Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week Twenty-three – Stay Focused and true to yourself!

Life is full of surprises, twists and turns, it is a rollercoaster and we have to hold on or you can fall off and hurt yourself!

Stay Focused and True to yourslef!
 Do you sometimes feel like giving up? Do you occasionally ask yourself why you are doing things? Does it get too much and feel you can’t cope? Is it all worth it?  Everyone, at some point or another, has had these thoughts and feelings about life; it’s a natural reaction and happens to us all. The key to get through this is by staying focused and true to yourself, making sure you hold on to what you have and never give up. It’s not easy and often it can drive people to hitting low points in their lives that we have never imagined, but everyone is strong enough to get through anything in life.

This week a friend of mine shared a personal story that brought home how important it is to stay focused and true to yourself and it inspired me to write this week’s blog. As an aspiring writer and an all rounded person juggling work, family, health and hobbies, I realised how essential it is to stay focused to achieve everything I want in life. In our conversation, my friend shared the resent death of a personal friend, an inspirational character, who throughout his life stayed focused and true to himself, achieving everything he wanted. I read an article about his life and it was evident that everything he had achieved had been through sheer hard work and determination to be the best in his field. From what I could read and what my friend had told me, it hadn’t always been easy and at times he did hit an all time low, but always stayed true to himself, no matter what. This takes character and a passion for life, something we can all learn from.

So what makes people like him stay focused and true to his life even in the face of adversity? I began to think about this as I was running my usual 8 kilometres on the treadmill. As most of you know I have fallen into the habit of running (a good habit I may add) and this has become essential and central to my life; it gives me a good balance and keeps me focused specially after a long and stressful day. On the evening my friend had shared her devastating news, I had finished work and dinner with my colleagues, and went back to my room to do some more e-mails and work before going for my usual run. As I sat in front of my computer, I realised I had forgotten (due to time difference) that I had a conference call I had to attend at 10pm my local time! This immediately broke all my plans and I was now stuck in my room until 11pm. The easiest thing to do in this situation is to say “oh well, that’s that, I won’t run today” finish the call, get ready for bed and watch some TV. But staying focused and true to yourself means you have to do what is right, not what seems the right thing. In this occasion I knew that going to the gym and getting my run in, even if it was a shorter run (may be 4k) was the right thing to do, even though it didn’t seem the right thing (I mean, who goes for a run at 11 o’clock at night right?). So I finished my call, got into my running gear and went to the gym. At 11.15 pm I began my run.

I have gone to the gym with the intention to do a shorter run. As I finished the first kilometre my thoughts were focused on the day and how late it was. I then shifted my mind and began to think about my friend’s story and how inspirational her friend’s life was. As I hit 2 kilometres I was now “in the zone” (if you are not sure what I mean by “in the zone” it’s a state of mind where you are focused on your running and can feel every muscle moving and every breath you take, you are aware of your body working out). I knew at that moment that whatever time it was, it was irrelevant, I was on the treadmill, and needed to think about my running at this point. So I got to kilometre 3 and I was almost half way of my usual run. I run to music and currently I listen to a set of songs by Phil Collins, which are the inspiration to a musical I am writing. The songs are my focus when I run to think of the story line I am writing. Suddenly Kilometre 4 was here, I was now halfway my usual run. Remember at this point I had said to myself I would only do 4 k. As I continued to run and listen to the music I began to think again about my friend’s friend and how important it is to remain focus.

I stopped the treadmill, wiped the sweat of my face and drank water to the sound of my phone’s running app summarising my run; I had completed the 8k, at a good pace and I was ready for more! I didn’t stop and 4, I knew I could do the 8.

I got back to my room and wrote the title of this blog, I now knew what I was going to write about this week. As I laid in bed, falling asleep I realised I didn’t know what time it was, time had become irrelevant at this point, I had accomplished so much; I ran my 8k, continued to develop my story line for the musical and now I had a title and a subject for my blog; who cared at this point what time it was, I was done for the day with amazing achievements that matter (I had also managed to talk to my family via Skype, they are essential to my every day achievements!).

I do want to make it clear that It isn’t always easy, and often life throws things at us that may stops us from staying focused, but as long as we remain true to ourselves, to what we believe in, to our passions, to what makes us tick, getting back on track is simpler and seamless. “Stay Strong” is a slogan I have also shared with you in previous blogs which a dear friend Kenan Topuz uses to stay focus. I learned from him that to achieve you need to stay strong, and to stay strong you need to remain focus. I encourage everyone to keep this in mind, write it down, keep it on the wall, carry it on your wallet, and next time you face a situation where you need to do the right thing, remember these true words, they will give you the strength and focus to be true to yourself.

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