all my heroes are weirdos

We're All Mad Here

Lesson #2 – Mindset

Whoever thought a 90’s rom-com starring Gwyneth Paltrow would be so impactful?

Whenever it comes to making a big decision, or maybe more so reflecting on one, I always think of Sliding Doors. It’s a film that alternates between the two paths the central character’s life could take depending on whether she catches a train.

I’ve had those thoughts about plenty of things, pondering all the moments of coincidence or fate that have led me to where I am and wondering where I would be had I made it through the door, or watched the train go by.

But one thing I’ve thought about a lot this year, one of my biggest lessons, has been the sliding doors of mindset.


I don’t know enough about quantum physics, parallel universes or holographic ones to comment, but I can say with utter conviction that our mindset creates the world we see.

Mindset is everything.

Negatively wired brains can make you ignorant to the magical world around you. You don’t notice the beauty, the colour, the life, as you’re too focused inwards on the damage caused by your polluted thoughts.

You turn incredible opportunities into threats. Your pessimistic mindset projects its own insecurities and issues onto the world turning days into disasters and people into enemies.

You could be riding a motorbike through one of the most incredibly beautiful places in the world, with the person you love the most holding on to you tightly, but if your thoughts are cynical, you’ll be blind to the greatness of it all.

And in reverse, a positive mindset has the power to have you loving life more than life itself.

It’s the epitome of resilience. When situations arise that are out of your control, ones you don’t like or want or need, a positive mindset accepts them and deals with them in the best way possible.

If somebody at the office is being a smiling assassin, if your bicycle pedal falls off when you’re in a rush, if you sprint the streets of Paris just to get “the world’s best croissant” only to find it’s a little bit dry and overly buttery – a positive mindset knows just what to say.

“Let them be that way”, “Oh well, I’ll be late” and “Nevermind. The search for the world’s best croissant continues…”

My day cycling around the enchanted necropolis of Bagan was a perfect example of how a positive mindset can turn grey skies blue. I’d had my heart set on watching this world famous sunrise over the temples but stormy, grey skies made it completely impossible to have that perfect polaroid moment.

I could have let the whole thing send me into a tantrum of “it’s not fairs” and retreat to my hotel feeling sorry for myself, but my mind was strong and my thoughts were positive, and I went on to have the best bicycle ride of my entire life.


Every single day we have a Sliding Doors moment when we choose between a positive or a negative mindset. There are two options – positive or negative – and whichever one we choose will completely change up how our day pans out.

Mindset is a choice.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that choosing to have a positive mindset is the right one, but admittedly, it’s not always the easy one. When you’re in the rut of negative thinking, it’s really, really, really difficult to break the cycle.

The brain becomes wired into a never-ending circuit of negative thoughts and the ego becomes attached with playing victim. You associate yourself with doom and gloom, you expect the worst and sadistically, you find comfort in it.

If you fall down there, right to the bottom of your dark pit of despair, it’s not by any means an easy feat to grab the rope and start hauling yourself out. But once you finally do grasp it, you won’t let it go. Yes you might lose your grip and fall down a notch or two, but you’ll never fall back down there, you just won’t let it happen.

I climbed out of mine, I grabbed that rope and never let go. And every single day, I’ve been watching my thoughts. When bad ones pass through the skies of my mind I try to push them out of the way with positive ones.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

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