I decided to have a spring clean today as you do and I made the mistake or good decision depending on whether the spring clean was important to open a box of old photos.
There I was in so many photos in my late 20's, early 30's playing with my very young children and all of us looking extremely happy. They had a great childhood and the one thing that stood out in all those photos so much was how bare arse broke I looked!
I mean we were that family with all the kids and no carpet or wallpaper. We had such a clapped out old sofa that in the end I had to build one from a single bed. The kids thought it was great that when they sat down they could lay right back as it was 3 foot 6 inches deep!
I had a clapped out car that when you wound the handle down on the window, the window just fell and disappeared. My window wipers would regularly ping off as it rained and I was forever buying the economy brake pads for my car which were £18 a pair and I swear were made of cardboard, they usually lasted about a month. Don't even ask me about an MOT!
We joked that dinner was 'bread'n'pullet' which was basically throwing a loaf of bread into the room and watching the kids go crazy for it like wild hyenas. Okay it wasn't that bad but I remember once suggesting we could save up £7 each and perhaps have a real treat and go to that place down the road called a Carvery!
When I looked back at those photos today I saw a young man staring back at me with little self belief. I wasn't aiming high like I am today, I was aiming low and hitting every time.
This lack of self belief came from early events in childhood and as I grew up those events shaped my future. Think of the times when you were young and someone made you feel shit or stupid or just not good enough, what did you do with that?
If you were like me I just started to believe it, adopt their words as my own and eventually created a story which I lived by every single day. The theme of the story was 'other people will always be more successful than me'. What is your theme? I can tell you right now that it's bullshit. I promise. And the reason I know is I changed mine and so can you!
We get one life, one shot, one play, one song. No rehearsal, no pretending, this is fucking it. Then we peg it. Happy fucker aren't I! :)
But seriously when I looked back at those photos I saw my youth, I saw how 30 years had gone by so quickly and the greatest gift I ever gave to my children was my presence rather than presents (from the £1 shop) but as I always say, I have no regrets as regrets lock you in the past and at that time of life I really was doing the best I could with what I had, however I need YOU to check in with YOU right now.
Are you settling for less? Do you have beliefs just like I did that you live by everyday that hold you back? Do you work in a job you hate perhaps? Are you in a relationship that ended years ago but for some reason of sameness you stay? Are you surrounded by people who aren't good for you?
Have a think... if I can make this change why can't you? I got 2 'O' levels and 2 'Cse's', I could have got more but I got seriously beat up everyday for being the most intelligent boy in class so I decided to pretend I was thick. (Worked out okay didn't it Lawrence Willis?)
I went back to school (university) in my 40's, trust me they thought I came to clean the windows! When I qualified as a hypnotherapist, my teacher rang me rather concerned,
"It says here you're the world's most renowned hypnotherapist in Harley Street?"
"Hmm, that's odd" I said, "Someone must have wrote that?"
"It's your advert John!" she said.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this:
You are not too old to start again.
You are far more incredible than you could ever know (trust me it will scare the shit out of you!)
And lastly don't you deserve to give it a try, whatever it is you want to change?
Then perhaps you can look back at some old photos and think WOW I did it!