I visited my old family home last week. In a way it was a reluctant visit. Not that I wasn’t happy growing up in the small town of Stirling in South Otago (pop 306), but because previous excursions there had left me feeling a little down and out. Our two storied 1908 family house of 30 years that I had once been so proud of was slowly falling into disrepair, and the landscape altered for the worse with the trees I’d spent so much time climbing in my youth disappeared. Pushing those thoughts aside, my nearly grown up kids had never seen where I had grown up, and my sprightly 88 year old Mum was up for the trip, so off we went.
There was once a TV advertisement for cheese which featured my hometown of Stirling. In it they said something like … “we go to the ends of the Earth to make our cheese” … and then the camera panned to a big sign with ‘Stirling’ on it. It made me smile and has since, in my mind anyway, legitimately allowing me to tell people that I come ‘from the ends of the Earth’. So I forgave that cheese company. I forgive them for, when I was 10 years old, building their massive factory on the Stirling football ground and replacing it with a sloping one at the top of the hill, at the other end of town. So there you go … us people who come from the ends of the Earth can be very forgiving!
So how would I find my childhood home this time? Green for a start. Blindingly green… and beautiful! The replacement football ground had not surprisingly reverted to a sloping paddock, but the town felt well-loved with splashes of fresh paint and employment apparent. The Clutha river pops into view often and stops you in your tracks. I really liked what I was seeing. Old trees gone but more sensible trees in better positions in their place.
And then there it was, my old family home. Wow. It had been done up! No more broken windows, no more holes in the cladding … it was a gleaming beauty.
Then it started to dawn on me. I’d always focused on the negative with previous visits. This time I was pointing out all the positives. Where I grew up was always beautiful, but I focused on the poor state of my family home instead. Attitude is self-fulfilling. Focus on the positive things, on the beautiful and amazing things, and you will be a happier person.
Of course, I am also Co-founder of Kiwi Superfoods and we do take our natural Broccoli Sprout Powder and Blackcurrant Skin Extract supplements, which we do both believe deliver us a more positive attitude. The more I think about it, the more I think that that positive attitude shift could just about be the most positive outcome for overall well-being that I could ask for.