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 my next post. 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. 🙃

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.