Fallow Periods

You can’t write the ending of the story of the your life before you’ve started that story.

You can’t give up on yourself at any point in your life regardless of whether or not you’ve achieved the things you wanted to by that point.

It’s entirely possible to live to 75 or 80 years old if you exercise, eat right, limit alcohol intake and don’t smoke cigarettes and don’t use street drugs. The chance of a woman living to 85 years old shoots up 74 percent if she follows this advice.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle enables you to have “life in your years” no matter the number of “years in your life.”

I tell readers not to give up because we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future. And where we are today in our lives doesn’t determine where we’ll be in the future. The road in recovery and the road to success isn’t straight and narrow and doesn’t run a predictable course. Our lives are often long and winding to get to where we want to be.

Have faith that things can change if only you change your perception of what you can do.

I continue here from the last blog entry because I know positive change is possible no matter how old you are, no matter what your “thing” in life is, and no matter what happened to you in the past.

The secret to my success is that I wouldn’t be defeated. Even when I failed, I wasn’t down for the count because I realized I could do something differently to achieve my goal or I could change the goal I had to one that was better and could be achieved.

Is it possible most people get defeated and give up when they fail? If that sounds like you, you can change your tactic. This involves not giving yourself a restrictive deadline by which to achieve a goal. It involves setting goals to achieve things in your life that are consistent with your priorities, your values, and who you are. Acting false to yourself to get ahead in life will cause ill health.

You might ask how do I know the tide can turn in a person’s life at any point in time?

Here’s the proof:

Ever since I was a teenager, I did some kind of exercise. Starting with simple exercises I did on the floor in my bedroom. Then at various gyms from the time I was 27 to the time I was 34. I turned 39 and joined the current gym yet only did the treadmill, Zumba or Pilates for about 4 years.

At 45 going into 46, I suddenly decided I had to do strength training. It wasn’t until I was 45 years old that I became a hardcore fitness buff.

This is proof that things can change for the better at any point in a person’s life. From 39 to 44, I did the treadmill, Zumba or Pilates sporadically. Then, for about a year, I didn’t exercise.

Then, bingo, at 45 I started to power lift. Within one year of training, I dropped one pant size. That’s not the point. The point is you might have been a couch potato. You might be at a point in your life where it’s inconceivable that you can get there from here. It might seem like it’s impossible to do what you want to do because you don’t __________________ (fill in the blank) or you haven’t ever _______________(fill in the blank) done this thing before.

Bollocks. You can do these things, no matter whether you’ve done them before or whether your fallow period has lasted years and years instead of just three weeks or three months.

Fallow periods are necessary. Woodshedding is necessary and I talked about this in the first couple of blog entries here.

I’ll end here by telling readers how to get the faith that you can turn things around at any point in your life.

You take action in your mind when you’re not able to take action in your life. You write down a 5-year plan and list in detail what you want to achieve. You refer to the plan as often as you need to. If you can’t tackle your ultimate goal right now, you tackle a goal you can absolutely positively achieve instead.

Starting with a simple goal and achieving it can give you the confidence to achieve a goal that’s slightly beyond your reach.

This involves taking action every day in the direction of your dream(s). This “action” can be as simple as reading books on the topic. It can be as simple as reading about how successful people got to where they are in life. It can involve doing nothing when you’ve reached a plateau and then one day getting so upset with doing nothing that you take action.

I went to library school with a woman who was in her early seventies. At a time in her life when most people are slowing down, she decided to obtain a Masters degree.

Take a tip from this woman: it’s not ever too late to change your life for the better.

That’s where the story begins: where you are today. And today isn’t the end of your life, even if you’re 35 or 50 or 65.

Trust me, everyone feels like they’ve failed at some point. Even a 22 year old woman can feel like she hasn’t achieved anything even though she has the rest of her life ahead of her

I’ll end here by telling you to think differently.

Envision having a better life. Know that you’re in the driver’s seat even when you have to make a pit stop or take a detour. As hard as life can get, always keep in your mind your vision of your life’s purpose.

Refrain from writing the ending of your story before you’ve even started the narrative.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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