Jon pool

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to write this because it’s so hard and until the last few weeks I’ve always felt this unbearable pressure to be someone/something/somewhere ALL the fucking time. 

2013 was a bastard in most ways possible. Well that’s how myself (sometimes) and a LOT of other people seem to have been looking at it.

Too many times, I have found myself complaining about it but today, for the first time, it’s really not a complaint. I’ll tell you about the shit stuff because without it, the rest won’t mean much.

Through a lot of reflection over Christmas it dawned on me that no year ever gets worse in life as we like to think, we’re just putting so many more demands of an ever-increasing intensity on ourselves year in, year out.

The ease with which we can compare ourselves to the rest of the world is what’s creating this, and I for one, am done with it, having probably been guiltier than most.

Within 60 seconds on Facebook I occasionally catch myself comparing my ‘achievements’ to an elite athlete, millionaire businessman, author, pro bodybuilder, adventurer, traveller…

All of whom are far ahead in the race. Or more to the point raceS.

You can only run one race properly at a time but the internet in particular sucks us into so many at a time and we panic.

So if the year has been ‘another bad one’ maybe it’s just because the expectations were way too high yet again.

Now don’t get me wrong, we CAN all do and be what we want and my ambition isn’t any less.

But we can’t do all this stuff. And certainly not at once.

So anyway, if you really did have a crap year I hope this helps…

For me it all came in the last 6 months and no matter how I try to rationalize, justify or come to terms with it, it just is what it is.

– A friend who really was like a brother left for his own reasons which made sense but it didn’t hurt any less because I felt responsible.

– Someone physically died in my arms and many a night I wake up seeing her face and thinking I’m back there – believe me when I say there is nothing like this.

– I was defrauded of about £3k by someone, somewhere who unfortunately I can’t be in a room with

– I suffered severe concussion and couldn’t focus enough to make a phone call for a couple of weeks. I wonder if I’ll ever be the same again when I keep getting panic attacks and again have to leave rooms because of anxiety. This has now made me frightened to pursue one of my big goals for the year.

– I’ve been physically slated online by people I’ve never met and had to deal with issues this has dredged up from my teenage years. When you then see these people in the flesh after a night of Jaegerbombing, it’s been all I could do not to go crazy.

– My relationship and wedding fell apart

This all left my insides feeling like a piece of cheese with holes all over it.

Something else happened, but I really don’t want to give the person any more time living rent free in my brain. Some people come into your life for a reason, some for a season and some for a lifetime.

Fortunately this person introduced me to someone else who I believe will be here for a lifetime. So I’ve tried to make my peace that way. Other than that, their season is over.

So a lot of it doesn’t make sense especially why it all came at once.

Well it doesn’t make sense in my MIND. 

We always obsess with how things look in our mind but unfortunately our minds are controlled by what has gone before and how we choose to experience the world through our senses, rooted in the past and present.

Sometimes you just have to believe something bigger is coming in a future we can’t hope to ‘build’.

There have been times where I’ve wanted to do bad things to myself and bad things to other people. I’ve had to physically walk out of places and away from people before someone got hurt.

And amongst all this talk of resolutions and how great 2014 will be I kept myself away from the talk because I’ve realized that you can plan all you like but the truth is most of the time, someone or something is going to fuck with you and mess up the ‘blueprint’

If you can’t shrug it off and believe in a vision held somewhere outside a calculator and a calendar, you’ll never, ever get anywhere.

I’ve chosen not to write any numbers down this time round.

Looking back, I can see that the best and worst things in my life I never saw coming but which all came when I just did the stuff I love.

Which of course begs the age old question why you would do anything other than just do what you enjoy doing right now because if you put too much weight on the numbers, when they don’t happen, you just doubt yourself, your efforts and what the hell it’s all about.

I know ‘living in the now’ sounds cliché but this year (un)fortunately I found out just how true it is.

One day you’ll find out too and I’m just grateful it happened while I’m young and can change my thought processes!

And I know you’re probably nodding, but unless you really…I mean REALLY decide to do things differently, you can forget 2014 being much better.

Unless you set your own expectations from the inside out, it’s going to be another struggle.

So this year I have three ‘rules’ for myself rather than resolutions.

Feel free to steal them – they might work for you but they might not. The thing is that at this moment, they seem the right thing to do for me:

1) When I get a BIG idea, I’m going to go sit on it for a weekend somewhere quiet and only think about it when my head is clear towards the end of the weekend. If it makes my heart beat faster, I’ll go after it at the exclusion of anything else.

If I don’t have a truly great idea, I’m not going to look for one.

Tides go in and out for a reason.

2) If I feel a need to tell someone something, no matter how awkward, I’ll tell them. 

If I decide I love you, you’re going to find out.

If I think you’ve been a prick and need to know, you’re also going to find out.

I did this recently and I hope soon you’ll see the results. 

Along this vein of thinking, when I’m in a moment or space with someone I’ll be in that space and nowhere else, then once I leave, I’ll no longer be there.

Sounds obvious but get out your physical limitations and you’ll see we hardly EVER do this. Mentally we’re always somewhere else.

3) When something hurts or requires too much effort for too long, I’ll stop doing it. That goes for business, people and training.

Thanks to 2013, I can tell you from the most horrific, nightmare-inducing, heart-breaking moment of my life which I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies that honestly, so long as you still have breath coursing through your body and a body that moves, you can change direction and do something different.

You can choose to be happy and maybe start a new journey from the very bottom of the mountain.

You might feel judged at first, and childhood memories of loneliness, rejection and the ‘system’s attempt to make you become ‘something’ with a label will tear at you and tell you to stay where you are.

Really though, everyone else is so self-absorbed that any immediate reaction will soon pass and you’ll find yourself on the open road.

Throw some feathers in the wind.

Love your body and don’t punish it. But when you train, train like you don’t mind dying and you’ll come alive.

Spend your money on experiences not things.

Help yourself as well as others.

Tell people things before it’s too late.

Take time out to watch yourself from the outside. Call it meditation, spirituality or just a day off…just do it.

Slow down but do more.

Doesn’t make sense and not sure it’ll work?

No, it never does. But I think it will work.

If it doesn’t…at least we’ll have tried and had fun along the way.

Just my passing thoughts…