The lump in my throat was unbearable as I was devoid of saliva, and yet I kept trying to swallow to ease the discomfort. People were jumping on me and patting me on the back, and in the end I just decided to give in to the pressure, and the tears just flowed down my face. I was fourteen years of age and we had just beaten the mighty Bettws 2 v 1 in their back yard and nobody thought it was possible – nobody except me.
The day I captained the Wyndham Boys Club to that victory against the best young team in South Wales – the mighty Bettws – is a vivid memory for me, and it is one that encapsulates my never say die attitude. In the previous league meeting against Bettws they had rattled double figures past us – just like they did to every other team that dared place a stud on their turf. But in the changing rooms before that game had started, I knew we were going to win. I remember riling everybody up into a frenzy and screaming at them that we could beat them. I think by the time I had finished my little speech the players and the manager also believed the unbelievable would happen.
I believe that a positive mental attitude is an absolute must have quality if you want to be successful in life. Not only does it provide you with the necessary drive and belief, but also people who possess such a quality are generally happier than the people who don’t. A happy and smiling face attracts like-minded happy and smiling faces and it creates a much smoother passage through life. Happiness also increases the likelihood that you will remain fit and healthy so when the chips are down it is the little acid house symbol for me.
But why is it so difficult to be happy?
As we grow up and are turned into Sleepwalkers we take everything personally. We do this because the people we look up to take everything personally as well. We are carbon copies of the people who influence our early years, and so we start to believe that we are responsible for everything – as our influencers did before us. If I turn my computer on it will always start at the password screen. There are plenty of other screens and things for me to see, but each time I switch the computer on the same sight greets me. Our minds work in exactly the same way as my computer. When I turn my mind on, my default mode is to moan, groan and feel sorry for myself, and I have to try very hard to overcome this almost instinctive urge. My moaning and groaning is my password stage.
I am getting better at noticing these negative patterns and quickly changing the way that I think. I believe I have always had a huge chunk of positivity and this makes it easier for me, but I am improving all of the time. I find meditation and affirmations are a great way for re-enforcing a positive mental attitude. Another great way to increase your positivity is to surround yourself with people who have an abundance of it. Like Michael Stipe once sang, “Shiny happy people holding hands, shiny happy people laughing.”
What tips and tricks do you have in order to keep a smile on your face?
I have spent a great number of years surrounded by negativity. I hate it. It is like a disease – a disease of the mind. It is also highly contagious and if you are in a group of a few negative people you can find yourself miserable in no time. Firstly, I think the negativity came from my early years as a kid. There were four of us living a classic working class life on a council estate. Money was scarce and we did not have much. At that age you do not understand how difficult life is, and it can be too easy to feel sorry for yourself.
The biggest period of negativity that surrounded by was in the final few years of my life on the railway. The people responsible for running the business at the highest level really did a cracking job of screwing people over. It was like working with a group of inmates living on death row. Everybody hated being there and everybody delighted in talking about why.
Human beings just love to complain. It is as natural as taking a piss, and yet so soul destroying. The funny thing is, each individual who complains degrades their own life every time they act in this way. The more they degrade it the more they complain. Sometimes the way we live our lives is just insane.
Photos courtesy of viZZZual.com & renaissancechambara (cc @ flickr .com)