Question of the week: How are you spending your time?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet we spend it so differently.
Some of us go after our goals with everything we have but don’t stop to enjoy it, some of us dream bigger than our imagination but hardly put anything into action, and some of us go along with the path set out for us even if it’s not what we want. And there’s every other combination in between.
We all have less and less time as we get older. Are you wasting it? We need to be more conscious of the excuses we’re using and be more honest about what is holding us back. Only then can we move onto what makes us happier and keeps us fulfilled. We might not spend every day to its highest potential, but we can always do better, before it runs out.
We’re all on a journey. Sometimes we map it out on paper, but we cannot always follow it on the road. A fallen tree. A fork in the road. A dead end. A mountain to climb. A dark night. There are twists and turns that drive us off course. And that’s ok. We cannot control everything around us.
But what about the times when the only thing in our way is ourselves? It happens to me all the time, even if I talk myself into thinking it’s not. The self-doubt. The procrastination. The high expectations. These can be crippling to the pursuit of my passions and goals. Maybe yours too.
I know I can do better. And that’s what I am going to commit to doing. These pages are my way of sharing my story, the mistakes and the pitfalls, the lessons and the successes. For me and for you.
Have courage and be kind. Who would have thought something to simple could be so powerful. Ella promises to follow these last words from her mother in a recent adaptation of Cinderella. In 2018, I’m going to follow them too.
Having courage is about believing in yourself and lifting yourself up, not being weighed down by the opinions of others, but pursuing your own passions and ambitions, dreams and inklings, ideas and paths. And being kind is about staying grounded throughout, by not forgetting where you come from, and being grateful for all that surrounds you – most especially those around you, from stranger to loved one. With a bit more courage and kindness, life can only be better. I’ll definitely be keeping these words close in 2018.
Many of us are scared to be alone with our thoughts. We’re scared of what they might say and how they might make us feel. We’re so plugged in and invested in other people’s worlds, but neglect out own. Here’s three reasons to tune into what’s going on inside your head.
Reason One: Find solutions
When we listen to our thoughts and emotions, it’s likely that we’ll shed light on insecurities, anxieties and fears. But don’t be afraid. Instead of burying them away, we can actually face them and find ways to conquer them. We’ll see they’re not untameable. We’ll start to untangle the problems and find ways to overcome them.
Reason Two: Set direction
When we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions, we begin to understand where we want to go. Sometimes we wander aimlessly because we’re lost. Sometimes we find ourselves walking a path because we’re following someone else. We’re not really thinking about what we want and where we want to go. But if you actually do take the time to think and listen, and you follow what your heart is saying, you’ll never be steered wrong.
Reason Three: Realise who you are
When we tune into our thoughts and emotions, we drown out the noise around us and find out who we are. That might be someone who doesn’t care what people think. That might be someone who stands up for what they believe in. That might be someone who sees things differently. Whoever you are, you don’t need to lock them away. Find out what you like and don’t like, where you want to go and what you want to do.
(Image: Kreesha Turner)
To me, feminism is about equality. It’s about a seat at the table, a voice, recognition. It’s about inclusion. It’s about transcending differences. To me, being a feminist means supporting each other – man or woman – not tearing them down. Being a feminist is about making room for everyone, not about being on top. Being a feminist shouldn’t be an embarrassment. It shouldn’t be an accusation. It shouldn’t only be for women. To me, the foundations of feminism are very real; women are treated as lesser to men in many ways all around the world, sometimes in places that feel so far removed from us, and sometimes right under our noses. To me, feminism is something we should all strive for – whether man or woman. How wouldn’t we all benefit from equality, opportunity and love? Let’s keep going until we don’t need to talk about it anymore. I know I will. #HappyInternationalWomensDay
Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.
Letting go of the past
It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.
Following your heart
Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.
A little reminder for all of us, as we’re all equally responsible and able to make this world beautiful.