There are two mirrors in my house. One in the bathroom and one in the bedroom.
The gargantuan mirror in the bathroom makes it almost impossible not to glance a full frontal (and rear) view of ones stark naked body when stepping out of the bath. This full length, reflective monstrosity was installed by the previous residents, who I can only assume had far more admirable physiques than my own, or perhaps far less critical eyes.
If I make the irredeemable mistake of taking a glance at the mirror in the bathroom, I question why anybody, anywhere would want to take part in a workout with me - the harsh light revealing every imperfection, 'misplaced' cookie and 'one beer too many' I have ever consumed.
Fortunately, a short, naked stroll to the bedroom places me directly in front of a mirror that projects an infinitely more flattering reflection.
This is the mirror the evil queen wishes she had.
It would have saved much heartache for her, snow white and the seven dwarves.
"Alex, call GQ - i'm thinking they could do with a new model."
I shout down the corridor to Alex.
"Check mirror one."
She shouts back. Bringing me crashing back to earth with a bang.
Which mirror is correct?
One is a positive image, one is negative - and both are true. So, more importantly which mirror do you think I choose?
Well, let me leave you in no doubt.
Before bath time, I lay a towel and clothes in the bedroom, right next to the magic mirror.
Then, after my bath, I risk my very life on exit by placing my feet on a wet and slippery surface with eyes firmly shut and head down, before risking my marriage to Alex by running starkers across the carpet in the corridor, soaking wet and dripping half the contents of the dirty bathwater on her antique Persian rug as I go.
But it's worth it.
Arriving naked as the day I was born in front of the illusionary reflector I feel much better about myself for the rest of the day.
I choose my mirror. I am not in denial, I just know that looking in mirror two has better outcomes:
- I'm more likely to do my workout
- I'm more likely to eat healthy choices
- I feel more confident when filming workouts
- I feel better about myself overall
- Most importantly of all, my positivity extends to the way I look at, treat and speak with others
And so it is with life.
The glass is neither half empty, nor half full. It is both half empty AND half full, depending on which half you choose to look at.
What is IN your glass?
Is it common and uninspiring water? Or is it WATER, the most important, healthy and hydrating liquid on earth. It is both. It is both the most commonly available liquid on this planet AND the most important and hydrating one.
How about you? Are you good or bad?
If I knew every single thing that was less than wonderful you'd ever done, thought about or considered doing, I may very well think you were not a good person.
If you knew mine, you'd no doubt stop reading this blog, cancel your TBP membership and take a long bath to cleanse yourself from ever having worked out with me! (make sure you have a decent mirror to look in afterwards).
If I knew every single GOOD thing you'd ever done, thought or considered doing, I'd probably stop writing this blog and contact the Queen of England to make sure you were placed on the new years honours list for services to humanity!
You see, the point is that we can choose. We really can.
I have no interest in reckless positivity and denial. I believe in looking at all permeations and possibilities and have often written as much. At stages in life we have to confront harsh and unavoidable realities, but these realities will always find us - we don't need to go looking for them every morning!
Yet, looking at life minus the rose tinged spectacles of boundless optimism, and even when confronted with unfavourable circumstances, we can still presume a far better action, outcome and overall life experience when we choose a glass to be half full and delicious, rather than half empty and bland.
We don't choose to look at the positives because we want to ignore the negatives. I accept my reflection in mirror one is true, I just choose not to dwell on it because it extrapolates into other decisions, thoughts and actions I take.
Focusing on mirror one is also pointless from every possible vantage point.
We choose to look at the positives because of the chain reaction it causes when we do so. This is a pragmatic and sensible approach, not an optimistic one.
"I can still hear you saying you would never break the chain..." Fleetwood Mac.
Stevie Nicks was right, it's hard to break the chain once you've built it. So make sure you go about linking the right chains from the word go.
So CHOOSE to look at what is good and right and well and positive and uplifting and wonderful and exciting and marvellous in yourself, in others and in the world.
And don't install full length mirrors in rooms with harsh lighting.