We have all been there, some more than most, but every single individual has faced those dark, lonely moments in life where the walls were closing in, the air seemed a little thinner and the exit to that particular situation was no where to be seen. But life has a way of flowing in cycles and we come to realize, slowly as we grow older, that the highs are not really that high and the lows can be overcome.
In the darkest of moments that life throws up it is the time we need to focus on the positives in our world, even if you cannot see any at that point in time. It is the positive thoughts that will drag you throw the darkness and open a door to a new chapter in your life. I know what you are thinking; ‘it’s not that easy to be positive when hope and help seems to have left you behind in your troubles.’
But take a look back at your past and the difficult times you faced, do you remember the hurt, the pain and desperation you felt in those moments? We all do and we all can see that path led us to something better in our life. So take a deep breath today and think about the situation you are in and the life you have led so that you can begin to create that light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately not everyone has the luxury of help coming from outside but even if you do the positive motion of better times begins with you, your thoughts and your choice to live a better, happier life because it could be just around the corner. And knowing that makes you one positive step away from where you now. Keep moving forward.
Life comes down to the decisions we make. The good, bad or even the decisions we failed to make. A chance meeting with someone new, an opportunity that comes your way or even those major events in our lives that bring every thing in to focus…it all comes down to how we react. Most of the time we have the good fortune of being able to take our time with our decisions but there are times we seem to be just along for the ride and the decisions seem to being made on our behalf. Some people enjoy that lack of control while it terrifies others. But in those instances when we look back on our life a path appears that seems to have been destined from the very beginning. Every decision we took to avoid that fate always seemed to teach us a lesson, close or open another door or simply point us in the right direction.
I had a wonderful conversation with a person yesterday that pointed out something that I had not even realized about myself. Most the dreams and ambitions I had as a child had appeared in my life in one-way or another. It wasn’t exactly how six year old me had imagined it but it did make me wonder about how much destiny is already engrained in our DNA from birth and the journey we take along the way. I am not going into religion or beliefs because I believe that is a personal thing and not something I wish to write about, but it does make you wonder about why we are here? And how much control we really do have?
As a child I wanted to be a professional footballer, travel the world and be a vet, yes all at the same time. My love of football and animals was something that often made me a joke with my brother and his friends, but that kind of thing didn’t concern me, even at that age. I also remember at school knowing that I wanted to combine art, which I had some talent in, with computers that were just being launched by my hero Steve Jobs. Another thing was that I also wanted to help children in anyway I could, especially against bullying.
Since then I have travelled the world to some incredible countries, I work in advertising where I combine Art and Computers as a Digital Director and Creative Director, I was a semi professional footballer before I left the UK and I launched a social media community for collectors based on an animal…a squirrel! And finally just before I left Dubai for the UK I was in discussion with a few people about creating a non profit organisation called ‘Stix & Stones’ that was going to all about providing information, advice and help to parents and children who face bullying. Not exactly what I planned but it is strange that all those early dreams and the decisions I have made through life brought me to this point today.
I still dream a lot about doing more but that comes from the ambitious nature I have so I feel I haven’t even started yet. I had not really thought about this a great deal until my conversation with a very insightful person yesterday who certainly make me think about my journey and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. So thank you for the conversation, it was enlightening to say the least.
For every single person dreams flit in and out of our subconscious and the entire story of how our lives could be is crystal clear, so clear that you can almost feel it. Sometimes those instances are gone as quickly as they appear and other days they seem to float around your mind and follow you throughout your travels in the real world. We often let the doubts and fears chase these dreams away as mere fantasy, or it would never work for me. Well why the hell not?
Do you honestly think there is any difference between the individual you are now and a successful person who made their dreams come true? Maybe luck was on their side, maybe their idea was better and maybe a million other things as well but the truth of the matter is that they decided to try, they decided to listen to those little dreams of hope and acted on them. I’m not saying you need to sell everything you have and dive into to every venture but there is nothing stopping you starting the ball rolling towards a dream you have. As long as you are moving forward, even just one step, you are closer to your dreams than you were the day before and that is the difference between people that do and people that don’t.
There is nothing in this world stopping you attempting to make your dreams come true except yourself. If you have friends or people around you that doubt you or tell you that you cannot do something you need to listen to what they are saying and understand the words not the intention. Take into account that every opinion is valuable information to arm you with a better idea or more fuel to reach your dreams. If the information you are getting from these people is negative for negatives sake then you need to drop this people like a stone and surround yourself with positive and more successful people. People who are not taking chances on their own dreams should never hold back those who do see a brighter future for them selves.
Online you can find many people willing to help and support your dreams. Our world is no longer the only people we see in real life. The borders in your life, the possibilities that now stand in front of you are endless but you need to make the first step towards that dream. Pick a dream, one that you would get the most enjoyment out of it and start asking for help to make it happen, you will be surprised how many people are willing and desire to help you make that dream come true. I am one of them for a start.
You know those lines in your face? Yes, the ones that the world spends billions of dollars a year to try and conceal or remove. Well, people say that they add character to your face and show the life you have lived. What is sure is that each and every single one of them, no matter how many you have tell a story of where you have been and who you are. Most people hide the real stories but there is no story we experience where we should hide or be ashamed of in any way.
The truth is that every single experience we face shapes us into the people we are today. If we are truly honest it is often the worst experiences that we learn the greatest lessons and are the ones that make us stronger as we move forward. No one really knows why or how these incidents come into our path. It could be a higher being or it could just be down to our luck, but whatever you believe what is clear is the leap in character that comes from every experience.
What I have come to see is that not everything in life is about the major events in life. But rather the smaller incidents where you meet an interesting person, taste a delicious dish or have one of those moments where you just take a moment to stop and see how far you have come in life. So the next time you look in the mirror and wonder where that new line has come from, try not to concern yourself with the thought of getting old, but instead look at it as another reminder of a great quote, Everyone dies but not everyone lives.
Every person is born an individual, unlike anyone else on earth. We have traits of our parents DNA that we mix with our own personality to create someone totally unique in this universe. As a child we are told to touch this, feel that, experience everything you can to grow and learn about the world that surrounds you. Then society jumps in when we go to school and tramples down any individuality stating we must conform, we must act this way, a drawing has to look like this and god forbid that you are not like the other kids a whole new world of pain and hatred comes tumbling towards you.
Unfortunately society seems to accentuate this moral standing by going along with what is perceived ‘normal.’ The media corporations make millions based on lifting up people in the papers only so they can tear them down in equal ferocity. When children see this kind of behavior and our acceptance of it then obviously they are going to single out individuals who have a different hobby, interest or are just not as willing to follow the social herd along the path of boring uniformity.
Why is that when we finally escape the clutches of the school system that we suddenly begin to realize the all the things we suppressed in the name of being perceived as ‘normal’ are the things that make us happy? Why are we not doing more to help children during this period of their lives? What sort of educational system are we building that does little to help encourage greatness of individuals that we look at as brilliant pioneers of history? Can you imagine a person like Andy Warhol in one of our schools today? I doubt the kid would survive 4th grade!
As a human being your mission on this planet, no matter whether you are religious, spiritual or any other belief system, is to find your own way on this planet. Do the things you want to do and never listen to the sheep that bleat about what is normal, because there is no such thing. Even those sheep, deep down inside, wish they could be free from the shackles of the mob rule we currently force our youth to endure. Never let that individual spirit go, never let the things that make you happy leave your grasp and never, never do things purely because others do not understand or think are not the social norm.
Love the music you love, love the interest you love and pursue them with all your passion and virtue, because one day you will be free from the pack and will be applauded for being unique. The only difference is that you have not become unique, on the contrary you have managed to survive what is the human version of the Savannah’s great migration, leave the herd to be caught by the crocodiles and lions that are manifestations of insecurity and today’s mob culture, whilst you enjoy the green lands of being able to stand out from the crowd. Free from the herd, free to be happy, free to be you.
In our society we seem to be conditioned to what we are supposed to look like, act like and even feel like. In all levels of society being different is frowned upon, questioned and bullied. In our schools we have children who are so scared to go to school because they are being bullied and picked on simply because they different. If a person is not a fan of conventional sports, like baseball, football or basketball, but likes to do their own thing they are considered strange or weird. This kind of narrow-minded thinking is destroying everything that is good about the human race.
In reality, it is the differences that make us special. It is the differences that we should be celebrating and applauding. In a world, and probably even universe, where difference is just part of nature we have to get away from the mindless oppressive attitude that questions someone’s choices to do something different. This should begin at schools where children should be encouraged to be individuals and explore their interests rather than being channeled into a sterile single thought process that, in the end, is only going to create a stream of mindless zombies.
What kind of chance do we have in a universe that must be full of variety, differences and unknown qualities are we to say that you must look like this, you must act like that and you must fit into this box or be bullied or ostracized where they become a recluse or worse harm yourself. What kind of a society are we when we allow our children to be left to the whims of bullies and have no option but to take their lives. If this doesn’t sound alarm bells in the highest reaches of government then something is wrong.
No matter what people tell you about what society expects you to be like, no matter what kind of image magazines portray as desirable and no matter what group or individual bully says to you about who you should be, ignore it and explore your individuality, learn to love those differences that make you special and be proud that you are not like the herd of sheep mindlessly following walking towards to edge of the cliff.
We were born to be different, the world and universe is full of differences and if we cannot accept that on this tiny little rock in space what hope do we ever have of accepting anything that we may find in our universe. Stop for a moment and look at all the people you admire, Singers, actors, musicians, artists and authors. Not one of them decided to fit in with the crowd and now they are celebrated, so why on earth should you?
The path we walk in this life is neither straight nor smooth. In fact sometimes it can feel more like a roller coaster than any kind of path at all. Most of the time we seem to be running fast going nowhere rather than having a pleasant stroll through a scenic meadow. Our time is often wasted worrying about what has just happened, why did we say something or asking the dreaded ‘if only’ question when really we have no control over what has happened anyway. The truth is you cannot start the next chapter of your life if you are still reading the last one.
When it comes to the experiences we face in life I find it incredible that the ones that were often the most difficult are the ones that we look back on as the defining moments of our lives. Those dark and frightening moments that seemed like the end of the world actually helped us find the person we are today, or at least put us on a path of understanding. We cannot sit on the sidelines of our own life purely on the basis that we do not want to make any mistakes; life is about living and experiencing, it is not a spectator sport.
To regret something in your life will not do you any good at all. If something has happened then you have to accept that and move on. If those around you cannot accept what has happened then you will have to put this down as a valuable lesson in life, no matter how painful. We would all love for everything we do in life to work out, be good or make everyone happy; but unfortunately life is not like that and we cannot change the rules of the universe. We must accept we are human, we do make mistakes and not everything in life will go to plan. If we keep this in mind, keep looking forward, try to be a better person each day and learn from our mistakes, maybe that path ahead won’t be so rough.
Our world is filled with an incredible variety that truly make us, as human beings, incredibly special. You can ask a room full of people one single question and each of them could say a completely different answer, depending on the topic. This is the world we live in and something that should make us very proud. It is our individuality that makes the world such an interesting place. But with this wonderful individuality comes a side of our species that tends to be on the dark side.
From bullying in schools to politics on the global ecosystem, difference of opinions can be hurtful, vindictive and at times lead to death and destruction. What we see in our playgrounds today is nothing short of pure scandal that bullies still go unchecked and children resort to hiding or worse in some cases. This week a young girl, Amanda Todd, took her own life due to bullying and I find it unacceptable that this is still happening in our times. We are supposed to be moving forward to a more enlightened time, yet still greed, prejudice and corruption at all levels of our society and people who only seem to get pleasure in hurting another human being. This has to stop, or rather we need to start doing something that help these children. If we cannot protect our children our civilization really has no hope for the future.
A child should be able to make a mistake without persecution. We are all human and we all make mistakes, we all say the wrong thing and we all face the darkest of times. But at what point will we have enough facilities I place so that children can go to someone for help. Do we need to set up websites that offer guidance for children ourselves? Do we have to wait to see more of our children crushed by mindless fools who have nothing better to do that attack people? When will it end?
As a parent the entire system needs some serious rethink and for any kids that may be reading this understand that I was once bullied at school. It was not to the extent that some people face but as a kid it is traumatizing. Understand that there are people in this world that are willing to listen to your problems, other help if they can and start putting back the values that really should be the defining ones of our civilization, care, compassion, honesty and generosity. Learn to focus on everything that is in good in you, because no matter what you think or allow others to make you think, you are an incredible human being with the real potential to achieve anything. Just reach out, there are people who care enough to respond.
There is not a single person on this planet that at one time or another hasn’t faced difficulties in one-way or another. Sometimes we feel that we are the only ones who are unlucky or that bad things happen to, when in fact when we talk to other people or read other people blogs we realize that everyone has their own troubles. Life is a beautiful struggle and each of us must forge our path through and over every obstacle that we face, no matter how dark the days may seem.
It is in the darkest of nights that we see the stars in the sky and life is no different. When things get bad we see within ourselves our strengths, fears and abilities as well as the friends and family that shine brightly when we need them. I remember reading a quote once that said, ‘If everyone threw their problems into a big pile we would quickly take back our own problems rather than swap them for someone else’s.’ This doesn’t mean that what you are going through or have gone through is difficult, but you know yourself that over the years in your life it is often the most difficult, darkest days that have helped shape the person you are today.
We never usually know where we get the strength to continue, why we are given these tasks or why they seem to be paddling upstream of a raging river against a torrent of troubles. Try not to worry about the why, and focus on the fact that one day you will be past this trouble, one day you be a stronger person for the experience and one day you will have this experience where you will be able to help another friend or even stranger through a difficult time. So if you find yourself today in a darkened street, look ahead and start moving forward, for one day soon the road will brighten and you will meet a person who will thank you for being strong, thank you for being brave and thank you for just being you. The person you’ll meet is the newer version of yourself, a person that I personally would love to meet. That person is not bitter because you were given problems, but rather is a better person because of all you’ve faced.
When we are born we are as fresh as an artist’s canvas, block of artists clay or a piece of granite awaiting the sculptures first touches that shape whoever we are. Every experience that we face, be it good or bad, takes away some of the material to reveal an individual underneath. If we take the granite analogy and life is the artist who will sculpt us in the way destiny decides then it helps us understand life’s journey. We must understand that life will chip away at our soul every single day, but it is up to us to decide how we want to life to shape us.
We often worry or fear certain situations in our lives. We fear the unknown or we fear failure without giving ourselves the chance to try. What we do not understand is that whether you do or you do not try, life will chip away at your surface. If you do not attempt something then the chip is likely to be painful, ugly and without any care. It just gauges out a chunk of our confidence, pulls at our spirit and does little to create any kind of character.
However, if we try and fail, the chip that is removed has some meaning, it is an experience that we learn from and therefore it helps shape our character, personality and makes the next step in life that little more assured as we have learned from the experience. If the experience is a good one then it will prove to you that you are capable of doing anything you desire. Either way, by just trying, the shape we take is much more beautiful and meaningful than if we don’t try at all.
So think of yourself as a piece of clay or granite or even a canvas that is having a dab of paint added every day. Some may be beautiful bright colors and others may be dark shadows. But we all know the importance in any piece of art that it is contrast and variety that makes any art worth viewing or getting to know. It is always the piece of art that tells the most stories, or has the strongest voice that jumps out in a gallery. So your opportunity every day is to try everything you want, can or would like to do, because no matter what the outcome; the art of getting the most out of life is trying.