The Starter Pistol Sounds
The date is Friday 3rd July 2020. Why is this date so important to me? Yesterday I was listening to a Judge read out charges against me for actions I carried out in 2014. These actions cost me both personally/professionally. The outcome, I avoided a custodial sentence. Placed at the mercy of the judge it was a huge relief. To start over you must reflect on what has past, and set new ordinates.
You can’t turn back time, but you can utilize time for your benefit moving forward. Sounds easy? How do you turn the page and start anew, when the past six years you have been living with feelings of judgment, anger, resentment, and worry? Let’s begin this journey in the same process I have all others.
“The cold hard brutal truths of lived experiences”. So buckle up!
I woke up feeling refreshed with a real purpose to get moving. What would I do with all this newfound energy? After traveling through the past 6 years carrying the weight of Titanic on my shoulders, I felt as light as a Malteser. So what now? After reviewing all the actions I took during lockdown (yes there was a global pandemic) trying to corner me mentally also, it was time to press go. So where was I headed, after 6 years living in dread emotionally?
When I sat down with a notepad and pen to start asking real questions of myself I had no idea where it would take me. When I stripped away all the B.S. I had been telling myself for years (we do like the masks) I discovered the answers that I had been searching for.
Why did it take me to reach rock bottom to finally discover what I already knew? I need to communicate this story to assist others. Why? These are lived experiences that others are experiencing also (COVID-19 and job loss) to scratch the surface. Now quit asking yourself why and start communicating the story!
Once Upon a Time
During Lockdown I started writing about key moments in my life, where the shit hit the fan. These stories allowed me to search my soul (Jesus, that’s deep) for answers to thoughts that I had buried long ago. This was not a happy experience, but one will all must face if we are honest with ourselves.
We all face challenges, but running from them is the road to ruin psychologically. Most people spend their lives running from the truth, I refused to be one of them. Is this courageous. or downright stupidity? You only get one life, and living with regret for the rest of mine was not high on the priority.
When I started writing my stories I didn’t believe for one minute that I was going to share them with anyone. Why would I? They’re my stories. However, after reviewing social media feeds, reading papers, researching online, and discreetly talking with others, I was filled with a sense of why would you hide, what others may be experiencing also?
The answer hit me like a size 5 Nike Ball flush to the face! It was not a case of why would I, but more a case of let’s start communicating. Now, some people will find that decision to hard a pill to swallow emotionally. Not me though, I had gone as low as I ever could, and still came back for air. To add value we must connect with people. It’s why we are on this earth. In real terms, it’s called a sense of belonging.
There was a time not six years ago when I could have called upon a vast network of people to support me in whatever direction I sought to travel. Through my actions, this was no longer the case, and I have to live with that. However, in times of crisis, we not only get to meet our real selves but those who believe that you need some assistance to start over.
These are the people who are aware of your past but show unyielding loyalty to help you. If you need to do battle, these are the people you want standing beside you. It was during the impending court case and Lockdown that these people started to show themselves. It could be that Lockdown was affecting their decision-making, but I hope that it was my story that they connected with. You can ask them!
“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have if you don’t harness it and focus on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants. ~~ Zig Ziglar
Set Ordinates, All Ahead North
How do you start to unravel the wiring in your brain that has shaped your life over the past 43 years? The beliefs, traits, values, skills, and characteristics that your environment has help create and reinforce? First, you need to take ownership of all your decisions to that point, and set new ordinates to change them.
I started to consume books, audio, and motivational videos to reframe my thinking. I became relentless to a schedule I had devised. New habits were formed supported via a real willingness. I decided to take control and commit to the process of changing where I was headed. This process is ongoing as I sit and write.
Where do you want to be in five years? If you don’t know you are already there. What the f**k does that mean? If you don’t set a clear direction of what you want out of life, you will wander. Not like poor Hector in Troy who thought he defeated Achilles! But not far off that. The plan can be focused on several areas; family, relationships, health, career, raising children, buying a home, marriage, or holidays. The list is endless.
However, you need to sit down with a pen and paper and map it out. Are your actions taking you closer to achieving that plan? If they’re not, then guess what? Change them. This is your vision of living a happy life. Become persistent in meeting all the challenges you will encounter to reach it.
Now, there is real power in this. I’ve lost count of how many times I battled failures in my life. It’s why I started writing during Lockdown. I’ve written 13 stories, (Real low points) so that should provide you with an indication of how many times I hit the canvas. Did I let it stop me? I may have let it pull at my emotions, but it was never keeping me on the floor. Therein lies the real strength of overcoming adversity.
During lockdown, I had become a new welfare claimant, had a court case hanging over my head, had no real income, and was battling thoughts of where do I go from here? There was only one option and it wasn’t to curl up into a ball. It was time to grab hold of these negative feelings, and use them as fuel to start a new journey of taking back control of my life. I didn’t hear a bell.
“People don’t realise you are born to fail and born to get up. It is the goal of every spiritual being to try to live as big a life as possible; to love as much as possible, and fall as often as possible (Gary Keller)
Welcome to Men of Aspirations
Where did you think all this energy, focus, writing, soul searching and reading was going to lead? It had to lead to a purpose. When I started this journey during Lockdown I had no idea what the purpose was, or what any of it would mean. Now in December 2020, I know exactly the direction it has to travel.
There are thousands of men across the world feeling the same way as I do. How do I know this? I review the research, and talk to them via social media platforms. How did my story connect with theirs? They all experienced similar journeys. The connections are developing over simply communicating these experiences.
Our journeys are all unique, but there is a narrative that unites us all. We are not letting these failures define us moving forward. Look around you, who is an Inspiration in your life. What have they overcome? Learn from those that have gone before you.
The social media platforms I have developed are to connect, add value, and communicate my journey to others. Why? It’s the sharing of such experiences that I hope can assist others to find their own Inspiration.
At the time of writing this story I have written nearly 63,000 words and read 25 books on resilience, leadership, and mindset. Now, I’m not suggesting for one moment you need to do this! This was a pathway that I travelled. However, the power to start again after major setbacks is inherent in all of us. We just need to take the first step. One more round!
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