I think that every single person that is reading this can attest to the fact that this year was a tough one. Most people I speak to remind me of a soldier returning from war, bloodied, dirty and fatigued citing high interest rates, skyrocketing costs of living and the negative effects of loadshedding as only some of the woes that have befallen them on the battlefield of life. I must admit, this year I, myself feel a little warworn. I can’t think of anyone able to attest differently.
I recently read a book concerning psychology in which the author states that people tend to feel this way because they compare themselves with the utmost outliers of society and then feel a desire to reach the same level as that person. I refer to those people that have gotten extreme things done through hard work but with a fair share of luck as well. For example people don’t consider themselves wealthy because they follow Jeff Bezos on X, they don’t consider themselves physically strong because Dwayne Johnson can lift more weight than they can, they don’t consider themselves successful because their businesses do not follow the same growth pattern as Facebook, Google or Microsoft and the list goes on. Whilst I don’t intend to set out the entire book on psychology it did get me thinking about the power of thinking.
One of my favourite stoic philosophers of all time, Marcus Aurelius once said that “the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts”. And as with many sayings from the ancient Roman emperor I can’t shake the significance of this one. A simple shift in mindset and thoughts can change you – literally. So instead of just pondering on the idea, let’s try and put it into action.
For the last stretch of the year and with Christmas around the corner I want to propose a shift in your mindset, perhaps instead of worrying about running 10km at a pace that would leave Usain Bolt breathless, the true measure of success is being able to run farther today than you were able to yesterday. To just be a little bit better every day, a little bit stronger, a little bit healthier. Just improve on yesterday even if the improvement is marginal, be a better version of yourself every day and whilst you are doing so keep your focus on the things that spark joy in you, as a person. Perhaps at the end of the year, we might understand that the happiness of your life truly does depend on the quality of your thoughts.
Ianthè Biggs | Conveyancer