right. If you’ve worked or wanted something then the chances are you have been making all those decisions already taking you towards it.

Its very much my outlook though that all decisions form steps towards the bigger picture. That for me is my version of something that is meant to be as it is something I am actually creating. The thing that gets me out of bed at 5am and is never far from my thoughts. In my eyes it is meant to be because I am making it so.

Not bringing the concept of fate into your world is a little tricky at first. It feels easier to accept that things would have happened anyway, no matter what the influence. To me that is the view of sitting down and waiting for life to come to you. Stand up, get out of that chair, have a stretch and go and get that version of life you seek. Place both hands firmly on the steering wheel of your life and go for a drive. Drive down roads you’ve never been down before, yes you might clip a few curbs but you will be travelling to new places, seeing new things, experiencing new journeys, meeting new people. All of which are moulding the life you want because you are proactively doing it, not fate. Free will.

Accepting an existence based on fate will keep you in a small safe world, you will remain unchallenged. Potentially left with an emptiness and lack of fulfilment. You simply will not grow. Don’t let the falseness of a fate based existence restrain you from what you can truly achieve. Yes take those knocks, fall flat on your face on life trip wires but never stop getting up. Don’t accept that fate only wanted you to get this far. If you feel it’s taken you as far as its going to then it’s time you seized control and sent fate packing. Kick it into the long grass and watch your life explode into a world of possibilities.

What will blow your mind now though is the thought of in disregarding fate, moving away from the notion of a predetermined existence and taking control of your life, of all the decisions and the path you choose to be on. if you do all that, was that just fate anyway?

No, you have created it all. So be damn proud of it.

 

Best laid plans.

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Knowing what is happening and going on is nice isn’t it? It keeps everyone in the loop, everyone knows where they stand and what they’re doing. Yet sometimes, as always life trundles along and says ‘Nope, not gonna happen like that. We’re gonna do it this way now’ and there isn’t a thing we can do about it. Of course being prepared, well as prepared as we can be is a great practice and we should always remain flexible and willing to adapt but sometimes those changes can have quite large knock on effects. The real key, the simplest thing to remember should your world get turned upside down at the last minute is this; It’s not what we have to deal with that is important it is how we deal with it. A problem, no matter large or small is the same. It may have varying difficulty or parameters but ultimately it is to be broken down into its component parts and addressed.

Now this can seem or feel daunting but it is always doable. The very first thing to do is look at the facts. The worst thing you can do is make a knee-jerk decision or reaction to attempt a lunge at resolution. Life doesn’t go how we intend and generally those best laid plans fall by the wayside and we find ourselves having to adapt and regroup. For example, as ever I shall use myself. Recently the sale of my house has been drawing to a climax. I was in actual touching distance then at the eleventh hour the buyer pulls out and every single plan I had lined up is in apparent tatters in the floor.

Note I say apparent tatters as the reality is when something bad happens it is our default setting to think the world is coming to an end and nothing will ever go right for you. Then, after the dust settles and the adrenalin subsides we start to see more clearly. There truly is no point in getting worked up over anything as it has happened beyond your control. How can you get into a flap about something that you have no bearing on its outcome? Now I was a little disappointed when the news broke, obviously but as always my gut was telling me there was going to be an issue with the sale and as I am so tuned in to listening to that feeling and silencing the emotional voices I was able to quickly step back and take stock. Not long after I was making arrangements to get the house ready again and back on the market.

It is training yourself to look beyond the initial news and see the facts. What has happened, what needs to be done to move past this and continue forwards? It applies to anything, not just bricks and mortar. Whatever bombshell gets dropped into your lap you apply the same calm methods of processing and then readjusting accordingly. Of course some things will naturally be and certainly feel overwhelming but everything has an answer. Now don’t get me wrong not every answer is going to be the one you want but that is when you continue to be flexible and adaptive. “So I thought this was going to be the outcome but it hasn’t panned out as I had expected so I need to work out the best way to proceed with this new set of instructions. Pretty soon you’ll be earring through whatever life throws at you. It is probably worth highlighting here that the worst thing you can do when it all hits the fan is run away or bury your head in the sand, and here’s why. Problems are stubborn and incredibly determined. Think of them like marathon runners or decathletes. No matter how much you try and run away  they will stay with you, staring straight at you or breathing on your neck. No matter how fast you try and run from them they will keep coming, almost like one of those old school horror movie villains that seem to always keep up with their intended victim. Kind of like a hare a tortoise situation. So beat them at their own game, go towards them. Yes it can be a tad scary or even an unnatural thing to do but if you are facing it you can see everything you need to. You can see what you’re dealign with, unlike the horror movie victim that just turns around sporadically and only catching odd glimpse of what’s going on until all of a sudden they turn a blind corner and go ploughing straight into the killer.

So…. the house bomb got dropped and addressed. It was far from ideal but instantly I knew it was paving the way for something better. Maybe not right now but it was putting instructions in place for something else. Then after that was labelled up and put to one side I began to look forward to other things coming up in my diary. I dropped an email to  someone confirming an appointment  I have had scheduled for around a year and low and behold it has had to be rescheduled! Some would say it never rains it pours but no not here, the weather changes each and every day and we can never get right what we’re meant to be wearing every time and we can’t dress for every possible forecast. We work with what we got at our disposal at the time and if it changes then yes, we might get a little wet or sunburned but we will be ok. So in light of that appointment shifting into next year I thought ok that week has now totally opened up for me, what can i do to utilise that time best? A few calls and emails later and some very nice things fell into place.

That is the key, see potential and seek opportunity in what initially seems negative. With that outlook and approach everything is instantly scaled down. This earth shattering events don’t necessarily have to be so. Take time, gather your thoughts, gather the facts, you don’t have to rush yourself or let anyone rush you.

So with the new revised plan now being implemented I can turn my attention back to other things. Positive things as I know there is no point in dwelling on what has happened. Decisions needed to be made so they were made and until something else comes along requiring my attention it will be left to do what it needs to do. Not a case of out of sight, out of mind but more..dealt with as far as I currently can so leave it be until further notice. Time to apply myself back into my work, training and helping all you beautiful wonders with your enquiries.

Now I have been talking about things that are quite day to day. I know buying/selling houses is big but ultimately it’s just stuff. A place filled with things. It’s not a person or a feeling, those come with us on a different level. People are where you should place your focus but that is a topic for another time. Here and now I want to try and slow the process of how you react when your best laid plans are shaken up by life. So don’t take whatever is happening personally or as a personal attack. Life doesn’t and will never discriminate in these matters. It just happens and of course it can bring about incredible happiness too. What you (we) can do to heighten this is to have our minds tuned to perceiving things as positive. We won’t get it right every time  but we will learn and improve each time we have to face something that we didn’t expect to.

Slow down, step away if you feel you need to but don’t ignore what is happening. You can tackle what life brings to your doorstep and soon, you will believe it too.

Treading water

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Do you remember when you was a kid and time seemed to be the slowest moving thing ever? Those car journeys felt like an eternity when now on reflection it was probably 45 minutes. I remember always wishing time away to get to different things, different landmarks. I couldn’t wait to get to 13 so I would be a teenager, then to 16 so I could do rude things and smoke, 17 so I could drive. Then 18 so I can drink and watch any movie, 21 so I can get into any club and I’d be a bonafide adult. Wait what, 25, 30, hang on a minute where did you come from? 40 ok ok stop now, I get it!

We don’t change the speed of time its just how we perceive it. The old man used to always say ‘time and tide wait for no man’. That is so true, take every living thing off of the earth and the tides will continue to change and time will continue to roll on. I fact time is pretty much something we have invented, well we have created this theory that we only have a certain amount of time or things are governed by time. How many excuses do you hear, or even give out yourself; ‘oh I don’t have enough time to get that done’ or ‘I’m going to run out of time’. All phrases and excuses we have formed along the way. The truth is, once we realise this and free ourselves from these self inflicted restraints we can see that yes, ultimately we are on the clock because at some point we will all have to cash in our chips but until that day we have free reign over how we use our time. That is why we have to get as much in to our lives as we can. Unfortunately though this can be easier said than done.

Life is full of twists and turns. We take on commitments such as family, mortgages, careers and it can feel like we are… treading water as our lives tick by. Do you remember as kids we thought we all lived to 100? Sadly the reality is a little less than that and for me it would  appear the men in my family rarely reach 70. On paper that gives me 28 years until Val Hala calls me. You’d think that fact would alarm or scare me but it doesn’t. It doesn’t for a couple of reasons. Firstly I keep myself in the best possible shape inside and out as I can and as physically strong as I can be. Secondly I try and pack my life full of the things I want to do and with the people I want in it, but mainly I’m not scared or alarmed by it as quite frankly I have no real say in when that day will be. You could argue and say avoiding risky or dangerous situations will bring the odds down but then I could spend life too petrified to look out of the window then trip over the cat and go flying down the stairs and snap my neck. Thats not doom and gloom or being morbid, quite the opposite actually. Its saying go out and live life, whatever happens happens but the very worst thing you can do is bob about here treading water. We all hit putts, we all get unhappy. I suppose the two biggest ones being our relationships and our careers.

With work, yes you’ve no doubt got responsibilities that come first and foremost but that doesn’t mean you should spend life doing something you don’t want to. We’ve all got to work so why not do something that inspires you and makes you happy? You don’t have to rush the change but there is no reason why you cant change it. You don’t even have to be out there going all maverick and changing the world but you can have a job that makes you happy and the chances are if you are unhappy at work it’s because deep down that you need to make that change. After all, I always view it as if you’re not working on your own goals you’re working so someone can realise theirs. Think about it, your boss, no matter how big or small the company is, they are just someone that wouldn’t work for someone else anymore and begun to chase down their own dreams. No ones different in that respect, it just comes down to what we accept; make our boss rich and happy or have that person be you? Not the easiest path to take but for sure its the most worthwhile.

However, maybe the bigger of the two and certainly the one that consumes us more is our relationships. Of course no long term relationship is going to be a non stop, never dipping romantic whirlwind until the very end. Life will make sure of that when i sprinkles it with a few problems here and there but things will slow down and thats when our minds can be against us. The difference being is this just a lull in the relationship or has unhappiness truly set in? Here we must turn to our reliable friend that never steers us wrong, our gut feeling.

That niggle, that quiet voice we hear but silence when we don’t really want to listen. Life and our relationships is really where our gut feeling serves us best and its only to our own detriment that we choose to ignore it. Think of that little slice of time that we are here, if you’ve chosen to spend that time with someone shouldn’t it be a gut feeling of sureness and clarity? A relationship that makes you feel as if you’re treading water is the worst, far worse than with your career. If your career is stationary then more than likely you can come home and talk to your partner about it but if its your partner in question where does that leave you? Yes we can confide in friends, family but the one we should be talking to is our gut feeling and it will be a brief conversation. Something along the lines of ‘You know you’re not happy, so change it’. No one wild it for you, no one wants to find themselves in that situation but it is changeable, everything is changeable and it will be the right thing to do. Do not let that sadness consume you, love in life is so important so it deserves to be the right love, the love you deserve. That is essentially what happens, we have the love we deserve. It’s not selfish to want to be happy and the other party has the same right. If one side isn’t happy then realistically then the other side isn’t too, even if they don’t know it.

It’s so easy to ignore it though, to soldier on just taking it as thats how things are. It ‘s what becomes the ‘norm’ for us. There’s already ex amount of time devoted and served so were sure it will improve and get back on track. Now that may well be the case, but just run it past your gut first. Do what will be right for you, you don’t have to do anything in a horrible way but you must put yourself and your happiness first. Your partner will thank you for it ultimately and your boss will or I’d like to hope, should wish the best for you.

As time ticks away beyond any of our control its important we enjoy a fulfilled, love drenched and happy existence. No doubts, curiosities or questions. Just the happiest existence we can put together ourselves.

So if you feel like, for whatever reason you are treading water, ask yourself why. Search out what is giving you that feeling and address it. We invented the concept of time so we should also invent the concept of refusing to not be totally happy while we use that time up. Life doesn’t need to be grand or flamboyant, it just needs to be all the elements you want to make you feel complete. Whatever level makes you happy then strive for it, achieve it and embrace it and whatever you do don’t settle for anything else because we all deserve to fell it, to be it.

We don’t know when we will have to give everything up and make the return leg so put yourself first, find your happiness. Break away from the pattern and safety of treading water, it maybe feel easier than taking on the waves but it is slowly exhausting. Break free and start to swim again.

Manufacture opportunity

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No matter how big or grand our dreams are, no matter how hard we work there is something we’ll need to do in order to truly realise them. Now we should be, to a certain extent be locked away in our ‘labs’ honing our chosen crafts. This enables us to work to with maximum effort and the minimum level of distraction but this will only ever take you so far. It will make you ready to achieve your goals. It will allow you to develop and refine all of the skills you will need to be successful but at some point you must move things further. No one will ever notice you or what you’re doing when you’re locked away. No one will miraculously come and knock on your door and hand over that golden ticket. No one knows you are there..

To move onto the next step we have to do something that can feel a little foreign to us. It can come very naturally, those extroverts among us will from on excel but for others it may seem like a strange notion.

What we need to do in order to take our journeys forwards and realising these goals is begin to promote ourselves. Seems like a very obvious thing to do right? Well exactly, it is but the key element is the point when we begin to do this. Start too early and you may come across unsure of yourself or not ready. Come out guns blazing and unrehearsed and you can quite easily leave an air of arrogance behind you, which can be a little off putting. Finding a balance is paramount, not spending too long locked away and finding yourself stagnating and maybe overthinking and questioning if you’re ready, or pulling the trigger prematurely and not delivering everything to your full capability.

The world always tells us that opportunity comes knocking but is that what we want? This is our life and by all intents and purposes it is brief. We have to seize it, take hold of our lives with both hands and take it where we want it to go. The truth is yes, opportunity may come knocking but is that a roll of the dice you want to take? No, we move forwards, we push ourselves and in order to do that we have to ‘manufacture’ opportunity. Simply put, if you want something’s on you to make it happen. We can all sit back and say I want this, I want that but that will be where it stays unless you manufacture those chances to get there. It applies to all, you want to train to be a nurse then a hospital isn’t going to send you a letter inviting you to pop along for a taster session. You want to be a movie star then rest assured that a director won’t be beating down your door to get you to set. You have to make yourself busy and get into those auditions. Every field, every example its the same; relationship, career, diet, all the same. Its on unto generate the opportunities. My example? Well, that just happens to  be me.. I found myself at a crossroads, at an age when I felt I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing what I wanted to do. Something that brought me happiness and as with most Gemini’s this wasn’t going to be one thing. I decided I wanted my life, my professional life to be multifaceted. I wanted to do something that made my heart full, something that I was passionate about. I was going to become a photographer and a life and wellness coach. So thats what I did. I began simply by putting all of my experience into podcasts, then this blog and hoped people would find it and connect. Guess what they did. What I do here and in my coaching is essentially putting life out in the open, its not sunshine and rainbows all the time and we are all flawed. We all make mistakes and fall over but sometimes we need to hear that it is ok to do that, but we have to get back up, we need to get back upend keep going. When you work with a coach that knows the path you get a connection, you feel the isolation fall away. So now with the help of my mentor, a Mr Laurence Swain. A genius that helped me put myself back together I have worked , trained, read, listened, studied and spoken out to make my life what i want it to be. I want to help people, as many as I can. Period. As I know first hand being lost, feeling different and scared isn’t nice, but I found and learnt a way back, and beyond.

The second prong to my new life was to be photography. In short, I got myself a decent camera, worked out how to turn it on and then started. Now as with every single profession you’re never going to be the only person out there doing it or the only person wanting to break into it but don’t view it as impossible or there is too much competition out there. You can achieve anything you set your mind to, and you want competition as it will push you to work harder and all those others out there are a source of inspiration and knowledge that you can tap into. Feed off their experience.

So I was out there practising, learning and improving when someone I knew was coming to London and putting on a group seminar for her clients. I dropped her a quick message asking if I could shoot it for her and guess what, she said yes. That there is my point, the whole thing summed up. I was given some news, that gave me an idea and I proactively manufactured the opportunity. That simple, ‘oh I hear you’re doing this, I could do this for you’. The absolute worst thing that could have happened in my asking would have been her saying ‘no’, Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Think of it like this, if your fishing on the ocean with nothing on your hook everything is going to keep swimming past it not even knowing its there. You need to have that bait on it and then keep chumming the water. Generate their interest. Of course you will more than likely have to take a few hits or do a few favours and hell you may well get it completely wrong a few times but the difference will be you are out there doing it. That seminar led to another, then another, then solo shoots and now I have had the pleasure of working with musicians, professional fitness models and fashion models. I have had shoots in countries and locations I had never been to before all because I made myself do it. I generated the chances for success by putting myself  out there. At some point you have to take yourself from the ‘I’ve never done it before’ into the ‘I can and will do this’.  Do it, put yourself out there with a healthy mix of confidence and ability, and don’t be afraid to wing it once in a while. Get one of whatever it is you want to do under your belt and the next time you won’t even think twice about it.

The key is to not doubt yourself, even if you want to do something that you don’t have much experience in. The best way to change that is to go at it head on. Like me at my first shoot, I was stood there with quite literally the leading expert in the world in her field and I had to deliver. Not for her, but for me. I wanted to show myself I could do it. So I dug in, dial din and gave it my all and it worked. Do not let fear or inexperience stop you from doing anything, and you don’t have to wait for some life changing moment to come along to make you take charge of where your life is going. Luckily for me it did happen and it made me wake up. Letting me look at my life through my own eyes.

In every instance, anyone that has succeeded has done so by manufacturing their own opportunities. Generating chances and situations allowing them to display their intent. Like I said, it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Anything you want to do or achieve has the same rules to be applied to it.

If you want it, you are the one to make it happen.

Hunger and passion.

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As humans we always seem to want what is just out of our reach. If we have a certain, well calculated budget we always push ourselves to get something that little bit better. A new car, new house, it doesn’t matter what it is, we seem to have this default setting for wanting thing just beyond our current means. Is that greed? Possibly, or it that secret ingredient to being human? That compulsion to want what we cant have but can ever so nearly get if we don’t have a take away pizza every weekend. It’s funny though, well I think its funny. We rarely apply that same level of ‘greed’ to our goals. We tend to settle, we tend to allow them to just be daydreams and what if’s. The reality is though, as I have stated so many times before , nothing is beyond our means. It’s just a case of what we are willing to do to get them. It’s what we are prepared to sacrifice to get them. Goals, dreams are no different to the monthly payments on that new car but the currency isn’t pizza or wine. It is time you must sacrifice, it is time and effort you must be willing to hand over to get there. That is where we as humans fall over. We don’t want to do it, we don’t want to give up our free time to ‘maybe’ get what we want. Instead we just forgo the leather seats and just have the satnav.

The truth is, and this excludes no one, not a single person on this planet; anything and everything we want for and desire is fully achievable but heres the kicker, its not going to come quickly and its not going to come easily. Achieving your goals is a partnership between your hunger to succeed and your effort put in. Working towards your goals a marriage. A marriage that sometimes you are obsessed about, wanting to tell the entire world what you think of them and how much you want them and its also a marriage when sometimes you cant stand to look at whats in front of you and what lies ahead of you. It is a real marriage, its not sunshine and rainbows with picnics in the park 24/7 its a grind. A relentless never ending effort.

However it  is that effort and hunger that drives it forwards. Day after day. It is love, it is a true love, not a white towel hitting the canvas when the storm doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. It’s an obsession, a fire to never give up regardless of what obstructions fall before you. An obsession to succeed because that is what you took on, that is what you said you you was going to do. Everything about realising your goals mirrors a real marriage. It is born through passion, the discovery of something you can’t live without. It evolves, passion binds with knowledge and learning and becomes love, a love of what you do, who you are. As time moves forwards that love is fused with experience. Now it is an unbreakable bond as it is an understanding of all its core components.

This entity is capable of surviving anything. It is driven by that pure wanting to succeed. just as with people it isn’t easy, nothing worth fighting for is as it’s that effort in the darkest moments that push us into glory and triumph. That strength to keep going no matter what. To not accept that it cannot be done. Yes we have to accept failure along the way because that is how we craft these tools to survive, to adapt and overcome the things that can make us want to give up. That is the resounding marvel of the human species, if we want it, if we have made up our minds that nothing is going to stand in our way from getting to where we want to be then we make it happen. We refuse, stone cold refuse to accept anything but all we have set out to get. Note that those things said to stand in our way are in fact not doing that at all, they are there to make us change course. They are sign posts with instructions. Although it may not feel like they are initially when one comes up offsetting all of your plans but on reflection you will see it steered you into the direction you needed to be heading in. Once we learn that failing is the key to succeeding we begin to think and see things differently.

It is the willingness to try something with the full understanding that the initial outcome could be failure, that the feeling and result of failure may not just be once but dozens of times yet we know that each time we take a fragment of learning and improving away from it. Taking on something where failing is almost the desired outcome as it will teach us. What would happen if every single time we tried or wanted something we got it on the first attempt? I’m sure initially it would feel great but the reality is it would ultimately be hollow, it has not been earned. Look at someone that has earned their own fortune through hard work, not inherited,acquired or won but been in the trenches and earned every single penny they own. They have learned its value, you will find these are the generous people that walk among us as they know whatever they spend or give away they can earn back. Whereas how many times do you see lottery winners breezing through their winnings that fell into their lap. It’s because they don’t understand it or appreciate how it is made and pretty soon it is all gone and they don’t know how to generate more.

It’s that marriage of hunger and effort that builds us into what we want, that gives us the understanding and appreciation of what it takes and what its worth. The simplest way to describe its worth is ‘priceless’. That understanding is invaluable. Have you ever noticed that no one that has travelled that path and reached their goals wants to see others fail? It’s so easy to shoot people down or be in the wings waiting for someone to give up just to  say ‘I told you so’. What shows a pure strength is those holding out a hand and saying ‘keep going, you can do it’. Even if in them succeeding creatures direct competition for them. We should relish that competition as it makes us work harder. It makes us elevate our own games and push ourselves further.

Even if you haven’t achieved your goals support others around you that are working on theirs. Your unprovoked gestures project far and wide to your audience that you will be building along the way. You have to try, that is where it all begins. With the decision to try and the understanding that you will have to try many times until you get there. We can all succeed at whatever level we seek. It is all there for the taking. Actually no, it is there for the making. After all, this is the making of you, your story. Chapter after chapter and you get to write every single word. How exciting is that?

Once you make that decision to marry your passion and your hunger succeed, once that gear has switched inside you and you set off you feel liberated. Reborn even.

I was always taught to lead by example, and although my teacher drummed that into me over and over again I never truly got it. I felt more comfortable letting others lead, letting the journey be dictated to me but after a while (that while being many years). I realised I didn’t actually care for the story that was being written. So I picked up the pen, I sat down with a brand new notepad and I began to write. I wrote down all the things I wanted my story to be about , all the things I wanted it to include and slowly, one by one those notes, the ideas began to form a framework to what I wanted and wanted to do. Now , as you can do too, I work daily on making that story happen. I don’t rush chapters but I don’t sit back and wait for someone else to write them either. This is my story, written with my pen by my hand. Mistakes, triumphs, tears and laughter. Every part of it is now mine. My journey. Mine to push myself to achieve all I have set out to do.

I am no different to anyone else. I am happy, I am sad, I laugh and I cry. Just like you do and just like me you can take charge and start writing your story. Just read the instruction manual on hunger and passion and you’ll be good to go. Oh that’s right, there is no manual. You just have not take the plunge and you know what needs to be done and you know you can do it.

Embrace the failures, celebrate the successes. Get a good nights sleep because tomorrow is your big day..

Inspire yourself

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We all need a  reason to get out of bed in the morning don’t we? Something that makes us swing our legs out and drag ourselves up into the new day. Well, we all should have that reason, a thing, a spark that makes us want to skip a lay in and try to do as much of ‘that thing’ as we can. A lot of us though seem to find ourselves in a rut. Performing the same pattern of behaviour on a daily, groundhog day like rota. A recognition with our everyday world and surroundings. A box ticking exercise until something changes? Or until its all over?

Could there be a different reality out there and what is stopping you from looking? Of course a lot of people are happy living in a loop, a nice safe place where they know whats what and what will happen and when. No bumps, no surprises. Just a nice simple existence. Now don’t get my wrong there is absolutely nothing the matter with that, life is after all about being happy, being happy without hurting anyone and you can be happy in a little bubble. But, and this is huge but..this is our life, our one ticket at making the best of everything at our disposal. A life that from the moment it is given to us continues to gather pace and momentum. From the second we start learning we crave the ability to learn more. We are sponges that seek answers, that seek out truths and understanding.

So why do we switch it off? What happens to us along the path that makes us bed down? To rest easy and be content with our lot? Again, this is a balance we should always remain content with our core needs, friends, family, love, happiness but there is too much world out there to ever be content with what we can achieve for ourselves. I mean, think of all of the things you see online, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube. The world is an incredible place with wonders to see and experience but none of that matters until you have started at square one. The very spot you are standing on. Because every journey, every single dream, every single goal starts with you. You are your own inspiration. You have it within yourself to be and achieve whatever your imagination drives you to be. Yes the higher and further you set that goal the longer it will take to realise but it’s there, it’s there for the taking. Imagine being your own inspiration, the person that drives you forwards every day is the same person looking back at you ion the mirror. There is no need to seek approval or recognition from others, what they do and think is a separate universe to wha you are doing and if you do spend time concerned over their opinions then you are not applying all of your effort into realising your goals and to do that, to realise your dreams they will need to be receiving every scrap of your efforts and attention.

Imagine the feeling of being your own competition. You versus you to improve yourself every time you wake up. With the days challenge of being a better version of you than you were yesterday. To take a step and it only needs to be a single step towards realising your goals every day. So don’t look for short cuts or giant leaps forwards, as tempting as it is to snap your fingers and everything is done but you need to travel the entire path. The highs and the lows. The set backs, rejections, crisis of confidence and the workload. it is only in the taking of this path and working through everything that comes with it that you can develop and refine yourself and your skills. Then once you arrive (and you will arrive) if you refuse to give up, if you don’t take no for an answer, you will achieve what you set out to. When you get there not only will you have done it, you will have broken through the wall that holds so many back but more importantly you will fully appreciate what it takes. Now nothing will bring fear into your realm, you will not fear a challenge or any work load. You will understand and appreciate sacrifice. My example to bolster that is from travelling my path now I can see what my parents did and sacrificed for me and my brother during the terrible recession in the 1980’s. They took every hit that life threw at them and they absorbed it so my brother and I didn’t even realise anything was different. I can it was from that point my Dad feared nothing, he knew he had it within himself to tackle and face anything in life. Even at the end, he didn’t even fear death. So although now I inspire myself, sometimes its not a bad thing to draw strength from those that have sacrificed and inspired you.

Know that when you look in the mirror the person looking straight back into your eyes can achieve anything they set their mind to. No one can tell you that you cant do something, no one has the right to tell you that or try to control the outcome of your life because it is that, your life. You are in the driver’s seat and you can take it wherever you desire but it won’t get there of its own accord. You must want and work for it. It is the same rule for anything in life.

I remember quite often seeing a post that reads “Genetics don’t get you up at 5am and get things done”. This is taken form the fitness world stating that predisposed good genetics don’t and won’t take you to the finishing line and beyond. It takes work. Those gifted to build beautiful physiques with relative ‘ease’ aren’t gifted with a fastback pass the accomplishing their dreams. In reality it is those willing to get up and put the work in regardless of if they are being told to or if they are working on their own. With everything though their are variations, I know a family that throughout their generations have genetics that are a work ethic, a willingness to do whatever needs to be done to succeed.

Stay true to what you are, accept all of what and who you are and you cannot fail. No one here has an advantage over anyone else. We all get the same time and skills. Yes there are those born into privilege but they still have to work to be what they want to be. Always keep you as your focus. When working on yourself you cannot afford distractions of not having both eyes on the road. Success requires dedication and it requires application of that dedication. Be the captain of your ship, steer it through those unchartered waters. Once in charge of your own life, once you have consciously decided that you want to make changes and make a difference to you and your world. Once that hunger has taken hold of you, you become unstoppable. You have always been unstoppable, you just need to awaken it. You can and will achieve what you want to, it doesn’t have to be a huge career change. It can be the smaller things that can be equally as important; fitting into that dress for a big occasion in the diary, studying for a new job, losing some weight, being more spiritual.

There are no limitation to  what you can do and remember, your journey is yours. Everyone is on their own pathway dealing with their own battles and challenges. Stay true to you and yours and no matter how rough he ride gets or if you suffer from a crisis of confidence remain strong and consistent and you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Be your own hero, be your own inspiration and driving force. Recognise your potential and understand that life is an uncapped cauldron of opportunity that is limited only by what we invest into it. In inspiring yourself you lead by example. You show yourself that once you have set your mind to something you will not falter until you have succeeded.

Believe in yourself and your abilities. Refuse to be restricted by negative thinking and seize the opportunity of living your life to the fullest.

Inspire yourself.

Dividing paths

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Moving on is all part of life. In fact it is a very big part of life. When somethings happened that has provoked a change in your world it’s paramount that you execute everything that comes with it. There will be the ‘main event’ itself and then all of the minor issues caused by the ripple effect. Just like dropping a pebble into a pond, there’s a big splash at the centre of the impact and then all of the waves form and from that they seem to go on forever, but they don’t. Each one will reach the shore eventually. It’s these ripples, these minor issues that actually seem a little bit all consuming, as they appear to come at us from all angles quite relentlessly. While we’re trying to address the big splash, wave after wave comes towards us seemingly obstructing us from tackling things at their core.

Now, I have tackled a few things in my time and on each occasion I have better and more efficient at processing what was happening. Yet to this day I have struggled with my current situation. It is no secret and the process of dealing with it gave birth to me doing this and my work. That in itself has made the last few years worthwhile. Learning, developing and refining all of these coping skillets  then be able to pass on those techniques.

Yet here I am, facing another unpredicted ripple in my pond. This is a point that I generally keep still and calm. Yet as with life twists and turns the sale on the house I am selling fell through and delaying my closure. It’s something I sort of expected, I didn’t truly believe I was going to be released just yet. There has been something niggling at me for a while now and I wasn’t sure what it was. One of those mind splinters.

By the time this reaches you I will be living alone. No secret guests or visitors and this coming about has lifted something from my shoulders and right here and now as I write this I’m even sure if anything will actually change. I did not want to spend another Christmas here, last year was one of the toughest things about this whole journey. But a new hand has been dealt and therefore must be played and all barring a miracle I won’t be needing to send a forwarding address to the North pole just yet. Where last year I really let it all get to me this year I am stronger, more at peace. This year there decorations going up and there will be a mince pie on Christmas Eve.

The thought of actually living alone and free has left me somewhat euphoric, it has given me a new burst of energy and determination. Now I know that my life is still here in this house for certainly at least twelve weeks I can put it out of my mind and let the agents do their thing. This ripple though has caught me a little off guard. The realisation that a permanent change is upon me, a change that I have yearned for for such a long time now. It has been one of an enforced torment, albeit the practice of mental torture hasn’t really been something I have overly enjoyed enduring, until the sales dotted line was signed everything has remained in limbo as with any house sale, this one is no different in that respect. Here though, all bar a few future comms regarding the house sale someone that was the centre of my universe for such a long time will be fading from my world. It’s something I had wanted so badly while I was reeling from the hurt and anger. I’d have given anything for an Infinity Gauntlet and a Thanos snap. But, time passes, adrenalin and venom subside, they have to. You can’t exist in that state and call it a life. you have to move away. At some point those paths will divide and if you beg for it, want it so bad, pray for it or wish it will never come. It doesn’t matter, you will either be ready or not. I am sad, very sad by the thought but I know it is temporary sadness. Nothing is permanent. Not hurt, anger, sadness, happiness or even life. We just get to experience the mixed bag of it all and make our way through it as best we can, enjoying the highs while they are there and working our way through the lows as we have to.

All this has made me think about my dad lot too, especially as my parents anniversary is coming up. He would have been a healthy mix of comfort and telling my straight. To say I miss him is an understatement, missing him doesn’t fade. So as I sit here pouring this out I am looking around at things I won’t see anymore.Yes I like nice things  but I like nice people more. I can’t tell a bookcase or a toilet brush about a new idea or experience I have had. Or a killer photoshoot or meal I’ve eaten. I have found a pure strength in my solitude, it has enabled me to select the people I want in my life but it doesn’t stop the human reaction to occasionally catch yourself looking over your shoulder into your past. just don’t bring it back into your present.

Yet paths will divide, not just with lovers but with friends too, and if you are the one starting a new path not through choice but circumstance then please understand that although it’s an unknown journey in front of you it will be a journey that will ultimately enhance you as a person and your life in general. It may not be instant and in truth you don’t want it to be. You want to experience a few bumps in the road and a few unknowns. They are the things that leads you to knowing what you want. Take what you can from the present before the paths divide, not in the physical sense. Like I said, stuff is worthless but take what you can emotionally and spiritually while you can. Take all that you can carry as it will help you, as you’re finding your way it will instruct you, it will remind you. There is no better method for improving and learning than drawing from past (and present) emotions caused by separation. Even if it is upsetting , before you know it that will have passed. Yes, you can count on a few unexpected ripples along the way to throw you off course but it will be ok. It always is.

Be mindful though as I now am. I know the coming days could be a very mixed bag of emotions but as always I will be keeping the vision of the greater good, the bigger picture in the forefront of my mind. That is where your sights need to be locked. I have so much going on and that I am working towards that you’d think it should be easy but, I am self confessed soft soul. I’m a carer. I do have a tendency to give people an ‘in’ too many times, but that is written as the “last time out” me. The next time I get brought off of the bench I will be bringing a slightly enhanced version to the field of play. However, that won’t stop me caring, I feel nothing could ever stop me caring, that’s just me. Although luckily not caring what people think of me is not a problem. People are entitled to their opinions and I respect that, if they feel the need to voice them when they haven’t been asked for.

It’s a mad phenomenon though what we go through and experience. Sometimes maybe we forget that maybe someone else is going through it too. Maybe the path they set out on isn’t paved in gold, maybe it is everything they ever dreamed of and more. All I know is I will always concentrate on my own path, my journey and although a large part of it broke away some time a go now, like a femur from a hip socket. I know I have and will continue to rebuild it. It’s what we do, we move on. we move forwards.

Talking openly about someone from your past may seem or feel weak but it is the opposite. It shows a strength, a maturity that even though someone so important from your world is now removed..

..that even though you can be linked historically you can  remain free in the present.

 

Training wheels

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It doesn’t really matter age we are we never stop learning do we. We never truly end up knowing everything or being an expert in everything we’ve encountered. That is a good thing as it means life will never get boring, that there is no ceiling to the amount of information we can absorb and how much we can grow as individuals. Life will always be waiting in the wings poised to throw a banana skin in front of us as we’re walking along going about our business as happy as Larry, and it is those moments when life blindsides us to make us feel like we know or have learnt nothing. It’s like all our previous experience and knowledge has gone out of the window instantly and we are left with a dustpan and brush in our hands trying to sweep up all the bits and pieces and trying to work out what to do with them.

It’s a clever thing that life does. When something happens that catches us with our guards down, whatever that may be, it rattles us. Yes we re-group and get our bearings and then start to tackle it applying our experience as it returns but what can we do to try and avoid that initial meltdown? Is there anything any of us can do to absorb it?

With most thing this comes down to  the individual. We as people all react, respond and cope at different levels and speeds, thats just how we are,but consider it as a reflex. We all have varying reflexes too. I’ve seen a formula one driver catch a bottle from a table at the spec of something from a superhero movie and put it back on the table before others have even flinched. So those reflexes aren’t just a physical reaction, its our mental reaction too. How quickly can we process and respond in the best way possible to then begin working through the issue into a resolution?

It’s life way of making us feel like we’ve learnt nothing it’s an instant amnesia until we become grounded again. So don’t fret, don’t make rash decisions or judgements. Let yourself be at ease as the dust of the situation settles. The saying is that revenge is a dish best served cold but that is not right, that is a dish that should never actually be served. Instead it’s our reaction that is best served cold, served when we have considered everything, all the ingredients that made this particular dish. Everything we do when facing a big life events best dealt with when we are calm, informed and relaxed. Haste and knee-jerk decisions will generally only bring about more issues to work through.

The fact that initially it can feel like we have a training wheels back on our life bikes as we process what is happening is just a temporary state. Draw from how you dealt with other things in your life, look at where you made improvements each time you worked through something. The key is to make sure you learn each time, that you take something away from that situation in order to help you next time round. What you take away will be with you in your day to day life, it will only be a small influence but it will be there and all those small influences form big changes. Experience, absorb, process and respond.

Apply that to whatever you can in your life. Break it down; Experience- whatever it may be that is happening it is now something external coming into your world for you to deal with. Absorb- let yourself, your body and your mind absorb the whole event in it’s entirety, don’t try and cut it short or hurry it along. Take in each detail. Process- with all that is going on don’t  rush working your way through it. Processing life events takes time, there is no set duration as each of us are different and process at different speeds and alongside that each event comes with a different volume of information and influences. The worst thing you can do is jump the gun and tell yourself you have processed everything. If you are doing that it is strong indication  that you are trying to skip a few pages to get to the end quicker. Embrace the process, this is the part that is helping you the most. Respond- when everything else is done, when all of the other elements are worked through, when your footing is sound and your mind is clear. You will have no questions and you will crave no answers. You will feel at ease, a state of equilibrium. Then you are ready to respond accordingly. If then a response is even needed at all. As often in life, if we take the time to steady ourselves sometimes the best action is no action at all.

So although it can feel like you haven’t got a clue what to do when something happens, when all of your previous knowledge and life experience has seemingly abandoned you at the first sign of trouble, that feeling is merely our good friend life popping those training wheels back on so we don’t fall over. Life doesn’t want us falling down or suffering that is why it puts those wheels back on for a while. That is all it is, it is not you failing to draw from your already travelled journey, it is merely life setting another seat at the table and telling you to go and was your hands. Take this approach and take these steps and you will learn, grow and develop as a person. You also understand that you aren’t alone in dealing with the things life brings our way. Especially when now we have such a fantastic infrastructure and network of channels that people can dial in to so now no one need ever feel alone or that they have no one to turn to.

Although it doesn’t stop that initial feeling of being completely alone in the universe, as Ray LaMontagne said in one of his songs “I remember all too well what it feels like to be all alone”. I remember flailing with no thoughts to it ever ending but it does, it ends for all of us. We as human beings are incredible. We can endure and survive such incredible emotional and mental trauma. I guess that is the exchange for a relatively frail shell. The strength of the human race is not the physical, it’s the min. Our minds and spirits that can overcome anything put in our way. You are one of those human beings, you can and will overcome whatever life serves up for you. It may not initially be a nice experience but it is a process you will triumph over and build from Try not to see the bad things that happen in life as roadblocks or obstructions, view them as sign posts. They are there to give instructions and guide us onto a more fulfilled path. Once you view life in this way nothing seems as daunting  because you have prepared your mind to read situations in a better way. So don’t feel worried, scared or disheartened should that feeling of insecurity return when something in your life happens unexpectedly. All of your coping mechanisms are still intact, they have just been temporally put in for maintenance while you receive that upgrade.

Remember everything you have been through to this point, even your darkest and lowest moment was a time you have already got through when you thought you couldn’t.

Something beyond friendship.

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I caught up with some friends recently, actually the term friends doesn’t really do them or our relationship justice at all. This small group of guys have been in my life since I was eleven years old, one even longer. I’ve actually known him since the day he was born as our parents were friends. Now some thirty plus years on the bond we share is something I treasure. I truly regard each and every one of them as my brothers. Through thick and thin, fall outs, break ups, disagreements, lads holidays and breaks. Spending every second falling around in deep uncontrollable belly laughs, crying with laughter and talking through the night. I love them, I love them all. Many people seem to think our long serving group friendship as albeit amazing but a rare thing. Possibly the ‘norm’ for people and their friendships is more short lived than mine. Generally gaining friends at work and if people move on or change job then a new set of people become the circle. Whatever the mix, I know how lucky I am to call each one of them my friends.

These guys along with literally a couple more individuals form my inner circle . The group of people that I would drop anything for if they needed me to. The time it took me to learn they needed me and cover the distance they were from me would be the exact time if would take to get to them. I trust them with everything. Everything I am, everything I have been and aspire to be. I can put my heart to them without a second thought to judgement or embarrassment . Their trust, along with mine to them is a privilege.

It was during a recent catch up, well truth be told it was an insane 48 hour drinking binge fuelled by the most horrific diet ever in Dublin. During the course of one of the nights I ended up at the bar with one of my mates. This guy has always been what I regard as the centre point of the group whereas I see myself as more on the outer fringes. So we began talking, in a way we may never have before. As I have touched on before a sequence of events earlier in my life gave birth to a set of behaviours , boundary issues and such like. Looking back now I can see how and why this gave me those feelings of being an outsider, but once you’ve faced and tackled them you begin to see clearly, act appropriately. A long twisting story made short my presence made members, certain outer members/partners not that keen or sharing a social space with me. Now obviously even talking that way about myself now isn’t nice. It is in fact a horrible thought to know your actions made people feel that way about you but I cannot change what has gone before all I can do is what I have done, face my demons, look them square in the eye, nose to nose and break them down piece by piece until I understand them. Until I have dealt with them, until I have exorcised them. Which, now I have done, but of course behaviour, especially that over a prolonged duration leaves scars. However, in those situations that I had missed events in my friends lives. Some small, some pretty damn big but I accept that this is the consequence of having a history with a chequered path.

I cant punish myself into eternity so as to  make others feel better or that they are ‘right’ about me. That isn’t how I choose to live. I accept and I move on, but also knowing that people will always make judgements regardless if you are doing wrong or right. That is what I have learned, it doesn’t matter what people think of you, good or bad. If you are getting up each and every day and trying, actively putting effort into improving yourself (for you) to in turn improve the world around you then no one can hurt you or your goals. People make mistakes, it is by definition what being a human is, the difference is not ignoring or making excuses for them. It’s holding your hands up, saying ‘yeah that was a  royal blooper, what an absolute idiot I was’ and then to learn from that mistake, take something away from it. There will always be a lesson in there. The bottom line in the grand scheme of things is that their opinions don’t matter. The opinions that matter are yours and those of your inner circle, your hub. They accept your mistakes and flaws without judgement as you do with theirs.

So back to that conversation, we spoke about the kind of person I am. He speaks as he finds, directly, no nonsense and he has always seen that lack of confidence I have (had) in myself. I actually saw a different side to him, he told me things, his opinions and how he felt about me. Things that genuinely caught me off guard. Hearing him tell me how he’d defended me and fought my corner truly touched me. I don’t expect anyone to do that for me, not because I feel I don’t deserve it but because I just take life punches as they come. I’m big and ugly enough to hold my own. We delved into things for what felt like ages, I was a little overwhelmed to hear how much he actually cared for me. We all love each other but lets be honest a group of blokes rarely go into details or voice their deep feelings to each other. He made me feel like I wasn’t skirting around the outside of our group but in fact seen as a core member. Then before things got too soppy we necked or drinks and rejoined the others.

The second our conversation ended I knew I wanted to talk about it, to talk about people , those we class as friends. As not all friends are as they seem to be. I know my core, my select few that form my inner circle but there have been others that have operated on a different level, people that are/were friends that have surprised me with their behaviour but thats by the by. Im not here to grace their actions with my time. The karma train stops at every station, including mine. Im here to celebrate those friendships we have and we nourish. To say look around and appreciate those that stand and stand by you, let them know their belief and support is well deserved and of course let them know that you have their back always. I guess the point Im making is even if you suffer form a lack of confidence, anxiety or anything else that may make you find it hard to be yourself, know that your true friends see through all of that, they see you for you, who you are, who you are and what you mean to them. My friend said to me I can be the tallest, best looking guy with a great body but that counts for nothing if you are not yourself, if you cannot be comfortable being you.

So thats it, don’t change who you are in different company just because you may think they have a pre determined judgement about you. Let them, you being you, for you will scream volumes and when you get to that point you won’t even care what anybody thinks. You wont care you have a past, you won’t care you’re overweight, you won’t care you cant dance. Why? because  there is no better power, no better energy than being comfortable and confident in your own skin.

I try and install this into my daughter who is trying to work out where she fits in on this totem pole of life. She will get it, it always drops into place sooner or later, like has beautiful knack of doing that, but she’s finding her way too, already she’s building her circle and thats an amazing feeling.

Thats kind of the point really here, in life you can go through it alone, trusting or confiding in no one but then wouldn’t everything you do be better surrounded by people that are there for you, that loves you for who you are. Build your inner circlet be mindful of who you let into it. The first sign they don’t belong is if they are happy talking about people, life, your life, my life doesn’t need that. All that does is tell you they will talk about you. Whittle out the snakes. Know the value of true friends and friendships. Not the people you hear from once a year that write happy birthday on your Facebook wall. Invest time in those that contact you directly, without a reason.

Once you know your own value as a person people will begin to see it too and once you know your value, the world is in your hands.

 

Your life is now.

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Isn’t love just the best? What a feeling, that selflessness that consumes you when you’re in love. The wanting to please someone and make them happy, you put yourself in a place where you only want them to see the best side of you. That’s what you do right? Keep all those flaws and less desirable traits hidden away so they only get the wonderful you? Oh no, that doesn’t seem right, that seems a little out of sync there. Doing that would probably just bring about an awful implosion at some point. Either the mask slips or a historic behavioural pattern returns and it all comes crashing down. Either way, living like that is a time bomb.

What you have to do, now hear me out here as this might sound a little crazy..you have to be you, the real you. You have to lay yourself out there with all of those flaws, annoying habits and traits. Isn’t that just asking for trouble? How or why would anyone love you if they know everything about you? Well,how can they truly love you if they don’t know the real you? They aren’t going to be in love with you as they are not getting you. They will be getting to know and love the person you want to be, the person you want them to think you are. If nothing else that’s not really fair on them.

If you want love, that absolute body tingling love then that is built from the ground up and it all begins with you. We’ve spoken about loving that person looking back at you in the mirror. When you look at that person in the mirror you should see someone you love, you’re not going to see someone that is perfect but you should see a person that is in tune. Love your grey bits, love your wobbly bits, love those wrinkly bits. Every single cell is yours, it all builds and forms you. You wouldn’t be ‘you’ without them. Once you understand that, once you see the same person in that reflection then that is what other people will start to see. I’ve had so many people say to me ‘you seem different’. I’m not different I just accepted me for who I am and I love being me and I love who I am. It brings a freedom, a lightness. It’s not an arrogance  it’s just self belief and a deep seeded contentment so don’t confuse that with being content in my career or life as I am always pushing myself and striving to achieve more. To reach my goals, acknowledge the work that went in to them to get me to that point then move the goals further forwards. So many people say they wished they had my confidence and self belief and all I need to respond with is to tell them is they don’t want mine, they need to discover their own.

Now me being in love with the person in the mirror doesn’t mean that love is waiting around the corner. Yes, I do attract a lot of attention but that isn’t where my focus is, but as and when it does I know as an individual I will be ready and more importantly comfortable enough to hand myself over to the cause. That’s where you need to be, be so at peace with yourself that it’s second nature not to hide things, not to put a mask on. We all have pasts too, we’ve all made mistakes, some of those we might feel people would judge us or see us differently should you find out. Then they would more than likely start to question a lot of things, start second guessing other behaviours. No one needs to live like that.

If you do go into everything you do in life with that level of self acceptance and openness then it’s weight removed. Look at it maybe like this, you don’t have to go around shouting all your mistakes and secrets from the rooftops without anyone asking you to, that’ll just make you look like a crazy attention seeker. Instead,  with those skeletons in the closet that were hiding away for fear of judgement you merely took the doors off of the cupboard. Think about it, that way you are showing you are comfortable enough to admit you have made mistakes but also that you are not hiding from them or making excuses for them. For me that forms a happy medium. This is what I have adopted, there is no point me doing what I do and not being any other way and if nothing else I’m a working example of coming to terms with errors and more importantly saying that you accept them, accepting being human.

We know people project their guilt and shortcomings, as positive thinkers and self improvers we have to understand this and try to lead by example. Everyone finds their way in the end and turns that projection into reflection. Cut them a little slack.

So I guess all this leads on to is being you. You’re you when you’re sitting home alone on the sofa aren’t you, you’re being you when you’re with your family and friends too right? No need to be anything  but yourself with any of those people. Exactly, so why apply any any other logic to the subject of love? Now personally I don’t believe you should be searching out love. For me it is something that should happen organically, if you are actively searching for something you can become blinkered and you can overlook certain things that maybe would cause a need for caution. Love is blind they say but I don’t think anyone has ever said it is stupid so you shouldn’t be either. A person in love with you can only truly be in love with you if that is what they are getting. You deserve the same, after all this is your life, no dress rehearsal or pilot episode. We hit the ground running and pay our tab at the end before checking out. It’s a hard fact I remind myself of now, why spend a single second doing something that isn’t making you happy? Obviously things happen out of our control and we can end up in unhappy places but it’s on us to work our way out of them. To re-establish our happiness. you don’t get perfection, that is unrealistic but it is realistic not to settle for anything short of a pure gut feeling. No question of trust, loyalty or any kind of grey area. Everyone deserves to not be in a bad place of love. It can eat away at you so move on from it, take away it’s lessons and evolve.

If your focus is on you, what you are doing and what you are working towards then without knowing you will be drawing like minded people towards you. People of the same interest or mentality, that’s how it works. Absolutely everything in life is energy and what you are tuned into is the energy you project and draw. People see it and feed off of it, not in a draining way but more of an amplifier. The key is to never lose sight of who you are and what you want to achieve, everything else pretty much drops into place. It might not be today or tomorrow but when it is meant to.

Love, true love starts with you, it begins with the belief in yourself. Firstly in understanding that you don’t ‘need’ anyone to have or achieve the life you want but it is who you ‘choose’ to share your life with. As wise man said to me many many times that we are a long time dead, that man was my father and he would’ve been seventy years old this year. He was right though, the bottom line is in the grand scheme of things our life is fleeting so we should cram as many laughs and adventures in as we can. Share your passions, listen to others talking about theirs and then go to bed each night thinking about how good it is to be alive and how much there is to look forward to.

Your life is now, today. Go live it.