They create and define the culture we live in, what we choose to value and how we measure ourselves up in society: art, design and branding. What if we are overlooking their potential to influence social behaviour enough to not just make business richer, but to solve some of the world’s most critical problems too?
This isn’t the world we were promised when we were growing up.Because really, we weren’t unhappy back then, when we had a lot less.
I’ve always been a goal oriented person. I learnt how to decide what to focus on, and then focus on it so pointedly, blocking out all distractions until the goal had been achieved. Only to move onto the next goal.You can read a ton of articles about how positive thinking helps you become more productive, and it’s true — focusing on what you can change and ignoring what you can’t is a great way to make progress without distraction.
Last week I wanted to die.
It's not an easy thing to admit to people who care about you, even though you realise at some point that you had better tell them before it's too late and they find themselves wishing they had done something.
It's not the first time I've felt this way. And somehow I don't think it will be the last.
The feeling of failure is so deeply wired in us as being “wrong” or “bad” that it keeps us from playing, experimenting, trying new things. We are wired to think in black and white, in safety in numbers, in not sticking out of the crowd by being the anomaly.
There once was a little girl who hid herself away from the world in the safest place she knew: in her own heart.
She then put it inside a big gold chest and buried that heart deep inside her and didn't tell anyone it was there. Some people dared to peek inside and wanted to know what was in there but she quickly chased them away to keep her treasure safe.
Meanwhile, that heart kept growing, as she did. The chest couldn't hold it safe anymore, it wanted to break open. But she had gotten so used to it being safely hidden away, she didn't even notice. She practically forgot it was there in the first place.
One day, the chest just broke open. It was a mess. She panicked. She couldn't keep the mess in. She was flooded. She didn't know what to do. Everyone would see all that she had worked so hard to keep hidden away. What would they say?
She was scared they would look at her in quiet disgust and walk away. She wasn't scared, she was terrified. She considered escaping life by taking the door marked "Exit".
But then she heard someone say, “Wow!”
It wasn't a disappointed "Wow!" It was an enchanted "Wow!" People started gathering around her, hugging her, saying, "I never knew you had this treasure inside of you! What a beautiful mess you are. I'm so glad to see it!"
She was so confused. She had worked so hard to keep a neat, clean perfect exterior ... and these people actually liked — loved — her messy insides?! She couldn't believe it. She had spent her whole life hiding herself away from the world.
She had kept her mess to herself. She was so afraid of what would happen if she let anyone see it.
It would take her a long while to get used to not hiding her mess. To let herself be seen, raw and naked. She wasn't sure she could do it. She thought of the cool kids in high school who didn't care what anyone thought. She remembered wishing she could be like them.
She wondered if it was finally her chance to be the cool kid. To just hang out and let it all hang out, and not give a damn what anyone thought of her. To not try and fix herself so she could be more lovable. To just be herself. To be out in the open. To bear the cold against her exposed skin. To find out that the warmth of the sun was stronger than the chill of the air.
Some things can just never be known until you experience them for yourself.
Have an experience that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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Fear is a funny thing. As much as you want it to go away, it actually reveals your underlying beliefs. When you fear something, you deeply (probably unconsciously) believe that something has the power to hurt you. Whether it’s a spider, falling from a height, or being left by a man that you have opened yourself up to, or even being left alone in the world while everyone else is busy with their families.
One might think that a lack of something means there's less to think about, less to worry about, but in fact negative space leaves a tremendous space for anxiety. Worry about what's missing... like an unfulfilled hunger or an indefinite wait for something essential.
It’s hard enough to navigate through life and all its emotions, challenges, losses and frustrations without having to also be the best version of you in your work, family, friendships and still manage to come out feeling accomplished, creative and free.
We have this fabricated notion etched into our brains that work and real life are all about discomfort, and holiday and breaks are all about comfort. We have this notion implanted into us that real work entails production and generating financial capital, and deep inner work is a luxury afforded to those who have earned the freedom to play after putting in their time, across a lifetime or even generations.
I won’t lie, working for yourself, and by yourself, really isn’t for everyone. Self motivation is just the start of the list of tools you've got to have in your back pocket to make it work.
Each of us gets to have only the tiniest slice of the experience that is known as life on earth as a human being. And we cling so tightly to our own version of the world, afraid it might prove to be false, that we constantly confirm with others on our path if they've had the same experience, just to reassure ourselves that our version of life is true, reliable, fact.
I’m on the edge between reality and insanity. Does the world really exist or have I made it all up? I’ve always been on the edge — always. It's the edge between fear and fascination.
I’m standing at the very bottom of a deep and dark valley. Deep. Dark. Vast. I feel tiny. I know where I came from, the mountain I scaled to get here looms behind me, so far in the distance now, it's dwarved by time.
I used to try and fit in, and stand out at the same time. I learnt how to dress, talk and work in a way that let me do them both. I adapted the way I presented myself based on who I was meeting and what I wanted them to think about me. I created an identity for myself that made most people wish they could be me. Even me.