The value of life is worth more than the the value of success.

So am in a success or failure?

Success is not determined by those around us but by our own self worth.

Recently a very dear friend and work colleague passed away. In-fact he was the inspiration to this blog.

He was kind! Gentle! He always made time for everyone! Nothing was considered a task! A true gentleman in every way and definitely a man I am going to miss.

He was younger than I, and we often spoke about what makes a person successful. I would talk to him about my current situation and also about my future dreams of a motorhome. I threw several ideas his way and stood eager for his response. Never critical! Always well thought out and perfectly delivered. Usually presented with an explanation or an example of his point.

Definitely one of my mentors! A man of quality and an example for others such as myself to follow. Rest in peace mate and thank you for the friendship and time we had spent together, and thank you most of all for helping me to clear my mind when i needed it most.

So where has my thoughts taken me?

Well simple! What is success? What is the idea of being able to say you are successful. And what is the purpose of life?

I am 36 years old I have served in the armed forces, I have worked as a funeral director. Run my own business for several years. I am married I have a lovely car, beautiful stuff and own my own home. Am I successful?

Currently I am getting divorced. I am selling my home! Sold almost all of my stuff. Looking to get rid of my car and I now live back home with my mother! Am I a failure?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Am I a success? Can I be considered as successful? When I became a minimalist I learnt the power of living life without the restraint of possessions. I always considered myself successful. I mean, I had a nice car, home and lots of lovely possessions.

As I started going through my divorce I realised that these where insignificant. I started to become more and more of a minimalist each step of the way. Now I have very few object possessions. Somehow now actually feel even more successful.

I now live freely without the lust for the next thing. I am free of the temptation to try and buy happiness through possessions.

Free mind!!

Recently I took up meditation. I started to feel my mind was as full as my home and this also needed concentration. I could say I started to actively clear out my thoughts. Put things in to a simple context.

The best thing I ever started was to take time to myself. Meditation relaxes the body. Puts you into a state of harmony with your thoughts.
The brain after all needs time to heal and rest the same as any other muscle in the body.

I have been single now for 9 months. Single as in no longer with my wife. It’s been a massive journey of discovery. I loved my wife with all my heart and I think I probably always will love her in one way or another. We shared 8 great years together and I don’t regret a single day of it. However in any relationship you have to compromise.

You change a little bit here and a little bit there. Over the years you think you are the same person but in reality you aren’t. Throw in a life changer like disability and you can’t even begin to imagine the changes and sacrifices you make.

I should imagine that when my wife and I become her and me instead of an us she must have felt a little like I do. Who am I? Where am I? What do I do now?

Dating

I attempted the dating sites! Not my cup of tea and honestly the rejections get difficult. I would message a woman and over and over again I was faced with the no replies! You run out of witty comments and open one liners.

Once you get a reply you start a conversation. You talk about likes and dislikes, you try and find a common ground or something to build upon. I would then explain I am disabled and that would end that conversation. No reply or explaining just deleted and often blocked.

It’s hard going and soul destroying. I was left feeling like a reject and disheartened. I met a few lovely people don’t get me wrong. We are growing and building what we have into amazing friendships. In fact these people are becoming an incredibly important part of my life. If that is all i was destined to get then i consider myself very lucky.

So every grey cloud has a silver lining.

Living with mamma Mac
So 36 years old and back home with my mother! That has to be considered a failure! Right?
Wrong! I am getting the opportunity to get to know my mother again. We eat together, we talk, we spend time together. I am sharing a great moment with a woman who is strong and amazing, I could not be happier.

There is a reality that my mum won’t be around forever. I know I will miss her terribly. My love for my mother is with every atom of my human body and this time! right now! This is something I will treasure for the rest of my living days.

so where has this mind journey left me.

Well this all started after the passing of a very dear man in my life. I was left wondering if my own life was on track! am I or am I not successful.

My conclusion is that only I will ever really know. Success is in the eye of the one travelling on that journey! Wherever that  may be.

Many things in your life matter,but only one thing matters absolutely.

It matters  weather you succeed or fail in the eyes of the world. It matters if you are healthy or not healthy, It matters weather you are educated or not educated, Rich or poor — it certainly makes a difference in your life. Yes, all these things matter, relatively speaking, but they don’t matter absolutely. there is something that matters more than any of those things and that is finding the essence of who you are beyond that short-lived entity, that short-lived personalised sense of self.

You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realising who you are at the deepest level.

 

 

Imprisoned in your thoughts – freedom comes from within. 

The Mind can hold you ransom

I want you to think about the your life and your mind! As humans we develop a prison! The walls are our thoughts and our freedom can only come from within. We are imprisoned in our thoughts. Why?

Most people spend their entire life imprisoned within the confines of their thoughts. They never go beyond a narrow, mind-made, personalised sense of self that is conditioned by the past.

The mind is a powerful tool and yet a double edged sword that we offer to much power to. It can create some of the most beautiful thoughts, feeling and emotions known to man.
The control it has over each and every one of us. We are built to be happy and enjoy our experiences. When we smile this fuels our inner happiness.
Think back to how you felt the last time you laughed! Really laughed, gut loaded and deep. Remember that moment and remember that feeling.

That is the feeling we are built for and yet……..

The other side of our mind! So powerful it can make worlds come together. Yet so intense it can bring your sheer existence crashing down around you. The negative emotions it can create the power and control that it uses to drag you in to the darkness.

We allow this to happen. Why? How?  We look at our inner anxieties to route the path we decide to travel. Our options are endless, we simply need to take stock of our choices.

I once read:-

This one moment – now – is the only thing you can never escape from, the one constant factor in your life. No matter what happens, no matter how much your life changes, one thing is certain: it’s always now.
When you make friends with the present moment, you feel at home no matter where you are. When you don’t feel at home in the now no matter where you go, you will carry unease with you

The past that seems to rule our now is gone and leaves no trace except what we keep in our-self. However we seem to find the need to hold it close. To us it is not important if it is negative or positive. We still make a conscious decision to hold on to the past as tight as possible.

The future has not yet happened! Yet we use the past to map out every possible scenario! This path is rarely a scenario of happiness and joy.

When I became a minimalist I looked at my life in several areas.

My belongings, my mind and those around me!!

Each element both created a positive and a negative.
My mind is definitely the hardest thing to clear. The biggest challenge to face trying to understand and reconfigure. I have tried very hard to clear out the negatives!

I have failed several times and the power they hold over me is very real. It is OK to fail. It is OK to struggle. The path to success and happiness is littered in failing and set backs. Each failing and every set back makes us stronger and more powerful on our mountain climb to success.

Do you really need to mentally label every sense, perception and experience? Do you really need to have a reactive like:dislike relationship with life where you are in almost continuous conflict with situations and people? Or is that just a deep-seated mental habit that can be broken? Not by doing anything, but by allowing this moment to be as it is.

Living life outside the box.

Living life outside the box.

When I first fell ill I never for a second thought my life would end up where it is today. I have managed to achieve so many amazing things. Meet so many amazing people and try so many fantastic activities. All because I am willing to ‘Step outside the box’ I have often been asked why do I try to do the crazy things I do…. Am I not worried I am going to hurt myself?

They say you must be crazy!! you need to take it easy!! you need to be careful!!
Then its, what sort of things have you done?

Once I tell people I climbed Pen y Fan in a wheelchair.

I was the second person ever to do it! People seem shocked. Yet I know wheelchair users that have climbed Snowdon not once but three times. That person is not only a close friend of mine but is part of my driving inspiration. He always seems to be there when I need him no matter what is happening in his own life. His climb up Snowdon inspired me but his character is what makes me consider him a friend.

I tell people I play basketball! That I played wheelchair rugby for Wales! That I cycled a marathon! I have completed the Carten100.

People say “ OMG that’s amazing” Maybe it is maybe it’s not. Either way these where great times in my life.

People listen to me and my short stories!

They tell me I am inspiring! It still knocks me back, just a few minutes ago I was being told I was crazy. I never know how to react. It feels good knowing that you have given people a shove in the right direction.

I have thought about it and I have realised that in fact the only reason I am inspiring is because I have been inspired. Inspired by those around me. With out that support from friends and family I would not do half the things I do now.

I do what I do,

Because there is so much that I can’t do so I replace it with the things that I can. If it looks like I can’t, well that just makes me more determined to at least try.

I like to fail, it means I get to try again next time. I love to succeed it means I get to try something else.

I am happy for people to tell me I am inspirational but not because I am in a wheelchair but because I am so much more than that. I am just a simple guy, stepping out of the box and living life the bast way I know how.