It is an ironic truism that if I knew ten, twenty or maybe even thirty years ago what I know now, my life would be very different. Or maybe it wouldn’t. Probably not with decisions of the heart, they have always been made in a foolhardy and reckless manner. With other life decisions, jobs I have taken, options I have chosen, some of those, I would like to think, would have been different.
There is a popular notion in the western world, sort of a natural offshoot of the ‘be positive’ and ‘what you believe you achieve’ mantra that has permeated society. The notion is that if you follow your passion, you’ll never work again. Hmm. Now I am not the first, second or even third person to think – and now write about – this being a little, um, bullshitty.
When I was a child, growing up in south London, everything was a competition. You wanted to be best dressed,…
The question that comes up often when it comes to gifted or talented individuals, whether it is in the sporting field, business or academia, is whether it is nature or nurture that has helped to forge them. We humans like an explanation, it is just how our brains work. As much as we can accept that some are obviously more blessed in their genetic makeup, whether that be physically or mentally, we still want to and need to look beyond that. If we were to believe that there was some inherent predisposition to a skill, thus making it impossible for anyone who does not possess that particular gene to acquire such skill, the human race would never progress.
This is a question for the pet owners: how much ice cream do you give to your dog or cat? How about chocolate? Donuts? Microwave meals occasionally, no? How about a nice bit of fruit cordial? I am being facetious of course, no self-respecting pet owner would feed any of those foods to their beloved pooch or kitty. They’re not trying to kill them. We mostly save such great foods for ourselves and our children.
I have of late focused on the mental aspects of fitness, as I feel one’s psychological approach to health and fitness is as important as the physical. Having said that, as much as good mental health and determined focus is good for you, what really aids and reinforces the mind-body connection is movement, namely exercise. Not only is exercise good for you, it is necessary for optimal body health.
I can tell you what is most valuable to you. Health, of course, is very important, without your health life is pretty miserable. As well as one’s physical health, one’s mental health is also of paramount importance. Still, neither is the most valuable commodity.
In our consumer crazy world, we purchase items, subscriptions, take holidays, accumulate stuff at a ferocious rate, hoarding phones, computers, televisions, buying designer clothes, going organic, because it looks good and buying fresh produce, having a night out at the cinema, theatre or just out for a meal, all of these things and experiences add to one’s life and general enjoyment. In that respect, all of the aforementioned is valuable.
There is definitely something to be said for one’s approach to a situation affecting its outcome, or should I say perceived outcome. How things, events, in a life are recalled depends on the eyes, feelings and perceptions of the person relating the event. A torturer will have a totally different account of the time spent doing the deed than that of the tortured. That is not to say one version is wrong or remembered incorrectly, it is just different perspectives.
It is always interesting when you hear someone proclaim that they do not care what people think of them, only those who are close; their family, friends and perhaps work colleagues. Most would agree with those sentiments, why would one care about the opinions of strangers when it comes to something they do? After all, their opinions or comments do not affect you or have any impact on one’s life unless you allow them to. So why do so many of us, the majority of us, allow others to influence or affect our mood?
For anyone who has lived around other people for more than twenty years, there are some unequivocal facts that would have been observed. One; we are all the same, as in there is a normal expectation of what you expect to see of the human animal when you visit another country or different place. There is no Three Armed Land or Giraffe Neck Island. There is not even a land of Amazons, no matter how much we men wish there was.