If your life feels like a mess, read this — change is possible.

words & photo by Brian Thompson, photo editing by Jennifer Picard Photography.

If you believe that your life is a mess, know that there is infinite hope and potential for you. What you feel now is only a temporary condition. Everything, even the worst of things, can be overcome. All things change, and so too will this.

We are nothing other than who we are right now, in this very moment — we can be nothing else. All else is only a memory or a wish. Right now — what you have, who you are, how you feel, and what you are doing in this very moment — is all there is.

Everything else is inconsequential.

All that ever matters is right now. But, now is ever-changing… as are you.

Every state of mind is temporary — every emotion, impermanent. Every problem, every stress, every anxiety, every worry and every fear… they’re all impermanent. All things pass, all things change.

Know that all of your future possibilities, both positive and negative, can only come from within. Everything is entirely up to you — but don't think of this is as an overwhelming burden, this is a relief!

There is nothing you need to fix, other than whatever you can do with your best effort and intention in this very moment, right now.

Everything else is only a needless worry. Do whatever you can to remedy your mess, now. That’s all there is to do. You can’t fix it all, but you can certainly begin. You cannot change the past, but you can absolutely change the course of the future by changing whatever you do in this very moment, right now.

Right now, is all-powerful. Right now, your destiny is in your very capable hands.

If you want to steer your life in a different direction, away from the dumpster where it's been, or away from whatever mess it seems to be presently heading in, then simply make the conscious decision to turn the wheel to avoid your pending collision.

You must only begin — you need not worry about finishing. Just begin. Do something that points in the direction towards where you want to go. Pursue the change you seek — no action is too small, no effort too little.

Begin by being mindful of your thoughts and actions. What you think and do right now matters. It’s all that matters. Don’t get stuck in a rut of self-critical thought, just take the first step towards whatever change you seek. Now give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back — you’re now doing something to transform your life, you’re no longer just watching it drift uncontrollably by.

You deserve this.

If you want to be a kinder person, then change how you treat the very next person you see... and keep repeating until this new behaviour becomes a habit. Don’t stop. Kindness reverberates from one person to the next, but someone must first ring the bell. Let that bell-ringer be you.

You can no longer wait for someone else to take the lead.

If you want to have a better relationship with your family, then call them right now and speak gently with them. Be open, honest and understanding. Accept them for who they are, without trying to change them. Forgive them, and forgive yourself too. The past is no longer here, but all of you still are… right now… so take the first steps to build something new together.

Sure, some things won’t turn out the way you’d like them to. But that’s ok, because everything other than what you do right now is out of your hands. Do not waste your worry on anything other than what is. If you resist or try to change what is, you will only create further suffering for yourself.

Change can only begin with you and you alone, everything else will just happen as it will. You cannot control others, so let your positive change inspire others to do the same.

Let your actions of good intention resonate in the hearts and minds of all those around you. Action speaks.

If you want to lose weight, then go for a long walk or a jog. Go for a bike ride, a paddle, or a swim. Do some push-ups. Lift some weights. It doesn't really matter what you do, just begin... and then do it again tomorrow, and then the next day after that… that’s the only way how healthy new habits begin. They begin right now, with whatever you choose to do in this very moment. Now get up and go.

If you don't want to feel so desperately poor, then quit needlessly spending so much money on stuff you don't need. Quit eating out ten times a week. If need be, then begin the search for a better paying job, or make the decision to learn a new skill. Learning online is easier than ever before, you don’t even need to enrol in a school, just head on over to Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy, Lynda, Treehouse, Skillshare, Code Academy, or Creative Live to get your education on.

If you want to expand your horizons, then turn off the damn TV. Cancel your cable plan and read some damn books. No cash? No problem. There’s oodles of free e-books out there for you to download and open your mind to. Open Culture has a list of 700 free classics for you to begin with (http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks), they also have tons of free audio books to download too.

If you want to quit smoking, then simply don't put any more cigarettes to your lips. Know that no thing can have power over you other than your own mind and strength of will. Just stop. It’s all in your head.

If you want to be a painter, then you must paint. If you want to be a photographer, then you must take pictures. If you want to be a writer, then you must write. These things take effort, they don’t come easy. But that’s exactly why their rewards feel so good, because you work hard from them. You earn them.

If your life feels like a mess at the moment, you must earn your way out of it. But know that it’s not only incredibly achievable, it’s also the best damn high you’ll ever experience — conquering your own adversity — powered by nothing more than confidence in yourself.

If you want to change your life you must be determined with your efforts. Be unflinching in your resolve, and let persistence become your closest friend.

The end of your pain will only come once you've finally decided that you've suffered enough.

Only then will you be ready to begin the necessary changes that you feel your life requires. But you must first say, “No more! Enough is enough!"

If you need help from others, then ask for it.

You must desire change in yourself more than any other desire. Don’t let yourself be distracted or swayed into thinking your efforts can wait until tomorrow. Begin now.

Do not be fooled by any self-critical thoughts to the contrary. Do not wallow in despair — divorce yourself from such harmful self-thinking. Do not expect things to change overnight, but if you continue, day by day, change will come. Someday in the not-too-distant future, you will awake and the heavy weight will have lifted from your shoulders. You will wipe your brow and say, “I did it”.

Your life will be renewed and refreshed because of what you do right now.

The ability to transform is in your DNA, it’s who you are. In fact, it’s what you were meant to do — overcome.

Each new moment brings with it the potential for a new beginning. Change what you can, accept what you cannot, and peace will meet you in the middle.