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a blog by Chris Barrow

How to live your best life authentically - failure is normal

Every now and then I publish something that touches a nerve - frequently when I'm revealing some authentic self-doubts.

Yesterday's newsletter/blog on the subject of my failed New Year Resolutions brought a flurry of comments from readers who thanked me for my honesty and explained that my failings made them feel better about their own.

We all feel pressured to offer daily proof that we are 'living our best lives", whether by posting to social media or responding with comments ranging from "fine" to "awesome" should anyone ask how we are.

It must be 20+ years ago that I coined the phrase that our lives....

"are a series of mountains, valleys and missiles"

I Googled that phrase this morning, just to check it's derivation and found an old blog post of mine from 2015.

It was written after I had taken part in a self-development exercise created by Strategic Coach (Toronto) - The 28-Day Positive Focus.

Here's what I said:

"The Positive Focus

Yesterday was day 28 of 28 of my Positive Focus campaign.

I’ve been posting every day to my Facebook profile.

The rules are simple:

  1. take some time each day to write down the most positive things that happened – whatever the day was like

  2. keep a permanent record so that you can look back over your achievements

The theory is that the mind takes 28 days to acquire a new habit – and that if that habit is to focus on the positive then you will achieve more CONFIDENCE.

Which is the real point of the whole exercise.

If we approach life with a CONFIDENT mindset, then we can overcome whatever barriers are placed in our way and celebrate our “wins”.

I’ve had some dark days in the last 28.

I emerge with a refreshed level of CONFIDENCE about my own abilities and about the future.

Every day I talk to people who are facing personal and professional challenges.

We all do – there is no escape – in the late 90’s, I talked about life being a series of mountains, valleys and missiles.

The mountains are the moments when you feel on top of the world.

The valleys are filled with the darkness of which I spoke earlier.

The missiles are the unexpected nasty surprises.

Over the years I have also described life variously as a roller coaster or a game of snakes and ladders.

Money doesn’t make any difference (someone said money simply allows you to enjoy your misery in nicer places).

Power and prestige don’t help.

Recognition and celebrity are short-lived and shallow (although the applause is a wonderful drug).

At the end of days it will be your health and the amount of love you can GIVE that will determine your ultimate well-being.

If I could offer you one little bit of advice this morning, it would be to start your own 28-day Positive Focus.

See what happens."

That was me 8 years ago.

Your best life is the one that you are living authentically.

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