While I didn’t make all the progress I’d hoped, I may have made the progress I needed. I improved my attitude and outlook tremendously over the last month, and where I was coming from, that was a great effort. I didn’t reach any summits. I may still be lacing up my boots for all I know. But I have reached a point (a starting point?) where I know things have to be different, I believe they will be different, and that I am the one who has to make them different.
“If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life”. It’s hokey and simplistic and sounds like something you get at a self-help seminar, but it is a phrase that has resonated and stuck with me. I’ve got a lot of stuff in the quadrent of “people and things that don’t help me”. I don’t feel like I have enough stuff in the quadrent of “people and stuff that helps me”. I’ve pined after people who are not there for me for long enough. I’ve been a servant to the needs and desires and concerns of others for long enough. I’ve held my light under a bushel for too long. There are things that need to change. I started with me and the way I have been looking at things and (even more importantly) the way I have been feeling about things. Now some changes need to take a material form.
“Act… or be acted upon”. As I said before, I surrendered my actions and momentum and allowed focus to shift from what I needed and wanted to what has become a reactive, wait-and-see stance. Those kinds of stances are inherently unstable and I always get knocked over when I do that. Better to take action and damn the consequences than take no action and be damned by the consequences put on me by others.
“If you are not happy where you are… go where you are happy”. My own long-standing motto that I tell other people needs to be brought out of the box and dusted off for my own use. It’s not just a physical place either, or a job. If I’m unhappy in my mind, go to a happier place. If I am unhappy with my relationships, don’t fight it or force it; find relationships that make me happy. If my body is out of shape and stiff and spongy, work on it and move to a happier feeling about my health. If I don’t like the town I’m in, move. If I don’t like my job, move. The ongoing Olympic effort is to be happy – all the time. It has really kind of come down to being that simple. Be happy all the time. When I’m not happy, go to where I am happy. Even if I don’t know exactly where that is, start moving until things feel better. A friend once told me that she was once so depressed she spent days contemplating suicide, just to escape life and escape her emotional pain. Then she became very angry at all the people who’d made her feel that way (as she rationalized it at the time) and decided not to kill herself but to be a royal queen bitch to everyone and make them all suffer. And she was a truely unpleasant person for a while. But even being angry and hateful made her happier than being depressed and suicidal so I guess if you only feel a little bit better it counts as progress. (She’s much better now, and much kinder and happier, although still a deeply wounded person)
“I wanna see how lucky lucky can be”. The facts are: I’m a damned fortunate person, I have everything to be grateful for and very little to complain about and what there is to complain about is totally within my power and will to change. I used to have a t-shirt (a promo from the movie “Kuffs”, bonus points if you ever saw that!) that said: “Who needs experience when you have attitude?” Another phrase I’ve heard is: “Facts are totally relative to your attitude”.Fail to get that job after a stellar interview?
- Damn, I’m just not good enough for anything, nobody wants to hire me. I suck.
- Somehow, this wasn’t the job for me. There must be something even better coming my way, so keep an eye out. Look harder and find a job that will really make you happy and fulfilled.
- Just my luck. I needed that money, now there are things I won’t be able to get or have.
- How lucky this happened when I have the money. Now I can drive around confident that I won’t get stranded someplace scary. This is just an example of how all my needs are being met at the right time because I live in a prosperous mindset.
- Nobody loves me, shit… nobody even likes me. I am crap and don’t deserve the company of other human beings.
- Life is change, life is movement. I’m glad they are on a different path and I hope they find it fulfilling. What I need now are new people in my life that are going to help me on my own course to happiness. I’m ever grateful for everything those friendships were, but I am not dependent upon them to define myself.
The facts of almost everything are subjective to the attitude we have when we look at them. So, if my attitude is right and in alignment with my greater good, the facts can’t be anything other than positive and fulfilling. I don’t have to be lucky in fact, I have to be lucky in attitude. Then all kinds of lucky events will unfold.
“Free your mind, and the rest will follow”. Thoughts become things, not the other way around. It might seem something of a waste of time, but I believe I need to spend more time with my thoughts, and let them lead my actions. Of course I have to act, even the Bible says “faith without works is dead”. It also says: “As a person thinks, so they are.” Somewhere my brain is telling me who and what I am. If it is doing this unconsciously, then I have no choice but to act unconsciously, and that is no good. Better to spend 90% of my time and effort thinking about what I want and how it will make me happy and 10% of my time taking action to make it happen. When I know where I want to go, the difference will be like a rubber life raft drifting with the tides and winds, meant only to keep it’s occupants alive vs a nuclear-powered submarine going anywhere it wishes, heedless of conditions.
Hugely long-winded and wordy, but I needed to get that all out for my own sake. I started off thinking this would not be a very productive bootcamp. But I decided to change my thinking and voila!, it may well have been the most beneficial one so far.