My struggle and journey: Seeing the good and living positive, an extended personal story
I wasn’t born with a negative mindset, and neither were you. Over time though life happens, people’s baggage becomes your baggage, and the crowds you surround yourself with begin to influence you. These aren’t permanent behaviors, but they are learned and so to unlearn them like everything it takes effort. That effort begins because you see the advantage of the better self you will become, and the happiness that will exist as a result.
To see the good and live in the positive, for me it required a walk through all the bad and worst first. Today I realize that many have had it harder and worse, but to a young man I had no perspective. I know and can see now that when you achieve a positive and healthy mindset, you are empowered with the opportunity to live a truly great life.
Gain the life that you were born to live with a proper mindset
My history and struggle
Like many, I grew up in a divorced home, poor but not wanting as my Ma worked her tail off to provide. She worked multiple jobs, school at odd hours (this was before the online revolution of education), and chipped away.
Over time she achieved more and we moved along as a family. Still negative events continued, grades 1–6 were very rough for me. In school they were rough and the struggles continued outside too. I am not sure why or what, but at some point I decided to remain very closed up. A defense mechanism against the negative feelings I had felt, but it also became a handicap to feeling love and joy.
Armed with this I began to be part of the negative mindset, and it led to a lot of unhappiness. When I began traveling I had the best career choice ever for this mindset — I could work my tail off, do great work, and leave. No emotional baggage and for 20 years this worked. It did not work for my relationships, and those all fell apart.
At some point I became very self aware that my choices internally had led me to a state of — sadness, depression, solo existence, and “successful” yet not quite really.
While I had many very bad situations in life —physical fights, divorce, abusive work environments, etc .. there are worse. In fact, when you realize how blessed you are in your current moment suddenly you see things differently.
A method I employ often is to frame what is the worst that could happen. Then I compare that to the current situation. Anything net positive is a win. Not good, but a win. Literally you can be WINNING even in poor situations.
BAD news ≤ WORST situation => Still net positive
Perspective is a gift and a tool for you to use within your athletic training, work projects, and the seesaw ride of life.
Examples of my current challenges and blessings…
- Training — I got to train and X was great today
- Injuries put me 6 months back in progress — but my arm works and will for my entire life (I had a big trauma injury to it in March)
- My daughter is healthy — despite having the pain of a triple tooth extraction today
- My P&L is even — in spite of teams changing and cyclical seasonal impacts
- My health is poor today — but I am alive and having a chance to improve it
- Our contractor in Rwanda got hit by a truck — but we are still able to build the hospital in Rwanda
Life is full of choices, make one
It is your life this moment, and you make the decisions on what is OK and what is not. If you can’t reframe or should not tolerate a current environment or situation, then make a change physically vs mentally.
- If your job is bad and not helping you on any level — financially, career progression, mental / emotional strength, etc … then it is time to find a new job.
- If you are getting injured every time you go for a run — it is time to revisit how we run and why we run. Then you can use these insights to either fix your running, or adopt another hobby that achieves the same mental and physical results.
Abusive relationships, poisonous friends, or living in an area that we hate — all of these can be changed by simply MOVING yourself physically.
Life is full of options, take them, use them, and have zero regrets.
Prove to the world
You and your work in the world is up to you. Whether you are painting, raising a child, working with thousands in a company, or a solo-entrepreneur traveling the world — do good.
Find your truth and be your self, before everyone had an opinion and you allowed them to influence your behavior.
Your happiness and success is powered by your perspective and mindset.
Talent matters. Hard work matters. Nothing matters more than mindset
- Today challenge yourself to see each situation differently.
- React differently
- Appreciate that you GET TO do something
- Reframe the negative for the positive in your mind
- If you hear complaining give the topic of interest a compliment, and see what happens to the vibe (you’ll see the momentum swing and become constructive vs unproductive / destructive)
Be your best self — you decide who she or he is
Reframing my self
I began to rethink how I thought, seriously. I would journal in the morning and then at the end and see where my head and heart stood. I read a ton of greek philosophers, Seneca, and most of what Nietzsche wrote. All in an effort to build a new mental model.
My journey began to change by:
- I challenged myself daily to replace the negative voices in my mind with alternatives.
- I not only mentally swapped the words, I began to verbalize it for myself. Such as “I get to” vs. “I have to..”
- Then I began to change others around me, their words and who I was around
- I pushed myself towards those with the right mindset I was seeking and reduced the time with those who were not supportive
- Writing, speaking, and sharing allowed me a pathway to express more personal topics
Now I help
As I was able to reframe my thinking, I began to work with individuals and others in various places in their lives and on these journeys. I began to see the patterns of how to achieve their best self. Seeing the good, being positive, and optimistic is a power that allows us to survive tough times. It allows us to put in the work in the midst of struggle. This mindset gives us perspective and allows our purpose to support us.
I not only sought, I desire to be a supporter for others. To be in the service of others on these journeys and give them the opportunities to see other points of view.
We each have a choice in how we live each moment. I have made all of the choices and found myself to be my best when I live in a mindset of good-positive.
You deserve to squeeze the happiness and joy out of this life, so go ahead. There is no life without struggle or ups and downs. Instead, there is how you act, react, and thus exist amidst the journey of life.
Tough to share this personal reflection, so if it was helpful and causes change — it is worth it to me.
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I am a father, study of human behavior, strategist, cybersecurity veteran, and a coach and mentor on a journey to give more than I receive everyday. I lead teams globally, build products, and daily an executive for a leading company where I serve the largest companies in the world using the largest cloud deployments in the world impacting the financial services, healthcare, and fintech industries. I provide these publications and content through my media agency to deliver insights and advantages. Mindset, mental strength, mentorship, personal improvement, health, fitness, and humanist ideas are drawn from personal research and practice. Everything read and heard is my original works and my own perspective. All rights reserved for noted authors and sources. I produce research and strategy, as well as provide advisory services that include inquiries, briefings, consulting projects, and presentations on published findings as well as bespoke speaking engagements where I often keynote at conferences, seminars, and roundtables annually.