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.
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.
Number One: Do what you love
Find your passion. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s yours. You won’t ever give your all if you follow someone else’s dreams and wishes. Have courage to know what will fulfil you and go after it. Share your passion with others, and inspire others to find and share theirs too.
Number Two: Be kind to all you meet
Every person we cross, from stranger to loved one, is left with a mark. Make one that lasts for the right reasons. Even a smile or a thank you can turn someone’s day around. If not, make amends, say sorry to those you’ve wronged. Forgive those who wrong you. Be the bigger person, be the better person.
Number Three: Do what is right
Many times, what is right is not what is easy. But take the road less travelled anyway. Find solutions to problems that have been ignored. Stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves. Stick by your own morals. Practice what you preach. Keep your promises. What goes around comes around. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
If you can dream it, you can see it. If you can see it, you can achieve it. Anything is possible when we put our minds to it. The world would be a very different place if people didn’t believe in their dreams and pursue them. There wouldn’t be any invention. There wouldn’t be any solution. People are constantly trying, succeeding, doing what they love. Have the courage and you can do it too.
If you look inside, you will find strength, you will find beauty, you will find wisdom. It’s easy to persuade ourselves that we’re not good enough, especially when it feels like everyone else is saying that too. But all the tools we need are right inside us. If you close your eyes and really look deep inside, you’ll find that voice of courage and love and faith. And then you need to hand a megaphone to that voice. Because you don’t deserve anything but words of love and optimism. They’ll be enough people out in the world trying to criticise you and bring you down, but don’t let them drown out your inner voice. You are strong, you are beautiful and you can conquer anything. You can be whoever you want to be.
To heal a wound, we have to stop touching it. To move on from the past, we have to stop reliving it. It will take time, willpower, forgiveness, courage and compassion. But it will get better, as long as we keep ourselves moving forwards and looking forwards. That’s the direction we should be heading.
It always seems impossible until it’s done. We have to have faith that the lightbulb will turn on. Without that, the impossible will remain impossible. Have belief in yourself, confidence in your ideas and courage in your pursuits. It doesn’t matter how crazy people think you are – if you put your mind to it, it can be done. And when the impossible becomes possible, that’s when the magic happens. If Thomas Edison had given up at the first sign of the impossible, we never would have had the lightbulb at all.
Have courage. It doesn’t take perfection or genius to get further in life. It takes guts. We shouldn’t be afraid of failing but afraid of not trying at all. We shouldn’t be afraid of stepping out of our comfort zone but afraid of trapping ourselves in it. We shouldn’t be afraid of our flaws but afraid of not realising their magic. We need to keep trying, keep going, to get further. We won’t ever be perfect. We won’t all be geniuses. But no matter what you think, we can all be brave. And that’s what will get us the furthest.
You can turn your life around. You may think you can’t, but that’s just because you don’t believe in yourself. No matter what trouble you’ve found yourself in, no matter what circumstances you’ve been put in, no matter how far you are from your idea of a happier life, you can turn your life around. It takes courage, perseverance, positivity and faith, but those are all tools you’ve already got stored on the shelf. Life has no manual, so just start using them. If you can dream it, you can do it.
What does it mean to grow up? Growing up is often muddied with seriousness and responsibility, and we interpret it as being tied down. But whilst we should keep our inner child within, growing up and taking responsibility for yourself is empowering, fulfilling and liberating. Because the best part of growing up is defining who we’re going to be, owning it and running with it. It takes courage, and that’s why so many of us suck at it. But it will be so worth it. Growing up isn’t something to shrink away from or fight against, it’s something to embody and embrace.