you can either let the wind blow you where it wants to or put up your sail

Life’s unpredictable.

That’s what I’ve learned about life in my 38 years on this planet.

Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, life throws you a curve ball.

On a more personal level, my life has turned out to be one big rollercoaster ride.

It started out pretty pedestrian.

Born in a small town in England. I moved house three times before I was 4, but I only remember one the last one.

I was pretty much your average kid.

I was slender so a few kids bullied me, trying to get me to give them money.

Thankfully I could run pretty fast.

I remember being stood up in front of the class to be mocked at by my English teacher when I was 7…as you might imagine, I loved that.

I loved going on trips with my parents. Nothing exotic, just hop in the car and head off for a few days.

I recall staying at quite a few caravan parks.

It was just the three of us, well, four if you include the dog. It wasn’t Disneyland, but we had each other and we always seemed to have fun.

And then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.

I was told we were moving.

No big deal but I was sad to say goodbye to my friends. My school, good riddance. My house, oh well.

I had to get some shots, malaria being the worst.

My school threw me a goodbye ceremony and I remember the entire school being there, for little old me. I felt like I was an astronaut heading off to space.

And then…we were gone.

A single decision changed everything.

It wasn’t an easy one, but looking back at it now I see that’s where it all began.

Since that time a lot’s happened.

Had you said that…

  • I’d live in the Philippines
  • I’d be a teacher
  • I’d live in Japan
  • I’d study 2-3 hours a day
  • I’d speak Japanese.
  • I’d like reading books
  • I’d still be riding a bike
  • I’d start yoga at the age of 37
  • I’d take up Karate at the age of 38
  • I’d speak with an American accent
  • I’d call Thailand and Japan home
  • I’d witness (and survive) the greatest natural disaster of our lifetimes
  • I’d like studying finance
  • I’d love rock climbing
  • I’d become a self-help coach
  • I’d go bankrupt almost three times
  • I’d get suckered into a pyramid scheme
  • I’d self-teach myself magic
  • I’d learn how to cook
  • I’d achieve my dream of going to America, only to leave
  • I’d marry a Japanese woman
  • My wife would choose me (she was so out of my league)

…I’d have said you were off your rocker.

But you just never know where things will take you. Every single day we are faced with small decisions, and some of those decisions could end up being life-changing.

The thing is we never know where we’ll be ten years from now, but we will be somewhere.

Most of us just let life take us where it may.

I prefer the other alternative — designing it.

Life is a formidable foe but we do have one power within our control and that is the power of choice.

Most of my life I just went with the flow, but after surviving the tsunami something changed within me. After all, life was giving me a “golden ticket” as Brendon Burchard likes to call it.

Today I create my life.

For the past 6 years I have been building the foundation for my future.

I set goals. I study. I work hard. I stick with it.

You might notice that nearly all the things on the list I had control over. We can’t control everything, but we can determine how we are going to live our lives today.

All I suggest is rather than letting the winds of life take them where they will, that we simply put up our sails.

Sometimes we may fail to reach our destinations but by having our sails up we do have some say in where we end up.

Adrian Shepherd

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