Life can seem hard and unfair. And maybe it is. I’m sure most people know that feeling of losing all hope, that horrible sensation of watching your life fall apart while knowing there is nothing you can do about it.
Well, in this blogpost I will tell you how I found a way to turn things around. And it all started with a blanket.
But first of all, let me just get the formalities out of the way. You’re reading this on http://www.bull-hansen.com and this blogpost was written by Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen. Other websites have not been authorised to use this blogpost or the photos. Please share this blogpost in social media in the normal way, but copying this material is a violation of the copyright.
If you’ve read some of my other blogposts, you’ll know that I consider myself to be a Norseman, or a modern Viking if you will. For many years now, I have been living by what I believe is the life philosophy of my heathen Norse ancestors. But it was not always like that. There was a time when things were different. I wouldn’t say that I was lost or confused or anything like that, but when I was a younger man, I didn’t have the mental tools that I have today. And for reasons I will not bother you with, one day I found myself in an extremely difficult situation. I was sitting in my car one winter night, I was cold, hungry, practically homeless and broke, and I knew very well that if I died at that moment, it would probably have taken quite a few days before anyone had noticed. I wasn’t suicidal, but things weren’t exactly going my way, to say the least.
I guess I was just sitting there, in my car, for a long time. I sat there feeling sorry for myself until I got so cold that I started shaking. So I reached out for a blanket that I had in the back seat and wrapped that blanket around me. I believe that blanket used to belong to my dog, an Alsatian called Odin. I didn’t name him that, by the way. He already had that name when I got him. I got him from a shelter, he was a dog nobody wanted and his former owner almost had him put to sleep.
Odin was not with me that night, he died a few years earlier. But his blanket was still in the car. And now that blanket made me warm. But something else happened too. I got this idea in my head that since I could improve my situation simply by wrapping this blanket around me, I do actually have the power to change my life for the better. I started asking myself: Is there something more I can do to improve my situation?
During the following days, I made a lot of small changes in my life and each of those made things a little bit better. I did not focus on where I wanted to be in life. I only focused on the improvements. I picked up the phone and called a few people. I started writing from 4 AM to increase my working hours. I looked into education in mental therapy. And day by day, my life improved. My life was far from perfect, it isn’t now and it probably never will be. But the philosophy of improvement keeps me moving forward and even though I am focused on my goals, I am even more focused on the process that will get me there.
Because it really is about the process and I find that people who are happy and often successful are much more concerned about the process than anything else. My powerlifting coach Mike Tuchscherer always stressed that the process is more important than the kgs lifted. In other words, the journey is more important than the destination. If you focus more on the journey than the destination, you are not only more likely to reach your destination, you will also be a more successful traveller. This is why I define success as a mindset and I disagree with those who measure success by money, fame and such things. The way I see it, you will be successful from the moment you decide to be. You can actually be successful right now. Look around you. Is there something you can do to improve your situation just a little bit? Do that and do it now. Then look for more things you can change, more improvements you can make. Some would say that is the key to success. I would say that such a mindset is in itself success.
I will always remember that day Odin gave me a blanket. That the Norse king of the Aesir, the Allfather who sits in Valhalla, is also called Odin, is a coincidence. But sometimes it makes me wonder if there was a meaning behind it all. I am not a religious person myself, but the Norse belief system Ásatru is very close to my heart. It’s tempting to think that the Allfather decided it was time that I took my destiny in my own hands that night in the car.
©Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen
Read more: Why wanting peace is bad for you
Categories: Motivation, Vikings
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