Instead of a long inspirational message to women this year, I’m speaking to men on International Women’s Day. Why? Because so many women have already woken up my friends and they’re doing their thing: being outspoken, achieving their goals and dealing with everyday sexism without whinging. Simply we’re getting on with what we want and dusting off our shoulders after facing challenges. Keep on going ladies!
I’m grateful to those of you who treat a person as another human being despite their gender. Those of you who are not afraid to speak up when sexism takes place. Those of you who raise your daughters making sure she can become whoever she wants to be, encouraging her to get her full potential. Those of you who stand by your sisters and mothers to get their voices heard. Those men who are capable of adapting to change and realise that for a very long time women were repressed. They have started to rise only 100 years ago. That’s not a very long time considering that we’re writing 2018…I’m thankful that there is a change taking place and I can live in an era to be part of it. As this change is still ongoing and even though we have come a long way there’s still plenty of space for improvement.
Complete equality means to me, personally, that we all get to play this game, called life, with the same opportunities no matter what your gender is. No anger towards each other but instead why not collaborate and lift each other up? Who cares what was the ‘norm’ for men and for women?
I say, every living person should have the freedom to do what they want. Doesn’t matter what that is and whether you’re a woman or a man. We need to have the freedom of choice to decide how we want to live our lives. Excuse my language but fuck gender associated ‘norms’! Go get out there and do your best based on what YOU want. And that’s that.
I simply love that feeling when I know I inspired someone. It’s been like this for a few years now but never really decided to dig deep and find out the reason why I enjoy this. I’m in a phase right now when I question everything. I believe that this is a good state to be to learn and develop. Understanding not only our actions but our emotional reactions is key to become a slightly bit better than who we were yesterday. So here I am, digging.
What is that trigger buried deep within my soul that makes me want to see other people smile, to charge up, to be full of life? Why does it make me feel like that I’m full of energy when I achieve to have someone else buzz like how I usually do? I want to see people taking on their everyday life like how the character Tigger does. It’s a strange comparison, I know, but for some reason that’s the character I resonate with the most. Bouncing around with joy and excitement for life.
Enjoying the smallest things and being able to fully appreciate the so-called common things in life.
Yes, I can be completely amazed by the sight of a clear starry sky or seeing someone sing to themselves at the airport while we are being delayed. Seeing a puppy jumping around their owner with unconditional love. An old couple being silent next to each other with wrinkles of happiness across their faces. Getting a cup of coffee served with a genuine smile. Seeing a line of trees along the main road. Admiring the curved up trunk of a tree growing out of concrete. The setting Sun colouring in the playful clouds in orange.
These little things that we walk past every day… This is what makes life a wonderful experience. And most of these things happen naturally. We just don’t always notice them.
I’m not needed to help the tree make its way out of concrete. I didn’t cause that orange shade on the clouds. But! I could contribute towards the wrinkles on someone else’s face. To make sure that they are happy wrinkles. If I can do that, if I have the power to do that, then I will. That’s what we have control over: to make this journey a joyful one.
While it is great seeing that I have connections with generous people whom are posting about the donations they are making towards charities during this period, it makes me wonder: why is it that we need a reason like Christmas to do this? And before you call me hypocrite, yes I am just as guilty as they are. It was only this morning that I transferred some money to a bank account of a charity supporting people with mental health issues. It makes me question myself as well: why don’t I have this urge to give back in May? In August? I could now stand up for myself and say that actually I do, which is true, however I have to admit that I am definitely more generous this time of the year. I wish we could somehow drag this attitude out to last 12 months rather than 2 weeks per year.
So for those of us who plan our goals for the following year: how about using this inspiration we feel right now to reflect in our next year’s plans? How about making a conscious decision that instead of the peak of our giving-back in December to be spread over 12 months? Maybe it won’t make a huge difference…at first. But! If at least some of us will start this new habit, eventually others will follow as we have the power to influence by showing an example.
So I start. I hereby publicly declare that from 2018 onwards I will be paying more attention to helping out the ones in need. It doesn’t matter how we do it: either by paying for someone else’s meal, donating our time to a charity, helping out someone with a challenge, telling someone how wonderful they really are, getting behind a volunteer organisation’s objective or simply letting someone jump the queue because they can’t miss their flight. Whatever it is, if it will make another person smile for a while then it is worth it.
My personal goal for 2018 is simply to bring more smiles into this world. Because it will just make it a better place to live in for all of us 🙂
If you agree with this then I encourage you to spread the message. And I don’t mean just by sharing this. Yes that would help getting this out to as many of us as possible so I will be grateful if you do it, but I also encourage you to at least try to adapt a similar attitude that suits YOUR life. #timeforchange
I feel much better than I did 5 minutes ago because that’s how long it took me to realise that I am actually in charge of my own feelings. Why waste your time reminiscing about the past or daydreaming about the future? When in fact what I only have control over is the now. It comes so naturally to me to give out this advice to others but when I should be telling myself the same thing, the words just get stuck in my throat. They turned into a useless whimper, a squeaky sound instead of forming into a clear-cut motivational speech. 5 minutes. Enough time to reassess your feelings.
How are you exactly feeling right now? If you would need to describe with only 1 word, what would it be? Why are you feeling that way? Without understanding the triggers behind your emotions it is simply impossible to take control over them and steer them into a much preferred direction.
Let me give you an example:
You’re feeling angry waiting at the red traffic light. Why are you angry? You question yourself and notice that you’re angry because you’re running late from a meeting. Are you really angry or is it more like stressed out / anxious? You realise that you’re not angry but worried that you might arrive late. So, what are your options? You can’t physically change the traffic lights from red to green. You could drive through the red light which would mean putting others’ and your lives at risk, so clearly that’s not an option. You make a decision. When the light changes to green, you pull over to make a phone call and let them know that there is a possibility of you arriving a little late. Worry disappears and you carry on driving and actually manage to arrive on time.
This is how you take charge of your emotions. Assess your current situation in as much detail as you can; look for solutions; make a decision and your mood will shift.
Now it would be the perfect time to use the cliché here “it’s simple as 1,2,3” but I seriously dislike clichés and it’s my decision to not use it. Take charge of your emotions and your life now!