Don’t Derail, Prevail

When something goes wrong or breaks down, we have two choices, we can get rid of it or we can repair it. Unfortunately, we have developed into a throw-away society in large part due to technological advancements. When you need to use a new app, only to discover your computer or telephone Isn’t compatible because your operating system is too old, you really are held hostage, as the world advances around you. It is as though you are passed by until you go out and purchase a more current model of phone or computer. Don’t even get me started about the frustration of transferring everything over. It is planned obsolescence. You might begrudgingly be jumping through hoops and hating the expense it entails for the privilege, but sooner or later there is something you want to be able to access electronically that will have you saying OK I surrender. 

You might loose against the tech giants, but at least we are all subject to that same frustration and can commiserate together. When it isn’t technological in nature though, you get a lot more say in the matter. There are always things that can’t be fixed. As you look down at the cup that is on the floor in many pieces, you know that even with the best glue you have, it would take a miracle to be able to put it back together and be able to drink anything out of it again. 

When you take in your husbands favourite Ortlieb pannier bags to get the clip replaced for him, only to be told that can’t be fixed either, it gets annoying. Why can’t things be made so that they can easily be fixed? The small appliance repair person doesn’t even exist any longer. Is it any wonder then that our landfills are filling at alarming rates as we discard more and more. 

It’s easy then, for humans to be lured into believing that when things seem broken you walk away. It is where our mind goes, but on many levels we can train ourselves to change that thought. When your favourite warm top has developed a hole why not try to repair it first… I hear you saying I can’t sew, that might be true, but what better time to give it a go. You are going to throw the top out anyway, so if the repair doesn’t work you are still going to throw the thing away so you have nothing to loose. What if you are able to fix it? You can end up developing a new skill and still get to keep your favourite top. That’s what I call a result. 

That as you well know is a very simple example of fixing something. What if what you need to “fix” goes much deeper than that? What if you have somehow sabotaged your own health recovery efforts and now you want to do what technology has been teaching us for decades, you want to throw your efforts away? 

Before you do that, take a moment to pause and put things into perspective. Just because you were going to meet a friend to go swimming but then plans changed because something came up which meant you didn’t go, doesn’t mean you can’t reschedule. 

We can go a very long way towards achieving our goals just by our mindset. I am not kidding. Our mind is a force of nature. Our mind is rarely wrong. If we decide something isn’t going to work it is doomed from that moment on if we truly believe the outcome is predetermined. It’s like having our own crystal ball. We mentally can be pretty confident of any outcome.

 If we don’t make up our mind, if we allow our thoughts to be a little more forgiving perhaps, the world opens up so many more possibilities. Sure, you can be disappointed that you didn’t see your friend but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Imagine what we can accomplish if we can harness our mindset for our personal growth rather than a catalyst for our defeat. 

We don’t have to walk away considering ourselves unable to succeed. Don’t buy into that! If we decide to accept that minor setbacks are just that, ‘minor’, then we are already looking at things more positively. From that positive place we can better strategize our next step. 

I personally don’t spend much time on social media finding out what everyone else is up to. I am doing my own thing. Whatever it is I want to fix rather than throw away whenever possible, and if my mindset is what needs fixing then that is what I am going to do. Maybe I need to try different approaches and that’s OK. There is almost always more than one route to get to our destination. 

As I age I am not something to throw away, I am an imperfect treasure but a treasure worth believing in even when we have allowed ourselves to slide a little. That was then and we get a new now with every breath we take. 

maria@pilotlighteffect.com 

GETTING STARTED

A WARM WELCOME TO YOU ALL

As this is my very first post on the PILOT LIGHT EFFECT website what better topic could I choose than getting started. I have always believed that the hardest part of anything is getting started. It’s the act of deciding to do something and then actually doing something about it. It’s the doing rather than thinking that trips me up each and every time. There are thousands of things in my lifetime that have taken up residency in my mind only to dissipate with the next whim. I am not alone there. Some ideas I talked myself out of, and others I let people do it for me. 

It isn’t only regarding my health, My husband and I talked about building a log house for 20 years, to the point that I refused to talk about it anymore because there was no point, it was a pipe-dream that I was convinced  was going to stay that way. That is until we actually did something about it. Why was that conversation different than the thousand other ones we had on the subject over the years you might ask…? I stopped agreeing with him that it would be a nice thing to do. If it was as good an idea as we thought let’s make it happen. It was only then that we made a list about what we needed to do if we wanted to have a log house. We looked at where we could build, what restrictions there were etc. we had enough equity in our home to buy the land and created a wish list of what we wanted. With secured funding we were off to the races. Within 3 years we turned a long wanted pipe-dream into a wonderful home. We accomplished something that took both of us by surprise. THE THING IS WE DID IT!

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

THE FINISHED LOOK

So what is it that makes us break the gravitational pull that keeps us on the couch, or locked away with only our own thoughts for company? If it were desire alone, we would all be slender humans capable of athletic prowess, live in stunning homes and would be monetarily rich beyond our wildest dreams. OK now what? For me, even need didn’t kickstart me into action on the health front. 

I take full ownership of the fact that I wasted years waiting for the right medical professional to fix me, only to find that the person didn’t exist. During all of that medically sanctioned madness of declining health and increased medications I sat at home alone for most of the time. In hindsight what was I waiting for? Did I think someone out of the blue, uninvited, would knock on my door and wave a magic wand and things would be perfect? Not a snowballs chance in hell of that happening… I had a better chance of buying a million dollar winning lotto ticket, and yet that was what I had been waiting for someone else’s idea of a fix. It was as though I took myself out of the equation all together, that is crazy and yet that was what I did, and continued to do year in and year out. 

I needed help for years, my whole life really if I am being honest, so need alone wasn’t getting me to take action, I had need in spades. Sure if we NEED to do something, as humans most of us will do the bare necessities of life. If you have an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts for example you are going to fastidiously avoid anything to do with peanuts, it’s simple self preservation. 

For me, my missing ingredient was ME, oh and some kick ass help once I got off of the couch, but I wouldn’t have discovered that if I stayed put. How could I be missing you might wonder? Not only was I a missing ingredient I was the most important ingredient of all and had gone AWOL. Without me it would be like baking bread and expecting it to rise without yeast or expecting to be discovered while wearing an invisibility cloak. Sure I could easily be found on the couch should someone come looking for me but that really is the crux of the matter. The couch isn’t as good a friend to us as we give it credit for. I had hidden myself away so well that you would need advanced navigational equipment to find me, but once I decided “look out world here I am” my world changed. Whether it’s a mental workout we need for our situation or a physical shake up, we must dust ourselves off and prepare for lift off. Lets get fired up together. 

Let me know your story, whether you are simply contemplating action, are stumbling through life or have achieved lift off. Although our stories will be different we can all inspire each other to keep our pilot light strong. 

maria@pilotlighteffect.com