We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to sustain and maintain a healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle that consists of exercise and nutritional foods. However, we find our biggest challenge to be obtaining a healthy mind. It doesn’t really matter what your body does if you have an unhealthy mind. Humans, we are a naive species. We don’t realise just how strong our minds are, the endless power it has. You know the age-old saying; “Whatever you put your mind to, you will and can accomplish” This is not a few random words strung together, this is fact, this is true and this needs to be lived out. But how do you get that point of positivity? As humans, we generally shy away from the simplicity of living a positive life, because complaining is so much easier to do. This results in us wondering why we always fail at so many things.
The wrong mindset and negative thoughts can have a detrimental effect on the decisions you make and the chances you take throughout life. Sadly, a lot of us, myself included only realise this when we experience real pain, the type of pain that has you crippled to the ground with no desire to get back up. You feel your entire core sinking into a non-existent parallel of the unknown. When you hit rock bottom you have two choices to make; either you stay there or you get back up and leave that shameful pit of nothingness. Easier said than done, right? Right! For many hitting rock bottom is exactly what is needed.
OK, so how do we get to this magical positive fairy tale that I speak of? Well, for myself personally, I had to hit my head a few too many times to realise I was looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I was feeding all of my energy into the wrong things and people, and as a result, the negativity manifested. Instead, I should have been channelling all my energy into the positive prospects and people of my life, and of course into the most important person, me. Why do we see the beauty in others far more easily before we see it in ourselves? We are so hard on ourselves that we forget to live a little. We have this one life, seriously you don’t get a second chance at life after death, this is it, so why do we make everything so complicated and difficult?
How many times a day do you complain about something or the other? How many times a day do you project an ungrateful attitude? How many times a day do you say I? It took losing myself to realise that the road to happiness starts with you, and you alone. Only you can decide if today is going to be a good day, only you can decide whether a certain situation will affect you or not, only you can decide if you’re going to make it or not. It all boils down to you. Stop giving people and things so much power over you.
Throughout my life, I have crossed paths with so many extraordinary people, people who embrace individuality, people who cherish the simple things in life, people who are different, people who are not conformed to a certain standard. You feed off of the people you surround yourself with. If you’re going to sit with the office complainer, then that is what you’ll become. If you hang out with negative people, you will become negative. If you follow the crowd, that’s all you’ll ever be, part of the crowd. Instead, be your own kind of beautiful. The truth is you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t want to. Imagine that, imagine they only created one genre of music, how incredibly boring would life be? Or worse one flavour of ice cream, day in and day out all you ever taste is vanilla… I couldn’t think of anything worse. So why do we try so hard to fit in? Because it’s acceptable? Because someone somewhere said it was OK? So, we do this, we conform, and then we sit and wonder why we are so unhappy.
I got a tattoo last year on my right arm, it reads – heart over mind – I got this tattoo as a reminder to always follow my heart. The cautious will stress that one should be rational, and realistic. I say F that mentality, we can’t walk around fearing the unknown and living cautiously all in fear that we “might” get hurt. Yeah, you probably will, but I’d much rather get hurt doing something that made me happy then live with the regret of what could have been. Yeah, I might do things that don’t make sense to other people, and that’s OK because it doesn’t need to make sense to anyone, it only needs to make sense to me.
On my left arm, I have a tattoo that reads – courage over fear. This is to remind myself that I am stronger than my limitations, that fear is only a four-letter word. We’re only human, so naturally, we fear the unknown. I live by a quote – But what if I fall? Oh, but darling, what if you fly. I never want my “What if” to be greater than my “Oh well” I’d rather fail at trying, then never try at all. If we fear all possibilities, then that’s all they will ever be, a possibility, allow your fear to fuel you into changing that possibility into an accomplishment, into a dream, into happiness.
Every day, I need to remind myself that my life is worth living, that I have a purpose, that I am meant for greater things, even on the days I don’t believe it I still need to tell myself these things. That’s the secret really. Every day, I try in every humanly possible way to make a difference in my life and in the lives of others, no matter how big or small that gesture might be. If all I did today was tell Steve from accounts his baby blue shirt makes his eyes pop, then I can go to bed with a happy heart knowing I made someone smile today. It’s the simple things in life that really matter most. It’s that good morning text message, it’s a long hug from your mom, it’s when your cat lies on your chest, it’s when for the entire week you smashed those boxing classes, it’s when you laugh uncontrollably at the silliest thing, it’s the smile you put on someone’s face, its life really. Embrace all that life has to offer, the ups and the downs. Believe me, you can learn so much from all the downs, just as much as you can learn from all the ups. Create lasting memories, stories that you can tell your grandkids one day. Do the things that make you happy, just do them, without thought, without hesitation. Live, you have this one chance but it means nothing if you don’t grab it and own it.
Once you learn to adopt this entitlement to happiness, everything becomes achievable, attainable and worthwhile. Never stop trying, never stop going after what you want, always gear your mind into the right direction for YOU and you’ll live with a healthier mind that will only aid you positively in all aspects of your life. It starts and ends with you. If you can’t be content and happy within yourself how on earth could you ever possibly make anyone else happy?
Photography by – Tegan Smith Photography