Tuesday, 13 December 2016


"...who you are is defined by what 
you're willing to struggle for.
- Mark Manson

I don't see gender, and my older brother clearly doesn't either. At home, he will put me in an arm triangle or rear naked, all the moves he has learned from Brazilian Jujitsu. Me? Despite my inability to truly survive in situations like these that happen on a regular, I will still put up a mean fight. I would whack his nose (making him sneeze, which is hilarious) or just plain slap him across the face (only to work him up a bit more so he cranks my arm back a little harder). However, having taken up Muay Thai, I am now capable of giving him a few mean knees into the ribs and falsely elbow him on the head. All the meanwhile with Mumma Chen casually walking past, not so impressed that her daughter is acting a lot less like a daughter in her eyes.

Self-defence is important, whether or not you will ever have to use it in a life endangering situation is irrelevant. There's a peace of mind in knowing you are capable of surviving in this crazy world. A confidence that transfers over into your daily life, into your work (uni or career). That fighter's mentality will bring you the same success from within the ring, into other aspects of your life. Fight for what you believe in. This is why Muay Thai is more fulfilling than fit boxing. I'm not just about being fit, I love to learn. I am extremely attracted to the gaining of new kno
wledge and skill.  

My bestfriend N linked me to this article a while back: Lessons in the subtle art of not giving a f---. It talked about how the struggle is the point:

"We like the idea that there's some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained. We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our suffering permanently. We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever. But we cannot... Happiness requires struggle. It grows from problems. And who you are is defined by what you're willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who run triathlons and have chiselled abs and can bench-press a small house. 

People who enjoy long work weeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who fly to the top of it. People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainties of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it...Our problems birth our happiness, along with slightly better, slightly upgraded problems. It's a never-ending upward spiral. And if you think at any point you're allowed to stop climbing, I'm afraid you're missing the point. Because the joy is in the climb itself."

As I have been telling my friends who are struggling recently, the things that happen to us are external and are often out of our control. What we can control is what’s internal, our own reaction and emotions. Happiness is not achieved by obtaining a ‘better life’, happiness is achieved by viewing your struggles with humour and positivity. Because there is no such thing as a ‘better life’. The point is this: there will always be new problems, bigger ones if we keep succeeding and reaching higher. So unfortunately there will never be the day where we are 100% happy, in pure bliss, peace and harmony. There will never come the day where we are rid of all problems from the hard work that has paid off. As cliché as it is, and as Ralph Waldo Emerson has famously said: "life is a journey not a destination". Because the destination doesn't existUtopia does not exist. It is an illusion. Whether it’s breakups, rejections from job applications, or any other external event… there is nothing you can do except react to it with strength. So, when something knocks you down. Sit there and take a moment if you need, but don’t stay there. Take a breath and understand the essential lesson that will get you through life with a smile on your face: Everything is within you.

Happiness is a choice, I have always believed in this. That's why I jump at every single opportunity to be happy. The joys of a sunny day, of seeing a cute puppy, of indulging in amazing food, of being in special company... despite the fact that these things may occur with a hell lot of problems in the background: exams, fallouts in relationships, bad weather, financial woes... You want to be happy? Choose to be happy in this very moment. There is no 'one day I will be happy and satisfied'.

Resilience, something that the past year has taught me. Emma Isaacs, CEO of Business Chicks, has learned a few secrets that have been way more beneficial than she found school to be. One was learning resilience. “Being an entrepreneur requires the ability to cope with being knocked down, over and over again. You have to learn to keep getting up.” Whether those who read this plan to be an entrepreneur one day or not, is irrelevant, because resilience is a life skill. Life will always throw things your way, setting you back. And you can either sit there complaining, or pick yourself up and move onwards and upwards.

The past year, applying for internships and jobs has taught me this very skill. Rejection after rejection. It’s tough. Like a boat, water won’t sink the boat unless water gets inside of the boat. And as much as we know to not let the external things that we cannot control affect us, eventually water will get into the boat, and the negativity will enter our minds as we are constantly being reminded that we are ‘not worthy’ from those rejections. But I picked up boxing which strengthened my mentality to keep fighting. Resilience is not something you learn just by telling yourself to get up. Resilience is trained. Because soon you will realise, sitting there after a setback, nothing is being achieved. You can whine about how unfair life is, but the sooner you accept the fact that life was never fair in the first place and never will be, and that no one owes you anything, is the moment you take control of your life and achieve greatness. 

Nike Pro Classic Women's Medium Support Sports BraLorna Jane Sport Shorts / Everlast Black Hand Wraps
Lorna Jane Sports Bra / ACTIVE Sport Shorts (Blue) / Top King Boxing Hand Wraps


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