Giving doesn’t demand great sacrifice, great spending, or great selflessness. We can give thanks or praise, we can lend a hand or an ear, and we can take others into account when we make speak or act. We can put ourselves in others shoes, we can give another the benefit of the doubt, we can respect each other, we can share knowledge and wisdom. Don’t underestimate your power to give to others. And don’t underestimate the power giving holds to make the world a better place.
When we stand out from the crowd, people notice. Everyone is always trying so hard to fit in, that when some don’t, they stick out. But that isn’t a bad thing, no matter how daunting or unnerving. When we stand out, we open up the world to something it’s never seen or heard before. And the world depends on that. When we see things differently, we stop seeing the world as it is and start seeing the world for what it can be, we stop saying ‘that’s the way it is’ and start saying ‘that’s the way it can be’. And these people who stand out are indispensable – they have something special to offer that no one else can. We all have that special something, but many of us are killing it by trying to constantly fit into a box. Boxes are confining. Live outside the box. Or better yet, believe the box doesn’t exist.
Sometimes we simply need to count to three. Inhale. Exhale. When the frustration starts to boil over, or the anxiety starts to consume us, or the sadness starts to overwhelm us, sometimes we’ve got to take a few seconds to breathe. Sometimes we’ve just got to remind ourselves that not all moments will be like this. If we’re having a bad day or a series of bad days, there’s no reason why we won’t ever have a good day. Counting to three won’t wash our problems away but it can at least bring us a little closer to an answer. Because when we breathe, we think more clearly. And when we think more clearly, well, our demons will eventually melt away.
Take some time to think, to breathe. It’s not easy in a world that pushes us to stay busy, physically and mentally. But if we don’t, life will be exhausting and it will take its toll. Take a bath or a long shower to wash away the dirt of the day. Take a walk outside to air out the pollution clogging up your lungs. Take a journal and pour out all negativity with the ink of the pen. Take to the floor and meditate to let go of your worries about the future and bring yourself to the present moment. Invest some time in yourself. Take time to be with your own thoughts. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
As the year draws to a close, we should ask ourselves: how well do we know ourselves and how are we honouring what we know? What are our strengths and have we been using them? What are our weaknesses and have we come to terms with them or turned them into positive actions? How do we feel, emotionally and physically? What do we want out of life and are we letting something or someone stop us? No matter what our answers, there’s scope to pledge to get to know ourselves better this upcoming year. We have so much to offer and so much to share. We have so much potential. And ultimately we are the only ones responsible for our lives, not anyone else. We shouldn’t let anyone dictate what we do or who we are. We shouldn’t be pretending to be someone else. We decide and we can change our minds. Let’s guide ourselves on our own magical journey and thrive.
Sometimes, we have to be honest, direct and disciplined, to kick ourselves into gear. Sometimes, we have to hustle. Because no one can hand us our dreams, our time, or our successes. Because no one can tell us who we are, how to think or what to do. Because no one can feed us passion, persistence or positivity. That all brews within. It’s up to us. We’re all beautiful and capable, and very much so. And it’s up to us to unleash that. Don’t let yourself fall behind. Don’t let yourself miss a window of opportunity. Don’t leave yourself with second best. Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
What could we do differently? It’s a question we should perhaps ask ourselves more often. We shouldn’t constantly focus on the problems, the flaws and the mistakes, but sometimes there are simple solutions that lie with us. It’s not that we have to do different things, but do things differently. Look through a different lens. Fail fast and learn quickly. Repeat the cycle. We are the students, the innovators, the fixers, the examples, the legacies. When we adapt, we thrive and the world thrives too.