My birthday is coming up this week. This is not just a celebration for me. On this day, I always think about what I did and did not accomplish in the last year and why. I reflect on how I have changed and what that means to my life.
I have been contemplating the most important thing I learnt, not only in this year, but in many previous years.
Certainly, I became more grateful and positive, and I began to really appreciate life by understanding and enjoying the beauty of every day and the kindness in people.
All that is true. But something deeper resonated in my soul, and I could not find the right words for it.
Then I came across a quote from Albert Einstein: “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or a hostile universe.”
When I read these profound words all my inner reflections became crystal clear.
I realised that this was the most important lesson I learnt.
I understood I now accepted the universe as my best friend — a wonderful and kind friend who would help me in difficult situations and guide me in the right direction; an ever-present force that would always help me to find the right people, support me with resources when I needed them and not leave me alone if I was in trouble.
I have cultivated this faith and it has helped me through the most difficult times in my life. If I bring this charge of faith and positivity to the world then people recognise it and respond to it.
When I firmly believe that the universe supports me, then the most incredible things become possible and my dreams come true.
If we consider the universe as our enemy, full of high barriers that must be overcome with huge struggle, then our lives will unfold with a host of difficulties.
A few years ago I boarded a shuttle in California, from the airport into San Francisco. There were few passengers.
One woman was in a long and tedious conversation with someone on her phone. At the very end, she exclaimed with bitterness: “Why am I so unlucky again?”
I saw the sadly lowered lips, the dull eyes, the deep wrinkles of someone who frowns a lot. She looked both unhappy and unfriendly. It turned out that her stop was last on the route. She began to complain loudly, and then declared: “This always happens to me! I’m always last.”
At that moment, I thought: “This is a truth! It will always happen to you. You will always be the last. You will fail because you are already projecting failure and bad luck. You think that every outcome will be bad.
“You initiate your own failure by expecting the worst, and you find it hard then to trust others. You blame the world around you for the misfortune you create.”
I saw with sudden clarity that she considered the universe as an enemy which must be fought hourly. Her life was a journey of obstacles.
“I would like you to think for a few minutes and answer this crucial question: do you think the universe is your friend or your enemy?
Einstein continued with this: “If we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly, and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
“If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.
“But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe.
“Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives.”
• Nina London is a certified wellness and weight-management coach. Her mission is to support and inspire mature women to make positive changes in their body and mind. Share your inspirational stories at www.ninalondon.com