I understand that a man can have everything having nothing and nothing having everything.
Fast cars, big bling, work-life balance? What does the phrase having it all summon up in your mind?
Let me share what it means for me. It means living a life that has ups and downs. It means experiencing the range of emotions – in growing and learning.
If you’ve heard me talk you’ll know that I’m a positive person and an optimist. I trust others, I believe in the good in everyone, and that the world can do more. That means my feed here is crammed full (with a cherry on the chocolate sprinkles on the cream on top) with positive, pragmatic, and encouraging posts. Even when I present the gloom or the challenges it’s framed to push the good to great.
Does that mean that I’m a joy to be with every waking hour?
Does that mean I know no fear?
Does it mean that I have no regrets?
I’m a human, I have ups and downs. My body tells me when I’m fatigued or hungry. It tells me when need rest and when my boundaries have slipped.
I understand stress and have acutely felt burnout in my life. It’s a consequence of burning so bright and I think the wiring runs too deep. It’s led me to cynicism, judgement, jealousy, control in the past. So I can see that when people share their stories of hurt on social media, they’re sharing an outlet for that. Too often though, as friends and relatives, we collude in that rather than soothe. We pacify the anger rather than reframe it too.
That negativity spreads though – it's true that misery does love company and can disillusion others quickly. Look around at the anxiety, frustration, sadness, and grief around us every single day. It gets dangerous when it gets into a cycle...... when it becomes more than a fleeting thought.... when others offer their own injustices and the challenge grows even bigger.
So, I try now to protect my energy. To rest, to play, to seek fun. I choose to celebrate small steps, I choose to congratulate others and practice gratitude every day. If you look for the good, you will find it all around you. If you look for kindness, it is there. If you want to find love, show love. Does any of that say that there should be no sorrow? Of course not, but manage that sorrow. Don’t dwell in it because it does blind you from the gifts all around.
This month, I’ve been highlighting persistence. I’ve brought different tales of people walking through their challenges and there will be more to come. I know that for many, all this talk of emotions will be a turn-off but mastering emotions and energy is a crucial skill for any leader.
There are so many resources out there to turn to and so you won’t find a meditation series from me (just yet). I will though shine a light on progress, on joy and confidence. Because that’s what the world needs and that’s what I need right now.
In the past, my optimism has been misread as naivety. That’s never been true. I believe that in having it all, we are human, and in positive encouragement we build progress.