Four little things…

Ash_outdoor_17aOver the years my life has been very much focussed on chasing pound signs.  You know what I mean.  How much money and how fast.

I was prepared to put the rest of my life on hold to achieve it.

I missed out on time with friends, I lost a wife somewhere along the way and my daughter spent half of her time with me coming to work with me.

Then stuff happened over the last couple of years which put me a real position of adversity; physically, emotionally and financially.

I eventually realised I had a choice…

Use the shit as an excuse to hold me back, to always be a convenient reason to explain why I hadn’t done things or…

Use the experience as an opportunity to grow.

I’d like to think I’ve chosen the path of growth.  I’d like to think that I’m a better version of myself than I was.  Like an upgrade, Ash v1.2.

I’d like to think that I make better choices, that I count to 10 before reacting and that I give more than I take.

There’s still shit there.  There are still times I want to dig up the shit and use it as excuses but (most of the time) I don’t.

I learned that to make this happen I had to look after me first.  I had to like me.  There are 4 ways that I do this that work for me.  4 rules if you like

  1. Unplug.  Weird, I know but just turn all the stuff off.  One day, half a day, it doesn’t matter.  Go out and leave the phone at home.  Stay off the Ipad, don’t watch TV, don’t use the laptop, the headphones, the kindle, the Xbox; the Play Station.  Get away from the hive for a bit and away from the constant noise, the permanent information overload.  Josie and I went 3 weeks this summer with no TV and it was the best time we’ve ever spent together.
  2. Reward yourself.  I was so good at telling myself at how bad I was at everything.  What I couldn’t do, what I was missing.  I forgot to congratulate myself on what I had achieved, remind myself that what I had was a hell of a lot more than others do.  Keep a list of achievements, take a break, buy yourself something when you achieve a goal; whatever it is, take a look around you and say “I did good”.
  3. Get outside. I spent 20 years working outdoors  and I forgot what this felt like.  Go for a walk (remember how?) whether you have a dog or not.  Get some fresh air, reconnect with what’s going on.  I do my best thinking when I’m outside and make my best decisions.
  4. Ask yourself why.  This is probably the most important.  Just check in and ask why you’re doing something.  Ask if it’s going to add to your life or drain energy.  Things should have a purpose that means something to you.  If not, don’t do it.  Just say no.

Be kind to yourself, just a little bit every day.