Shackles

Is there a destiny within you unfulfilled and an opportunity you are still waiting for? I cannot imagine anyone will honestly answer ‘no, I have achieved everything and am completely content’. 

We absolutely should have aspirations and goals. But often these are ‘shackled’ by people and environments that keep us small.

A person can be in an environment where they are hoping for an opportunity to prove they ARE the right person to invest in. That they have the knowledge, expertise and experience to make ‘pure gold’. Months become years, years becomes years and years and nothing happens.

If the people that you pitch to (metaphorically or physically) constantly overlook you, fail to nominate and cheerlead you, and are simply nodding in all the right places, there comes the time when you must acknowledge that if they truly believed in you, as much as you believe in you, they would have promoted you by now.

We have to be our own biggest cheerleaders. We are the masters of our own destiny. Life teaches you it is not always in the interests of those around you for you to rise and grow. That the safe and predictable small version of you is actually what suits their narrative. And this is where you stay until you realise it. 

In the movie Forrest Gump, the child character starts to walk then run with his leg braces: as his confidence grows he gathers momentum, the braces break off and he begins to run faster and further, he runs, and runs, and runs. He achieves recognition. He has control of his destiny. It is a succinct and beautiful movie metaphor. 

Say or write positive goals and aspirations daily – don’t refer to them as dreams as this implies they aren’t real and merely ‘may’ come true. Read writings from professional role models in your field. And importantly, let go of the people or institutions keeping you small and allow yourself to grow. Believe in yourself and build your life plan, for without a plan nothing comes to fruition. 

You have to be the biggest investor in you.

What you want vs. What you need.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”: Steve Jobs

When asked what I value most in the world (loved ones aside) I always answer “my time”. My time is so valuable to me that I refuse to waste it. I refuse to sit through tv time if it brings nothing new to my life. I hate sitting in traffic to get somewhere, I’m not someone who can listen to an audio book and concentrate on driving – I am sure the local population would appreciate this acknowledgement of my lack of skills. I don’t like people arriving late – because they have put zero value on my time.

I have learnt to schedule my day into segments and I will always devote some time to just learning about something. It may be relevant to a client, or to a skill I am trying to improve. This time is valuable to me.

Personal Training is similar : my clients will often tell me what they do and don’t want. But I know what they need to achieve this. What follows is a collaboration and success in goal achievement, and a really great experience along the way for me and for them.

Steve Jobs was right, when he gave the world this quote; he didn’t realise he had not beaten his cancer, our time is indeed limited. Is someone wasting your time? Is there something you are not giving time to that you really want to? Is there a passion bubbling under the surface that needs to be given time to grow? … Make time.

I am making time in areas of life that give me pleasure and keep me happy : my relationship with my partner; my grown up children; self-development; new skills; business and career planning; bodybuilding; writing and photography. I have recognised what I want in life and what I need to get there. And because of this revelation nothing recently has been a waste of my time and it feels simply awesome.

Procrastination

I am a list writer. Things I need in my wardrobe, food we need in the cupboards, to-do lists every day. I must have read that if you write it down you will make it happen. Plan the life you want and how you aim to get it and it will happen. But this is not happening for me. I know that this doesn’t happen for a lot of people.

While clearing through mounds of books and papers recently I discovered that my partner has been literally planning, through writing, scattegrams and mindmaps, a better life and relationships for years, not just once but over and over – years worth of plans. All the things we discuss now together with honesty and full hearted excitement, I realised with sadness he has planned and dreamed of all of this before in his former life. He is an articulate, imaginative, clever and hardworking person. So what stopped him actually just doing it?

I can honestly say I don’t know for sure what stops the dreams and schemes we all have from becoming just repeated words on pages. It’s sad to realise that unless we all do something extra-ordinary, and take an uncomfortable chance, life really is just Groundhog Day.

If I think about how I used to dream of better relationships, a better lifestyle, and better work it becomes visible to me. It is not fear. It is not bad luck nor errors of judgement. It is the people we surround ourselves with. The ones that unintentionally keep us small and take, and take again, because it suits them.

In the UK if you have a big idealistic mind and you tell people about it, it is rarely cultivated and admired, one becomes a dreamer or a boaster. Totally in opposition to Americans who seem to love and embrace people with big dreams; the bigger the better. They love dare-to-do’ers and winners. Here we love to lose; it allows us the self pity that we had ‘prepared earlier’.

One of my parents would always say ‘oh you don’t want to do that’ ‘why would you risk that?’ ‘It’s too soon’ ‘Its too late’. Then, as I got older, subsequent partners who liked life as it was (usually at my expense in one way or another) did exactly the same.

I am not historically blaming the people around me. No I am blaming myself for listening to them. I have recently broken off from associates, and fallen out with older members of my family because I have learned to claim my space, literally. I cant deal with their problems for them and trying to do so has been holding me back from moving forward. So I have become selfish. I will own that one because I don’t feel guilty: I need space from the nay-sayers and I don’t need the toxicity of my past in my present.

Resisting the urge to proclaim over and over that my life is brilliant is hard. I have so little in terms of finances and wealth. But my goodness, I am physically more healthy than ever, mentally getting stronger everyday, and I am putting myself out of my comfort zone to achieve greater things.

Procrastination does not work for anyone. Claiming your space to allow you to get on with whatever IT is, does.

NOT procrastinating!