How to change your mindset and transform your life

motivation Jul 09, 2020

Everything went dark. 

He could not see a thing. The murky water, the arms, the legs of other competitors were everywhere. He could barely breathe, and still, he could not see, when he lifted his head he got hit or splashed by the stroke of a competitor, it was chaos. 

This was my friend’s first experience of a triathlon, which sounds a bit like life.

Only weeks earlier he had decided triathlon was the sport for him.

Enthused, he invested thousands in the best equipment and dedicated hours to training.  He loved his new sport and was excited about how his life would be full of energy, excitement and happiness as he pursued his new sport...


It’s not like a swimming pool

All triathlons start with a swim and as he waited on the pontoon with hundreds of competitors he felt nervous but ready.

Then starters gun went and everything changed.

For him, this was not fun. This was nothing like the crystal clear water of the health club. There were no lanes and markers on the bottom of the pool to guide you. It was cold, dark and chaotic. 

He felt claustrophobic, sick, scared, stressed he hated it. 

Eventually, he dragged himself around the course to cross the finish line and for the first and last time. All that effort, learning and expense flushed away.

Never again. 

Before you enter the working world it feels like diving into a swimming pool. The water is crystal clear and you can see the opportunity and feel the excitement. Then you move into the real world and perhaps start a family and suddenly it’s like diving into a lake. 

You lose all sense of direction, quickly slipping into survival mode, dragging yourself around the course of life, longing for relief.

And while you struggle in the chaos the world expects you to be a great parent, partner, build an amazing career and make it look easy by posting happy snaps on social media. 

Perhaps right now, you feel as though you’re working so hard but treading water?

I am sure you have overcome many obstacles through sheer grit and determination but maybe you're tired and feel stuck. 

Perhaps you’re starting to ask those big questions?

Is this what my best life really looks like?

How do I move to the next level?

In which direction is my meaning and purpose?

Why is this so bloody hard?

Is this it?

And there is that awful sinking feeling that you’re being left behind.

You feel as though you’re dragging yourself around the course of life in survival mode. With the dream that one day in the distant future you will jump out the lake and stumble on happiness. 

But what if there were another way?

Millions of people love triathlons 

Think about all those millions of tri-athletes who dive into the same dark chaos and love it!

The water’s the same, the competitors the same. The only thing that’s different is the mind of the triathlete.

That’s it.

Life is a mental game

You can’t change the water, competitors, arms, legs and chaos but you have total control to change your beliefs about any given situation. 

Change your beliefs on the inside, you change how you feel about the world on the outside. 

This one timeless piece of wisdom from the great stoic philosopher Epictetus can transform your life as it did mine.

What if Epictetus is right and by controlling your beliefs you will stop that sinking feeling and swim through life with a smile.

Based on this wisdom our mission is not to change the world around us, but to transform our minds. 

Or as the wonderful Henry Thoreau said, “Things don’t change we change.”

The mindset that I have adopted and I share every day is to accept the world is chaotic, dark, stressful and tough but relish the never-ending challenge. 

And happiness, believe it or not, is found in this struggle not in the end result as we are led to believe. 

It’s meant to be hard

Therefore, taking charge of your life is meant to be tough, this is an essential ingredient to a fully engaged life.

So your mission and mine is to dive headfirst into the chaos of life with a smile, safe in the knowledge that we have control over one thing and one thing only - our beliefs. 

And that’s all you need to swim because we get to decide what we believe about the messiness of life. 

But there is no getting around it -  taking back control of your life is hard.

And right now you might be finding life incredibly challenging and overwhelming. 

So start small

You don’t have to do everything at once. 

Start by taking control of small changes, take a walk around the block, read a page of your favourite book, make a cup of tea for loved one, go to bed 15 minutes earlier to wake 15 minutes earlier, eat a healthy breakfast, meditate for 1 minute, or show up to watch my morning lives. 

Your mission to re-experience what it feels like to have control over your beliefs and the actions that follow. 

So you will start to believe you can change.

Believe you can overcome 

Believe you can grow stronger 

And believe you can find meaning, purpose and happiness.

Before I go, I will leave you with a gift from Albert Einstein that says is all,

“The greatest choice you ever get to make is whether you believe you live in a friendly or hostile universe”

See you soon,


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