Going With The Flow- Keeping An Open Mind

I am very much in the “go with the flow and see what happens” mentality at the moment and it’s actually quite freeing. Instead of letting myself get hung up over what ifs and buts, I’m saying to myself whatever happens, happens.

Its proving to be quite effective. I don’t feel obsessed over the small things, especially the aspects of my life I can’t control.

Please don’t mistake going with the flow for someone who doesn’t care or is carefree, I simply mean, I am trying my hardest to live my life with an open mind. I’m keeping my future path loose and fluid, with the idea that if one option doesn’t pan out the way I would like it to, then I’m not seeing it as a set back, merely one door that has closed.

We don’t know what the future holds but anxiety leads us to believe we do. We worry and stress over every little aspect of our lives. Whether it’s something seemingly as simple as someone not texting us back, we think the worst. I’ve seen it in myself in the past and friends in the present and I’m sure they’ll be plenty of people in the future going through the same situations. What we have to learn is that we can’t control everything.

Once we learn that, it suddenly becomes a freeing mentality which opens you up to so many opportunities.

When Derren Brown the illusionist placed money on the ground in front of a group of people he’d questioned before, the focus group who said and believed that they weren’t lucky didn’t see the money on the floor, whereas the people who said they felt lucky sometimes or more often than not, saw the money. It was an interesting psychological experiment which shows us that belief and your mental state can impact your life quite dramatically and in order to combat negative emotions, we should be actively opening ourselves up for opportunity.

Obviously with opportunity comes vulnerability but being vulnerable can also help us to develop as human beings. Being rejected from a job or a relationship hurts, don’t get me wrong, but with each experience we grow and we learn what we like about ourselves and what we don’t through other people’s criticism. This is why rejection hurts so much. We have a twisted sense of self, we believe that we are the protagonists of our own story, that other people are there to forward our adventure and in some aspects we’re right. We should be positive, be looking at constantly moving forward but we also shouldn’t have such a closed view on life.

Sometimes we’re the sidekick in someone else’s adventure. If we all went around thinking we were the hero of the story then there would be no story to be told.

Even sometimes, on our worst days, we’re the villains of someone’s story. It’s in these days we have a lot to learn about empathy and how to treat those around us.

Life, as I see it, is about experience. We have adventures, we love, we explore and reach new and exciting highs. We experience heartbreak and sorrow and incredible lows, even to the point where some of us don’t want to be on this earth anymore. But life is worth living for both the highs and the lows. It’s worth exploring the opportunities that are presented to us and keeping our path fluid with an open mind.

I thought that I would be stuck unemployed for months while on lockdown but during this time I’ve not only found myself a few odd jobs for people but was also head hunted by my old bosses friend. It was an unexpected surprise and has led me to the current freelance job I have today.

Maybe I believe in karma. Maybe I believe that I’ve had a lot of bad juju in the past few years and I’m finally receiving some well deserved positive vibes. Maybe I don’t believe in it. Maybe I think we are in control of our lives through the ways in which we choose to live mentally.

What do you think? Do you believe in karma?

Until next time.

Living Life With A Positive Mental Attitude

Life wouldn’t be life if there weren’t any ups and downs. No matter how much we plan and save we can never cover all eventualities.

We still strive for balance and contentment but in order to live a full life we need to embrace change, embrace the ups and downs that life provides.

Today I had a nasty surprise when my car failed it’s MOT. It’s an old car so it’s not a complete surprise that it needed work but the financial backing required to do so was over my budget, but still under the price of a new car.

It would be lying if I didn’t say I was upset. After paying a large sum of money for my studio flat, another large sum of money being withdrawn for my car felt like life was somehow cheating me.

If you’re one for believing in karma then you could have assumed that my receiving of a financial bonus this year led to my car costing more than I expected.

It often seems when life gives, it also takes away, whether it’s financial like my situation, or social, or even career related. What we have to remember is that our lives are an extensive list of moments. These moments are a mixture of both good and bad, therefore making it easy to assume that one moment has led to another, rather than accept life for the rollercoaster it is.

I have obviously had a tough month financially but I accept that another month I may be a lot better off. When we have bad moments it can be incredibly simple to slip into bad habits, and assume that we have bad luck when in fact we should feel excited by the prospect of something good happening in the future.

There is a lot to be said about a positive mental attitude and with that under our belt how can we be anything but successful?

Until next time.

Becoming More Successful Using Language

This week I have been learning about the Sombali language, a regional dialect spoken in the Philippines which uses compass directions (North, South, East and West) to orient themselves.

Due to this orientation, this tribe have an awareness that we who use ‘right, left’ or other directional indicators do not. This Philippine language suggests that life is bigger than oneself. For example: ‘the chair is in front of you’ implies that the object is located around our personal being as opposed to ‘the chair is south’ which suggests the object is part of something much larger than ourselves.

I wonder, therefore, if there is some increased empathy for the world due to this verbal cognitive training. After all, if we were unrestricted by our social insular vocabulary and cognitive training then surely we would be more open to the world around us? If we are more open we are more likely to learn, to develop, and more likely to succeed.

Can we adopt and train our own brains to think similarly to this Philippine tribe? I believe it is possible, and as a result of listening to others, learning every day, and treating the world with respect, we can ultimately become more wholesome human beings and consequently more successful.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below?

Until next time.

Ikigai & Finding Inner Peace

As a young person I often feel like time is slipping away from me and it seems like this is the general consensus across the board. We worry we’ve left it too late to start a new career path, left it too late to get married and have children. The ever encroaching deadline that is our thirties looming over us as if life ends there.

As someone with older friends (I won’t name any names because I would probably end up with a slapped wrist) I realise that it is never too late or too soon to do anything as it is simply our social constructs that dictate our paths in life.

I don’t have the inclination to follow a path set out for me by the rules of society, I am quite content with making this up as I go along, following my heart and my head combined for a complete happiness package.

There’s a Japanese word for this wholesomeness: Ikigai, a word which has no direct English translation that simply means “a reason for being” which I think is utterly brilliant and thought provoking. It’s thought to be achieved when one has balanced what they are passionate about, what they excel at, what positively impacts the world, as well as something that provides an income.

Thomas Oppong puts eloquently that “Millions of people still struggle to find what they are meant to do. What excites them. What makes them lose the sense of time. What brings out the best in them.” Which is completely true, especially when we hear about someone who has succeeded in life, it brings out our inner demons that want to be snide and snap, as if a reaction like this was some how going to cause a positive response.

When I think about Ikigai, I look to it as a final goal, something to achieve, as opposed to something I have in the present moment. Instead of allowing social paths to lead us down a supposed route to happiness, we need to find our own happiness, our own Ikigai.

Ways to achieve Ikigai:

1. Ask yourself what you’re passionate about and what you excel at.

2. Consider how you can plausibly create an income from that which you love doing.

3. Think about what the world needs.

Lastly, never give up the hope that one day you will be content with life.

Until next time.