A gift in an unlikely place

Evening all,

Quick survey…..Hands up who is freaking cold?! I feel like this morning was the second morning where I felt “winter is here”. I have extremely tempted to stay in bed, however, I didn’t due to……


I went swimming. Yes, here is the first of many life updates. I have started to go swimming every morning as a way to induce progression with my fractures. and shock…it’s helping! There is something about completing something first thing in the morning that helps set the tone of my day. By accomplishing a goal before 8am every day, I feel more able to tackle my self-perceived ineffectiveness at work. Which, I must say, more recent, has felt a large burden to bear.

So anyways, I have found a hidden gem of motivation during my new found regime. The swimming team meet there every morning and leave their session plans on the board. As interesting as this is, this is not the gift. You see, in addition to this, there is a quote of the week in the top right-hand corner of this board and it is within this that I find motivation to keep going even in the subzero and slightly hypothermic temperatures that are starting to present. I find myself looking forward to reading about the weekly quote online, considering it’s applicability to my life and strangely find it fitting perfectly into my recent commotions.

This week’s quote:

“It’s choice – not chance – that determines your destiny.” – Jean Nidetch

I am already finding this quote to be intricately true within the confines of my life. Some might say that this is an obvious quote with a clear connection to anyone’s life, however, this week I have felt its presence in my mind and the rippling effect it is having on my interpersonal conversations and bearing weight upon my actions. Especially today.

A destiny is defined as “a hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future.” A series of events that will necessarily happen to a particular person you could say. Well, I choose to believe that my destiny will be the effect of my deliberately caused behaviours. Steven Covey once wrote, ” I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions”. At every point in life, there are opportunities to make decisions that will lead to an integrated web of different trajectories. The decisions we make have a direct relation to the path that we take. I am here, now, because of a series of decisions. That is a choice. With every choice I make, I consider two things:

  • What are the risks?
  • What are the potential rewards?

And when you are in situations where you find yourself torn between multiple choices, then you have a variety of outcomes. You can go left, swing right, or simply stay where you are. Each of these variations is right, so the decision you make creates your experience. So if there is no wrong answer then we have to ask yourself these very questions.  I will take me swimming every morning as an example. I can either go often, go sometimes or not go at all. What is the risk? You may struggle to get into the pool due to my own feelings about me and my body, you may not be able to get enough sleep or I may even hurt myself and my back more. What is the reward? I will challenge myself and may grow beyond your perceived limitation, I will achieve something each morning that I want to do and/or my body may open just a little bit more than it did yesterday and be able to further improve my posture and reduce the pain felt in my back. I simply weight up my choices and decide my course of action.

What I am trying to highlight I think, is whatever your situation is, by recognising that you have a choice in why you are here and what is happening to you is incredibly critical to your happiness. Your decisions may not always create the results you intend, but they must be your decisions. The decision to create joy in your life is possible every single day. Look at a single opportunity to make a decision that will create happiness in your life or someone else’s life and do the right thing. Whether, like me, you are in a swimming pool or in your car or at the coffee shop, make a decision today that will elevate your quality of life and directly links into your trajectory. Therefore your destiny is essentially a series of choices that lead to a specific end goal. That goal is in your hands and it based solely on your choices and how you choose to reaction to others choices.

Following on from this, your consistency around your choices is the key to the success of your desired destiny. Consistency is not about perfection but more related to the simple refusal to give up. Your belief in yourself and your motivation to reach said destiny are key elements in the equation of consistency. Without this, your trajectory has no roots to bear even the lightest winds of adversity and therefore require you to tack and change your course. Subsequently adding to the feelings of probabilities and uncertainties in your life which accumulates to an unflagging sense of chance. I have embodied this concept and build a system inside me where swimming has become an automatic function – a factor in my autopilot – which is critical to my sense of happiness. As previously stated, these past weeks have been filled to the brim with feelings of ineffectiveness and helplessness for my work. By swimming, I am taking care of myself and allowing myself to carry on with my chosen trajectory without being overly affected by the changing winds of others. For their trajectories are not my concerns and I do not wish to get caught up in their crossfire. And for this week, I thank the quote for reminding me that I am a product of MY decisions and not the product of others uncertainties and the chaos that follows chance around. I will not let others impact on my destiny when they have so little disregard for these.

Staying strong

Ivy xx





Author: Ivy iris

This is my story of finding my ikigai. Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ee-ki-ɡU]) is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being". According to the Japanese, everyone has a hidden ikigai. Finding it requires a deep and often lengthy search of self. Such a search is regarded as very important, since it is believed that discovery of one’s ikigai brings satisfaction and meaning to life.

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