I wanted to share these thoughts with you today. The content is different than my usual contributions, but important nonetheless. Please read it through, and I believe it will be worth your time.
I feel great about who I am right now. I am happy with what I do, how I spend my time, and whom I spend my time with. This hasn’t always been the case. I have seen points in my life that were lower than low. I am not perfect, and I don’t strive to be. I know that there will be times where the sense of happiness I feel today will be challenged.
In many ways we are defined by how we handle these situations. When things don’t go our way, or when problems outside our control arise, how we react will determine how we continue. I can account for several times in my life where the times got the best of me, and in doing so took from me some very important things in my life at that time. These results weren’t easy, but I am proud of myself for taking that unfortunate result (of my actions), learning from it, and making the most important realizations of my life.
Here are four of those realizations. They are also four reasons I am happier than ever, and will be able to weather any misfortune that comes my way in the future.
1. Seek solutions, don’t dwell on the problems:
I was always a person who answered this question: “What’s wrong”, in one of these ways: “nothing”, or “I don’t know”.
Isn’t that easier than taking a look at what’s causing the issues? Friends and family would recognize I wasn’t myself, and they would offer help. I told them if I knew what was wrong, it wouldn’t be an issue. As if I was capable of fixing anything and everything. This approach was flawed in two ways: 1) I can’t fix everything, and 2) You can’t fix something if you refuse to confront the source.
Rather than continue with a faulty thought process I started recognizing that problems are problems. They don’t magically disappear. I started looking for solutions, and not rehashing the obvious. I did this for myself, and I started doing it for others. I realize the value in having someone you trust to unload your thoughts to. If someone comes to me with a problem, I listen. After that, I don’t commiserate with them so much as I offer solutions. I might not always have great advice, depending on the problem, but I know I can get them thinking about taking action instead of just sitting in limbo, even if it scratches them the wrong way at first.
Additionally, I stopped seeking counsel from people who didn’t take the same approach. If I come to someone and express a concern based on something I think I did wrong, I am not looking to hear that I did something wrong. I know I did, hence why I am there talking to them. So many people just reinforce the negative, and don’t help you find a positive solution. This brings me to realization two.
2. Surround yourself with positive people, and be the example:
I really don’t need negative people in my life. I was one, and I enjoyed their company because they served as confidants in my pity party. I also am not into smiley, gung ho, positive people either. Can we all agree that life is not all sunshine; it rains. Positive people, to me, are those who make the best of a situation. They are also people who go into things with positive expectations, not immediately dismissing something as “bad”.
I attempt to find the best in everything. There is always a more productive way to look at a situation. Being negative is among the least productive things one can do. Everyday is a chance to have a great time, make your life better, and make someone else’s life better. If you can’t get on board with that, get over yourself, and please don’t get in my way.
I always give someone the benefit of the doubt, and if they come to me with a negative outlook, I rearrange it. If they don’t want to see it that way, fine. I leave the door open for them to reconsider, but I no longer get sucked into that way of thinking, or make it my goal to twist their way of thinking. When they are ready to change, they will change. Until then, they know they have someone in their corner. I realize being positive can be tough, and my next realization has been critical in my ability to stay upbeat.
3. Be grateful for what you have, and share your appreciation for it:
I have a new found appreciation for everything I DO have. I have A LOT to be thankful for. I have my health, I have people who love me, I have the opportunity to help others, and I get to do what I love every day. I positioned myself to do some of these things, and others have been given to me. I no longer lose sight of how fortunate I am. I realize some people have a rough go. Not too long ago if you asked me, I would have said I was one of those people. That just wasn’t true.
Take stock in things that really matter, and see the very many things you have going for you. Stop trying to convince yourself that the things you don’t have are keeping you from being happy. Most likely, those things are not keeping you down. In reality, you are keeping yourself down. If you want a change, make it happen, all the while continue to be grateful for the opportunities, people, and life you have. When you do so it is easier to embody the first two points I made. It will also lead you to the most important realization, which is this:
4. I am uniquely me, and I am awesome:
I love me. I am far from conceited; in fact I still tend to put others before myself (which is my choice). That being said, I have learned to appreciate my own value. I have A LOT to offer this world, and offer other people.
I am weird, I am goofy, I am shy, I am human, I am me.
I don’t try to impress people, giving them the best of me is enough. If they cannot accept me for both my strengths, and my weaknesses, that is fine. I will not change to make them comfortable, but I will always respect and consider their opinion. I say what I feel, and I trust that being true to myself, and my values, will lead me to success in relationships and life.
I do not hold myself to another’s standards, only my own. I am happy with who I am, and because of this I can be happy sharing a piece of me with others.
This realization has allowed me to be more open about my experiences, failures, feelings, as well as my successes. I have done so through forums like this, as well as having more conversations and communication with friends and family. I cannot explain how beneficial this has been in helping me understand different concerns, and as a way to create accountability and support. Not to mention it has strengthened my connection with many people, including myself.
I hope that by sharing a little of me with you, I can help you think about your life. I don’t have all the answers, not even close. However, I can speak from my experiences, and I appreciate you taking the time to read this.
Training and life share a very close relationship to me. Training has taught me many lessons about patience and work ethic. Not to mention training has always been a constant for me, to help me grind through tough times outside the gym.
I enjoy sharing my thoughts on becoming a stronger person in general, because to me, so many gifts of training extend outside of sets, reps, and poundsGreg Robins is a Strength and Conditioning Specialist at Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. Greg has worked with clientele ranging from general population to professional athletes. His unique experience in many different aspects of fitness, strength training, and athletic preparation have helped him become an unbiased authority on all things fitness and performance related. Outside of coaching Greg is a former collegiate baseball player, active member of the MA ARMY National Guard, and enjoys power lifting. Website, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter