I have been struggling lately with challenges and difficulties in my life. I have been trying to be calm, clear-headed and strong enough to do my "best" to "get through" to calmer, happier times.
But yesterday, I don't know why, I had a lightbulb moment. I thought "no, that is not good enough, and it is not the way to succeed". I realized that I have to say "I am strong. I am smart. I will succeed. I will be fine. I am not going to let bumps in the road bring me down. (This last statement is funny because I hate actual bumps in any road).
For some reason, I have a character trait that worries and I let these worries become dread. For some reason, I think that I have to imagine the worst case scenario so that I can be prepared for it. But, really, this way of thinking makes my good times less good because I am hanging onto fear around the edges. And, it makes the bad times worse because I have been expecting them and I give them power by considering them inevitable.
Instead, I can choose to change my mindset. I know that I am a tough, basically successful, somewhat adventurous type of person. When it comes to other peoples' lives, I am a good organizer and problem solver. I know that I have a good life and that I will continue to have a good life. I can choose to wake up each day and say "I am going to engage fully in this day. I am going to have piles of positive experiences. I am going to take on Life and win."
The good thing is that when I win, Life wins too. I have never liked competition. Maybe because I was afraid of failure. But having a fighting spirit, a scrappy preparedness, a lust for challenge - this could really work.
This past summer, after going for a morning swim in The Serpentine in London with a group of women, one of these amazing women was talking about all the traveling and swimming and sporting challenges she wanted to do and she said "there is just so much to look forward to." I keep thinking about that statement and I think it is a good mantra. It is not so much about looking forward to the future, but about approaching the present with a sense of game - ready to play.