As you’re reading this, I bet you’ve gone through your fair share of ups and downs in life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could only experience the ups and avoid the downs? Well, it’s more complicated than that…
I grew up strong, confident and competitive. On top of the world, I competed for Canada in Trampoline at only 13 years old. But, overtime, my mindset changed and ultimately so did my circumstances. I became pessimistic, I lacked belief in myself and lost my drive to win. At my lowest of lows, I’ve laid in the comfort of my bed for days on end. Not moving for school, for sports, for family, nothing. My depression and anxiety overwhelming. Those months were the darkest days of my life. I felt completely numb. I contemplated whether or not life was worth living. And I almost said no.
For the majority of my life I never understood why I had experienced such dramatic change in my mindset and circumstances. When life was going so well, why did I suddenly experience such a major low?
But, recently, it all started making sense to me. Last week I walked into CSI Pitchmasters like I do every Tuesday. Joze, our Toastmaster for the evening, was on fire. His theme: Fluctuations. Tuesday night he was witty, philosophical and he shared a unique perspective of Buddhist philosophy I’d never heard before. He said,
“Fluctuations are an inherent fabric of life. The Buddhist law of impermanence states that because nothing is permanent, attachment to the ups leads to inevitable suffering. Conversely, aversion to the downs is illogical because those too shall pass”.
What a powerful observation.
Life is cyclical. As Jim Rohn would say, life is like the changing seasons.
Winter- a season of difficulties, trials and tribulations.
Spring- a season of opportunity. The time and space for us to start new projects.
Summer- a season to hustle. The time for us to work hard and protect all the good we started.
Fall- a season of harvest. The time to reap all the rewards of which you’ve previously sown.
As I spaced out reflecting in the meeting reflecting on my life, it became clear to me now that my life, my thoughts and my circumstances have always fluctuated. That it is in the contrast of our emotions that beauty exists. If there was no such thing as winter, how can we truly appreciate the summer? If there was no pain, how can identify our joy? If I never experienced my depression, I never would have treasured the happiness I now enjoy.
I regained my focus just in time to catch Joze finishing up his toast. He said that the philosophical pop-singer Nelly Furtado once sang,
“All good things come to an end”. And that he would modify those lyrics into,
“All things come to an end”.
I now know that too be true. So, if you’re experiencing a high, please share in the comments so we can help celebrate your success!
If you’re experiencing a low, know that I’ve been there. It’s okay for you too as well. Don’t get too addicted to the ups, they are temporary. And don’t get too bogged down by the downs, they too are temporary. There are people you can reach out to and connect with for support. I personally know that in my lowest of lows, the strongest and most courageous thing I did was ask for help. I couldn’t have done it alone, and you don’t have to either. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a text to 416 886 4774, I only write this blog to help.
Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.