The first one for 2014, and it is shaping up to be a character building year (not unlike every other year right)! As I write this I look out from a balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Puerto Escondido, México (tough life).
The start to this year has had the full range of extremes for me personally, and just when you think you have one part of your life sorted, something comes along and turns it completely upside down. Business is ticking over, obviously not without its challenges, however it can be frustrating when you don’t get as much forward traction as what you would like. Subsequently, I’ve been forced to re-evaluate my goals and priorities on more than one occasion over the last three months. Whilst a holiday can be great for perspective, we don’t always have a situation that allows for a holiday at every occasion, in my case, I was lucky enough to have the time available (thanks to an awesome business partner and cousin). Thus I have learnt a lot about myself, my business and my life from the start of this year, and have had the opportunity to reflect on it. From that reflection I have drawn several conclusions I wanted to share:
Keep family and friends close.
Seems pretty self explanatory but ask yourself, am I doing the little things? Making the phone calls, organising times to catch up, making an effort to keep the lines of communication strong. It’s not until things turn sour that you realise who the people in your life are, that care for you most and that are there for you when you need them. It is easy to lose appreciation for those closest to you when things are running smoothly, but the beauty about challenging circumstances is that it draws out the best in the people who count in your life, and that speaks volumes. So treat your family and friends well and you will enjoy the good times even more and be looked after through the bad.
I think we all have the tendency to become affixed into a routine be it good or bad, being too rigid within your own life can see you miss out on new opportunities and experiences. Sometimes it is important to shake things up and try something new or do something you’ve always done but in a different way or in a new environment. Flexibility, but more importantly, having the preparedness to adapt to new environments, is what allows us to grow as individuals and appreciate diversity. No one person does everything perfectly, so we can all learn from each other. Being flexible is something I have been trying hard to adopt over these last few months in particular, and as uncomfortable as I have found it to be at times, the process has allowed me to grow exponentially. So mix things up and change your perspective daily.
Do what makes you feel happy and make it happen.
When you consider where you live and what you have at your disposal (technology, money, opportunity) there is no reason why we cannot do the things that make us feel happy more frequently. If you want to visit a place: book the flight. If you love cooking: make the time and cook more. If you love the beach: visit the beach once a week/day. I’ve listened to myself talking about wanting to go to México for the past four years, now here, it made me wonder why I just hadn’t booked the flight earlier. When you feel at peace in your heart in a particular place or doing a particular thing, you need to hold on to that and insure you do it more often. It’s not until that you experience that inner content that you wonder why you waited so long to make it happen. We don’t get enough time in this life, to be forced by ourselves into doing things that don’t make us happy. So find a way to have your happiness as often as possible.
Appreciate the past but always move forward.
It can be so hard to move on sometimes, especially when all you want to do is hold on to the past. The cruel trick is though, that no matter how much you may want things to be the way they were, they never will be, and holding on to that notion of the past will only ever see you not enjoy your future as much. Each day we govern our headspace and the thoughts that we choose to keep at the forefront of our mind. These thoughts will influence our actions and what we subsequently do and experience. The only person who has control over these thoughts is you. If we’re not moving forward we’re stagnant and being stagnant does not allow us to grow, to experience new things or to see what other amazing things are out there. The reality is, as bad as you can feel in any one moment, somewhere in time, you will feel the complete opposite (happy, ecstatic), so you can’t get caught up in the moment. When you’re faced with a challenging time: take a deep breathe, focus on what YOU want, who YOU are and where YOU are going, then push forward, running your own race.
Only you can make things happen in your life.