Dear Stranger Letter
Today is the last day of August and it feels like the last day of summer. If you have children then they will be back to school next week but, even if you don't have children, September can still feel like the beginning of something new ... perhaps because so many of us do remember starting a new class around this time for so many years and may be this year also.
Because we are at the end of summer ... and therefore at the beginning of something new ... this August newsletter is going to be slightly different.
I'd like to share a letter that was written from a person that I've admired since my university days when I studied one of his business initiatives. He's always captivated me, not only in how he's led his life in such exciting and successful ways, but also how he seems to remain so close to his family throughout all of his amazing achievements. This is something that can be so difficult for so many others to achieve and these are achievements that I admire massively and aspire to myself.
Please enjoy this letter and we'd love to hear your thoughts ...
You don’t know me but I hear you are going through a tough time, and I would like to help you. I want to be open and honest with you, and let you know that happiness isn’t something just afforded to a special few. It can be yours, if you take the time to let it grow.
It’s OK to be stressed, scared and sad, I certainly have been throughout my 66 years. I’ve confronted my biggest fears time and time again. I’ve cheated death on many adventures, seen loved ones pass away, failed in business, minced my words in front of tough audiences, and had my heart broken.
I know I’m fortunate to live an extraordinary life, and that most people would assume my business success, and the wealth that comes with it, have brought me happiness. But they haven’t; in fact it’s the reverse. I am successful, wealthy and connected because I am happy.
So many people get caught up in doing what they think will make them happy but, in my opinion, this is where they fail. Happiness is not about doing, it’s about being. In order to be happy, you need to think consciously about it. Don’t forget the to-do list, but remember to write a to-be list too.
Kids are often asked: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ The world expects grandiose aspirations: ‘I want to be a writer, a doctor, the prime minister.’ They’re told: go to school, go to college, get a job, get married, and then you’ll be happy. But that’s all about doing, not being – and while doing will bring you moments of joy, it won’t necessarily reward you with lasting happiness.
Stop and breathe. Be healthy. Be around your friends and family. Be there for someone, and let someone be there for you. Be bold. Just be for a minute.
If you allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment, happiness will follow. I speak from experience. We’ve built a business empire, joined conversations about the future of our planet, attended many memorable parties and met many unforgettable people. And while these things have brought me great joy, it’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness. Why? Because allowing yourself just to be, puts things into perspective. Try it. Be still. Be present.
For me, it’s watching the flamingos fly across Necker Island at dusk. It’s holding my new grandchild's tiny hands. It’s looking up at the stars and dreaming of seeing them up close one day. It’s listening to my family’s dinner-time debates. It’s the smile on a stranger’s face, the smell of rain, the ripple of a wave, the wind across the sand. It’s the first snow fall of winter, and the last storm of summer. It’s sunrise and sunset.
There’s a reason we’re called human beings and not human doings. As human beings we have the ability to think, move and communicate in a heightened way. We can cooperate, understand, reconcile and love, that’s what sets us apart from most other species.
Don’t waste your human talents by stressing about nominal things, or that which you cannot change. If you take the time simply to be and appreciate the fruits of life, your stresses will begin to dissolve, and you will be happier.
But don’t just seek happiness when you’re down. Happiness shouldn’t be a goal, it should be a habit. Take the focus off doing, and start being every day. Be loving, be grateful, be helpful, and be a spectator to your own thoughts.
Allow yourself to be in the moment, and appreciate the moment. Take the focus off everything you think you need to do, and start being – I promise you, happiness will follow.
We hope you enjoyed this letter from Richard Branson and hope it gives you a different, wider, more fulfilling perspective on life if that is what can propel you forward in your health and dreams at this point in your life. To quote a line from the letter 'be a spectator to your own thoughts', this is something that we regularly help our clients to do to reduce stress and increase happiness in their lives. Please do send us an email if you'd like to share your thoughts or we can help you in anyway.
At Life & Thrive we can help you to gain better health by guiding and supporting you. We can test your heavy metal, vitamin and mineral levels via our simple, non-invasive hair analysis and we can also test your gut health, hormone levels and more via specialized Genova diagnostic testing.
We have a nutritionist with extensive heavy metal experience and an Integrative and Functional medical doctor as part of our practice to help ensure any changes you make to your health or any detox you do is carried out as safely and effectively as possible.
Email us here or telephone us on 705 3727 if you would like to make an appointment for an initial consultation to see how we can practically help you to build a healthier, happier life.
Thank you for expressing an interest in the work we do at Life & Thrive. The aim of this newsletter is to provide you with great - bite sized - articles geared towards helping you and your family to thrive and reduce your toxic exposure.
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