I recently found something out that could have changed the course of my life and it is a really hard thing to shake off.
Before my wife and I decided to file for divorce fights often ensued due to our financial situation. I was no longer in a job making the money I once was and, though we were making ends meet, it wasn’t enough for the things we wanted to do with our life together. There was a glimpse of hope as I applied to a specific job referred to me by our good friend who ultimately helped get me in for an interview. The interview went so well that I thought for sure I’d get hired. After weeks of not hearing anything back I finally got an email stating they filled the position with someone else. It was such a let down. Fast forward a few month to now and I’m finding out that I was actually going to be offered the position but HR didn’t follow through on their end, and, politics involved, bypassed the request to make the offer to me, offering the job to someone they knew personally.
This stung! Of course my first thought was, “This would have saved my marriage!”
But would it have? Who knows, and honestly, I can’t think it would have. Money wasn’t our only issue.
It’s hard not to play the “what if” game, especially when I feel so stuck in my current situation. It’s even harder to convince myself that no matter how many scenarios I play out, I never truly know how things would have turned out. The only thing that’s certain is it didn’t work out that way and I have to let go of the idea that I could have changed anything.
But, how do I do that?
I’m learning that you can’t keep living in a state of hope. I had hoped it would have worked out this way or that way. IT DIDN’T. That’s the harsh reality.
I’m also learning that we have less control over our lives than we think. You can Control your mind, your words, your actions and your reactions, but that’s about it. You can’t control everything that happens to you. Just like you can’t control how people feel about you. You can only control how you put yourself out there and hope it’s received in a positive manner.
This has also caused me to take a closer look at my life and the events, people and choices that have lead up to my current situation.
I’m starting to truly understand the meaning of “you are what you eat” or better yet, you are a reflection of what and who you surround yourself with.
Even if we believe we are stronger or better than what’s around us, eventually it seeps in and becomes part of us. Imagine having a healthy lifestyle. You exercise regularly and eat relatively healthy. One day you might decide to grab fast food for dinner. You reason with yourself that it’s okay because you don’t do it often. A few days later you are running late and forget your lunch at home. Instead of stopping somewhere with healthier options you just grab something quick from McDonald’s. The weekend comes and friends invite you out and after a night of drinking you stop for pizza and splurge on a soda. “Just this week” you tell yourself. You’ll work it off at the gym, anyhow. This soon starts to become a habit. You maintain your gym regiment, but start to feel it’s harder to get through your workouts. You start to skip a day here and there, and soon you stop going all together. You’re too tired to cook so you order in. Fast forward a couple months and you’ve gained weight, your sleep cycle is irregular and your work is starting to slip. You attribute all this to stress or maybe a relationship issue you’re having, not realizing how your habits have affected you. This can be said about the type of people you surround yourself with. You were always a level-headed and driven individual. Your friends often admired and looked up to you. You’re friends, though, tend to talk more about their ambitions than do anything to reach their goals. The more you hang out with these people the less motivated you become. After all, you’ve accomplished far more than they have at this point in your life, so it’s okay to relax a bit. Soon you all seem to be in the same place in life. The only thing is, they haven’t really moved much up the ladder. Overtime you become so unhappy with your situation that you start to take it out on the ones closest to you, maybe you change a job or go as far as to quit your job without having another lined up. You had enough in your savings to get by for a little bit and you deserve a break anyways. With your resume you’ll find something new in no time! Weeks turn to months and now you’re scrambling to find a job. Anything would do at this point. You’re having to settle for less than you had before, just something to get by until you find something better. Now everything is suffering. Your physical and emotional health are being negatively impacted. What do you do now? How do you get out of this hole? You feel so depressed.
It’s time to reevaluate. You feel you don’t have the time to really sit down and evaluate all aspects of your life, but you do. As long as you are living and breathing, you have the ability to analyze your current situation and make the appropriate changes. It won’t be easy. It will actually be pretty hard at first. It will be worth it.
Where do you start? You start with yourself. How do you see yourself? How do you talk about yourself? Is it positive? If not, start. Start with the way you think about yourself, life and your relationships. Feed your mind with positivity and it will shine through in all aspects of your life. You may realize that some of those friendships you had, the ones you started to spend a lot of time with, are not actually positive ones. You start to notice how your body feels after eating a McDouble meal and downing a Diet Coke. You cut it out. Cut it all out of your life. Now, I’m not saying you necessarily have to remove all of these friendships from your life. You may just need to reprioritize and create boundaries. Limit yourself to how often you go out for a night of drinks. If those friends truly care about you, they’ll understand why you aren’t going out so much and are focusing more on your health and ambitions. If they cause more drama and stress over the situation, well, you know what to do. Cut them out. They are not good for you. Surround yourself with people that motivate you. Yes, it feels great to be that friend of the group that is the motivator, but how do you sustain that? Who or what is motivating you? We all need someone or something to rely on for those times when we feel we are lacking that extra push to reach a goal. It could be a friend, a popular motivational speaker you watch online, meditation or maybe it’s a book. Whatever it is, you have to make time for it and prioritize accordingly. We all need that fun night out with friends every once in a while. Don’t starve yourself of this if it’s something you enjoy. Just don’t allow it to take away from the other things you enjoy, the things that drive you to do and be better. I am telling you, a positive mind creates a positive life. The more you make a habit of it, the easier it will become and soon you’ll notice that it seems things are coming to you! I know, I know, it’s always easier said then done, but what do you have to lose?
Start with something small like no longer drinking soda, meditation, exercising or reading for 30 minutes a day. Speak positive affirmations to yourself. Talk about your goals with someone. However you decide to start, do it for you and do it all the way. And remember, you will fall, but you will always be able to get back up.