Mindset, it changes everything. Mindset is what allows people to go through tragedy and come out of it shining bright, ready to take on the world. It is also what leads people down a darker path when they encounter tragic situations. Have you ever asked yourself why two different people can go through similar situations but have different outcomes?
If you are reading this right now I imagine you are one of two people. Either you have been somewhat successful and are looking to take things to the next level or you are going through somewhat of a tough time and looking for a way out. No matter which side of the coin you are on, working on your mindset is a good idea. How do you do that though? What does that look like?
Proper mindset starts with realizing the potential you have within yourself. Realizing that everything you need to suceed is within you, not outside of you. It has nothing to do with someone else or something else. It’s all you! As humans we are all incredibly blessed with the potential to overcome any situation. How do I know this? Because we have examples of people who have overcome their struggles, failures, and tragic situations. If they can do it, you can do it!
Viktor Emil Frankl ( 1905 – 1997) – Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, devoted his life to studying, understanding and promoting “meaning.” His famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, tells the story of how he survived the Holocaust by finding personal meaning in the experience, which gave him the will to live through it. He went on to later establish a new school of existential therapy called logotherapy, based in the premise that man’s underlying motivator in life is a “will to meaning,” even in the most difficult of circumstances. (Source https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/viktor-frankl/)
Stephen William Hawking (1942 – 2018) – In 1963, Hawking contracted motor neurone disease and was given two years to live. Yet he went on to Cambridge to become a brilliant researcher and Professorial Fellow at Gonville and Caius College. From 1979 to 2009 he held the post of Lucasian Professor at Cambridge, the chair held by Isaac Newton in 1663. Stephen Hawking is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Einstein. (Source http://www.hawking.org.uk/)
Bethany Hamilton (1990 – present) – American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off but who ultimately returned to professional surfing. She wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released. (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BethanyHamilton)
Oprah Winfrey (1954 – present) – Winfrey was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in inner-city Milwaukee. She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son was born prematurely and died in infancy.
Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931) – was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb
These are real life super heroes my friends. People that overcame what some would say is impossible. People that never gave up no matter what. This is the power of mindset coupled with hard work.
Personally I had to overcome a poor mindset that was created through a lack of direction in life as a young man. This lack of direction led me to not placing much value on my life in the world. I had no meaning, I had no role to play. I did not think I was important so I did not care what I did. I had no respect for myself or anyone else. I further poisoned my mind by constantly using drugs and alcohol which dug me further into a hole. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom at the age of 19 that I took a hard look at my life. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was ready for a change. Thankfully my trouble with the law landed me in jail for quite some time. The drugs could no longer numb my mind and I was given the opportunity to get better. I realized I was ready to do things differently, but how the hell would I do that? I had no idea what different looked like, what it meant, or how to do it. After jail I was forced to go to inpatient rehabilitation followed by 2 years in a sober living house. This is where I learned how to live a life without drugs and how to operate within the rules of society. Those 2 years are a story in itself and I will share that story in a different post. What was important for me to realize is that the drugs were not the problem, they were a symptom. The problem was I had no direction in life as a young man but I was ambitious. I wanted to do great things but had no idea how to do it. Eventually, I lost faith that I could do it. To numb the pain I turned to drugs and the comforts of the life I already had, even though I did not like it. After all, once an addict, always an addict, right? NO! That would not be my story. I refused to let my past dictate my future and I was determined to walk a path that led me to a place I wanted to be in life.
When my journey started my mindset was garbage. I did not believe in myself so people told me they believed in me. They would say things like “Hey, do you trust me?” I would say “Ya sure, I do” and they would say “ok, well I believe in you even if you don’t believe in yourself, so just trust me”
As I surrounded myself with people who had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish I realized 2 things:
1. There were people that overcame worse situations than mine.
2. If they can do it then I can do it.
I came to believe in myself because I had living breathing examples of people around me.
When you are working on your mindset the first step is realizing that you can do whatever it is that you want to do. There is nothing new under the sun. I know I can accomplish things because someone else has already done it. The deciding factor is if I am willing to put in the effort to make it happen.
I will be writing a lot more on mindset and sharing specific actionable things. There is so much I can write on this because it took me 6 years of working on myself to get to a point where I truly believed I could accomplish the things I wanted to do.
Just know that step 1 is believing in yourself, if you can not do that like I could not then believe in someone else and understand if they can, you can. That is your mustard seed. That is the seed that you must nurture and let grow into something big and beautiful.
For now, I will leave you with a couple questions and would love to chat with you about any questions you have when it comes to this topic.
Is there anything in your life you think you can not do?
What do you think is holding you back?
Have other people accomplished what you want to accomplish? What is the difference between you and them?
Feel free to share your story here. I am certain there are others out there just like you.