Life is a funny old thing. You think you have it all figured out, and then it hits you in the face, leaving you dazed and confused.
One of my problems is that I’m a chronic overthinker. My mind never stops ticking over. I can be lying in bed late at night, and I won’t be able to sleep. The thoughts racing through my mind won’t cease.
Overthinking isn’t a great trait to possess, but it’s served me well in one regard. I have spent a long time thinking about how I want to live my life.
When I was working boring and mundane jobs, my mind would wander. I constantly questioned why I was doing what I was doing.
Was I destined to do this forever? Was I too lazy to make a change? Was I scared to make a change?
Having these thoughts made me come to the realisation that I had to change something. I couldn’t carry on this way, otherwise I would waste my life.
Having a clear idea of where you want to be heading in life is vital. If you don’t have this, you will find yourself drifting through life, and you might not like where you end up.
Take over the reins of your life, before it slips away from you!
To live is to learn
I’ve always been fascinated with knowledge.
For some reason, I really don’t know why I did this, I would write out the capitals of all the countries in a little notepad.
I was seven. I was utterly obsessed with memorising all of the capitals. I convinced myself, at such a young age, that this information would be extremely valuable.
Was I right? Of course not!
I’m not going to lie. Memorising the capitals has allowed me to impress a wide range of people. It might not have provided me with any tangible benefit, but I always remained curious.
I have retained that thirst for knowledge to this day. I love reading books, learning about new concepts and ideas.
I never lost that childlike curiosity about the world that so many people do when they get older.
Just because you left school doesn’t mean you stop learning. On the contrary, you should be constantly learning.
The world is an ever-changing and volatile place. If you’re not continually improving your skill-set, you’re going to be cut adrift in a few years.
I like to think of this as being constantly curious. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll ask. I’ll devour as much as I can about whatever topic that tickles my interest.
You never know when that freshly learnt piece of information will be of benefit.
You are unique
You are you.
No one else sees the world through your eyes.
No one feels what you feel.
Your perspective is unique. This is one of the most powerful tools you have.
Everyone has their own perception of the world, yet, few use it to its full potential.
I’ll use myself as an example. I run a travel website. The travel sector is saturated with tens of thousands of people.
All these people are offering advice and writing about their experiences while visiting the far-flung corners of the globe.
You may think it’s pointless entering this market. How will I cut through the noise? What value can I offer?
The value is your perspective.
You and I could go on holiday to Ireland. I might love it! Declare Ireland the greatest country on the planet.
On the other hand, you might have hated Ireland. You didn’t like the weather. You found it boring.
Only you can provide your unique perspective of events and places.
My perspective and your perspective may be different, but both are right.
Never be afraid to express your views. Difference of opinion is what makes the world a fascinating place to live in.
A healthy body is useless without a healthy mind
I was always skinny.
I was so skinny my nickname was, and still is to this day, Bones. For as long as I return home, I will never lose that nickname. I could win Mr Olympia and still have childhood friends calling me Bones. I’m stuck with it!
Throughout high school, I struggled to put on weight. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t get the scales to budge.
Despite this, I never gave up hope that one day I would be able to crack the code and grow some muscle.
Once I had muscle and a fantastic body, all my worries would subside.
That’s what I thought. I was way off the mark.
I constantly documented my progress. I could see that my body and my lifts were improving. Yet, my wellbeing was not.
I was still miserable inside. Gaining muscle had not improved my life as I thought it would.
I had neglected my mental health.
Staking all my happiness on having a great body was not a healthy mindset. It was just one piece of the puzzle.
This all came to a head while I was living in Barcelona. I was going to the gym five days a week.
When I was there I was happy. I put my all into my lifts. I was delighted with my progress.
However, when I left the gym I was hit with anxiety. I would have to go and teach in a few hours. I was living in a city that I didn’t like. I was paranoid about getting pickpocketed.
Apart from the gym, I hated the place.
Eventually, my mind could take no more. I had a massive panic attack a few days before I was due to return home.
How could this be happening to me? I realised that despite my progress in the gym, I had been regressing outside of it.
No other part of my life filled me with happiness.
My teenage insecurities about my weight had consumed my life to the point where I neglected my mental wellbeing.
By all means have the goal to improve your body. Have the goal to lift more weight, your body will thank you for it.
Just don’t neglect your mind. It needs love and attention too.
This one is short and simple. It’s also borrowed from Mark Manson.
If your answer is anything other than Fuck Yeah, then it’s a no.
If the thought of doing something doesn’t make you leap for joy and scream at the top of your lungs, then you probably shouldn’t do it.
Learn to say No more in life.