What type of year has 2017 been for you?

What type of year has 2017 been for you?

At the beginning of September my friend and I were talking and she said that 2017 had been a great year for us. And even though I agreed I did not really feel that way. That conversation led me to really consider and ponder on what “a great year” actually meant to me.

During this reflection I realised that the reason I felt that 2017 had not been a great year for me was because I was focusing and dwelling on the negative. I was focusing on the challenges I had faced and the goals I had not yet met. I was blinded by negativity.

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Are you the best version of yourself?

Are you the best version of yourself?

Are you the best version of yourself?

A tough question, I know. Before I could answer it myself, I had to really consider what it meant to me.  So I am going to rephrase the question for you. “Are you allowing yourself to live up to your full potential, both in the personal (e.g. mentally, physically, spiritually and so on) and professional sense (e.g. career, entrepreneurial and so on)?”

If I had answered this question a couple of months ago, it would have been with a big fat no. Being victim to laziness, procrastination and doubt meant that I wasn’t allowing myself to flourish and I’m probably not the only one.

As I pondered on it, I realised that I could be doing much more. I was not going above and beyond in all that I did, in fact I was doing the bare minimum. I was not able to confidently say that I was putting 110% effort in to my personal and professional life. I was too comfortable and that to me, was a problem.

Now of course the idea of “being the best me” will vary considerably amongst each individual, but as you’re reading this today I challenge you to consider what does that mean to you?

There are many ways to be the best version of yourself but I believe in a 3 step cycle.

1. Firstly learn about yourself; identify your skills, passions and interests, your strengths, your weaknesses, what you like and what you don’t like, how you interact well with others, and how you fail to communicate well with others, how you work – the idea is to really just know yourself

How can you be the best version of yourself if you do not fully understand and know yourself well? Once you are able to understand yourself you can gain a better understanding and sense of direction. Identify your skills, your passions and your interests and then try to use this to discover your purpose.

2. Secondly develop an uncanny confidence in yourself and use this to take action

Once you know yourself and you know what direction/path you want to take in life, it will be much easier to believe in yourself and your abilities. I genuinely believe that we can do whatever we set our minds too. All it takes is self-confidence. If you do not have confidence you will struggle to take action.

Take action. Make a plan. Then execute this plan.           

3. Finally keep growing – learn from your mistakes and your “failures,” increase your knowledge capital, grow your network and just keep shinning 🙂 

So you know yourself, you’ve got confidence and you’ve taken action. What next……?

Continuous learning – Upgrading your skills and increasing your knowledge

Every experience is an opportunity to learn. But you have to go beyond this. You have to seek opportunities to learn. You have to go outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. This is where real growth takes place. Stop comparing yourself to others and use your time and resources to focus on yourself.

The reason I put failure in quotation marks is because I believe Napoleon Hill when he said “Failure brings a climax in which one has the privilege of clearing his mind of fear and making a new start in another direction.” Being the best version of yourself is being able to understand and recognise that “failure” is nothing more than a learning opportunity. And the application of such lessons will push you to be better. To be a better version of yourself.

Nobody said it would be easy but all you can do is try. So how about today you start trying to become the best version of you.

As Judy Garland said “always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

Thanks for reading and please comment below with any strategies or tools you use that aid you in being the best version of yourself!


5 Things I wish I knew before I went to China

5 Things I wish I knew before I went to China

1. That working on weekends was a common practice

My expectations did not match my reality. I did not know that I would be required to work on the weekends and have my days off during the week. This made exploring Shanghai and meeting other foreigners that much harder as people had different schedules. When I was able to go out, some of my friends were not.

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From a young age I had always felt like my purpose in life was to help others, but I did not really understand what this meant. As I grew older my focus changed and I developed aspirations that had no real purposeful meaning. I knew I wanted to be successful. I knew I wanted to be a professional ‘business woman,’ and I knew I wanted to live in New York City (till this day I still do not know why I loved NY so much).

Why did I want all these things? A question I could not really answer. I most likely wanted these things because of what I allowed myself to be exposed to (e.g. TV programmes). Did I really want it for myself? I believe that the media and society has built this innate nature in us that can sometimes end up with us believing in unrealistic realities. I am not saying that I could not live in New York as a young professional, but the point is I did not understand the time and effort required to achieve this. I believe that many people do not recognise how important it is to understand and take notice of how much time and effort they put into certain things and how easily they can be influenced.

How many of us spend a lot of time watching ‘trashy’ TV programmes for entertainment value but struggle to devote 1 hour of our time a day on building our dreams in to a reality?

Subconsciously we are heavily influenced by what I call the cycle of society. The idea that we go to school, work, start a family and then die. Ask yourself, is this what life is about for me? I believe that everyone has a purpose and there is more to life than what society would like you to believe. What is the point in wanting these things if there is no real purpose behind it?

Purpose is defined as “the reason for which something was created, exists or was done.”

What is your purpose?

Have you ever asked yourself, ‘what is my purpose?’ or ‘why was I put on this earth?’ Nor had I until a couple of years ago. Of course, I had considered the question but I never really felt like I could answer it. I found comfort in the fact that I was still relatively young and still had time to discover myself and my true meaning. But after I graduated from university and started my full time job, I had never felt so lost. The job began to drain me, I honestly felt like it was sucking the life out of me. I resented how repetitive my life had become. I felt like all my creativity was put in a box that I was not allowed to open. To be quite frank I felt like my brain was not being utilised to its full capacity and I hated this feeling. How could I discover my purpose when I felt stuck in a role that was not inspiring me in any way possible?

As the months went on I began to pray for direction, motivation, understanding and the ability to discover my true purpose. Although I prayed extensively, what I really wanted was a ‘quick fix.’ I wanted direction but I did not have the patience for it. But that is not how it works. In search of my purpose I learnt new lessons that changed my view on life as a whole. I went from an ungrateful attitude to a grateful attitude. I was grateful that I even had a job, grateful for other opportunities presented to me from which I could learn and grateful that I went through the experience so that I could share it with others. The biggest thing I learnt was that ‘comparison is the thief of joy.’ Honestly there is no point comparing yourself to others and/or being envious of their situation because everyone is on a different journey. Most importantly I discovered my purpose, ultimately allowing me to make a career changing move.

Lessons Learnt: Every experience is an opportunity to learn, grow and develop. Do not allow negative thoughts to rule over your life or allow fear to stop you from chasing your dreams. The journey is more important than the destination. Although you may not know your purpose trust and believe that you are on the right path to discovering it.

I find such comfort in this scripture and I hope whoever is reading this can find the same: “Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” – Mark 5:36