Dear Yours Truly: A letter of support from the person who knows you best.
There is no denying that in life we will encounter adversities. To some people, they may seem insignificant yet to others they may seem mammoth. I’ve known some people to complain about getting a speeding ticket and fined for not wearing a seat belt and then others to accept the fact that they have to get a tumor cut out of the head and say “at least I can still smile”.
Perspective and mindset are powerful things. We look back on the hardest times in our lives and we often reflect on how important these hard times were in making us who we are today. We are often so consumed by what is directly in front of us that we let it blind us. We look too readily at the problem and not for the solution.
The truth is, in life, you will always have something pushing against you. You cannot get stronger without something pushing against you. Without having overcome some adversity. You must first battle, be weakened, then give yourself the chance to reflect and recover to then adapt to that stimulus.
This is apparent in weightlifting and fitness the same as it is in personal growth and mindset. You can both be sore after training and say ‘I’m never going back’, or you can accept and understand that the discomfort is part of the process then recover and push again.
The same goes for every hardship in our life. Hardship and tough times provide the opportunity to learn, not simply to retreat. The only people who will judge you for ever making mistakes are those people who have never made a mistake. They have never put themselves out there. They’ve never made themselves vulnerable. They stay in their own ‘backyard’, so don’t let their opinion of you and your circumstances become your reality.
I believe it’s fair to say that during these hard times we often look to people for guidance and support. The people we turn to have something we want, or are those that we respect on some level due to their morals and values.
During the course of the last 12 months we all have faced our own personal hardships. This year has been no exception. A year filled with lost friendships, lies about character, struggles with my own headspace and some extremely ‘down’ moments. All this couple with my business going through tough times and countless experiences of failure and rejection. To some people, my story might mean nothing, whereas others may believe that it sounds like the end. I have a big why to the reason I get out of bed in the morning. It is easy to lose sight of it in the busyness of our life. I know I lost it momentarily.
To me, my story is all I know. I won’t lie – it’s been a character challenging year. It is for these reasons which I want to share with you the best piece of advice I received. It’s helped me time and time again this year and I can see it doing so for years to come.
The letter, although short came from someone I look up to and has what I want to have in the future. They are happy and strong. They have a supportive network and loving family. They constantly give their time and money to both charity and to their family and close friends. Their definition of success is based upon the magnitude of the positive influence one leaves upon society. Something, I heavily align with. Their letter is below:
I know that right now you are going through a rough time. That you don’t have the answers to the problems that you are letting consume you right now. I know that these are bigger challenges than you have ever faced before. I know that you are personally trying to transform yourself and give selflessly, yet you find it hard, a battle even within yourself to do so. I know you feel that the expectations on you can sometimes feel like a burden. I know all of this, and I promise you, I know what it feels like. I want you to remember that both your happiest and your hardest days lay ahead. I want you to know that you are bigger than any struggle you face and that there is no failure. You do not fail off a horse, you fall. You only fail if you neglect to get back on. I know that you will surpass this current struggle and become more humble, far stronger and more mature for doing so. I know that you will continue to impact your nation and beyond for many decades to come. I know that you have a lot to give and it’s hard sometimes. You just have to trust and never doubt yourself. I know that’s much easier to read than it is to do and I promise you that you will get better at it. In fact, I know you will. I know what lays ahead for you because I know your values and your moral compass. You either act in fear or act in faith and right now, you have to act in faith.
Sometimes it hard to trust the process but trust me, in hindsight, it’s harder not to.
45 year old Dave Nixon”
If you are serious about your goals in life then you have to understand that that is just what is going to happen. Like, there is no room for a plan B. It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ but rather a matter of ‘when’. When you get to this level of mindset awesomeness you have to believe that the older version of yourself will have what you want. What advice would a 20 year old version of you who has what you want to have give you right now?
Steve Jobs said that you cannot connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking back. You have to have faith that you will get what you want. That you will work for it and reap what you deserve. Plan Bs leave room in your mindset for failure. You have to trust the process. Whenever I read this I get a sense of calm over me, I stop looking at the problem and start looking for the solution. It’s there, you will simply miss it though if you constantly stare at the problem. What you look for is what you get.
The best advice I have ever received was to take more of my own advice. Remember, you either act in fear or you act in faith. You have to know what you want and why. And when you have both of those things and you act in faith, you have to look up to the person you will grow up to be. This is reason why rather than asking people how life is treating them, ask them how they are treating life.
P.s. Don't just read this, write your own..