09 Aug Happy things I would tell younger Joy if I could …
Today is woman’s day in South Africa, and about a month ago I had the idea of asking all the woman I work with to share one thing they would tell their younger selves, if they could. That one thing you wish you knew earlier in life. I asked all the ladies to come and share, but nobody took me up on the ask, which was a little sad, but never the less it reminded me of one of the things I would tell my younger self (which I will share with you later in this blog) but it also gave me the opportunity to write this blog alone, which has actually been really great, so here we go, I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Socrates is known to have said: “I know one thing: that is that I know nothing.”
And this is so true…. we don’t really know much, I guess that where the saying ‘hindsight is the perfect sight’ comes from too.
So in the interest of hindsight and in not knowing much, still – here are the things I wish I had know, or wish I could go back and tell my younger self, because they were all pretty monumental for me, and after having realized each one, it has changed my life, and or my outlook on my life, quite dramatically.
Most people are not like us, and getting upset because others don’t do what you would do in the same situation is just a complete waste of your energy. You are the only one thinking and stewing about it. So what, let it go… just be proud of how you conduct yourself.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, because at the end of the day it is just that … small stuff. And maybe you ask, but what is small versus not small … to me the small stuff goes back to things that only you stress about, and no one else, and in the bigger scheme of things actually don’t really matter to you.
My way is not the only way. A long as people get to the outcome you need them to, it doesn’t matter how they get there, as long as they get there, preferably in one piece (haha). It also shows you a different approach to something, which opens your eyes to new things.
Exercise daily … I am a firm believer in this, as it gets you going (I do this first thing in the morning, most of you are still far away in lala land) but it is my best, and now if there is a reason I cannot do it, I can feel it. I eat differently, I am more sluggish, I am just not as happy. And let’s be honest, the more we take care of ourselves, the more healthy and stronger we will be for longer … and I have decided I want to live until I am at least 100 (haha, for real!) so get your exercise on.
Life is so very short and even more unpredictable. When I lost my dad so much changed for me. And it is as simple as that, life is short, so do what you love, do what makes you happy. Don’t stay in something that you know is not really right for you. Go and take a chance, because I bet you will be happier knowing that you tried.
Say I love you to all who you love. And this goes back to the fact that life is so very short, so tell people. And when you hear it, you feel good, it works both ways. And spend time with those people that you love, your family, and your friends.
Love yourself, don’t neglect yourself. And this is a big one for me, it is not about being selfish, it is the most simple of facts, if you love yourself, others will love you. If you like yourself, others will like you too. It is important to put yourself first, because you are the only one who will.
Do what you love, in terms of work. If you don’t, you will have a pretty miserable life. I took time out to try and experience other things in my life, and I am so happy that I did because it gave me such clarity on what I like and love doing, and what I don’t want to do again. And through the experiences, I learnt so much about myself, that I could make changes to my life, and make sure that I do what I love to do!
If you going to fail, fail quickly. I know this sounds hard, and is often the reason we don’t try anything … but if you think about it, we will all fail at certain things along the journey we call life … a relationship that is just not ok for us, a job that doesn’t suit us, a friendship that turns out to be all wrong for us. It happens, and it should happen (this is the tough part to understand), as it teaches us the new way, and most importantly, it moves us forward in to the places and spaces we should be.
The above brings me to the next point … struggle is sometimes the best thing that will happen to you. And I know some of you are now rolling your eyes, but I really believe that having it a little tough time sometimes, makes you stronger, and still stronger, and more independent, and actually, makes you respect yourself more, as you got through whatever it was. I say “bring it on”.
Take more risks and stop being such a wimp – just try, stop sitting back and wondering and over analysing all that could go wrong. Why don’t you sit back and think about all that could go right by taking the risk. And if you focus on the wonderful that could come, why wouldn’t you take the risk.
Don’t care so much about what people will think if …. I can guarantee that 9 times out of 10 other people are not even thinking about you, they thinking about all their stuff – all you thinking about you, they thinking about themselves – and on top of that, they don’t feel the same way about things that you do, so they may not feel what you feel, even if they are watching you. Do what is right for you, always!
Money isn’t that important, but you have to respect it, and respect what you have. Don’t become too dependent on it, and the things you own … or all those things and the money will begin to own you, and that is a very hard place to get out of.
Lead the way. Sometimes you are meant to lead and be the leader, so when the opportunity presents itself, take the bull by the horns (as they say) and get on with it. It will lead you into even better places.
Be kind. I don’t need to say much more than that, it’s pretty obvious.
And then, really importantly is … if you not happy with something only you can change that. No one else can fix something for you, or change something for you … only you can. And only when you ready to. I sat at a dinner party once, and we were talking about bodies and being over weight, and I said I wasn’t happy with my body. This man, who I didn’t know, looked straight at me and very nonchalantly said ‘well that my darling, is something you can definitely do something about, so stop talking about it’ and that was that, on to another topic, But it was monumental to me, and the next day I did something. He was so right. Change what you really want to, you have the power to!
I hope some of the things I would want to tell the younger Joy resonates with you … any maybe you will teach those around you about things you wish you had know …
Happy Woman’s day to all of you.