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I’ve had a recent turn in my thought process.  A leveling up if you will.  

I’ve gone from a line of thinking that was built on, what can I do for you?  To… what have you done for me?  To… what am I doing for myself? 

I’ve had a lot of struggle over the past few years.  I’ve come out on the other side on a whole new level of life.  I’m stronger, physically, mentally and emotionally.  I’ve worked at all of that on purpose.  My will and determination is at an all time high.  This is not to say that I am self centered or expect people to cater to me.  In fact it’s the opposite.  I have recognized a significant shift in the focus in my life.  I still want to help and work hard for other people.  I just want to do it on my own terms.  

I’ve always operated under the impression that, if I work for a good company, having a good job and a boss that respects me.  I will get where I need to be.  The money will come, success will be abundant, and I will get to enjoy the fruits of my labour.  

The older I get.  The more I realize that’s not my spot.  My spot is to be out front, determining my own experience.  Getting to where I want to be, for me.  Not waiting for someone else to give me a promotion, a raise or at the very least recognize my talents and worth.

I’ve busted my hump for companies and people.  Working hard to try and get those promotions, raises and respect.  I’ve gotten some.  Not nearly what I thought would come, based on my out put.  However, recently the realizations have come hard and fast in the last couple weeks.  

I’ve been putting myself out there, not as the man I think I am or want to be.  Rather, as the man I thought would get me there.  Thinking that if I change this aspect of my personality or cater to what other people want, it will translate to a better situation.  Whatever that means.  Then I started looking at the bigger picture.  Something I have always been able to do in my work life, but not necessarily in my relationships.  

When your faced with adversity in one aspect of your life.  Feeling stuck or cornered, and stressed with your back to the wall.  You end up with only a few options.  

Either you accept the crushing weight of it.  That’s called complacency, it’s the dream killer.  Or you reevaluate everything in front of you.  Expanding that self analysis to the influences that you’ve constructed around you.  The bigger picture unfolds at a rapid pace.  Epiphanies start to present themselves in unlikely interactions.  Some times it’s personal, sometimes professional.  Either way the interjection of direction unfolds.

I’ve recently started to prosper emotionally, because I’ve opened my eyes and mind to what I’ve known but didn’t accept for a very long time.  I wish I had come to this much earlier in life, but we all have our paths.  We all learn differently.

No one is coming to you with a hand out.  I don’t just mean that in a financial sense.  

The best example I can give is this…

I was scrolling through twitter one night.  I came across a tweet from someone who said, (I am paraphrasing here), that they don’t like this new age self help theory that you can just change your thoughts.  Become more positive because you decide too.  It’s BS.  They basically stated.  I’ve been rolling that around in my mushy noggin ever since.  There are so many things wrong with that statement.

First.  The concept of mantras and changing how you think.  Is not new.  It’s been around for a very long time.  The practices of meditation, yoga, wellness and self discipline (yes this is a practice), are exactly that.  The expectation of self is what propels us to change.  Change is done incrementally.  Achieving change is a process.  You weren’t born with the ability to read you had to learn it.  

Second.  If you’ve been living with a negative thought process or at least a stifling sense of self and the world around you.  You’re not going to wake up one day and realize the positives within them.  You need to capitalize on moments, teach yourself a new pattern.  It’s never ending.  If you feel like it’s insurmountable and your expectation is things should change immediately.  I can tell you simply. You’re not in it 100%.  You need to be committed.  

Third.  Every thought doesn’t have to be positive.  You can have negative thoughts and feelings.  You can definitely have bad days, weeks, months or years.  Look back on that time and find the pattern.  In reflection you will find the bright spots, the times when you succeeded in subduing the negativity.  It starts in your mind and slowly creeps into your actions.  Why do I say this?  Because the pattern doesn’t reveal itself until the work has been done.  It’s much like building a blog, a business, a brand or a reputation.  One step at a time.  I get that thoughts can be overwhelming and all encompassing, but you need to remember, they are just thoughts.  A lot of the time they don’t hold any weight in the reality of the situation.

I’m adamant about this because I was that guy 5 years ago.  I was constantly asking myself and people close to me, “when is it going to be my turn to prosper?”, “when do I get the overflowing bank account, the big house and all the cars I want?”.  Material I know, but that’s how I thought.  That piss poor thinking, leaves it up to them, whoever they are, to provide you with what you want.  

They may think they have your best interests at heart.  They may care about you, they may like you, they may even be friends or family.  They are not you however.  They can not do what you do.  They can not think the way you think and ultimately, they can only give advice from their experience.  They can only support you from their perception of your goals.  

These goals are yours to have, to nurture and to achieve.  They are also more in depth and intricate than the brief explanation you give them.  We all know that right?  

Well that was lost on me for a while.  Until recently.  As I said, I’ve started to take stock in my bigger picture.  Everything from my thought process, to my work life, home life, friends, family and any other influence I could possibly dissect.  You know what I realized?  

It’s me.  It starts with me.  I’ve put myself in the position of giving what I thought people wanted.  At work I took on rolls and responsibilities that I thought would better my situation.  Companies don’t look at you that way.  They look at what’s best for their mission and direction.  Ultimately it’s someone else’s goals that I am working for.  Allowing their standards, theories and experience to dictate when I’m ready for the next level.  I’m not going to find what I want based on the frame work that, that provides me.  

That’s a hard pill to swallow.  

You can look at it negatively, all that time and effort lost and a wasted.  Or you can look at it as a learning process.  Whether you learned what they wanted you too, or, you learned what you needed. A lesson is always a lesson.  The positive of such a situation, is the epiphany you can experience.

It’s not that they don’t want you to succeed.  It’s just that their methods of success differ from yours.  They are potentially stuck in their own limiting frame work.  They aren’t trying to keep you down.  They are trying to get themselves to where they want to be.  They don’t have time to worry about you and your goals.  It’s up to you to take the reigns, put on your grown up pants and stand as a man or a woman who knows what he or she wants, then go after it.  Even if that means breaking free of your own limiting constraints.

You need to do for you.  Your social circle, career and family all have influence on your happiness, productivity, and emotional well being.  If your not willing to accept that you control your thoughts, you won’t get to where you know you should be.  Stop doing what you think they want from you.  Start doing what you want, for you.  Even in the hardest most suffocating moments in life, your outlook can change for the positive.  

I have spent more time than I care to admit, operating on the belief that there is one way to be successful in life.  Now I’ve started to shed that belief.  It has not been easy, safe or comfortable.  However I know without a doubt, that taking control of my thoughts, goals and aspirations, I’m emotionally where I need to be.  My confidence is back, my determination is at an all time high, the level of belief I have in myself is unwavering.  They can doubt me, snicker behind my back or to my face, it doesn’t matter.  I know something they don’t.  The perception of wasted, lost or stolen time, was really just my opportunity to observe the process.  I know what works, what doesn’t and what to avoid.

Now is the time to unleash all the acquired skills concepts and theories, that these 38 years have provided me.  People may not understand, agree or see the possibilities, but it’s not up to them to recognize that.   

So when I hear people say you can’t just change your mind.  I know they are limiting themselves based on the influence of others.  You may not be the strongest, smartest or wealthiest person in the room or even in your life.  You can however, be the most disciplined.  As I said in the beginning, patterns don’t reveal them self until the work is done.  The work is in the process, every process is learned, every lesson holds within it, it’s own benefit.  When it’s all said and done, you have to be happy with you.  So put in the work that satisfies your needs.  Not theirs.

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5 replies »

  1. Totally agree. I read a quote from Neale Donald Walsch the other day along the lines of “your life is NOT about you” and thought to myself, rubbish. Of course it is! Everything starts with you. Even if you like to do lots for others, it’s because of you, and what motivates you. And that’s exactly how it should be. We don’t need to rub ourselves out of the picture and live by the expectations of others. Finding, and being, your authentic self (as long as you’re not hurting anyone else, obviously), without apology, is just the best place!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Justin! Great advice in this post. I agree that you can change your mindset. I used to believe that “venting” is beneficial, but I now believe that all it does it reinforce negativity. I choose what I focus on and I choose to focus on the positive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading. The positive choice is always the better way to go. Having said that. I think Venting can serve a purpose, as long as we understand it’s purpose vs it’s consumption.


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