Need Space. Need to Recover.

I know a thing or two about needing time and a bit of breathing space. There have been times in my life where I have been the fireman, nurse, lawyer, personal assistant and a lot of other professions, all at once. I’m not complaining. Those experiences toughened me up. I had to do what I had to do for those that I love. However, it had gotten to a point where I was fed up. I felt like I was a requirement and not someone who was wanted. I was a necessary commodity not a human who could give more than just what someone asked for. I was slowly being eaten away at with all of the times that I felt like I only existed when my name was called. I didn’t dream. I couldn’t light the fire in me. The hunger to be great didn’t growl with intent. It churned with discontent and it hurt. I could feel myself losing my way. I didn’t do things for myself. I just existed. When you grow up as a child with people who expect great things from you, there’s two sides to that story. You love the belief that they have in you but you hate the pressure it puts on you, especially when unexpected situations in life crop up, and they still expect that you keep progressing at the same rate. It’s one of the reasons why my website is called attitudeandambition.com as the world… It keeps spinning despite your struggles. Sometimes, there isn’t a physical intervention available and with the internet being as accessible as it is, it’s my way of trying to help anyone who might need it. To get that space and to go through recovery, I had to make changes. I will explain them in a future post. This topic is quite heavy and as such, I don’t want to put a grand dollop of this on your plate. Sauce is never good without a proper burger. This post is the sauce. The burger and the meat of the recovery story is a post I shall put together for March so do keep an eye out for that. Right now, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the author behind the title.

The backstory

Making friends is something I have struggled with since my younger days at school. I had one friend when I was four. That didn’t last long. That friend moved schools. I remember playing on the tricycles alone and walking around aimlessly. Even at that age, I was observant. I would think about what I wanted to be. I would dream. I was never the jealous type thankfully. I did question the groups that would form though. I have had that inquisitive nature since my existence. Even in baby photos I feel like I look like I was always thinking! Anyway…I was confused as to why I was never accepted into those circles.

When I was eight, I used to hand around with some younger kids because it seemed like they were the only ones who would accept me. A little later, I started to have a bit more awareness and I developed some relationships in class but then again, on the playground I’d spend my days alone. When I turned ten or eleven, I joined the school football team and then all of a sudden I had people I’d play football with at lunchtime. I wouldn’t ever say that we were buddies. It was still a positive time for me and one that I always look back on fondly. However, when I think back at it factually, they didn’t ever really pass the ball to me. I was probably better than half of the kids playing. It would wind me up a little bit. I was just happy I was a part of something. It gets to that mindset when you’re never a part of anything, it’s a great coup when you’re just allowed to play! That kind of explains my own opinion of my own self worth for most of my life. That’s why I spend so much time building myself up these days. In fact, I’m still pretty much a lone wolf. I know how to handle it and use it to my advantage. That’s the biggest development. Probably, my biggest strength.

Keeping friendships

The question I sometimes ask myself is did I try hard enough to maintain the friends that I did make? Yes. I think I did. The question that I ask in response is were any of them worth chasing? Some. The rest I don’t miss. I don’t know what else to say. It wasn’t meant to be. That’s the truth of it.

High School

At secondary school, I was in a group of my own from beginning till the end. Well, I was there. I existed. Mainly ignored. We had people come in and leave. The usual teenage drama ensued and then tailed off. I never felt like I really had any connection with anyone though. The ‘football friends’ had all dispersed to different schools around the city. I didn’t have that anymore so I tried to fit in somewhere. I was looking for my role in that school community. I always felt isolated and judged. I accepted it. My role was to be the odd one out. When I did speak someone seemed to be offended or made me feel like I wasn’t worth listening to so I kept my input to a minimum. I would speak up in class but it didn’t do me any favours. Every time, I thought I’d made progress, I’d find out by lunchtime that I hadn’t when I was ignored. Eventually, I had my day. I accidentally found myself a friend who probably would admit that it was total luck how our friendship came about. It’s the only friend I really believe who believes in me to this day. She’s seen me through grief, tough situations and all the nonsense I’ve said to her! She’s a trooper 🏋️‍♀️

University – a mistake or a way to a better life?

University is perhaps one of my biggest regrets. I should have made the most of the opportunities that were out there. I wanted to. I tried to. In the end, the truth was that I couldn’t. I had limitations on the times I could afford to my studies. I had responsibilities and no one in my classes understood. They all seemed to be enjoying their PlayStation nights or the inside jokes they’d grown a list of. There were times that I would be sat in my class afraid of the time. I would literally be afraid that I was going to get home late and that people relying on me would think that I didn’t care. At the same time, I couldn’t leave early and let my lecturers think I’m disrespecting them. I would leave stressed. I’d rush to the train station. It was supposed to me a time of my life where I could figure out who I was and who I wanted to become? Instead, I was trying to (at the very least) keep a grip of the good in me that was still there. I knew midway through the first year that this was not what I wanted to do or feel like. I continued because I’m always a hopeful person. I kept believing that as long as I pushed through, there would be some reward in the end. Perhaps, I expected too much. I don’t speak to a single person from my university days. I did for a while but when my youngest sibling passed away, I remember I was talking to this person the night before it happened. After that, I found it hard to reconnect with them.

In fact, it was my final year at University that my sibling got very sick. Even before that we all knew something was wrong but the doctors didn’t diagnose it until it was too late. By that point, terminal illness were the words I heard as a diagnosis. I was sat in a hospital room on a strange day in cold December and it was the last thing I was expecting to hear. I remember there was a Scooby Doo movie tape on the tv and a dog barking somewhere. The whole day was strange. It’s the little details that affect me when I think back like the Scooby Doo movie and the dog, as I mentioned. However…..The look in my mothers eye is one that I will never forget. The realisation of what was happening and how I’d now have to muster up the strength to get my family through this was a sinking sadness like I’d never imagined existed. All of the other responsibilities, I couldn’t think about them for two or three days. I cried on my way out of the hospital. I remember walking towards the lift feeling like a feather. I had no weight. I was carrying some bags but it was like I was a gas in thin air. I cried to myself on the train home. I could feel the tears so I would intermittently wipe them while staring out of the window. It was then my duty to deliver the news to my family. My grandparents. My uncles and aunts. My brother. The hardest one was my brother. I tried not to cry and deliver him devastating news with as much positivity as I could. It was the most difficult thing to do except for the day where again, I was responsible for letting him know our sibling had passed away. I really wish one day I can give him some good news because two of the biggest difficult events of our life, I’ve been the one to tell him. That’s why I work hard and dream. To right the wrongs. Maybe, that’s the wrong phrase but I’m sure you understand what I mean.

My final year at University became a blur. In the end, I missed some modules and had to defer to go back later. The week I was supposed to go back my youngest sibling passed away. My journey at Uni is one that I look back on with a lot of regret and sadness. Some of the things I could control and some, I couldn’t. I learned from it. I got a degree out of it. I matured through it. It’s a tough one. I guess I can be honest enough to say that I struggled through it and mature enough to realise that it was a struggle that actually has shaped the good in me to what it is today.

Working

Finding a job was hard because the only real experience I had was working for the local football stadium in conferences and events. I’d served tea and croissants at conferences. Hot dogs at events. Obviously, I attained a lot from working in a fast paced environment and blending into a team. It wasn’t something that stood out though. Trying to explain to people why I hadn’t gathered any more experience in the gap between my degree and that specific point seemed like such a long story. It was too hard. It’s not always easy to sum the reasons of why you did or didn’t do something up in thirty seconds. Most people don’t want to know. A lot of people don’t have the time to listen. Eventually, I was given a job over the phone. I literally applied online. I gave a telephone interview. I started the next day. It was temporary but it was a start. I was gassed! So happy.

From that point on, I’ve worked on a lot of temporary or contracted positions. I’ve either chosen to leave at the end of the roles when I felt the time was right or at times, I’ve been forced to with certain goings on outside of work. I wanted to focus on myself and give myself a break for the longest time. I guess that’s where I have been at recently. Either trying to forge out a new career path or something. I did have plans. I probably look like an idiot. I don’t care. I have blessings that other people don’t have in the same way I have struggles that other people don’t understand.

Achieving & Dreaming

What can I say?! Even though, this whole post sounds very depressing. I can promise you that I have not had that attitude in my life. Sure, I sulk and get upset from time to time. I didn’t let the tough times drown me and I don’t plan to. I tell jokes. I laugh at myself. I try to enjoy the great that is in my life.

The most difficult thing….

It has been difficult accepting that I have to accept myself before expecting anyone else to accept me. In one of my recent roles, I did have that in abundance and I am super grateful for that experience. I had to leave that role for personal ambitions. It hasn’t quite worked out how I wanted but I’m still here! I’m defiant. I’m determined. I’m looking to do what I haven’t done. That’s a good place to be. Better places are where I’m going.

The biggest lessons had to break me down to build me up. The looks of disapproval. The disappointments. The rise and fall in my own faith of my decisions. It’s been a blessing in disguise! Could I have learned and been able to put smiles on peoples faces without these experiences?! No. No, I could not.

I’ve seen people go through a lot worse and come out the other side like champions. On the flip side, I’ve seen people go through similar or seemingly lesser levels of difficulty and suffer very badly. I have to be grateful. That innate belief that I’ve always had where I believe I can do great things has been quietly confident. Always. Sometimes too quiet! The main point is it has been there (on some level) through those lonely lunchtimes at schools, through the clock watching at University and at every other point of reference! It keeps me pushing. Keeps me believing. Keeps me dreaming.

People reading this will have been through bigger and more testing struggles. The key is not to compare. The master key is to learn from each other.

Motivation isn’t just about money. It’s about you.

The motivation that I promote isn’t for the sake of money. I want you to be the best you. Money will come and go. You only get one life!

I received a comment on a previous blog post earlier that cheered up my day so much! Shout out to enchirist for that 😁 It reminds me that the journey I’m on will be with hiccups, heartache and happiness. It’s a rollercoaster. It’s embarking on an abundance of new and old cliches. I can’t sit here and cry about the past. I know it seems like that, this post, it seems like that. To be honest, I am taking the moment to reflect. It’s all about using the events of the past to move forward. To gain or regain a positive attitude. To go get that win and happiness from achieving your ambitions!

I believe in you. Do you?! I decided to believe in myself a bit more. You should too.

Levels to good and bad decision making

There are levels to good and bad decision making. You can make many good decisions and a single bad one can spoil things. Let’s say you are allergic to a specific type of food and eliminating it from your diet has stopped the oily skin, the bad stomach upsets and the need to have to run like the Flash to the bathroom every few hours! You’d feel great. Then one day you see this particular food (in all its taste tantalising glory) at a buffet or a party and you help can’t but submit yourself to a plateful. The next day and the following week you’re dealing with the repercussions. That’s not nice. In the opposite fashion, you could make a handful of bad decisions and a single carefully considered good decision could be the start of something great. Kind of like deciding to drink more water. You might notice that you have less headaches and you’re not as hungry/craving for snacks throughout the day. Your skin looks better. You’re not thirsty all the time (obviously) and after a few good weeks of following through on this, you actually feel a hell of a lot healthier! Totally a woohoo moment. That’s the kind of change we want. The happy and positive kind!

It’s a difficult art this decision making. Nobody said it was easy. For example, let’s say your goal is to quit sugar for a month (great video here about that) and you go three weeks without even blinking near anything remotely sweet but on the twenty first day you eat three big bad sugary cookies! (I’m not really a cookie fan but that’s a whole other story. I’d probably end up eating a load of pink wafers personally haha!) Basically, now you would feel like crap. You couldn’t sugarcoat the act. It would be fair to say that it was a poor decision, however, that poor decision can be a one time thing or you can turn it into a train wreck of bad decisions. If you decide to forgive yourself and move on, continue with the intended journey and maybe, add a day on to atone for that slip in the road then it was one poor decision being cleared up with a combination of good decisions. That’s the right way to go about it. That’s the mature way to approach mistakes and poor judgments. Acknowledge your mistake. Revert to a better attitude. Focus on your initial ambition. End of! Of course….. You could go the other way. Once you’ve come down off of the sugar high you could exaggerate the poor decision and guess what?! You could give up! That’s not the right way to go though. All you would be doing is levelling up on bad decisions! That is not a route you want to take.

When you break the promises that you make to yourself, you’re devaluing your own words’ worth and that is something you simply do NOT want to do. It’s poor for your health mentally, physically and emotionally. Remember, a blip in the road can be forgiven. You will learn from it. You’ll mature from it. You’ll even laugh about it one day. Multiple bad decisions are a whole other set of muddy waters. They require a complete overhaul of your thinking. That’s when you know you need to intervene and make changes. It’s better not to let yourself get to that point. You can recover from it. It’s just a fight I’d rather people didn’t put themselves through.

Decision making

You should level up on good decisions. When you make one, make another and another. Soon it’s going to be a habit and if you do make a bad one, you’ll call yourself up on it. You don’t need your mum or your best friend to pull you up. You will be self sufficient in doing your own self evaluation. People don’t like to take responsibility and accountability for what they do these days. It’s hard to acknowledge your own flaws! It’s even harder to admit them out aloud and then actively seek change!! What’s not hard is seeing the good effect of the changes and feeling the buzz of recognising your own achievements. When you know that you’re getting a bit too arrogant or boastful, or even lazy and lethargic about life in general, you don’t want to let it get so bad that someone who loves you gets concerned and then pulls you up on it. That’s embarrassing and also irresponsible. If you’re of sound mind and of a mature age, you should evaluate your own behaviour. Not to say that I haven’t made poor decisions in my life but I’ve been doing a self evaluation since I was eleven years old! Maybe even younger. If I’ve lost my way or I’m seemingly making questionable decisions, I’d be utterly ashamed and embarrassed to let it get to the point that someone has to pull me up on it! Although, if someone did and they had a point, I’d owe it to myself to acknowledge the mistake, move my mindset back to a positive attitude and to immediately regain focus on my ambitions. Not dwell. Not cry. Not start an argument. Just acknowledge the problem, alter my attitude and focus on the ambitions.

Attitude and Ambition

This website is http://www.attitudeandambition.com for a good reason. It’s because it’s all about levelling up on some great attitudes and achieving success of our ambitions.

I hope you take something positive away from my posts but at the same time, I like to think that I don’t sugarcoat things and push positivity down your throat. I’m positive, yes. I’m not deluded though. Everyone has a specific set of circumstances and the solutions they will require will be specific to them.

I try to offer universal advice that with a little thought can be adjusted to your own life. I’m not always going to say the right thing for you, although, my intention is to do exactly that. I am a mere human human mortal so it’s not always a battle I’ll perfect. I don’t think perfection is a realistic aim anyway. Who wants to be perfect?! I like my flawed social circle. I like the fact that I can be overly competitive. I love the fact that I overthink! If I didn’t have these traits, perhaps, I wouldn’t have learned some of the great things that I have. I’m all about making good changes. I always say that you should aim to be the best version of yourself. Even that’s going to be flawed. We just have to try our best. We don’t need to be perfect to enjoy the fruits of our labour. We just need to acknowledge our issues and face them head on. Hard work will bring about reward. Just believe.

This is written in purple pen and no, purple is not my favourite colour. It’s just a nice colour. 🙃

Steady Eddie January

My January wasn’t really that exciting (as can be confirmed with the quickly edited video above) but I just kept chipping away at it knowing that I’ll get something out of it at some point. It was very steady. I was bored a lot. I had a lot of things to do. I was feeling quite overwhelmed at times. I didn’t waste my time though. I pursued my to do list like it was a million dollars (except it wasn’t) and it was rewarding (not quite like seeing a million dollars in my bank account) getting to the end of that particular list. It was enough to make me feel like it wasn’t a wasted month. I got stuff done. As always though, there’s more stuff to do!

January blues – the cue to to end the blues

I did what I know how to do. I chose the method of trial and error until I finally cracked the case of ‘Miserable me’…. And so usually I’d cheer myself up with a power walk or some pancakes. It wasn’t working. I hopped off to go to the gym. It wasn’t working (FYI, I didn’t actually hop. I walked at a leisurely pace) I tried writing and indeed, I did write. I posted a few times. To be honest I wasn’t totally enthused by the majority of my content. (If anyone knows a writer, it’s not uncommon for one to say that. That’s about par for a writer!) Again, my trials continued and they were not working. I kept taking the fists in the face and then finally, I’d cracked it! Aha…I ended up in an argument defending my stance on something I’m very passionate about and even though, I was clearly factual in my points, I lost. I lost because the other person shouted louder. This did somehow awaken me. Apparently all I needed was someone to get on my nerves!

Getting out of the rut

I can give you a list of things to try and I have done so in past posts. You could also try the suggestions above (minus the pancake eating because that’s not all that healthy when it’s Nutella pancakes with whipped cream hah) but often, the best ways to get away from being blue involve going back to basics. YOUR version of basics. Not mine. My suggestions might work but in equal measure, they might not. You might need one thing or a combination of changes, or additions, to get you through. Trial and error tests your patience. It’s not the kindest of methods to learn yet it’s one of the most used in all matters of science and life. At least, when you go through a list of things, you figure out what doesn’t work and in future you won’t waste your time trying it. You’ll just fast forward to the things that do work.

The rights – Your rights

I’m going to go off on a tangent now. It’s fair warning….

I know I bang on about not giving up and persevering. I know it’s very annoying. Sorry, not sorry. People are so quick to throw things back these days. If they hear the same thing twice in the space of a week, they get offended and defensive. It annoys me. People complain and whinge about things that don’t change. Why don’t they change? Situations don’t change because the people don’t change! It really gets on my nerves!!! They don’t want my advice, however, they want the right to complain. My ears, my soul and my brain don’t want to absorb that negativity. Sometimes, after I leave these people, these thoughts circle in my head. Why? Because I care about the people. I want to help them but they don’t want to be helped. Those are the toughest cases to crack. I must be an idiot because I just don’t want to give up on them. I don’t care how many times they throw my positivity and my want to help them back in my face. They’re addicted to that vicious cycle of being negative and they need my help. I will pursue this cause. It seems like a lost cause. It might be. I will trial and error until I find the case to solving the ‘Miserables’ and when I do, I’ll be sure to treat myself to a six month vacation in the mountainous hills somewhere sunny and gorgeous. A glass of lemonade, a selection of fresh pastries and a view people would sell their right arm for…. One can dream. In fact you always should.

If you can’t dream and you can’t think positively, what can you do?! It’s a basic human right to be able to hope and to have ambition. People and situations in life can take a lot away from you. They can take away materials, money or worse, people . You should never let them take away your right to hope and dream. That’s something that is innately within us and to be honest, it is never taken away. What happens is people fall out of sync with their hopes and fall foul of the fear of failure. Dreams are not a sure fire route to failure. They are your joys and inhibitions meant to lift you up, not tie you down.

The takeaway today

Back to today’s topic. Today’s takeaway might well be pizza, a meaty slice (or three) of jalapeño stacked and cheese lathered, meaty goodness. That’s not the takeaway I’m focusing on though. The takeaway from this post? What can you take away from this post? Well, I’m human and so are you. That’s not supposed to be patronising. I guess what I’m trying to say is, well, every situation is specific to that particular individual. If you’re struggling with something in your personal or professional life, and you don’t know what to do about it? Maybe, try a few different things. Google is full of great and some very poor suggestions. I once read the best way to get over sadness is to go swimming. I mean there might be something scientifically beneficial about swimming that is indirectly related to sadness but I don’t buy it! If they’d have said exercise I’d be taking that information with a bit more seriousness. Swimming?!

You might have to struggle a little bit more to get through your struggle. In fact yesterday, I was listening to Bradley Martyn. This guy opened up a gym a year or so ago. He’s into being super fit and to be honest, I’ve seen some of his videos before and my takeaway from those vids was that he’s a nice, friendly dude who’s had his battles and (still does) but he pushes through. Like every other, he has hiccups but I respect that he’s honest and pushes through! Remember this. The battle is with yourself before it’s with anyone else! In his video (which I’ve conveniently inserted below ‘cos I’m nice like that) he talks about exactly what I harp on about and a bit more. In fact, I’ll stop talking and you should go watch that now!

You don’t have to listen to me. There isn’t any small print that’s going to cost you anything. If by any chance, I’ve helped you at all. I’m happy with that.

My last words, for this post anyway. Be the best you.

Yes, this is written on the back of a bubble tea receipt. If this in any way or shape offends you… idk just I’m sorry. I guess 😐

Need to change but can’t find a way? Let me help

“Change is hard but not changing is going to be harder” – a random IT graduate drinking a white cappuccino at Starbucks

If you’ve had enough of revolving around in the same circular motion, wait right there and I’m going to break this crap down to a mush! I hope after I’ve mashed this unmotivated malarkey to a mush, you’ll be as motivated as a man on a mission! Have you ever seen a man (or woman) on a mission?! Unstoppable they are! One aim. One goal. One human. *One result.

*And it’s not failure!

I don’t know where to start…

I should have purchased that cushion 🙄

I hear this a lot. I see this a lot. I have felt like this myself in the past … A lot! The fact is you don’t start change with a full on evaluation of everything. You start by changing one thing. Arguably, the first change should be your mindset but sometimes that acknowledgement is hard so instead of psyching yourself out, change one physical thing. That is a bloody good start. Most people don’t change anything so you’d be off to a brilliant start already. Insert high five moment. How? Well, easy does it, simple things are always good points for lift off. You could decide to wake up earlier in the day or go to sleep earlier to aid with the early mornings. You might want to embark on a healthier lifestyle so you might add a few power walks to your week or up your water intake. Whatever it is, one change at a time will start you off in the right direction!

Eventually after you’ve physically made two or three changes, you’ll find it easier to acknowledge and feel motivated enough to accept that your mindset is now changing. It’s very hard to simply quit old habits by just telling yourself. If that had worked in the first place, I wouldn’t have had a million repeatedly boring conversations with myself!!! The only thing that worked was being proactive and physically making adjustments and additions. By doing this, my mentality automatically changed as I could see the positive results of my new found direction in life.

Make a list – tick it off

So you’ve decided you want change. The next thing is to make a small list of (short term) achievable goals. Once you’ve managed to get through your list you’ll already be climbing that ladder towards your long term goal. You don’t need to plan the 100 steps to success. You just need to plan the next step to…the next step. I know it’s very simple and perhaps it’s patronising. You’d be surprised at how many people give up because they plan too far ahead. They are overwhelmed by all of the things they need to do in the future and quit without really starting at all. We’ve all heard the phrase Rome wasn’t built in a day but isn’t it a rock hard truth?! With any goal or target, you cannot expect instant change and you cannot give up at the first sign of trouble. You will never change if that’s the way you want to live. The doubters. The haters. The judgement. The lack of self worth. These people, these judgements and these unwanted negative emotions won’t leave you be until you leave them be. Forget wallowing in the negativity, make changes now or forever keep your peace! I guarantee though that if you do not actively seek change, you’ll never be at peace with yourself! As I say, make a list and tick it off. It could be a list of three things to start off with but a start is miles better then a stationary stop. You have to add mileage on that journey to your goal. Standing still and procrastinating will do diddly squat for you. In fact, that is the same as a dude (let’s call him Jonny) sat in his car ready to road trip the country with a full sized colourful map, a couple of packed bags and a boot full of snacks except he’s actively going absolutely nowhere. Why isn’t he leaving?! He seems to be waiting for a sign, a sign from the high heavens that is, before he slams down on the gas and drives his (seven times broken down) Chevy to leave. The perfect weather and the ideal circumstances will never be. The most ridiculous thing about that kind of mindset is if he’d have heard a screeching cat he would’ve got out of the car and decided against the road trip but if he’d have found a penny in his pocket, he’d have thought it was a good luck sign. It’s completely illogical! In an unmotivated and depressed mindset, you don’t often need much to put you off making positive changes. He simply has to put that foot down on the accelerator and leave! Go Jonny go go!

(Note: I don’t know why this guy has to drive a Chevrolet and it has to have broken down SEVEN times but it just adds to the point I feel 🤣)

Don’t quit at the first sign of trouble

Some troubles are hiccups and we overreact. Don’t run at the first sign of trouble. You can make it past the first hurdle.

I have alluded to this in the previous paragraph but you can’t give up. You know, motivation isn’t a pill you can take or a drink you can glug. It’s a conscious effort to change. Shouting at yourself in the mirror or throwing cold water in your face might work a few times however, eventually you’ll get used to that behaviour and there won’t be any effect of the shock you tried to galvanise yourself with. Small changes in small increments actually yield really big results because consistency is the key. Giving up? Well, that doesn’t provide consistency.

You don’t need to make promises!

You don’t need to make yourself any promises because once you break one promise to yourself, you’ll be more lenient on yourself and not keep any future promises. Instead of looking at change so rigidly, look at it like an optional change because at the end of the day, change is an option. When you look at things through a more optional lens, it’s easier to do and if you do make a mistake along the way, immediately forgive yourself and move on. That mistake was an option too. Accept that it was a bad choice and instead, make a better one moving forward.

This below is a great video that I found super useful and eye opening about how the way we think about ourselves in the past is what we believe will be our future, and then also how that isn’t actually true at all! It’s a lot more profound and intelligent then the way I’ve just described it and most definitely worth a listen.

People can change

You have to realise that the world is a big place with a lot of people but a lot of people don’t actually change. Very few do. You don’t want to be a part of the majority in this case because the majority is prepared to settle with the second, maybe even third or fourth best, version of themselves. I can’t live knowing I didn’t try when I had the opportunities to. You shouldn’t settle either. Where there’s a will, there’s a way! You can change!

Make moves.

Move in the right direction.

Change your trajectory if need be.

Don’t let bull**** thoughts or the hater crowd control your future.

Live your best life.

BE THE BEST YOU! ✊

Yes, this is written on the back of a bubble tea receipt and I do not apologise 🙃

Lack of motivation – The inner battle

Some mornings you’ll wake up as fresh as a daisy. Sure there’s the initial grogginess where you press snooze (a few dozen times) however once you commit to living the day, you’re as chipper as a kipper. On other mornings, it’s like you’ve been in twelve rounds with a heavyweight boxer except his punches weren’t physically hurtful, they were just reeaaallly demotivating. You could think of it as a video game. Two players. One aim. Both players are cursing and manically pressing the controllers so to beat the crap out of the other until finally one has the strength level diminished to zero. Of course, you can’t underestimate those in between mornings as well where your mood is neither here nor there. The thing is after you wake up (whatever mood you’re in) the decision is yours with how you want to move forward with your day. If you want to be happy Max or moaning Minnie, that’s right royally up to you!

How to get motivated?

First things first, motivation isn’t a pill or a drink. You can’t glug it down and expect instant results. Nor is it an aesthetic issue. You can’t cover it up with some makeup.

You can’t cover up the cracks on the inside like you can a mark on your face

It’s a mental challenge. Mental challenges are the toughest kind whether they’re personal, professional or social life related. Why? It’s because where mental health is concerned there’s a level of accountability every day. As you can see with the rate of depression soaring around the world, mental health is clearly something the world needs to wise up on!!! Social media, cultural expectations and constant judgement (both online and offline) are hard to get away from. You can’t just cut yourself off from the world so a solution must be found. Loneliness most certainly is not the cure. In fact it’s probably one of the main causes!

The issue is that it’s not always possible for people to help. A lot of people have their own struggles and a lot of people can’t give you the time you want. Don’t get me wrong…..Other people are great. Their support cannot go unnoticed. Although, the best place you can start that healing process is from within.

You are an individual. I am an individual. Every other freakin’ person is an individual. Humans don’t fit into ven diagrams. We are so specific and different. We have similarities too but the life we live must cater for our circumstances as best we can. I might like mint ice cream. Another person might like vanilla. Another is allergic to dairy so can’t eat it. We definitely can’t be put into ven diagrams! With that in mind, the motivation and the sources from where you will draw your inspiration from will be varied and different. The one factor that you can rely on is your ability to change your mindset. To adapt to difficult situations. To make the best decisions for yourself. Since the beginning of humankind, people have had to adapt and survive. When you are sick your body starts fighting back. When you’re scared the adrenaline kicks in. When you’re hungry, your body starts to use your fat reserves. You could argue that these are natural and innate reactions. Yes I agree. My counter argument is that this is all from within yourself. Whether you have consciousness over it or not it doesn’t matter. The point is you help you. Your decision to keep a healthy mindset and lean on the side of positivity will pull you out of the rut. It will provide motivation in ten fold for the effort you exude trying to achieve it. The results of your motivation will yield a happiness that nobody else can provide for you.

How can I motivate myself?

Think sunny blue skies and set off on your day with a smile.

It’s simple. The solution is simple. If you think of the solution as anything other than simple then it’s going to be a hard time. I’ve listed a few things which I’m sure you’ve heard a million times but reinforcing them can’t be any harm.

    Take deep breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed. You know you could even try yoga or meditation. You don’t have to join a class. There are plenty of online tutorials.
    Eat healthier and make your own food where possible (it’s fun to try new recipes, way cheaper than eating out and you know exactly what’s in it)
    Keep hydrated at all times. A hydrated human is surely automatically a happier human.
    Exercise a few times a week. Walking. Swimming. Gym. All great options. Get those endorphins out!
    Make a list and tick it off. Every time there’s a new thing to do, write it down. Every time you finish a task, tick it off. You don’t want a list as long as your arm so prioritise too. A lot of the time we mentally exhaust ourselves with the amount of things we think we need to do by a certain time. If it can wait do the more pressing tasks first. If you can delegate….. then delegate!

Obviously this list isn’t exhaustive but simple changes are the start to your journey of being able to manage your motivation. As I said earlier, motivation isn’t a pill or something you can drink. It’s something you have to manage. It’s not as hard as you might think once you get going. It’s just like brushing your teeth. You brush your teeth to keep them clean and your mouth free of bacteria. It’s horrible when you can feel food on your teeth isn’t it?! So, in the same way we wouldn’t want to mismanage our teeth, you wouldn’t want to mismanage your motivation

The journey – start to finish

Homer Simpson is not the greatest example but even he had to pay the price from time to time

When you embark on any mission to better yourself as a human being, the first few changes and decisions will be hard to follow purely because you’re not used to the new path. One of my favourite speakers is Grant Cardone. I recommend you go follow him on Instagram because aside from some great advice, he’s also a funny, vastly life experienced and intelligent guy with many great stories to tell. I saw a video of his where he was saying that “you have to pay the price” and it’s so true! Troubles come but they also go. You will adjust. You will see a positive pattern. You will be grateful for travelling through the crap later on. The tough days and the challenges are what make the sweetness of achievement so sweet. How many times do you hear no pain no gain? Now, I’m not saying that you need to cause yourself pain however, you have to survive a tough or challenging situation before you can see the fruits of your effort. Nothing comes free. Nobody can fix the inner you. You are your own keeper. You have to accept responsibility at some point or you’ll just move from one sad movie scene to another. A Hollywood A-List party life isn’t always realistic (for most of us) but happiness is. I can’t expect the red carpet to come out every time I enter a building but I don’t have to walk in with a face like a slapped backside.

Treat yourself now and again

Most of us aren’t Olympic athletes or professional sportsmen/sportswomen, or politicians or spies that need special protection. We don’t have to hide ourselves and deprive ourselves of things because we might not be able to compete in the next competition or we might be seen grabbing a juice and all of a sudden, our cover is blown! When you set a goal or target you should also set in between treats and the big treat for when you have achieved your goal. For example a third of the way through your goal you might buy yourself a pair of shoes you had your eye on. Two thirds of the way through you take yourself and a mate out for a cheeky dessert. At the point of realising the achievement, you could book yourself a mini break. For me personally, I like trying new foods and drinks so recently I treated myself to a bubble tea.

Chocolate and vanilla milk bubble tea. Verdict 7/10. Should’ve bought a smoothie.

You can make it happen

I used to think that I can’t expect anything other than maximum effort from myself. I liked the idea of being the best and the plaudits, the recognition and the feeling of accomplishment. I didn’t factor in life experience at that point. I was young, naive and pretty unaware how things outside of your control can impact you. Yet, that same energy I put into misguided blissful ignorance is now a mindset where I alleviate myself of pressure. I expect maximum effort still with a careful consideration to other factors in my life. If I’m sick I’m not going to exhaust myself on a treadmill and then come home pressuring myself to write a thousand words. It’s maximum effort with a margin allowed for off days, bad judgements and errors. Most people are their own worst critic. I am probably no different. I’ve just learned to give myself a break. As much as the responsibility of your own motivation, your life, is in your hands, it’s also necessary to give yourself a break now and again too.

Without further ado, go be the best you!

Yes this is written on the back of a receipt because I like to be authentic about my writing experience

How do I recover?

This world can lift you up or take you down in a matter of seconds. It’s quite funny really. You mightn’t even know it until long past the actual instance. High as a kite one minute and as low as the oceanic depths in another. Well, I say it’s funny but it’s less haha and more, ugh.

Sun and rain equals rainbow. Life though, doesn’t always follow simple understandable mathematics.

Don’t expect the logical explanation

A sunny day could cloud your judgement and a wet walk in the rain could clear your mind. Things don’t always work in the way you might think or want. Sometimes logic will fail us and instead taking a (calculated) risk will make us. The simplest mathematical equation of A+B=C could fail. If A is 0 then that equation surely does fail as actually then A+B=B so the question is how do we know? How do we know which way is best?!

The fact is you have to make mistakes, be prepared to error as for every trial you must take, your understanding will surely be better. There’ll be days where you’ll taste defeat but you’ll learn, eat and sleep to find a wiser head on those shoulders.

You don’t see a way out?!

Don’t be disheartened and I know it sounds foolish to give you a pep talk over an internet connection but sometimes to get out of a tough spot, you have to do away with good old convention.

Life is like a punnet of peaches. Sometimes, so sublimely sweet and succulent and at others, sour and texturally disappointing. You cannot go through life falling at a hurdle only to get up and expect to fall at every other hurdle. Some hurdles are small and others are (you guessed it!) tall. What is the point in conning yourself out of your human right of having confidence to falsely believe that even the smallest hurdle will be a mountain that you simply can’t get over?! You can! In life, it’s not a sprint where you need to keep momentum at a heavy pace. It’s a marathon. This race is not as strict as humans and the media make it out to be. You won’t get disqualified if you bend the rules a little. If the hurdle is genuinely one that you feel you will topple into then walk around it. Maybe even duck under it. Take help if it’s available to you. Some people have a complex about accepting help. Let me put it this way… If you were to help someone would you feel shame? I’m pretty sure you’d not. So in the same fashion, why is it such a bad thing to accept help? If it’s the little nudge you need to do bigger and better things, take it. Help is one of the mercies we have in this universe. It’s more than okay to accept it from time to time.

Sometimes staring into the distance and watching people walk by is the most calming thing you can do. Watch others hurry and waddle past. Everyone has a struggle but as long as you keep moving positively, there’s surely a way past.

Human vs Human

The world is not uniform. We’re all human but we’re also different. In fact, we are a beautifully, wonderful concoction of a contradiction. Us humans, that is. We are the same and yet, we are not.

You must absorb the fact that other people succeed as a positive proof and example that you can too! Whatever it is that you want to do to make your life better… you can do! Equally, where people fall short or to be blunt, fail, you can learn from other people’s’ mistakes. You don’t always have to make your own haha! Sometimes, learning from someone else will suffice.

See, this is learning. I have learnt that I am more a savoury breakfast fan than a sweet breakfast fan. I am most definitely a breakfast and lunch separately kind of person too. None of that brunch nonsense!

Personal experience

I personally have had tumbles, trips, falls and many a false start and truthfully, giving up sounds like the most upsetting, unfair and unequivocally unjust way to treat myself! What has all the ruckus, perseverance, risk and effort been for?! What would all that work be for to fall flat now?! Voluntarily at that. To fall flat out of effort, I can accept because at least I would have tried but to fall foul of false disbelief and simple laziness would send me into a vicious self loathing cycle that I honestly can’t be bothered with. It would be an insult to myself. There are enough people in the world ready to troll you, you most certainly don’t need to insult yourself too!!!

Fact is…..Don’t let other people stamp on you but don’t be a lemon and stamp on yourself either! Always. Believe. In. Yourself.

It’s the same for you. For me. Everyone.

I have something you don’t have

Everyone has something that someone else doesn’t have. Everyone. Jamie from Southend might be a fast runner but he can’t run a marathon. Why? He doesn’t have the stamina or the patience. Ibrahim from Kenya might not be quite as quick but he’ll run two marathons back to back and be ready to go again in no time at all. Why? He’s used to the heat and running long hours so he’s gathered great endurance. Looking at it another way, Jamie might have come from a very low income background however he has a massive family network so he’s confident and assured in himself, win or lose. Ibrahim could be the wealthiest man in his hometown and have the love of all his country yet he’s lonely, insecure and can’t handle the pressure of success or failure. Jamie can hold his breath under water for two minutes. Ibrahim can somersault and backflip. Jamie can fly fish. Ibrahim can milk a cow. Jamie played as a goal keeper for his school team where as Ibrahim was a striker. Jamie plays the saxophone. Ibrahim loves a game of chess. What makes you different?! We all have something. Don’t look at other people. Look at yourself.

Forget the other person in your eye line. Focus on your own path.

What makes you special?

Everyone has something that differentiates them and makes them unique. What you have to do is figure out which of your differentiations gives you a positive advantage and a leverage so you can get that extra push to get you to be the best version of yourself! Forget everyone else! Focus on yourself. Simple.

The gap under the bridge is small but that’s not how a human should think. We should be free like the water under the bridge.

If I accept that I am average and I don’t believe in being able to better myself then I should never ever give anyone any positive advice! Never. Why? Because that’s quite literally the active definition of hypocrisy and the saying do as I say not as I do. You’re only average because you’re focusing on the things that you can’t do or the things you haven’t even tried. When you focus on what you can do and that you will be able to do if you keep trying, guess what? The world suddenly opens up. You see things in a different light. You can see the wood from the trees and the honey from the bees! Life begins again.

The human code

As humans we are a combination of traits and looking at things through a single lens doesn’t tell you anything. You can’t look at a human being and know for a fact what is and isn’t true about them. You can dislike or envy aesthetic appearance, be jealous of (or respect) their social status or question the genuineness of their demeanour yet still you won’t know. Not for sure anyway. Until you live inside the heart and mind of a person, how can you tell them what that they are or aren’t capable of?! You can’t. Not really. So if you can’t tell other people of their limits because you don’t really know them then it’s only logical to think that you should ignore other people when they tell you! Ignore them! You know what’s inside your heart and mind. You know the trials and tribulations you have come through. You know your faults and your actual limitations. Don’t let other people put their narrow minded limitations on you. YOU know YOURSELF best.

People keep sticking their nose in my business

I’m tired of being told to sit my ass down because I don’t fit or I’m never going to get there. The ‘there’ they speak of… I’ve never mentioned it. I haven’t specified a location. If anything the location is me! All I said was I want to be the best version of myself. People say:

  • Don’t dream because dreams aren’t a reality
  • You can’t do it as it’s not realistic
  • You’re not cut out for that kind of life
  • People like you don’t get that kind of success because you’re in that majority margin of ‘normal’
  • You think you’re going to be a somebody but you’re just going to be somebody they’ll laugh at for being a nobody

I just look at the heavens in the sky and say thank you. I have blessings and glad tidings other people would sacrifice their livelihoods for. I focus on my work ethic not other people’s’ nonsense

The list goes on and to be honest, these are some of the more milder examples. I don’t care. I stopped caring when I realised that people would be upset no matter what I did. I thought the majority would be happy when I took route A and somehow they weren’t so I redirected to route B! True as the day is long, they were still upset when I changed directions to take route B instead of A! Except more people were unhappy. I didn’t quite know how. Truth is……You can’t please everyone but you can please yourself. A positive attitude is vital and just focus on your ambitions.

I believe in you. Do. It.

Promise to do your best

You want to move forward. You want to improve. You want to be the best possible version of yourself!! It’s not happening, why?!

You have to accept two things;

  1. Failure is the key to success. That slap in the face will teach you more than anything that you will have found easy
  2. You can’t promise yourself something and then break your own heart by disregarding that promise

What is the root cause?

The biggest mistakes we make as individuals is when we break the promises we make with ourselves and then we convince ourselves that initial failure is the end of the line. We give up. Why?! A setback is an opportunity to re-evaluate and go again. Athletes get injured and they go away to recover, recuperate and what what do they then do? They come back and go again.

How to get through?

We CAN keep the promise and it’s NOT the end of the road. Perhaps, the idea was to lose weight, be financially smarter or to give up caffeine. Sometimes we want to add things like structure to our plans, to go exercise a few times a week, spend some good ol’ quality time with the family or (like me) start focusing on the blog. The exact second we break the promise with ourselves, we feel guilty and the majority of the time we just pretend we didn’t make that promise or we push it back for when the time is right. If you keep circling in this cycle, the time will never be right. Cut the crap. Start your journey to change. No other way to say it.

Its not even like the promises are unrealistic. The promises people generally make to themselves (more often than not) are not only achievable but very realistic. We only need maintain a bit of self belief and add a little more discipline to get there. Living life….. It was never meant to be rocket science! We overthink and complicate everything.

Right now, I want to lessen the amount of times I snack. I don’t need to do a spreadsheet on my snacking calorific intake for the week. I don’t need to call a dietitian. I don’t need to stress. I just need to avoid those unnecessary unhealthy snacks in between meal times.  I do like a good bag of doritos or a quick gobble of a bag of maltesers but it’s no good doing that on the daily. I know that and I know the solution. Instead I can opt for some fruit, veg or nuts and of course I could top up on H2O hydration levels. If I start worrying about every snack I won’t be able to have, it’ll overwhelm me and I’ll probably head right down to get a snack. It’s counter-intuitive. Relax your mind. And you know taking deep breaths isn’t a myth. It bloody works!

Keep the promises. You deserve to be the best version of yourself. If you tripped up it’s okay. Life is for learning, living and loving. When you trip up, you learn. The more you learn, the more you can love. The more you love, the more you’re living. Be confident in your abilities. One kind act. One good thought. One brave decision. All it takes.

Change is hard but regrets hit harder….

A little step forward, day by day, indeed in time it will go a long way.