We all have a story to tell.
As a happiness resource site, I wanted to add more value to what is offered here.
And I’ve always wanted to feature personal stories about happiness, purpose & goals, and self-love. So, this will be the first-ever interview on the site!
I’m excited to introduce this young woman who inspired me instantly with a single tweet about having a positive mindset.
Turns out, she’s all about teaching happiness through fitness and having a positive mindset!
I had to collaborate with her in some form. We connected, and she agreed to allow me to pick her brain a bit.
So, let’s get to it! Here’s the awesome interview with Mackenzie Smith!
If you could go back to just one happy moment in your life, what would it be?
The first happy moment that comes to mind is a concert I went to a little over a year ago. It was my absolute favorite artist/producer, Odesza.
I can confidently say that was one of the few times I felt genuine happiness and inner peace, and it was a day I would relive a million times if I could.
This may not be a conventional answer for most, but their music is a big reason I am where I am today. It helped me through some dark times. It never fails to calm me down and make me feel better.
Finally being able to see them play live was absolutely insane and brought up so many emotions.
Looking back at this day, I realize being at that concert fully brought me into the present moment.
Being immersed in the now is where true happiness exists.
That pure state of bliss was something I had never really experienced until that day.
I didn’t realize your age. You’re 22! And you’re super focused and driven, which I would argue isn’t exactly the norm. So, I’d love to know right off the bat what was most instrumental in finding out what you wanted to do?
I would agree I am pretty driven compared to others my age. However, I’m definitely still figuring out what I want to do.
That being said, I have narrowed this down dramatically over the years.
I’ve been one of those people who didn’t like anything, had nothing to work toward, and was clueless as to what they wanted to do… and trust me, that’s no way to live.
So I started experimenting with different skills online – graphic design, web design, photoshop, etc.
But one day it occurred to me that I could start my own business – I didn’t have to follow the path laid out by my family and the rest of the world.
That realization was huge for me and I knew in my gut that creating a brand around my passion for health and fitness was the right path for me.
For anyone struggling to find what they want to do:
In my opinion, this is most instrumental to finding exactly what you want to do.
Go online, pick a skill, and give it a shot for a few weeks. Try as many things as you can and as many different applications as you can.
You will find the types of things you love, the types of things you don’t. You will be able to narrow things down and go all-in on the one you like most.
Do not underestimate the power of the internet. That is something I wish I took advantage of sooner.
You have the ability to learn and master any skill using YouTube, Udemy, or many other resources. You can then use these skills to make money on the side or even get a full-time job.
The internet is far more valuable than any college education will be.
2. Follow your passion.
Yes, this sounds cliche, it’s just the truth.
If you know what you’re passionate about, that’s great. Now use it to make money somehow – build a business around it, make YouTube or Instagram posts about it, etc.
There’s always a way to turn something you love into an income stream, sometimes you just need to think out of the box.
For me, my passion has always been health and fitness. I knew that all along, but it didn’t occur to me that I could make a business out of it.
Once I realized that I haven’t looked back.
I’m really inspired by you on Twitter, I’m wondering where you draw your motivation and inspiration from every day. (Any morning routine recommendations? Anything else?)
My daily motivation comes from a few different sources. The first being the people in my circle.
I only like to surround myself with people who are supportive, positive, driven, and constantly wanting to grow.
When you’re surrounded by people like that, it becomes really easy to be inspired and adopt that same mindset.
My circle also includes social media. I only follow a few people, and those are the ones constantly providing me with value, knowledge, and inspiration.
The people you surround yourself with shape who you are and who you become. It’s so important to have that strong community in order to grow.
I also get a lot of inspiration from books and podcasts. My absolute favorite podcast is Impact Theory. Tom Bileyu and his guests go deep into a lot of valuable topics, especially mindset, meditation, health, and much more.
I’m not huge on books but I do enjoy listening to audiobooks occasionally. My favorite book is The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It was super powerful and taught me a lot about mindfulness and being in the present.
As far as morning routines go, I think everyone should have a solid routine that sets you up for success.
How I win the day:
- Wake up
- Get ready while listening to a podcast
- Eat a good breakfast
- Go to the gym
- Get work done
What do you do on your bad days to get out of a funk?
This is something I have practiced quite a bit. My “bad days” are usually a result of one of two aspects: diet and mind.
- 99% of my bad days are a result of eating junk food. Processed foods in general not only destroy your body but your mind as well. In order to get out of my funk, I know I have to lock down my nutrition, training, and sleep. Once I do that, everything returns to normal. But if I don’t, one bad day can turn into a downward spiral for weeks.
- The other times I’m in a funk, it’s just due to stress or overthinking.
The key to getting out of it is reminding myself to focus only on the things I can control – everything else is irrelevant.
Whatever is happening or whatever you are going through, you can always choose how you react to that situation. You can believe it is happening to you, or you can believe it is happening FOR you.
When you are able to shift your mindset to see the positive in everything, you will no longer have “bad days”.
To become better at controlling your mind, I recommend practicing meditation consistently.
With all of the influences around us, giving the ideal image of what women should look like, how do you find the courage to love yourself? Would you say you’ve mastered it? Is it something you’re still dealing with?
This is a great question – I’ve had extreme issues with loving myself and having confidence for the majority of my life. And I will say I do occasionally struggle with it to this day.
It’s important to know that building self-confidence and love is a practice. It will become stronger and stronger with time.
These are the few methods I’ve used to learn to love myself:
1. Stop comparing yourself to others.
With social media, we are constantly exposed to other people who are putting the best version of themselves for us to see. It’s easy to get caught up wishing you looked like them or wanting what they have.
But that’s pointless.
You will never look like that person because no two people are alike.
Accept yourself for who you are and you will realize you are beautiful your own way.
2. Don’t care what others do or say
As a society, we care way too much about everyone’s opinion.
We want approval from random people in order to feel better about ourselves. That’s no way to live.
Especially on social media – don’t post things for other people, post it for yourself. If someone bashes you for how you look, you can’t take it to heart.
That insult is simply a reflection of their own insecurities and they want to bring you down so they feel better about themselves.
So ignore it. Focus on yourself. Do your own thing.
When you are secure and happy with yourself, what other people say or do will not impact you.
This was the biggest reason I had zero confidence and hated myself for years. I would constantly tell myself “you will never be good enough” “you’re ugly” you’re fat” etc. So it’s no wonder I fully believed I was all of those things.
The story you tell yourself will become your reality. Tell yourself positive things and watch them become true.
Tell yourself every day that you are beautiful, confident, successful, or whatever it is that you need to hear.
If you don’t believe it at first, keep doing it. After a time, it’ll change how you see yourself and show you live your daily life.
4. Look presentable
This is a simple, yet commonly overlooked way to boost confidence. Make a daily effort to look presentable – do your makeup, do your hair, get dressed – even if you aren’t going anywhere.
You’ll be surprised how much better you feel about yourself when you put in the effort to look good.
Tough moments are embedded in any journey, right? What would you say was the biggest challenge on your fitness/happiness journey? How did you find your way to the other side?
The biggest challenge was overcoming depression and anxiety. It is something that I dealt with for as long as I can remember, and getting to the other side was no easy feat.
I know mental illness is something many other people struggle with as well, so I hope my experiences can help others find the way out as well.
My first step was believing depression is not a lifelong sentence and that I could get my life back.
For years I thought this was just how my life was. I thought there was no cure and no escape except death.
Little did I know that limiting belief was holding me back from getting better.
Once that door was open, all kinds of options appeared. I chose to tackle my diet first.
I did an elimination diet – which is a temporary reset for the body. It also teaches you what foods work optimally for you and only you.
That elimination process actually cured me of my mental illness and revealed that processed foods trigger anxiety and depression.
At that point I felt better than I ever had and was able to get off my medications. I felt genuine happiness for the first time and felt like my life finally had meaning.
That journey wasn’t easy and was filled with highs and lows. I fell off track numerous times and had to get back up and keep going.
What positive mindset tips do you have for coping during this stressful time in history?
I think mindset is key in times like this.
There’s a whole of things that are out of our control right now. But our mind is the one thing we can always control. We choose how to react to this situation. We choose to make it awful and stressful.
And we can also choose to make it a unique, amazing experience.
Yes, this virus and all its repercussions are not ideal. However, this is the situation we are all dealing with.
So, instead of complaining, stressing, or falling off the rails… accept it for what it is and make the most of it.
You lost your job?
That just means you have time to start that business you’ve always wanted to, learn a new skill, do fun things you weren’t able to before, spend quality time with loved ones, etc.
The gyms are closed?
That just means you have time to focus on areas in your training that have been lacking. Work on mobility, yoga, train new muscles, get outside and walk, train your mind, etc.
Regardless of your situation, find a way to put a positive spin on it.
Because worrying about the negatives will do nothing but bring you down.
We are presented with an opportunity unlike any other. If you are stuck at home, you have all the time in the world to put into improving yourself and your life.
I love talking about goals, so I’m curious – what’s your ultimate goal? Where do you see your life headed?
I don’t have a whole lot of clarity as to where I see my life headed.
Right now, my ultimate goal is to have purpose. I want to make a difference in the world and help others as much as I can.
I would also like to do it while traveling the world and experiencing as much as possible. So I need to create some sort of online platform that allows me to do all that.
I saw on Twitter that you’ve linked a free at-home workout opportunity! Where’s the best place to find all that you are offering? Where can people connect with you?
As Britney mentioned, I have a free home training guide linked in my twitter bio. I also offer various coaching options, access to a private Facebook community, and my nutrition ebook that goes into depth on the elimination diet and how you can do it as well. You can find everything I am offering at. I always love connecting with new people, so feel free to reach out!
Thanks so much again to Mackenzie for this super inspirational interview, and sharing so many tips and ideas on how to have a positive mindset. I hope it was as inspiring to you as it is to me!
Always be happy,