How To Turn Anxiety and Vulnerability into Appreciation and Self-Love

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

There are many of us going through difficult times at the moment. Or is it just me? Things seem to fall apart at the seams. I am facing a major transition period in my working career and it is scary. I’m not sure if I’m making the right decision. I’m not sure if a year from now I will regret it.

All I want is for this period of uncertainty to end.

There seems to be no end in this diabolical situation. It feels like I’ve been stuck here forever, although I’ve only really felt it over the last few months.

When you are going through a difficult situation, what do you do? How does one cope? How do you pretend that everything is normal, even though you are filled with anxiety and all you want to do is stay in bed and watch Netflix all day.

It’s hard. It’s hard to explain to somebody when they are not in it. Nobody understands. They don’t get it. And if they can just stop asking if everything’s ok. It’s not! Not today, not ever!
You know people on anti-depressants and think that maybe it’s time to get that prescription. Numb the pain. Don’t feel anything. Walk around like a zombie.

One day, not too long ago I went to visit my grandfather. He is born in 1921. He is 98 years old. My grandfather grew up on a farm in Namibia and he’s never left it. Perhaps to go to primary school in the town but that’s it. He is less agile now as he has aged, has some trouble with his joints and had to have surgery to his eyes to take out cataracts, but other than that he is still a spring chicken.

I am always humbled to be in his presence. He doesn’t have a care in the world. He gets up at sunrise, works the land and the livestock, comes back in the afternoon and rest. He lacks nothing because he does not know what much feels like. He never had much.

To be so content and so free of worry at such an advanced age is something that we folks can learn from. 
We worry about everything. There is so much anxiety. The pent-up emotions that we walk around with are enough to drive anyone into a straight jacket.

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Let us stop and think for a minute. If we think we have it bad with the lights on and watching an iPhone 11 screen, you better think again. Put things into perspective. Take time to re-evaluate where you are in life and appreciate everything you’ve got.

That job you hate going to go to every day, well someone would give their left pinky to have that. Because if you have to decide between a shitty job and to eat, what are you going to choose? Look around you, take stock. Sit down, make a note of everything you are grateful for. Stick it on your wall. Rewrite it every day.

While you are going through this tough time, draw nearer to yourself. Spend time alone. Reflect. Read. Stop all frivolous activities. It will just make you feel more empty.

Become deeply aware of your situation and with the knowledge that no situation is permanent. This, too, shall pass. Become intensely aware of who you are and how far you’ve come.

Don’t rush the healing. It will come. When the time is right. And when it’s all over, you will realise just how much you have grown and matured.

With pressure, diamonds are formed. 

You are one of them. 

A diamond in the making.

Sub two-hour marathon — Eliud Kipchoge Did It!

What is your excuse? Not to run a 2-hour marathon, but to slowly, consistently and intentionally change the course of your life.

Picture courtesy of @INEOS159

We didn’t think we’d see it in our lifetime, but it was done, on Saturday. Eliud Kipchoge did it. I don’t even know how it feels to win a marathon in double that amount of time. I watched the full race on television and all I can say is that we humans, we underestimate ourselves.

We start something and if it just looks like we are about to break a sweat, we give up. It is unbelievable what one man could do. He tried it 2 years ago and failed. But that didn’t stop him. He got back on to the track and trained and geared himself up for the next time.

What do we do when we fail? We throw in the towel. Any inkling of self-worth goes right down as well. You think to yourself, I will never amount to anything.

Let me stop you right there. Others, with less talent, is outworking you right this minute. Stop with the excuses, just stop! You’re not the only one going through a tough time. In fact, you have not seen any kind of tough. It’s in your mind. Snap out of it. Now!

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J. K. Rowling

Eliud didn’t stop 2 years ago. We are not going to stop today. No matter how tough it feels. You are tougher than that. Eliud proved it. You are not your failures, you are not your excuses.

Picture courtesy of @INEOS159

When you’ve had a good cry, dry off your tears and let’s go. You owe it to yourself. You owe it to the people cheering for you. Eliud had 41 pacemakers. 41 hearts were beating along with his. They are world-class athletes, they could have done anything else with their time. But they decided to be by his side, to be a part of history in the making.

Sometimes, you must look at the bigger picture. If you don’t bring your part today, will someone notice? Will they ask you if something’s wrong. You don’t seem yourself today.

If you have just one such person, you owe it to yourself and them to not give up. So many others are silently watching, wanting you to succeed.

It’s not too late. Take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that whatever curveball you’ve hit, is just a slight side-step, but it’s not going to stop you.

You are not going to give up. It’s all part of the journey. One day you will look back and smile because you’ve tried.

“Those who complete the course will do so only because they do not, as fatigue sets in, convince themselves that the road ahead is still too long, the inclines too steep, the loneliness impossible to bear and the prize itself of doubtful value.”
 ― Thabo Mbeki

Picture courtesy of @INEOS159

Great Expectations

Whose path are you on?

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I was at a family friend’s baby shower today. Little baby Joel is expected to arrive in no less than 9 weeks. As all mothers know the last few weeks become the source of great excitement, anxious awaiting, boundless expectation until the final day arrives. It’s a beautiful experience.

As we journey through life, other events happen that bring about the same experience. Working on a project for a long time and finally seeing the fruits and reward. Starting a business from scratch and eagerly awaiting the time when the first check is in the mail.

We have 2 peach trees in our garden and last year the harvest was rotten. A fungus got into the trees very early which we were unable to detect until the peaches were ready to be harvested. In fact, they looked ripe and ready to eat from the outside, but the inside was rotten.

The blossoms are just coming out and this year we prepared the trees and sprayed them with pesticide and pruned them early. We are anticipating a better harvest this year.

Ready for peaches?

Whatever we are busy with, we don’t always know the outcome. We have an expectation of one thing, to be successful. To do well in college and get a good job. To be in a relationship with a wonderful guy or girl and hoping that it will eventually end in marriage. Taking on extra tasks at work in the hope of being the next one to be promoted.

However, the outcome is never guaranteed. Life happens. Things change. How do you cope when suddenly you realise that this path is not for you? How do you tell other people, that the relationship is not working for you any more? That the project you’ve been working on for 6 months does not serve your higher purpose anymore.

This is perhaps most painful in the breakdown of a marriage. One person says I’m sorry it’s not for me anymore. This is not how I want to live my life.

The growth in a person occurs at different stages and it could be exponential in some and minute, barely visible in others at a specific point in time. This brings about a shift in dynamics in the workplace, in relationships, with your family.

Not everyone is ready for the growth and this new person.

Some people would prefer that you stay the way you are, the way they’ve known you. Why are you trying to complicate things? Do you think you are smarter than us now?

The shift is difficult, more so for the person at the centre of it, you. It is the metamorphosis that is so necessary for you to reach your full potential and become who you truly are meant to be. This may mean losing friends, partners and work colleagues along the way. Don’t fear, you are making space for other people to come into your life who will bring value at a different level. At the level you are now.

We are all creatures of habits and would prefer that things stay the same. Don’t rock the boat. A lot of people walk around with great pain inside them because it’s easier to pretend that things are ok, that you are still the same.

Only you know the hurt and the longing and sadness that come in the small of the night. In the morning you wrap that all up and put it aside because the world is expecting the version of you that they are used to.

If you are lucky, the day will come when the risk to remain tight in a bud is more painful than the risk it takes to blossom.

Upon this journey people will come and go, some will walk a part of the way with you, some will divert early, but the ones that stay with you till the end are the ones to be cherished.

Good luck with your journey.

Fear Is A Lousy Liar

A brand new beginning is well within your reach if you’ll just let go of fear.

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We are now well inside the final 100 days of 2019. On everyone’s lips begs the question, where did the year go? Of course, the next question is what have you achieved? Have you made some headway in 2019, have you achieved any of the goals that you set down at the beginning of the year? At this moment you may be filled with elation or anxiety. I hope the former.
In any event, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to start over and make a brand new ending to 2019.

Saying: somewhere out there someone with less talent is outworking you.

Our purpose in life is to advance and become newer, better versions of ourselves. There is a natural progression that counts in our favour. It is in everything. If you put a seed in the ground and you water it, which really isn’t a lot of work, one day you may just have peaches.

A baby learning to walk will fall down countless times but will get up and try again. Have you seen any adults crawling on all fours? 
Have you seen all the cars on the road? There is a driver in each one of them (well, maybe not for much longer), but no-one just woke up one day and started a car. There is a learning process and with everything else, one has to feel a bit of pain in order to succeed.

I am on the verge of a major transition in my working career and can I tell you, it is scary. I don’t know if I’m making the right decision. I don’t know if my next project will be successful. Failure is no stranger to me. I still have bills to pay. Oh but Michelle, what if you succeed? Well, that remains to be seen says the realist in me. And you reading this, what if you succeed? How much better won’t your world be? How much joy will that success bring? Immeasurable amounts? Perhaps, maybe?
 
 But if you don’t try, you will stay just where you are. Where it’s predictable, where the Starbucks waiter knows your name. The cubicle with your name on it. You know at the end of the month what your paycheck will say. You don’t even need to open it. The predictability of knowing that your salary will be in your bank account on the 25th of every month.

What do you exchange for these niceties? A tiny part of your soul.

Photo by Andrew Charney on Unsplash

At the end of your life, will you remember your supervisor’s name? The one who gave you hell. You continued to stay because it was familiar territory. Better the devil and the insults you know. 
That’s why we stay in toxic relationships. He is not like that all the time. Sometimes he treats me really nice. You need to treat yourself very nice, put yourself first and refuse to take any further insults.

It will be hard because fear is a lousy liar. It makes you go back to the cubicle, back into his arms.

You have a choice. To get up and make the next 93 days count. Or to start 2020 in the same cubicle or in the same arms. The choice is yours.
 On the bright side and lest we forget.

“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” — Stephen Grellet

Take off the Layers of Non-Essential BS

Take back control of your life.

Photo by JD Chow on Unsplash

I asked a friend if she was free to go hiking on Sunday. She said, let me check my calendar, one of 3. One for work, one for family and one for the church group she belongs to. My throat tightens just thinking about having to navigate all of that.

“You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.”― John Maxwell

We are bombarded with information all day, right there on your phone. We don’t know how to switch off any more. Many of us are suffering from chronic fatigue. We rush from meeting to meeting, rush home to try and beat the traffic, to have a microwave dinner and pass out on the couch. To do it all over again tomorrow.

It’s time to have a heart to heart with yours truly. Sit down and make a list of everything that absolutely needs to be done every day. They are not many.

Take a deep breath and start stripping away. If you belong to 3 social clubs, that’s too many. Decide how many invitations for coffees or lunch you are willing to accept in a month. What is the purpose of these?

Maybe you don’t want to let your friend down? Well, when it comes to friends, keep your circle small. Spend your time with those who are on the same path as you, a path towards self-improvement and success.

Don’t be the one buying the rounds at the bar. If you are, you are missing the point.

What a nice feeling it is to wake up on a Saturday with an empty schedule. Unless you set aside to time for self-improvement and growth, keep your schedule empty.

You will need the time to get clarity on where you are in your life, where you are heading and how you plan to get there.

They say if you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there. Now is the time to become focused for we think we have time.

Start living life on purpose.

Cut out the things and people holding you back. Let them know that you are on a different path, let them know where you are headed. They will either laugh or they’ll ask to join. Make time for the important things, like exercising or cooking a healthy meal from scratch.

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Don’t be the one who is always connected. When your phone rings, someone wants to talk to you. It’s convenient for them at that moment, but is it convenient for you? Unless you are expecting the call, turn down the ringer and notifications and give your undivided attention to the work you’re busy with.

The quality will be so much better. Even better, leave your phone in the next room when you are busy with an important task.

Start building a quality life.

The earlier you start, the more you will be able to enjoy it later. Don’t be like many who only wake up in their late 30s and 40s and realise that nothing of importance has been achieved until now.

This is especially true when trying to build wealth. The benefit of compound interest will only show after a few years. 
In your finances, list your monthly income and expenses and see where you can cut down. The biggest expenses are normally a home and a car.

Take stock and determine if you need the extra half a bathroom? With the car, are you trying to impress someone? Do you need the cable?

Eliminate the things holding you back in wealth and growth and continue to invest in self-improvement and betterment.

Start today.

A year from now you will wish you had started today.

Let’s celebrate a road towards Essentialism, together.

One Day There Won’t Be Any More Roses To Smell

Start planting your rose garden today.

As we are getting ready for Spring of 2019 here in the southern hemisphere, the days are getting longer and it’s getting warmer. What better cue to sit back, reflect and take stock of just how far you’ve come during the last 8 months since the beginning of 2019.

Are you better or worse off then you were this time last year? Maybe it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions and expect hard answers. Those promises that you made to yourself, that no-one knows about, that no-one will ever know whether they were kept or broken. Only you know. Which makes it so much more painful. Because let’s face it, the easier way out always seems like the better option.

We live in the now, we want to absorb, and experience the instant gratification of everything around us. Yes, you plan to get to the hard work, but just not now. You plan to have that talk with yourself, just not today. You will stop eating sugar, just not today. You will start exercising, just not today.

Unfortunately, time doesn’t stand still and it won’t wait for you. Before you know it another year has passed. You promised yourself when the kids are older, when the car is paid off, when you get that promotion. The timing will never be right.

When you get to the supermarket and you see the 60-year old cashier smiling and tallying up your goods. You say a quick prayer, to never end up like her. Well, she also had dreams. She also waited for the right moment. She also said when the kids are older. Before you know it, it will be too late.

They say wake up and smell the roses. One day there may not be any more roses to smell. And all you have is yourself to blame. Don’t let anyone hold you back. We are influenced so heavily by those close to us. They want to talk you out of it. They say it will never work. What about your safety net?

After enough naysaying and a few drinks, you think to yourself that you don’t have it that bad after all and it would be easier to stick with what you know. Until another year has passed. Your dreams are not theirs. You are the only one uncomfortable with your situation because you know that you can achieve so much more if you can just stop listening to those voices in your head and outside. It’s your dream. It’s your path. No-one else can walk it for you.

You can continue to curl up and remain complacent. The time for sowing will come and go and shit, since you didn’t plant those roses when it was planting season, there will be no roses to smell. Your garden will remain the sand and stone that you have refused to work and till.

It’s not too late. Start today. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start.

Michelle, Who Are You?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I don’t know.

The people who follow me on social media for a while now will see that my bio has changed from fashion designer to writer, to Administrative Consultant (whatever that means), and now recently back to fashion designer. All this while holding down a full-time job and raising 2 boys in a rather, chaotic but happy household (until the goldfish dies). I’ve lost count on how many we’ve bought and buried.

As some of you may also know, the first time I started out as a fashion designer nearly 6 years ago, there was the honeymoon phase and then the divorce. It went well, while it lasted and then the break-up (aarrgghh sobs). If anyone cares to enlighten themselves on the details, here goes — What a failed business venture taught me.

Back to today. I just don’t think it’s time to settle yet. The thing I’m most afraid of is settling and worse, settling without realising that you’ve settled. 
I visited a local farmers market for fresh produce recently and I was amazed that the chocolatier standing there, nonchalantly whipping up decadent pieces of sunshine that will take me a full month to work off at the gym.

It looks like he’s been doing it for years. He looked so at home behind the stand and with what he does for a living. Why can’t it be so easy for all of us!

I don’t feel like I fit in anywhere.

I know there are designers better than me. I know there are writers better than me. What stops someone from buying from a big retailer at unbeatable prices, then buying one of my pieces or reading my work.

Well, they’ll get a piece of me. The most exhilarating feeling is creating something and someone picks it up and owns it. Like it’s been their missing half all along. I love the interaction with my customers. I love their feedback. I love being the face of my brand. A yet unknown, minute operation that may one day climb into the hearts of hopefully a few people. Just a few.

When starting a business, we want everything to be perfect. The business plan, the offices, the receptionist, the wooden flooring, but we forget the most important thing. The customer. Without the customer, none of these things matter. Is someone willing to exchange their hard-earned cash for your goods? You only need to convince a few people, just like 0.00001% of 7 billion. One thousand true fans they say.

Make sure you can count on at least one. Not your mom, or your grandma who will gladly exchange their birthrights to see you succeed.

It’s an uncomfortable place to be in. This uncertainty, the fear of the unknown. The fear of another failure that may knock you down and out for months.

Yet, it’s a beautiful process.

When you are present throughout you learn so many things, you grow as a person, you have new experiences. You absorb and grow into your new skin. You can never go back to your old self again. He/she doesn’t exist anymore, except as a distant memory.

It’s easier to want to do it the textbook way. They way they taught you. That’s ok, just don’t forget you in the process. Whether success or failure, you will be a better person in the end, guaranteed.

Theodore Roosevelt said: 
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Beauty Is In The Moment

Practice mindfulness and stay present

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

When it feels like your life is spinning out of control and someone else (not you) is in the driving seat.

It happens to all of us. All too often. You think to yourself, how did I get here? Again? I said this won’t happen again. I’ve made up my mind that I’m done with this loser lifestyle of drinking, partying, spending money (I don’t have), racking up debt on my credit card.
 
The weekend is gone and although I entered for the 10 km race, I didn’t make it to the starting line on Saturday morning. It was Heather’s birthday party on Friday night, how could I miss it? She asked me 3 times if I’ll be there. Or maybe it was the free drinks.

It’s funny how life happens and spins out of control without us knowing or having a say. Well, it’s usually too late to say anything.

Enough of the sob stories. Whose life is this? Mine, of course. Well, start acting like someone who’s serious about change.

Let’s do this together.

Here are just a few things that you can do right, the next time.

• Since today is gone, it’s 21h30 where I am, I’ve set my alarm for 05h30. I plan to wake up when my alarm goes off (without hitting the snooze button) and get my ass to the gym.

• Next, I’m planning my schedule for tomorrow. I’ve made notes of everything I would like to get done, with the 2 most important tasks set for the morning.

• My phone will be on flight mode and all notifications will be de-activated as I spend uninterrupted time on my most important project.

• I’ve taken out some of the ingredients that I will need to prepare my lunch that I’ll take to work.

By writing down what needs to be done and actively planning your day, you are more inclined to get at least part or hopefully about 80% done. There will always be interruptions, impromptu meetings, and phone calls that can take up a lot of your time and tend to throw you off course.

If you just try and stick to your goal of doing the next thing right, you will hopefully already be half-way through in case any hell breaks loose.

Try this at home with your partner and kids as well. Things tend to unravel quickly when you have little people running around yelling and screaming as if they own you. They need to be fed, clothed, but most importantly loved.

Keep a level head. If you can, in the midst of the commotion, remember what you told yourself, how you will handle that particular situation with your boss, your co-worker, your 3-year-old, or 30 year old all vying for your attention and wanting to throw you off course. 
 
Life is beautiful. You are right where you need to be. The universe is on your side even though it doesn’t always feel like it. Stay present. Stay calm.

Your situation is unique. You are on the right path. Just breathe.
Don’t wish this time away. Time passes so quickly. In another 6 months or 1 year, this won’t matter anymore.

If you can stay present and learn from everything and everyone on your path, you will be the winner. You will live a rich and fulfilling life.

Just choose to stay present. You can.

Juggling Balls

Giving your children all the love and attention they deserve in these busier than ever times.

After some whining from my kids, I decided to take them from school a few days a week, instead of them going in the school bus. This was after numerous complaints from them that I am not picking them up, “but Adam’s mom comes every day.”

I thought I will go during my lunch break. I hardly ever go out for lunch. I usually just eat my packed lunch at my desk. Anyway, I took off at 13h00, it takes me about 15 mins to get to school and I only need to be there at 13h30. I had lots of time.

Driving out of the gate at my office I saw lots of cars on the road and thought everyone must be going out for lunch, which is ok, we all need a break. I caught the green light once or twice, so great I thought. I can do this. Just around the corner and about 10 mins from school, to my dismay, we went bumper to bumper.

I couldn’t even see ahead to check what’s going on. It must be all these grannies on the road going nowhere slowly! As we inch forward in 30 degrees heat I thought of all the messages I’ll get when I am back at the office. Everyone is going to be looking for me. I had 5 missed calls on my cell phone already.

So much for trying to keep everyone happy. We get closer to the intersection and I see workmen ahead. A big truck is blocking the road. They are painting the road markings. Great, we need that, but do they have to do this now? I’m gonna be late!

I make it to school, it’s 13h45. I need to be back at the office by 14h00. I look for my boys but can’t find them. I check in the classrooms, on the soccer field, in the bathroom. Nobody.

I get in the car to drive to Aftercare which is across the road at the other campus. I could walk, but not now! No, they are not here today said Mrs Brown. I go into a slight panic, am trying to hold it together. I get an incoming call. It’s Shaun the bus driver.

What could this be about? Shaun said he was in front of our gate, can I please open the gate. I said, “Shaun, I sent a message this morning to say that you don’t have to collect the boys today and that I will come and fetch them. Shaun said, “Yes Madam I got the message, but when I saw the boys at Aftercare I thought you forgot so I decided to take them.” I said, “Thank you Shaun. No problem. See you tomorrow.”

I called my husband to tell him what happened. He stopped me in mid-sentence. “Mich, I’m in a meeting, is it important?” “No my darling, it’s not. Don’t worry. Let’s talk later.” I drove back to the office thinking of everything I could have done instead of working myself up in traffic, trying to be a model wife, mother and worker.

Yeah, I would also like to play golf all day, collect my kids, then sit at the clubhouse drinking martinis. One day when I’m big. As I write this my little one is following me around. I usually do it when they are asleep. Why are you following me around boy, I asked. Go and build your Lego. “No mommy, I wanna be with you!”

You just can’t win. 🙂

A Year From Now You Will Wish You Started Today

Take back control of your life.

Now and then. The present and the past. Depending on which side of the hemisphere you are on, you are either preparing for winter or for summer.

You are either looking forward or you are dreading the sweltering heat or the cold and snow. Or you could be close to the equator, where you experience neither.

Let’s take stock, are you better or worse off than you were last year this time? How have you fared in your relationships, at work, in your business, your finances?

The art of living is to constantly improve and become better than you were yesterday. It should be a natural progression.

Sometimes things happen that is beyond our control like an unexpected illness, losing your job, going through a breakup or divorce. This sets you back.

You feel stressed out and sorry for yourself. It doesn’t have to be this way. Most times it is not the situation itself that is challenging, but our thoughts around it.

How do you deal with a difficult situation? For the longest time, all I wanted to do was run and hide. I don’t like confrontation.

Here are a few reasons why you should be happier today

1. You are still here

Some people didn’t make it. Appreciate that you are alive and well. Showing gratitude uplifts the spirit and you feel like you are bringing value.

2. 365 days wiser

Every day we learn and grow. Our experiences are our most valuable lessons. To be able to take any situation whether good or bad, take your feelings out of it and determine the lesson. There is always a lesson.

3. Family and friends matter

I know we sometimes think we can do without them, but your family is your family. You cannot choose them, but you can choose how you will be treated and how you will treat others.

4. You have something to do

Because our days are so rushed, we hardly ever stop to appreciate that we still have a job or that you are running your business. You get a paycheck at month end that you choose to spend as you like.

5. You have an opportunity to make better choices

You cannot change what happened last year, but you can begin immediately to make a better tomorrow. Change can only happen in the present moment, so stop dwelling on the past. Change is the only constant.

Have you smelled the roses today? Get up, go outside (like seriously, right now. I’ll wait) and look around. Take in everything you see that is good and that adds value. Find joy, actively search for it today and you will find it.

Others go out of their way to have a bad day. They want everyone to know. Steer clear! It’s better to be alone than in bad company.

If I look back at the person I was a year ago I can see that I’ve come a long way. I hope you have too. Think about it, a year from now it will even be better.

It is not too late, start today to write down your goals. Start actively pursuing those goals. Make it your mission to do better and become better.

It all starts with the realisation that something has to change. Don’t let your circumstances box you in. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. They are wrong. They look at you and silently wish that they had the guts to try too.

The great thing is, you don’t have to tell anyone about the positive changes in your life. They can see it. A new life awaits. All you have to do is nod your head and say, I’m in!