Whether you think you can, or think you can’t you’re right – Henry Ford
I’ve always found it quite strange that people look forward to Friday and hate Monday mornings.
What’s so special about Friday and what has Monday ever done wrong?
Last year I was hitchhiking down the west coast of America near Yosemite, when I met a 58 year old guy named Russ.
Russ was one of the most passionate people I have ever met. He had this uncanny zest for life, and in his very own words, made sure he “maximised each day of his life.”
After a day on the water kayaking with Russ, I went over to his house to cook dinner, and find out more about his past.
Over lunch, he told me about a nearly fatal accident he had when he was 40. He was on a routine cycle trip when a car crashed into him and knocked him off his bike.
The doctors told Russ he’d never be able to do sport again, and that he’d have to undergo surgery and 18 months of therapy.
Russ was determined to prove the doctors wrong, and I’m proud to say that he did.
Here’s an extract from Russ:
In 1997 I was involved in a life threatening and life altering bicycle accident that almost ended my life. All of the doctors and physical therapist informed me that my days of highly active sports were over and I would have physical limitations of what I would be able to do.
This motivated me to challenge that and after two surgeries and 18 months of physical therapy, I have managed to: set a new record for the most home runs in a season along with an “in the park” grand slam in softball, summit Half Dome in Yosemite, hike the 4 day 30 mile Inca Trail and summit 14,000 feet, participate in several 5 and 10k races, finished 2 Triathlons in back to back years and just recently finished 2 Half Marathons at the age of 58.
He also told me that:
- Each morning, he wakes up at 4:30 AM and makes a point to view the sky and watch the sun rise, then goes on a 5km run.
- He is extremely active and spends each weekend doing one of the following activities: hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking, paddle boarding or fishing.
- He owns 7 kayaks, 1 canoe, 2 paddle boards, 2 mountain bikes, 1 racing bike and they all help him maximise his day.
- He makes a point to stop to smell the roses and appreciate all that mother nature is choosing to offer him.
- At the end of each day he witnesses the multitude of colours and sounds as the sun sets and counts his blessing for another fantastic day that he is alive.
- On June 23rd each year (the longest day of the year), he spends his time “maximising his day” with as much adventure and fun as possible.
It’s hard not to be inspired by Russ’ resilience, enthusiasm and passion for life.
At the end of the evening, just before I was set to leave, Russ looked at me and said, “Daniel, please remember one thing: everyday is a good day just some are better than others.”
This moment has stuck with me ever since and I want to spend the rest of the article exploring the meaning behind them.
Your Mindset Dictates Your Reality
Since his accident, Russ had built up an incredibly abundant focused reality. He could’ve easily taken a negative approach, felt sorry for himself and decided not to take responsibility of the situation.
However, Russ saw things a little differently. Even though the accident wasn’t his fault, he took charge of the situation, and against all odds, with intense determination and a laser focused goal, managed to fully recover, and participate in sport again.
I really believe that this all comes down to one thing….
I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. Whether consciously or not, what we ask for, and what we focus our intention and attention on manifests in our lives.
That explains why two people can look at the same picture and have completely different perceptions on it. The picture doesn’t change does it?
If we start with a negative mindset then a negative depiction of the world follows, because that’s all we see when we look out into the world with our own two eyes.
With a negative mindset, all the beauty and goodness going on around us gets hidden under all the mess and it’s difficult to find.
But it doesn’t have to be that way…
To Change Your Mindset
Your mindset is the starting point for your experience of reality. It is responsible for all of the thoughts, opinions, beliefs and morales you have created in your life.
Whatever you perceive to be true is your truth. For a long time my truth was negative, and I looked at the world in terms of scarcity.
However, through a series of experiences, I realised that I needed to change my mindset and readjust how I saw the world.
I also discovered that I was dealing with deep conditioning from my childhood and that mindset was not something that changes over night.
Today, and almost 2 years on, I’m still working on adjusting my mindset (I’m sure I will be for the rest of my life).
If you’re struggling with your own mindset, I want to share a few useful reminders that have helped me along my journey:
- What you choose to perceive is your choice – First and most importantly, remember both happiness and sadness are choices.
- Taking full responsibility – Accepting that your current mindset isn’t serving you.
- Internal effects the external – Reminding yourself that your internal world dictates the external world, and not the other way around.
- Self-awareness – To consciously identify negative and inhibiting beliefs as they pop up in your head.
- Change Your Talk – Whether it’s the words you speak in your head or those you say out loud, refrain from using words such as “can’t”, “won’t”, “don’t”, “shouldn’t”. They are scarcity focused words and will limit your actions and decisions.
Let’s be realistic, we’re not robots and every day will not be filled with happy thoughts.
However, there’s always goodness to be found if you are willing to look for it, and life can be much more fulfilling if you focus on the things that bring you joy.
Next time you’re struggling with negative thoughts, remind yourself of Russ mantra:
“Everyday is a good day just some are better than others.”
Thanks for reading and all the best,
Daniel Beaumont, Tuesday 26th January 2016
About the Author
Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.
I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.
I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.
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