34 days. It has been exactly 34 days since my last post on this blog. My hiatus stems from a variety of reasons which all converge at one point which affects all of us from time to time: the mind. To be perfectly candid, the beautifully composed abstract painting presented above, is a vivid representation of what my mind has felt like. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have allowed myself to procrastinate on my goals and priorities, become distracted with things which serve me little to no legitimate purpose, and allow negative thoughts and emotions to affect some of my positive daily habits. That is one side of the coin.
On the flip side, my procrastinated and distracted state of mind, also enabled me to “go with the flow” and make positive strides in other aspects of my life. It gave me the time and freedom to have deeply meaningful conversations with close friends about the meaning of a purpose-driven life, and the current state of our world. It gave me the chance to experience incidents, which further solidified the importance of carefully choosing the people I allow into my circle. It enabled me to explore my thoughts and emotions regarding the loss of my father, the breakdown of my previous romantic relationship, as well as external validation seeking behaviors I was falling victim to. It enabled me to stand by and uphold many of the values, morals, and ideals that I hold close to my heart and mind. I received yet another chance to explore my humanity, reflecting and learning more from the things that have led me down the path I currently walk.
Highs and Lows
If my life experience has taught me anything, its that our lives are full of peaks and valleys: highs and lows no matter what chapter you find yourself in. What separates the strong from the weak, the sheep from the wolf, and the fixed mindset from the growth mindset are three things: 1) Acknowledging the existence of the peaks AND the valleys; 2) Your attitude towards the peaks and the valleys; 3) The actions you take while in the valley, in order to climb your way to the next peak. Regardless of who you are, you will NEVER be able to be emotionally motivated, perform at the peak of your capacity, or crush every single one of your goals 100 percent of the time. However, you CAN make the decision to never give up on yourself. You CAN commit to doing whatever it takes to put the effort into, and embracing the grit and determination you need, to reach your goals. It is impossible to lose, when you refuse to quit. What makes you and I different, is that when the going gets spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically tough, we never cease to come back for a second helping. Sylvester Stallone summed up the latter idea perfectly, in one of his most famous movie quotes from Rocky Balboa:
Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody.
I have always believed that we all have superpowers: that is skill-sets, talents, or abilities that make us stand out from the pack, and that make us incredibly unique. Throughout the course of my life, I have discovered that one of mine has been the ability to bounce back. I may be down, but I’ll never be out. In that spirit, I want to provide you a short list of three things you can do to deter you from stagnation, and keep you engaged and moving forward in life:
Be Aware of the Things You Tell Yourself
Self-talk is real ladies and gentlemen. It is important to be highly aware of your inner dialogue, as well as the things you vocalize about yourself. It is human nature to be honed into the perceived problems, challenges, and dangers within us and our surroundings, because our minds want to keep us feeling safe and comfortable. It is a survival instinct that can lead to analysis paralysis and inaction. Fortunately for all of us, we all have the ability to learn to see things through a different lens. You and I have the ability to take every perceived negative situation and turn it into a catalyst of positivity that will make your situation better.
Let’s say you are a little overweight, and after gathering up the courage to talk to a person you are interested in, they reject you because they consider you to be fat. You can internalize the experience negatively, and start shaming yourself for not having the “perfect body”, and offend the other person by pointing out their imperfections. Or, you can internalize the experience positively, and make an off the cuff joke about the comment, showing off your humorous personality, your ability to not take yourself too seriously, and your comfort in your own skin.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
We may be born into this world alone, but that does not mean we want to live a life of loneliness and isolation. Studies show that people that live the longest and happiest lives, have a strong social circle of people that love and support them. The people you surround yourself with, and the environments you delve into, are just as important as your identity and self-esteem. Make sure to find quality individuals who nourish your body, mind, and spirit. Find loyal mentors, coaches, friends, acquaintances, and people who appreciate who you are, who will hold you lovingly accountable for your actions that led to your valley, and who will support you by elevating your spirits so you can reach your peak once again!
Build and Maintain Momentum
Momentum, momentum, momentum. This is where the little things in life come into play. Throughout the course of my life, I have been made fun of by strangers, friends, and family members alike because of my meticulousness. People have negatively judged the fact that I care about having a clean, presentable, and smell-good appearance, that I don’t mind working for free, that I have a need to make my bed in the morning, that my place has to be organized and smell good at all times, or that I need to be focused on large and small life projects at the same time to feel productive. What can I say? Haters are going to hate. But the fact is, I know enough about myself at this point in life, that I know that the little things are what keep me going because most are not concerned with them.
Throughout the last 34 days, I was not consistent in my blog posts. I was not consistently sitting down, reading, and highlighting one of the hundreds of books I own. I was not consistently following the full morning and night routines that “keep me in the game”. However, I was consistently making strides in other parts of my life. I was consistent in the upkeep of my appearance and my residence. I was consistent in putting in extra hours at work for free. I was consistent in creating and posting daily quotes and affirmations on the Tribe of Intruists Instagram Page. I was consistent in reaching out to and supporting friends and strangers in person or via social media, who were either going through a rough patch, and/or are doing awesome things with their lives. I was consistent in listening to audio books and reflecting on how the information presented by the authors could positively impact my life, or that of the people that surround me when I pay it forward to them. I was consistent in doing SOMETHING as little as it may be, that would keep my mind, body and spirit engaged in growth and service in some way shape or form.
Call to Action
Realize that like everything in the world, your life will ebb and flow. There will be beautiful moments, and moments of pain. There will be moments of progression, and moments of digression. There will be triumph, and there will be struggle. But what will never change, is your ability to take charge of your life, and lead it down the path you want to lead it, if you are willing to do so. A growth mindset, the right attitude, and violence of action are all it takes to get to the heights you want to reach! If you don’t know where to start check out some of my previous blog posts here, as well as some of my recommendations here.
Connect With Me
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Seize the day, seize your life, and we will seize our communal tribe together!