Sitting in the office on a Friday night. It was 6pm and everyone had gone home, for the first time ever I’m the last one there. I didn’t stay late because I had a lot of work to do, but mainly because I was feeling something I can only describe as…empty. I don’t want to get too personal as some of my colleagues read this blog, based on that statement you can see I’m not fully aligned with not caring what people think but this blog is both my journey and yours.
As everyone disappeared to enjoy their lives outside of work, I didn’t have the desire to do anything. I was even questioning the point in life, it’s not that I couldn’t go and do something, it’s just that I didn’t feel the need.
As I left the office I got home and started to try and analyse why I was feeling like this. In reality there was nothing ‘wrong’ as such, it just felt like I was in a total slump. In fact, I’ve had this a lot the last few days and I think it’s mostly because I’m trying to transform my life and really take action. Action on where I want to go, what I want to achieve and the things I want to do. Where I’ve really been trying to transform my life is just with my internal self.
At times I can be a pretty shy person and in the past if I was ever in a very dominant group of people, I wouldn’t really speak up and be heard. However, more recently I’ve been surrounding myself with confident people (male and female) and really expressing my true self, and my life has been better for that. The reason I’m saying this is that I have new standards to which I live my life. If I’m sitting in an office late at night for no reason, I know that is not me and I know I should be doing something about it. Knowing you are not being congruent with your true-self can be a tough feeling but it is a motivating one.
Flip the Script
So far, my story has been full of negative things, yet one of the core values I now place on my life is to see the positive aspect in every situation. So instead of feeling lonely or empty, I looked at all the positives:
- I’m in a country where barely anyone knows me and can do anything I want
- I have a nice apartment, and transport that can get me around
- I’m ALIVE and shouldn’t waste any time being down or depressed
- I’m young and have nothing holding me back (kids, finances etc) from changing my situation
When there is so much of the world to see, so many things to experience and enjoy, it’s a waste of time if we are going to spend it in a negative slump. One more thing that got me down was thinking: “I write about how people can find their true selves and enjoy life, yet I’m not doing that so I should stop writing“. I realised that I’m going to have to go through the low points of the journey and when I do, I can share my experiences with others, hence the personal aspects of this post.
What did I do that night? I went out to town with one of my best friends, got the phone numbers of some hot girls and had an awesome time partying (and I didn’t even drink).
Steps to Taking Control
It doesn’t matter if you are 50 and want to change your life in general, or if you are having a bad day and want it to improve, it can be done. I honestly believe it’s never too late to do anything in our lives, it’s only too late if we’re dead; so if you are reading this, it’s not too late.
1. Appreciate everything, including yourself
When I was sitting in the office, borderline negative, I realised that I don’t appreciate the moment. I don’t appreciate being alive or having the opportunity to do anything I want. As soon as you know you aren’t doing something, do it. There are thousands if not millions of people who would do anything to be in my situation, to have another chance at life and there were countless people who gave their lives so we could all be here today.
Instead of looking at all the negatives of your situation, start to appreciate everything you do have. You know, simply having a roof over your head puts you in a better position than 75% of the world. When was the last time you truly appreciated having a roof over your head?
The same goes for appreciating yourself, don’t look at all the things you might not like, focus on the things you do like about yourself such as your talents or characteristics. When you are truly grateful for the opportunities and chances you have, you don’t sit around in a slump, you start to make life happen because this is the only life we have.
2. Map out what it is that you want
If you want to make a change in your life, you have to know what it is you want to change, or achieve. When I realised I wanted to see more of the world, I looked into ways I could create a passive income. Since then, I’ve been building websites that make me money with little to no work. If you want to write a book, start working on the finer details such as:
- Planning your storyline
- Learning how to get published
- Looking into self publishing and marketing services online
- Defining and deciding the characters of the book and so on…
If you don’t take control of your own life, then you are simply living to die. You will keep looking to the future for things to be better instead of focusing on the present moment and actually taking action. One of the best ways to take action is to set yourself goals that you can realistically follow to set yourself on a productive and exciting path.
Surprisingly or not, it’s often the journey that we enjoy more than the end result.
3. Take some time out
Even if you don’t feel like you are down or need major changes in your life, you may still be living in reaction to your situation and not creating your own reality. This may sound strange, but recently I spent 5 days in a private hospital room and it was one of the best things that has happened to me. I really started to focus on the things that matter and completely pushed aside the things that didn’t.
I also had a lot of time to gather my thoughts and realise that a large part of my life was just living how I’m supposed to live and not taking action. That might sound strange for someone who moved to South Africa on his own at 18 but you have to keep up the momentum and not stay set in your ways.
Take the time to ZOOM-out of your current life situation, see the things you are doing and where you are headed. If you don’t like it, then make a change and take control. Because ultimately, nobody else is going to do it for you.
Flip the script on your current life and be the person you want to be, the person you’re meant to be. Mould your own reality by taking control of your life. Even if it’s the most difficult thing you ever do, what could be more true to yourself?