What brought me to the current moment – the Me of today? And, indeed, what has brought you here? Why have I started a blog? What does the future hold?
I suppose I just kind of thought that they’d come round to the idea. I mean, there’s no way that they could NOT like it once we were out there. Then………BOOM, like an earthquake came the “we can’t do it.”
BC or not BC?
It was July 2014. After several years of becoming more frustrated and fed up with the rat race, my dream was on the horizon. Lots of time, energy and effort had gone into making it happen. I’d already knocked back one promising job and taken another, we’d been out for a visit and I’d passed the crane operator assessments, school places were sorted for the kids, the permit was virtually in the post and we’d even sold the house. All that was left to do was to book the flight and get on the plane to start our new life in Vancouver.
My wife and children not wanting or being able to go through with the move hit me hard. At first, I was pretty bitter about it. I’d already decided that I was leaving employment, regardless of whether Canada happened or not. So, within two weeks of the decision being made not to go, I started my own business – SWL Training. As my levels of motivation in work had been dropping over the previous months, and I was so set on the move to Vancouver, starting my own business felt more like a consolation prize than an exciting adventure. I was very fortunate to have had plenty of contacts to assist me in getting sufficient associate work to pay my bills; although, I did put considerable time and effort into getting the business up & running (as well as not being able to take any money out of it for a couple of months).
On reflection, and with a bit more of an objective view, was it really only MY dream to move to Vancouver, and I was just trying to sufficiently convince myself that my wife and kids were buying into it? There’s no question that there was an element of selfishness in my desire to make the move happen; which I did partially admit at the time. Perhaps I didn’t admit it to myself as much as to see that it probably wasn’t fair to pursue it as far as I did. Don’t get me wrong – I genuinely felt that it would be the best thing for us as a family to make the move out there. Better standard of living, more opportunities for the kids as they grew up, less hours that I’d have to work, the whole of Canada and USA to explore on holidays, were all on offer; and I still believe that we would’ve loved it had we gone out.
A number of house moves later (due to renting rather than owning), lots of upheaval, trials and challenges in the business, and some deep self-examination, I am now a much stronger person. I am now fully accountable.
Until a person can deeply and honestly say “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday”, that person cannot say “I choose otherwise”. – Stephen R Covey (paraphrasing Eleanor Roosevelt)
Although my intentions have always been good on the whole, and I’ve always been one to hold my hand up when I’ve cocked up, something just wasn’t right. I would always crack on with work at a healthy rate, but I would often groan, judge and/or criticise in the process. ‘Why the hell can’t people just do things the right way?’
Some people would say that perfectionism is a good thing – that it sets good standards. As a near-reformed perfectionist, I would not say that perfectionism is a good thing. It’s absolutely s**t! The problem with it is, that neither you or anyone else around you can ever do anything well enough; it’s always measured against the ‘perfect’ outcome. Perfection does not mix with pragmatism.
Have I lowered my standards? Nope, I don’t believe so. I’ve simply matured, become more patient and realised that it may take some time to get things to an outstanding level, and that not everyone has the desire to get there. Striving for high standards, and where that can take you in life, is something that I’ll talk about and share with you in a future blog. So, I’ll leave that point there for now.
Insight and Inspiration
During Tony Robbins‘ Unleash the Power Within (UPW) seminar in London in April this year, one of the many discoveries I made was: I had put up with all the bad stuff going on in life and accepted it as normal, but I was unable to recognise the good. This was part of the perfectionism thing; but it meant that I was unable to really see or accept the good in myself – therefore, unable to see the good in others. This was a very simple, but hugely significant discovery for me.
For the past eighteen months, I have been on a journey of seeking a better version of myself. It’s now very apparent that this is a never-ending journey, but a journey that has already started to reap huge rewards. Not financially yet, but it has helped me grow as a person massively. When you’re 6’7″, there’s a lot of space to fill – it feels so much better when it’s not empty.
I’m very aware that this post has been predominantly about me; but it’s important that I lay my cards on the table so that you can see that there is considerable genuineness and qualification for many of the future posts, in which I will seek to be of some help or inspiration to you.
There has been a lot of reading, listening, learning, talking, thinking, meditating and enjoying over the past number of months, which will continue indefinitely. A few catalysts of my self-transformation journey, and starting points that I would recommend to anyone, are:
- Mindfulness meditation – have a look at Headspace and start taking control of your own mind.
- ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People‘ by Stephen R Covey – a magnificent book or audio book if you often find yourself being held back by the inner cautious critic.
- ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People‘ by Dale Carnegie – are you one of those with the right intentions on the inside, but often abrasive on the outside?
I hope that you come back to visit my blog again, and I’d really appreciate your comments. You can subscribe to receive email updates when I post too if you like.
Until next time – stay safe, stay you and don’t let anybody dampen the joy that you have to share with many. All I have to say is ‘I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.’