I have been enjoying seeing loads of images of the 10-year challenge across social. I really love the idea that we get better, over bitter with age. As we live longer, it can become very easy to become bitter as each new decade brings new discoveries and challenges, of course hopefully along with many incredible adventures. I write in my book about all the amazing people I have met. People who had to make a choice to swim when it would be all too easy to sink. We all face these choices at some point and ultimately, we have a choice. That choice is on us. Not God. Not a personal trainer or a therapist. Not our parents or kids. Only you can do it. Only I can do it.
Over the past 10 years I’ve gained a hardworking, hot and loyal husband, a beautiful, funny and magical daughter, a cheeky, super cute and funny son. I’ve written a book (baby Arthur), launched a podcast and built a personal brand. There have been magical moments and heart-breaking moments. The highs have been mind blowing and the lows have taught me so much. Gratitude replaces victimhood with joy. I’m thankful for these years. Every single day, even the hard ones.
Here are a few of my key lessons from the past 10 years that I hope give you some food for thought.
Anticipation and perception are often very different to the reality of what we experience. True happiness is being present in the moment, because we can’t predict the future. A song I love is Feel by Robbie Williams. I just want to feel. Don’t we all? I don’t want to be rushing through the motions. Yes, modern life is fast paced. But we all have a choice. This year I promised myself I would say no more. A yes person saying no more? It’s important though because I want more time to be present. More time to really enjoy being alive. Time to reflect on all I have. Sometimes taking the time out to reflect gives us space to think about what we really want. Two people could be on a beautiful island and experience it differently. That’s to do with our thoughts. The best holidays are when we are present and taking it all in, instead of being elsewhere. Perhaps our mind is still in the office. I’ll be frank, there were some moments in Croatia last year that I was lying on the sun lounger with a stunning sea view and instead my head was deep in book edits. I loved the moments that I was present though.
The key question is – are we living with a grateful mindset or are we living in victimhood?
Likes on Facebook and Instagram
Likes on Facebook and Instagram are not your value. On that note, if I have not hit the like or love button on your 10-year challenge upload, rest assured it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. Read this article for a further explanation. I know this is an issue as it gets loads of hits each week through organic search.
I spoke on the Elliot Reeves show this week about the fact I get frustrated by the assumptions we make about people. Many presume I am an extrovert but I believe we all have the capability to be both. To embrace ambivalence, the times we are wild and spontaneous and the times we crave calm and routine. I was challenged on this and told:
‘but I’m an introvert and you will never change me and that is okay’.
Who am I to tell someone what they are and are not? What I will say is that words like ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’ can be damaging. We tell ourselves these stories and start to believe them. We all have it in us to let our hair down and be wild (note without alcohol or drugs). I have had people come on my podcast and tell me they can’t sing at the end with me because they are too introverted. Then by the time I have worked a little mojo injection on them, they are dancing around my kitchen like a loon. I love it. People would call that being an extrovert. I would call it releasing the mojo and magic inside all of us. Yet, we are all equally as magical in those moments we are calm and quiet. There is no right or wrong but I believe as humans we need a balance of both. Sometimes people call themselves introverts and they use alcohol to bring out their wild side. To me this proves that alcohol is merely an excuse for some to let go. To let their hair down. What I want to do in the near future is to arrange a wellbeing event where we truly let loose in our most natural of states. Watch this space, I tend to do things I say I will.
I’m constantly interviewing people and studying and researching this thing called happiness and mindfulness. I attend courses, I read, as in proper study and highlight books. I listen to podcasts. I meditate and I pray. I screw up but ultimately, I am striving to be a better version of myself every year. Only I can do that. Only you can do that. We all have choice but my biggest reminder of late is that keeping an open mind is key to our happiness. As is judging less and living more.