Pain to Gain

If you’ve never heard of David Goggins, whip out your dictionary and look up the word “indomitable,” and you’ll find a picture of him.

David is the guy that gets back up.

He completed the infamous SEAL “Hell Week” training twice. Then he completed Ranger and Air Force training, too, literally for the hell of it.

He’s run over 60 ultra-marathons and triathlons and broke a world record with 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours.

My record is eight pull-ups in 3 minutes.

He once finished a 150-mile relay race designed for four BY HIMSELF on a broken ankle.

What keeps David going beyond limits and then much, much further?

David runs on pain.

The story of his childhood is heartbreaking. But he crushed that hurt into a fuel cell that drove him to greatness.

In his words, “When we transcend what we once thought possible, your light enables people to see the contours of their own prison; their self-limitations.”

David runs 100 miles because he can.

But he can run 100-miles because he turned his pain to gain.

 

 

 

 

Stubbed toes

It’s easy to forget that nothing is real until we attach words to it, even feelings.

A coffee table is a coffee table. And a stubbed toe is just something that happens when you have toes. This much is obvious to anyone with a coffee table or a toe.

However, in the heat of the moment, that stubbed toe becomes domestic terrorism and that coffee table a vicious assailant in your home.

And we curse that ungrateful, dumb hunk of wood most righteously.

But it would be weird if, after stubbing our toe, we took an axe to that loathsome lumber, ground it to sawdust, and then went to the neighbour’s house to continue the table-cide.

Emotions are there to guide us, to warn us, and to heal us, but if we took them at face value, we’d live in a pretty barren and boring world.

We can stub a toe on pretty much anything, but only you get to decide how long it hurts.

 

 

 

 

 

Do yourself a favour

It was a long time before I understood what “Do yourself a favour” meant.

There’s a Past Ben and a Future Ben and Me.

For a long time, I didn’t give Future Ben much thought.

I knew about Past Ben, who I didn’t like very much because he was perpetually screwing Me over.

But Future Ben was smart and young enough to handle the consequences of whatever bullshit I wanted to do at the time; to pay this or that debt or worry or pay the price of whatever I wanted to do at the time.

One night a few years back, I had a dream about Future Ben and he was in a very sorry state indeed. And all he said was, “Why? Why did you do this to me?”

After that, I started to do little things to look out for Future Ben — doing him a little favour now and then — because he wasn’t getting any younger.

And sure enough, Past Ben started cleaning up his act, and I didn’t have such a mess to worry about.

And that just made it easier to do myself a favour more often.

 

 

Fat people try harder

Exercising will teach you a lot about life and even more about yourself as a person.

When a close friend first dragged my lazy ass to the gym, I was incredibly unfit and doughy and unconfident. And to top it all, I was embarrassed about all those things.

I was scared that people would point at me and laugh as I chafed myself into a puddle, plodding along on the treadmill at a snail’s pace. Or worse — they would pity me lifting these tiny little weights.

The way that I did them.

I would watch that obese guy walking on the treadmill and think, “Give up fatso — you’re not even trying.”

But he was trying a lot harder than me. And deep down, I knew it. 

The problem was me — it was how I looked at people. They were making an effort to improve themselves and I was standing there being a snide little prick because of my insecurities.

I wasn’t mocking them. I was mocking me.

Exercise taught me that the people doing the most criticism are almost always the people who are doing the least to change.

Maybe it’s because they haven’t found their light, their way to improve the world and themselves, and they deeply wish they had. Or maybe because it hurts to watch someone winning when you’re losing or lost and don’t know how to turn it around.

Exercise taught me that it’s a lot easier to mock someone else for trying than making an effort yourself.

Exercise taught me that change is hard, but it’s almost impossible when you hate yourself and believe the world is against you. 

And exercise taught me that I’d rather be the fat fucker plodding away with everyone laughing than the skinny fucker sitting around doing nothing but criticizing.

Now whenever I catch the eye of an obese person trying to turn their life around, trudging along on a treadmill, scared and self-consciously sweating buckets, I give them a nod and a smile so they know I’m rooting for them.

Because now I know how hard it is to climb that mountain.

And how brave they are for trying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change the world

Oh, didn’t we all dream to change the world.

I wanted to be king of the galaxy. You may laugh, but there’s still time.

One of the most frustrating things about becoming an adult was realizing how little power I had over the world.

I didn’t like the world the way it was. And the world didn’t give a fuck about what I wanted, which only made it worse.

It took me another decade or so to realize that Life is more subtle than that.

Anyone can change the world.

We can change the world one little bubble at a time.

Sometimes that bubble is small and sometimes it gets really big.

But often we’re so busy looking at other people that we forget how many people are looking at us — looking up to us — for guidance in this mad world.

At least three people are copying you because they think you’re cool. Really.

We change the world one brick at a time.

One little action. One little word. One little smile.

It doesn’t just add up — it compounds.

Keep at it.

 

 

Making bad good

Some blokes smell powerful.

It’s like they have so much mass that it leaks into the air around them.

Jocko Willink is one of those blokes.

He was a Navy SEAL officer for many years in the Middle East, and he told me this trick to flip the switch on adversity.

And when Jocko tells you something, you listen.

Anytime something bad happened, he would just say, “Good.”

Sand in your gun? Good. Now you can practice cleaning it.

Shot in the leg? Good. Now you can get some time off.

Lost your job? Good. Now you can find something better.

Didn’t get a date? Good. Now you can go out with your mates.

Gym closed? Good. It’s about time you got into running.

Stuck at home? Good. Maybe it’s time to write that book.

Didn’t get funded? Didn’t get a raise? Sprained your ankle? Got rejected? Got locked-in? Got locked-out? 

Got beat?

Good.

Because when things go badly, some good will always come of it.

Something Special

There’s something special that we all take for granted a little too often.

It seems trite, but the best ideas are always obvious.

There will never be a single person like you. 

Nobody in history has seen, heard, or felt the things you have.

Nobody in the next hundred billion years will get to experience what you have over the last few years; unless they’re playing a video game of your life.

And even then, they wouldn’t be able to recreate the smell of your dorm room at University perfectly. 

We take our uniqueness for granted but the life you’ve lived and will live are thoroughly special.

You’re something special. Your story is worth telling.

And don’t you forget it. 

Just wait a bit

Time is a great nurse but an even better comedian.

As we know, the real reason ‘they who laughs last, laughs loudest’ is that they didn’t get the joke. But all they need is time.

It might only be a little time: on the drive back it clicks, and they’re howling all the way home.

Or maybe years later they’ll watch an old film and finally get the reference.

And almost always, many years after that, their future self will look back with a chuckle and say, “Oh boy, was dumb.”

And they’ll get another laugh out of it then too.

If you’re not getting the joke right now, that’s ok.

Just laugh it off and wait a while.

 

What have you done?

You might think you’re powerless but that’s the easy excuse.

Nobody is powerless.

Even just setting an example by the way you live could have a bigger impact than you realize.

It’s so easy to point at other people and complain, “They should be doing such and such a thing.”

Or whine, “Why aren’t they doing this other thing?”

But are you doing it?

What have you done to make the world a better place? Maybe those people think the same about you.

Before pointing fingers, throwing stones, or smearing shit, start by asking, “What am I doing to make the world better?”

Every time I ask myself this question, the answer is, “Not enough.”

And every time I ask myself, “Am I setting the right example in the way I live?”

I find that I could be doing that a lot better too.

Everybody is beautiful

One winter evening my sister and I were smoking weed out her bedroom window when she said something that still rings in my ears.

She was even a little embarrassed to say it.

“I think everyone’s beautiful, in their own way. At first, maybe they’re not beautiful, and then you look a bit closer and find that even the weirdest features have their own weird beauty.”

Every day is like that; every plant, every animal, every relationship. Even the grim and horrifying parts of life have their own, twisted, fascinating beauty.

Life is beautiful.

It’s not that everyone’s beautiful to somebody.

Everybody’s beautiful when we take the time to look.

Sometimes it’s just really hard to find.

 

 

Who really cares?

Part of being human is worrying about what other people think.

We’re all born like that, and there’s a special word we use for someone who doesn’t care about what people think.

It’s not the same as not caring how you make other people feel: that’s a sociopath.

And not caring about other people at all? Psychopath.

But when we see someone dancing in public or talking to strangers or just being their full selves because they don’t care if other people think it’s weird? That’s confidence.

The next time you start worrying about what other people think, get specific. 

Look around you. Look out the window at the hundreds of people out there milling around the daily business.

And ask yourself, Who cares? “

As soon as you try to get specific about what other people think, you’ll find that you have no idea. And you probably don’t care about that person’s opinion at all.

They’re definitely not thinking about you.

Pick someone else. The same thing happens.

And that’s when you realize that we’re not worrying about what other people think.

We’re worried about what we think other people think.

And they’re probably just thinking the same.

Stop for a second

No matter how busy we think we are, there’s always time for this little lifehack. It’s super easy too.

Just stop and look around at where you are and all the incredible things you can see right now.

That shouldn’t be too hard unless you’re driving.

Traffic lights and trees are equally marvellous subjects of wonderment; whatever you’re reading this on is a bloody miracle.

Then take another second or two to look inside your head at how far you’ve come and all the astonishing things you’ve done in your life so far. I bet you’ve got some crazy cool memories stashed away somewhere.

At this point I usually say to myself something like, “Damn, I’m a lucky boy.”

That’s it.

There’s always a moment spare to stop and take it all in.

And when you do, you’ll realize just how long you’ve been winning.

 

 

Today is important

One evening a few years back, an old Super-Bowl winner told me about a prayer his college coach made him repeat every morning.

It struck a chord so I began to repeat my own little version of it.

It’s quite long so I won’t repeat it all now. But the message that would often send a shiver down my spine is short:

Whatever you do today is important because you are about to exchange a whole day of your life for it.

Make sure you don’t regret the price you pay.

And that usually got me out of bed pretty quick.

 

 

The dead guitarist

You might not know Wilko Johnson is but he was a pretty cool dude back in the 70s.

His band — Dr. Feelgood — was so cool that it inspired some people you probably have heard of: Paul Weller, The Who, The Jam. The list goes on.

Back in 2013 he was diagnosed with cancer and the Doc gave him a double-fistful of months at most. 

He said, “It was like my life was complete. The idea that death is imminent makes you realize what a wonderful thing it is to be alive. By the time I’d walked home, I was almost euphoric.”

Wilko then did what any self-respecting punk guitarist would do. He turned down chemotherapy and went on tour. 

“If it’s going to kill me, I don’t want it to bore me,” he said.

Wilko is still touring today — more than seven years after his date with death. That raging punk rocker just wouldn’t put down his guitar and die. 

We are vividly alive.

Take a moment today to enjoy it.

How to be right a lot

People who are right a lot all do the same thing.

First, people who are right a lot listen a lot. They often read but they all know how to really listen. 

They also change their mind a lot.

Most people spend a lot of time trying to back-up their beliefs.

But people who are right a lot change their minds a lot because they’re always looking to prove themselves wrong. 

In other words: people who are right a lot work very hard not to be.

Simple, eh?

Beware comforting stories

When people talk about identity what they’re saying is: “This is my story.”

Whether that’s where we came from, what we believe, the food we like or who we have sex with, it’s all part of our story.

For many years I told myself stories like, “I’m not a morning person,” or “I’m an introvert,” or “I can’t write every day,” or “rich people are bad,” or “stopping smoking is hard.”

Worst of all, I told myself I didn’t have anything to add to the world.

But no matter how many times I told myself those silly tales, deep inside I knew they weren’t true. And I was slowly killing myself trying to drown that little voice every time it spoke up to remind me so.

Because the stories we tell ourselves are the fluffy cushions that make our comfort zone so comforting. But they’re also the locks that keep us there.

Luckily, we hold the keys. And it’s never too late to change the story.

Choose miracles

The travesty of many religions is their claim that miracles are rare and supernatural. That’s an absurdity designed to make you join their club.

Miracles are everywhere. We’re just not looking for them. A wise bloke once said something about this:

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

People get worked up about whether Einstein said this (I doubt it) or what he meant by a miracle, but they’re missing the point.

The odds of you being alive are basically zero (1 in 10 x 2,685,000).

So it’s a goddamn miracle that you’re even reading this at all.

 

Don’t mind the gap

If you’ve ever ridden the Tube, you’ll have heard a robotic voice reminding you to ‘mind the gap’ as you leave the train. 

Ignoring these words could delay the train, one of the worst crimes you can commit in the capital.

But there’s another kind of gap that we shouldn’t mind at all because it makes us unhappy.

Most people make the mistake of measuring how far they’ve come by how close they are to achieving their vision. We measure the gap between where we are and where we want to be, which is usually not as close as we’d like.

It’s far less depressing if we take the time to measure how far we’ve come from where we started; we measure our gains.

If we’re too busy fretting about the gap between where we could be and where we are, we’re missing out on enjoying all the gains that got us here now.

Don’t mind the gap, except on the Tube.

It’s just a thought

It’s easy to get caught up in our thoughts, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay in them. 

Thoughts are just random brain cells talking to each other.

There’s rarely meaning there; it’s just a biochemical process that happens automatically to stop us from getting bored.

And we get to choose what we think about, just like we can choose what channel to watch or book to read.

If we’re not paying attention, our thoughts will whisk us away to some fantasy realm where we said something different, or how we imagine something later will be.

But we don’t have to listen to that crap if we don’t want to.

Thoughts might happen in our heads, but they don’t define us.

You are not your thoughts.

The next time you catch yourself thinking something nasty or frustrating or just plain unhelpful, remind yourself, “It’s just a thought.”

Mind follows body

People think that to change your behaviour or reach your dreams, you have to change your mind. But that’s backwards.

Mindset plays an important part, but the truth is, when we change our actions first, our minds will follow. 

That’s why even a tiny behavioural change — like drinking a glass of water in the morning — can make us healthier. 

That one small action opens the door to dozens of other small but positive actions over the day. And over time, these all add up and move us closer to where we want to be, and who we want to be. 

We can’t talk ourselves into change, but if we act as if it’s already happened, our minds will quickly catch up.

Doing the bare minimum

Doing the bare minimum is often a negative thing.

But some days, it’s the best we can do.

On those days when all we want to do is crawl back into bed, turning up is often enough to make progress.

Putting in the minimal effort every day isn’t how to get what we want from life.

But if ‘doing the bare minimum’ means showing up on the worst days and doing a shit job, that’s still better than doing nothing at all.

Everything is change

It’s human nature to look for meaning in the world; to attach labels and think up laws to make sense of the chaos.

But there is only one True Constant in the Universe: everything changes.

All empires eventually falter. Our things break and need replacing. Fashions cycle, meanings shift, and one way or another, every relationship comes to an end.

We cause ourselves a great deal of pain by ignoring this simple fact.

Change isn’t just something that happens; it is Life itself.

Everything in existence is just matter changing from one form to another at different speeds. We can influence it, and often we can direct it in our favour, but we can never prevent it.

This eventuality is something to be grateful for when we’re ill, depressed, stressed, waiting on hold, and even if a narcissistic, racist orange with tiny hands runs your country.

Nothing lasts forever.

And I find that oddly comforting.

Is this helping me?

A few years ago, James Altucher taught me something that helps calm dark and anxious thoughts.

Life wasn’t easy at the time. A cruel twist of fate had me walking past my new ex-girlfriend’s road almost every day after work. Grim visions of mistakes and arguments would envelop me as I passed, blackening my mood for the rest of the evening.

To stop this, James told me that every time I caught myself thinking negative thoughts, stop and ask, “Is this helping you right now?”

Almost always, the answer is ‘No.’

It takes some effort to remember to do this when we’re swept up in a storm of thoughts, but it becomes easier with time. To create a bigger gap from the tempest, we can follow up with, “What is useful to think about right now?”

Every time we do this, we save ourselves from a little unnecessary suffering and we train our brain to be more positive in future.

Do it enough, and eventually you’ll barely need to do it at all.

6 Elements of a Kaizen Mindset

We’ve talked before about what a kaizen mindset means and how to apply kaizen in your life. Nurturing the following six elements will help you cultivate a kaizen mindset.

1. Seeking knowledge

Even if we’re looking, it isn’t easy to see how and where we can improve; we need other people to show us. A core element of a kaizen mindset is always seeking to expand our knowledge and experience, and challenging our beliefs every day.

2. Self-awareness and critique

The second crucial element of a kaizen mindset is self-awareness. If we are to reach our goals, we need to learn to look honestly at ourselves and our behaviour and ask if they align with our plans.

Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the pursuit of a goal — like making more money — and we end up making changes to our life that make us unhappy in the long-term.

Kaizen isn’t about seeing the worst in things, so don’t beat yourself up — it’s natural to have flaws. Understanding and accepting our weaknesses is just a step on the road to reaching our goals.

3. Starting with scarcity

There’s a crucial difference between this third element of a kaizen mindset and a ‘scarcity mindset.’ 

A scarcity mindset is a negative and unproductive view of the world that will make you happy.

Starting with scarcity means not looking for external fixes to your problems. New running shoes may help us run faster, but simply buying them isn’t going to turn us into a runner.

Equipment and gadgets are helpful, but it’s not enough to help us reach our goals. Plus, it’s hard to see the need for improvement when you have everything you need.

Instead, look at how you can improve your use of what you have already, or perhaps even eliminate, to help you towards your goal.

4. Breaking down goals into small steps

Kaizen is, of course, about focusing on the small steps we can take to reach our goals.

The steps must be clear and definite actions we can take every day, but they don’t have to be outcomes in themselves — they only have to contribute towards one.

For example, if you want to become a good guitar player, you have to set aside a certain amount of time each day to practice; 15 minutes is enough.

But if you want to get better, you can’t just spend that time messing around.

You need to set definite, measurable outcomes to help you learn, such as a song or a scale. Then you spend those 15 minutes practicing that song or scale until you’re comfortable with it.

A year of doing that, and you’ll have a lot of songs under your belt. But more importantly, you’ll be a much better guitarist.

5. Committing to practice

Committing to daily practice is crucial.

It isn’t just a way to get what we want; it is what we want. Our daily practice and its results are one and the same thing; you cannot have one without the other. Winning the fight is impossible without putting in the training every day.

Small habits are incredibly powerful ways to change our lives. They take effort to form but become part of you over time. Daily practice is one way to tap into the power of small habits.

6. Embracing obstacles and mistakes

Mistakes and obstacles are life. If they didn’t exist, we’d go out looking for them.

A kaizen mindset is about seeking out those mistakes and obstacles — choosing our suffering — to improve our lives. Obstacles are just what happens when we go after something we want. They are how we get there. 

Yes, we will often fail in our daily practice, but the important thing is continuing after we stumble. Keep at it long enough, and the number of days we did it will outnumber those we didn’t, and that’s enough for progress.

Failing and mistakes are often an opportunity to progress rapidly. If we don’t overcome an obstacle or we struggle to maintain our daily practice, there’s probably something holding us back — a previously hidden obstacle. Overcoming that will help us progress much faster in the long run.

Cultivating a Kaizen Mindset

A kaizen mindset is a growth mindset. It starts with the assumption that the way we are doing things now is the worst possible way to do it. 

To have a kaizen mindset, you must:

  1. Always be learning
  2. Have self-awareness
  3. Start with scarcity
  4. Break down goals into small steps
  5. Commit to daily practice
  6. Embrace obstacles and mistakes

There are countless ways of applying the kaizen philosophy, including figuring out what the fuck to do with your life. These elements play a crucial part at every stage, whatever the goal.

 

 

Photo by kylie De Guia on Unsplash

It’s not your fault

This last year was a mad one, it’s true.

At times, things seemed closer to breaking than when we nearly nuked ourselves into oblivion, and the next few years will be a real mess too.

But it’s not your fault the world is like this. It’s not really anybody’s fault.

Our world has such astounding diversity that it has no choice but to veer from change to change. That’s just what it does. We’re swept up by vast currents of change that ebb and flow and gust for reasons far beyond our understanding.

All we can do is keep paddling in the direction we want to go, knowing that the winds always change with time and hoping that one day, they change in our favour.

Pick your destination, haul your sail, and cling on tight.

It’s going to be a wild one.

Trees are great

Trees have a sturdy grace that makes good company. 

And they can probably teach us a thing or two about living on this planet, after 400 million years of it.

They don’t worry about how fast they’re growing or what their neighbours are up to. When the sun is shining, they lean into it; when it thunders, they cling on tight, dancing with nature’s punches. And they rarely cause a fuss.

Social life as a tree isn’t as boring as you might think either — they’ve got their own internet of fungi they use to trade with each other.

They’ve probably survived this long because they look out for each other, give back a little more than they take, and leave the world a bit better than it was the day before.

That’s probably why they make such good company too.

Thanks for everything, trees. Life wouldn’t be the same without you.

You are enough

It’s easy — and very common — to think that you’re not enough. Lots of people worry about it.

We think we’re not smart enough to be funny, or rich enough to be happy, or attractive enough to be loved. But that’s all rubbish that someone else made up.

The world is full of other people telling us we need to buy such and such a thing to feel like we’re enough. And it never does the trick.

Because they don’t know shit.

You ARE enough.

You already HAVE enough to be happy.

Trying your best every day is just being more you.

That little step forward every day just takes you closer to yourself.

And you are enough to change the world.

 

Walking through walls

Walking through a wall is very very very very unlikely, but science tells us it’s not impossible.

It’s called ‘quantum tunnelling’ and it’s why the sun explodes, and how your DNA replicates, and how light passes through a solid object.

A very clever teenager explained this to me this morning in under three minutes and closed with these (almost) impossibly wise words:

“Maybe the quantum world is telling us that when faced with an obstacle, there’s a small chance we can defy expectations and breach barriers.”

She absolutely nailed it.

I’m not saying take a running jump at the closest wall. But the next time you’re faced with something that seems ‘impossible,’ remember you always have a chance.

That’s just how the universe works.

Perfection is a dirty lie

‘Perfect’ might just be the most useless, mean, and stupid word in the English language.

It trips us up and it holds us back and it turns our heads.

First, let’s get this one thing clear: perfection doesn’t exist.

It’s an illusion of the mind.

Everyone from Plato to Taylor Swift has said this.

If you’re waiting for the ‘perfect time’ or the ‘perfect job’ or the ‘perfect idea’ you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time.

The irony is that the word ‘perfect’ comes from the Latin word for ‘completed’ or ‘accomplished.’

Instead of aiming to create something ‘perfect,’ we should aim just to complete it.

Accomplishing something badly is far closer to perfection than never starting it at all.

Fuck perfection.

I’m happy with getting it done.

Your best is the score

I didn’t try very hard at school.

Luckily for me, I didn’t have to. I was smart enough to come home with a pretty decent report card. 

But the results didn’t make me happy. I’d put nothing into them, and so I got nothing out of them.

I’ve since failed many times, at things I wanted to do and things I was sure would succeed at.

Every time I failed but tried my best, I was far happier than when I didn’t try and found success easily.

In the end, the success didn’t matter — the result wasn’t the important part.

It was trying my best — knowing that I put everything I had at the time into it — that determined if I was happy or not.

When you take your next step today, don’t worry about the outcome, or where it’s supposed to be taking you, or even if you’re doing the “right” thing.

Just give it your best shot.

Don’t let life happen

Don’t let life happen to you; to toss and throw you in its fickle fingers.

You’re the one in charge.

You’re the reason it’s all happening.

Life doesn’t happen to you: You happen to life.

So strike out.

And life won’t know what hit it.

Don’t break these promises

Everything in life is an agreement.

Whether that means we’re agreeing that it’s bad to kill people, agreeing on the price of a coffe or agreeing to drive on the same side of the road — it’s all an agreement.

And the stories we all agree on are what we collectively call ‘reality.’

The most powerful kind of agreement you can make is to yourself.

Unfortunately, it’s these promises that we break more than any other.

Every time we say we’re going to do something and we don’t, we lose trust in ourselves. 

Even if nobody else hears the promise, we feel it when we break it. It hurts our brains and we get weaker. It fractures our identity.

Just like every time we back up our word with action, we get a little stronger. We become a more consistent person.

Back yourself up today.

 

Better late than never

About 2,047 years ago, a Roman historian wrote the eternal words, “potius seo quam numquam.

Or in our words, “rather late than never.

But nobody told my high school teacher, Ms. Kattan, that.

She made it so awful to be late that I would rather skip school than face her wrath. I often chose ‘never.’

As children, life throws all sorts of deadlines at us: you’re an adult at 18, have kids by 35, retire at 65, die at 85…

But, time doesn’t really exist.

It’s just an agreement that we make with ourselves so that we can meet people for lunch or catch the train.

The danger is when we start to believe that it’s real.

We miss our goals or deadlines, and we start to believe those dreadful words: “It’s too late.”

It’s never too late.

If it was too late, you couldn’t switch from journalism to midwifery at 32.

And you couldn’t give up engineering and move to Florence to design shoes at 55.

And you definitely couldn’t be 74 years old and follow your dream of being a stand-up comedian — like Julie Kertesz did.

But you can do any of those things.

These stories prove that late is better than never.

So, screw you, Ms. Kattan.

I might be late, but at least I turned up.

If this isn’t nice…

Some of the most powerful lessons are learnt through fiction and literature, and great authors like Kurt Vonnegut.

Once, he said that it’s all too easy to notice when things are going badly, but often we don’t notice when things are going well.

And I’m not talking about the obvious times like getting a raise or getting laid or getting a compliment.

I’m talking about the little things — the tiny things that make us happy; like that warm glow of sunshine across your face on a crisp, bright, blue winter’s day.

Or that tingly chill of a fresh margarita on a summer afternoon.

Or that deep tang of your first coffee of the day.

Or the waft of freshly baked bread tickling your nostrils.

Kurt said that when that ‘nice’ thing happens, call it out.

Say out loud, “Well, if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

And pretty soon, you’ll notice that life is full of these beautiful, plain, every day, fantastically nice moments.

Nice.

You got this

Whatever you do today, whatever challenges life throws at you, please remember:

You. Got. This.

It’s what you were born to do. 

And even if it doesn’t always seem like it, you’re doing it great.

Keep slaying those days!