"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions."

Whilst it’s still acceptable in ‘reflection mode’, I thought I’d have a little look back at all aspects the last few years, and quite a few ‘scenarios and situations’ came to the front of my mind which in hindsight could have been quite easily avoided. 

I’m talking about ‘scenarios and situations’ which involve people from family, my group of friends and ‘workmates’. I’m going to choose not to go into any detail of these scenarios, as the points can stand without this detail… I’ve just come to the realisation lately that a lot of shitty feeling and bad moods in the world can be so easily avoided. I read something a little similar maybe two years ago, and I thought I’d put my spin on how to make lives better? I’m not sure that’s the right ‘title’ for this, but here goes… (The title quote is from the Dalai Lama)

When looking back, it’s such an obvious thing in ALL areas of life that we all have this problem with the idea that sometimes, we might actually be wrong. Now, I’ve seen people who have personalities which are built on always being right, and quite honestly they are really shitty people. I’ve seen arguments take place where both sides are dead set that it’s them thats right, and with no one backing down in order to find a resolution, that relationship has ended - Sometimes multiple relationships after people feeling the need to take sides. Over something THAT petty… ‘Being right’ is definitely not always worth it. 

The above leads me on to those people who have that need to always be in control, and even in situations where they have no right to do so. In life, we all need to be willing to accept that we can’t always control what happens to us and around us. I know too many people with this mentality, and a lot of the people reading this fall into this category. I’ve seen it so many times, people have this overwhelming feeling to be the top dog and ‘the boss’ - In all kinds of situations, even with people you don’t really know (I’m definitely guilty of this myself). How about taking a step back, and just allowing everyone and everything to be as they are. I guarantee that everyone will feel better. 

A MASSIVE pet hate of mine is when people see how others live, and feel the need to talk down to them, and about them to other people/friends. Jealousy is a massive factor in this, and I again know too many people where this rears it’s ugly head. If you see something you want - Work for it. Don’t belittle and bully others because they’ve achieved something which you want. 

This goes for ‘Blame’ too. Don’t blame others for things which YOU have done. Take responsibility for your own life. 

The next thing is something which I do a lot, and I kinda hate myself for it.

As humans, the majority (Not all of us) have this mind-set where we kick ourselves and put ourselves down, in all aspects of life. Essentially living life with a self-defeating mindset. We do it without even knowing we do it, and we’re essentially hurting ourselves. No one should believe everything their mind is telling them. - This also goes for people who have set in their ways to limiting their beliefs. Massively risking sounding cliche here, but ‘Anything is possible’ (I can see one smart arse saying “But you can’t fly though”) and we need to stop limiting our own beliefs. 

EVERYONE NEEDS TO GIVE UP COMPLAINING

There is nothing I hate more than hearing people complain. From those two women on public transport to family members talking about other family members. Jeeze - It takes up way too much energy, and it annoys the hell out of me when I hear people complain. Again, I admit, I was a complainer…but coming to the realisation that we gain absolutely NOTHING from it, and, if you complain to the wrong person you just come off as being a dick…what’s the point? Certain opinions (Here..complaints) need to be kept to yourself. When a complaint is justified, there’s normally an address you can write to. Think about it, if there ISN’T an address to write too…you shouldn’t be complaining. 

The above goes for criticism with out it being constructive. I absolutely love when someone has the integrity to give criticism which is constructive…it’s when people criticise with nothing to back it up and with no real meaning, and often behind the back of that which is being criticised. Just stop. 

Be willing to change. Change is good. Not always, but most of the time change is awesome. Change will help you improve your life, so get out of your comfort zone and make a change. It might not be easy… But you’ll feel more awesome because of it. 

Everyone needs to stop labelling other people. When it comes down to it, in a lot of cases it’s a form of bullying and I absolutely cannot stand it. What’s wrong with just embracing those who choose to be different? Who’s to say what’s ‘Normal’ anyway. I plan on cutting all the shitty people out of my life this year, and those who label will be the first to go. There’s a few people within my own family who should think twice and embrace this point. Opinions are fine, labels are bullying. 

Again, another that I’m guilty of; Making excuses. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at this over the last three months. Excuses are essentially fears. If you’re making an excuse, a lot of the time there’s a subconscious fear attached to the excuse which stops us from doing whatever is in question. The longer you make this excuse, the longer it’s in the back of your mind which means it’s a fear for even longer - No one likes fears, so why not ‘Set them free’?

One thing I’ve noticed since the influx of social media and reality television took to our screens, is that there’s a HUGE number of people who are living a life which is not theirs to live. I mean, everyone does it. We see things on TV or online and think “Damn, I wish that was me” - It goes back to the point of jealousy. This mindset has a negative effect on your actual life. Wanting to live the life of Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian (Two examples I hope you take with a pinch of salt) isn’t productive for anyone, and being in a position to be able to live that life will only happen if you work your ass off. 

The biggest thing that I’ve been learning of late (and I still am learning to) is to give up the past. The past is the past for a reason. There can be two ways in which we look at our past. Positive and negative. We’d all love to be 10 years old again, running around without a care - But that can’t happen. It’s impossible - Then you have the second way in which people need to look at their past and give it up, and that’s the negatives. I can’t really put my thumb on a particular negative here (There’s way too many), but we’ve all had negatives in our pasts - and it’s definitely easier said than done, but just let them go. The longer we hold on to our past, the longer we wait to move forward. 

I personally think that the future is the scariest thing in the world. No one knows whats gonna happen. But when you think back to all the awesome times in your life - They were the future once. 

This post is honestly aimed at everyone. If you cut all of the above out of your life, I can almost guarantee you’ll be happy - Subsequently affecting those around you and those who observe you. 

Definitely not a blog post I ever thought I’d be writing. But I’ve been thinking about these things a hell of a lot lately, and rather than going to certain individuals and telling them to book their ideas up, I thought I’d put it down ‘on paper’ in the hopes that others would follow suit. 

I don’t want to be seen as all ‘preachy by all of this… It’s not for everyone, some people don’t want change and some people will never accept change. But certainly something to think about, and some steps towards a happier life, no?

2013: Unlucky for some?

It’s this week every year, when people tend to reflect on the past 12 months. Looking at what went right, what went wrong. What was awesome and what was a bit shitty…and subsequently making a huge list of what will undoubtably be ‘False promises’ to themselves as a traditional way to start every the new year. 

I’ve always absolutely loved the Christmas holidays, it’s always seemed like an escape from the norm. I especially love Christmas lights. I don’t know what it is…Just looking at them…they just make it seem that all is right in the world. 

It was a couple of days ago when I was just sat, staring at our Xmas tree that I slipped into ‘yearly reflection mode’ - and well, at the risk of sounding like Mr Cliche, it’s been a total roller-coaster.

The first thing I realised about 2013 was that it seems to have gone ridiculously fast. It literally seems like just yesterday when I was staring at my iPhone screen at 23:59 on December 31st - Waiting for the little calendar to click over. At the time, working towards what had been planned to be an awesome year with some (what I thought were) awesome people; Looking back now, maybe that was a little naive. 

The first sign of 2013 not quite being what I’d hoped and intended it to be, was the early postponement and eventual cancellation of a UK tour. This kinda sucked, but genuinely couldn’t be helped. A slight lack of a lead time and a small group of people who were supposed to be ‘Team members’ throwing a couple of large spanners in the works left me with no choice. 

That definitely wasn’t going to put a dampener in my step. Sure, it sucked. But we had so much more planned. It was a case of head down, and work towards a huge summer in the USA. 

This ‘summer’ is the subject of a rather extensive blog which i’ve typed up and been wanting to post for quite some time. However, there are still a couple of things I need to sort/rectify first - I don’t want any more negativity following me into the new year and biting me in the ass. Trust me when I say it’s worth the wait with no holds barred.

See, when it comes to holding on and not shouting my mouth off, I’ve been brought up right. Taking a breath and counting to 10 really does do a lot for the sudden ‘explosive temperament’ or ‘mentality’ that being unreasonable and frustrated does to us. Something that I’ve found a lot of people lack as of late.

A lot of people feel the need to go straight to social media and shout their mouths off without taking that breath or taking that 10 seconds to think “What am I really going to gain from this?” and a lot of people feel the need to get involved and voice what I think are ‘threats’ in a situation which quite frankly does not involve them in the slightest. 

…and these people need to know that if they continue to back me into a corner within a situation that doesn’t include them. I’ll bite back and chew their fucking faces off. 

But for now…Higher ground and all. 

Anyway! 

Getting back from the States and having to deal with what was quite honestly a shit show on so many levels kinda took it’s toll on me for a while. Having worked so long on something which is essentially a dream, putting in 100’s of hours on planning and processing and then having it kinda ‘dragged’ from beneath you would knock anyone for six, and I think that I’m still now ‘recovering’ from that situation. 

I don’t mean recovering in an ‘Oh, poor me’ way. I mean I’m recovering in a “Right, that happened…It’s really shit, but I still have a good thing going and I’m gonna do my damned best to be awesome and make my family proud”

Sorting out and rectifying these wrongs (a lot which are still in the process of being ‘righted’) has quite honestly exhausted me. It’s weird that I’ve essentially gone from working 16-18 hours a day on a dream and not being tired or bothered in the slightest…to working 9/10 hours a day on making things right and developing ways in which to move forward and being absolutely knackered. I think I’ve slept more in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years. 

With all the above in mind; It’s only lately that I’ve truly grown to appreciate how much of an amazing family I have. It sounds selfish to say that, but when I had my ‘Hour of need’, I had my parents, step-parents and grandparents there and ready to drop everything to help me out in anyway they can and get me back into the ring and fighting for what I want from life as soon as was viably possible - and for that, I truly am thankful, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay them back for the support I’ve had. It’s by no means always been happy and fun, with everyone singing and dancing. But everyone needs an ass kicking from time to time. 

2013 was the year I finally learned that when it comes to friends it is 100% better to go for quality over quantity, and less is definitely more, and after a little ‘cull’ towards the end of the year, I’m actually pretty happy with the quality that I have. 

This year, I have by no means been perfect. But we all have a past and we have all done things, I may not get it right every time. But I’ll keep going back at it until I do get it right. 

When it gets down to it, we all have that story, and I’m a true believer that get what you want, well, I suppose you have to suffer a little, right?

All in all, this year has been an incredible education and I think I’m a better, more mature person for it. This year has thrown up some challenges which I thought I’d never have to face. But I’m working through them, I’m going to get through them and I’m pretty damn sure that after this year…I can handle anything that life choses to throw at me. 

2013; unlucky for some? Sure… But not me. 

Bring on 2014. 

One of my favourite song of 2013, and this Gardiner Sisters cover is Bangin’!

hubblive:

The Gardiner Sisters capture our hearts in their cover of One Republic's 'Counting Stars.' Hailey, Allie, and Mandi all have such unique voices that blend to become something truly remarkable.  

I genuinely love that I still have maybe 3 people who I can go back to after 3, 4 ..5 years and get the words that I need.

"Fundamentally mate, I’m f*cking proud of you and I’m pretty sure all your friends and family will be.

You’re doing something that is pretty much beyond the capabilities if anyone we know.

You know and I know that anyone giving you any kind of shit is jealous of what you’ve done.

…F*cking hell man, you’re out in the US, booking bands and touring around.

Who wouldn’t want to do that? F*ck, even I’m jealous.”