Positives of Negatives

Setbacks are a bitch.

As I sit here typing with one hand I’m fully aware of just how much a pain in the arse a setback can be to your life.

I’ve spent the last seven years building up a consistent gym routine never missing more than a couple days in a row. With the exception of holidays  I’ve stuck to this habit religiously,  for me fitness has been a keystone habit. When I saw the positive effects I can have on my own body it gave me the drive and confidence to start having affect on other areas of my life.

On the shoulders of fitness I build my financial habits, My finances gave me the ability to seek more beneficial work arrangements. My work arrangements give me the knowledge and time to pursue passion projects.

Unfortunately my hard won fitness routine has had to fall by the wayside this week. At the weekend I was out riding my mountain bike at a local jump track, When my ambition exceeded my ability. The result of this was a bad landing the bike throwing me off to one side and landing square on my shoulder. After an hour long trip to the hospital it was confirmed, a double clavicle break.


The upsides of downsides

Don’t get me wrong I always knew mountain biking was reasonably dangerous and that broken collarbones are a common injury, I continued to ride knowing that the value I got from biking was enough to outweigh the relatively slight chance of a major injury

Broken bones resulted in me being in a sling for at least the next six weeks with a small possibility of surgery being required. Until I get confirmation of this I’m left with the dilemma -what now?

Finding a way to use The time I gain back from fitness in a positive way is going to be key to overcoming my setback.

Stoicism is your Toolkit

Setbacks are unavoidable for any of us, the reps are put in reading stoicism pay dividends exactly these kinds of times.  If you haven’t already, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus should be essential reading For every teenager.   If you’re new to stoicism I strongly recommend grabbing yourself a copy of Ryan Holiday’s “The Daily Stoic “.

New focus

Although many of my main areas of interest are now off the cards for the coming weeks there are several things I can still do. I can concentrate on my work, my side hustles and the exercise that I can still do.

By shifting my focus onto the things that are still within the range of possibility I can keep my momentum and snatch the positive from a negative.

Revise your goals, write it down

I’m in the process of writing down exactly how I’m going to use the next few weeks to push areas of my life but normally have restricted time allowance to new highs. By being totally clear on my goals, writing them down and systematically checking them off I can use my time wisely and stave off the inevitable negative mindset that arises from having your life restricted.

Let’s look at the positives:

  • I have more time – I can’t exercise because I can’t drive, I won’t need to commute.
  • I’m not missing out on all the more important activities by being At home.
  • It was not my dominant arm.
  • Chicks dig scars.

My intentions going forward to keep his blog updates more regularly, be intentional with my new time and journal my results.

Chin up

I realise in the grand scheme of things myself back is not devastating but by concentrating on the opportunities it presents rather than the restrictions it enforces I have the ability to play it to my advantage. The results of the inevitable setbacks in life are much to do about how we feel about them, the stories we tell ourselves. Ultimately all setbacks Fade and become part of the adversities you once faced on your journey to where you’re going.

In the immortal words of Winston Churchill:

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Footnote: in case you’re wondering how long it took me to type this with one arm, I’ve become very familiar with Apple’s voice recognition. I will probably have never learned about its utility had I not ended up injured, Just one practical positive I’ll be pulling from this!