The beauty of social media

Social media has the power to do many things. It helps to inform people about natural disasters, helps companies communicate directly with consumers, Helps people discuss, learn, educate and hear the latest news about topics they are passionate about. Social Media also helps people of all ages come together in ways we, probably, have never seen in the history of our race. It’s an exciting step, but with it comes a word caution.

With everything in our world that is good there has to be the balance of bad that we need to understand before making judgments about whether something should be stopped or celebrated. It happened with comic books in the early part of their history, claiming to be creating a culture of negativity and violence. This is something we have also seen with movies, games and anything new, because new things make people nervous. Not everyone is able to embrace change so easily.

But we need to look at what we have and what social media has given people in all corners of our world. For some it is the only place to be themselves or even interact with people without judgment, prejudice or dependant on the physical attributes of who they are. In a world where the media has distorted our own image of what beauty really is, social media puts substance over appearance at the head of the class. In a world full of eating disorders, plastic surgery and self hate about how we look, Social Media is helping give people confidence in the person inside rather than an exterior image that is currently portrayed on the covers of magazines, and that, is a beautiful thing!

Should’ve, could’ve and would’ve are all holding you back

Do you relive conversations wondering or second-guessing what you could’ve or should’ve said? Do you spend time worrying about what a certain word or phrase ‘really’ meant in an email or discussion you had the day before? I know I have! In fact I have to work very, very hard not to waste my time over analyzing every single conversation, presentation, argument or whatever I have, because the truth is it just doesn’t do anything to help me move forward.

In fact these words would’ve, could’ve and should’ve tend to hang like baggage around your neck, dragging along the floor behind you. The more you worry the heavier the dragging mess of concern becomes and the burden is just too much for anyone. The slower walk, gradually brings you to a halt in life.

You could of course add if, maybe and many more words to the things that are holding you back in life. So why don’t we cut free? Well if you are like me, you tend to be strolling merrily through life one day only to suddenly realize the walk is not as easy as it was the day or week before. And here is where you can change the way you live your life.

You could start, as I am trying to, analyzing what it is that is troubling you. But rather than start to relive the same experiences over and over again, just try to quickly to understand what was said and what you learned from that moment. Memories are wonderful things, but life is too short to be reliving old moments, especially when there are millions of new ones waiting for you around the corner. So try to remember not to take excess luggage as you travel through life; It just costs you more than you really should to be paying.

Have the confidence to walk through any negativity

No matter what you do in life, personal or professional, there will be people who have negative thoughts or actions towards you. Most of the time it is not even something conscious by them, but rather something that just stems from their personality or situation they are in at the time. The confidence you have in yourself will be half the battle, your actions in putting your plan into action, will do the rest.

Self doubt is one of the main reasons for failure in life. There are, of course, many situations that are just impossible to avoid, such as the recent financial crises, but confidence in yourself can help you overcome anything that comes in your path. You can, for example, imagine your confidence being like your health, if you do not exercise and eat correctly your health will suffer.

It is the same thing with confidence, it’s a constant process of building up your self esteem, giving yourself a pat on the back and making sure, on top of the big goals you have, have smaller goals that are attainable and reward yourself along the way. This helps immensely in gaining the momentum you need to succeed.

Very soon you will realize that you don’t even see or feel the negativity any more, because your focus is on the positive aspects of what you are doing and where you are going. So as you walk forward today, do so with confidence; and nothing will get in your way.

Change, there’s no time like the present

I recently spoke to a friend who was asking me what it was like traveling the world and did I regret leaving the UK when I did. I asked him why he was asking the question, as we talk all the time and I sensed there was something behind the need to ask me. He told me that he was thinking of traveling for work and just wanted to know my thoughts about the subject.

The truth is I left England when I was 23, worked in Paris and Amsterdam before moving to the Middle East. I have worked all over the Middle East and had some incredible experiences along the way. I told my friend that I always knew that at any time I wanted, I could go back. In fact the first year away I kept my return ticket pinned to a notice board in my office. I had good and bad experiences of course, but every single one changed me as a person, a change that has helped me be the person I am today, and I can still always go back. But the truth is I just want to keep exploring.

I told my friend this and there was a pause. I asked him, “What do you expect to change in the coming year that will help you decide to try something new?” He told me quickly, “Nothing!” So I just said to him, “Then there is no time like the present to change your life if the worst that can happen is that you are in the same position next year you are in now back at home?” I continued, “But, the difference being, you will have experienced something that will change you for the better, forever!”

I hope he tries something different, even if it is not traveling around the world. After all change always cleanses the soul and gives you a fresh look on where you are and where you are going, I know, I have experienced it first hand, many times!

The hardest thing to face is yourself

Life is full of obstacles and difficulties. This is a fact of life that we all accept as part of growing up. But there is nothing in life we will face that can have as a destructive, demoralizing and negative influence on our lives than ourselves. We are the toughest critic, the sternest of judges and the one person who can decide in life whether we accept or ignore the negative forces around us.

The easiest trick in the book is to blame someone else for the tough times we face or when things go wrong. But at the end of the day, we are the biggest obstacle we need to overcome, and if we could just understand that if we overcome this hurdle, face the demons inside of us all we would realize that the only thing stopping us reaching our dreams; is us.

I have looked long and hard onto the mirror on many occasions and asked myself who is really to blame for the failings in my life or for the things that went wrong. It is not easy to admit, that it was mostly, me. But to move forward, to learn from all the mistakes you have to accept responsibility for what went wrong. It will be the hardest thing you ever do, but when you do, you will see a clearer path ahead of you where the possibilities are endless and any obstacles seems passable.

You are supposed to be part of your conversation

When you hear the statement, “Voices in my head,” it usually brings up thoughts of crazy people right? Well I believe that we all have at least one voice in our heads.

I spend a lot of time watching people. I have always preferred to be on the periphery and let others be centre stage, just so that I could see how people act. I guess that is why I decided to work in advertising because watching how people react, buy, shop or do not is part of knowing how to communicate a product or service in a way a consumer wants to purchase it. I actually enjoy going shopping with my wife because it gives me a chance to see people in all different kinds of shops. Now we have kids it I have quite the catalogue in my mind of people arguing, discussing, enjoying and so on.

But what I notice a lot is the fact that most people, especially when they are alone, are in deep thought. But if you look very closely you can see a conversation going on right under the surface. Most people seem to hide it very well and know one would ever guess the conversational dual going on behind the eyes. But some are not so good at hiding this aspect of human nature. Only yesterday I was waiting for the bank ATM machine to be free which meant I was waiting around. A man passed me deep in conversation, in fact the guy was having quite a disagreement with himself! I searched the man, not literally obviously, rather scanned him for headphones or bluetooth, but no, he was talking to himself.

Society has made us ashamed of this aspect that we all do to some level. Without t we would not understand who we are, why we acted a certain way in a situation. It can be destructive or constructive, depending on our personalities. Personally I think it’s healthy, to a point. If it helps you understand the world you live in, doesn’t harm another person and helps you see things clearly; then join in the conversation that is going on inside your head, after all if your clever; who will will know?

Time travel to the beat of your own tune

It always amazes me how a single song can literally transport you to another place instantly. I have lot count the amount of times I have suddenly found myself lost in memories, memories eclipse the feelings that seemed to be weighing me down. It is often a song that I have not heard for a while or it could be something new, a song that just has that great summertime beat and rhythm filled with has those thoughts of being on the beach with your friends or family, all flooding back into your consciousness. Your mind full of the fragrances, your body tingling with the notion of reliving the experience and an overwhelming feeling of your mood lifting the weight of current burdens away from you.

I have come to realize that I need music in my life, purely because of this aspect. As someone who works in a creative industry it is important that the troubles and strife of daily life are left at the door when you enter the office, something that is easier said than done. I will either have a radio station that plays ambient tunes which block away not only my problems but also the hustle and bustle from other people in the office. If that doesn’t work, I will put my own music on shuffle and just let it randomly select songs for me, so that I can concentrate on work. But, regardless whether you are in a creative field or not, try putting your ipod or music on a random shuffle, see where your music transports you. No matter how good your day is going, you are sure to find one or two memories in a tune somewhere that bring back memories from the past that will fuel you in the future.

Risk? What if you fail? Ah! But what if you don’t?

Every single day we are faced with choices in our lives. Decisions that fork in the road. One is safe, although nothing is certain in life, you can pretty much guarantee where you are going to end up whilst the other is clouded in mystery and possibility. The second route scares us, makes us doubt every aspect of the person we are and often ensures we take the safer route. But why?

Fear is the main reason. Losing what you have, things not working out and the thought that all you tried just failed to materialize the way you expected it. I have been down the mystery path many times, most of which have rarely been what I expected or planned for. None, so far, have been the path to my dreams. Or so I thought. Because I have always thought that the path I walk must be the way I see it for things to work out the way I wanted. When in fact the troubled paths I have walked throughout my years have each carved a new aspect to the person I am, and looking back I can see the path very clearly.

So plan all you want but never fear things not working out the way you imagined. Life will have a way of giving you the lessons you need rather than the ones you think you should experience. But most importantly, never fear the risky path, it may very well not be what you are expecting, it may well give you the feeling that you made a mistake. But I am a firm believer that every experience you have along the way will get you a better person, one way or another. What you will achieve from taking a risk every now and then is not about success in the materialistic view, but rather what you feel inside of yourself, and that alone, is worth a risk.

Wake up your inner child, it’s time to wake up!

Remember when you were a child and everything seemed so simple? It was a time when anything was possible, a time when you were asked what you wanted to be, what you want to do and what you would like to experience. You were told try this and experience that. You were told that you should never say you don’t like something until you at least try it once. But then suddenly we are told you cannot do this or that, you have to be realistic and accept where you are or what you are capable of, and no you should try everything! So where did this part of life change?

The truth is as human beings we are bound to be full of insecurity and complexity when we are shown a door full of beauty and light as a child, where our imaginations run wild with anticipation. Only to have the door slammed shut on our fingers when we get to the age we might actually start enjoying all the experiences. So I say hold on to that child inside you and never let them go.

It is the child inside you that motivates your dreams, puts a smile on your face and keeps you searching for something better in your life. The old saying goes, “You are as old as you feel.” Well sometimes I feel like and old man and quite frankly during those times I notice how quickly things around me deteriorate. So I have vowed to hang on to that child I was, because quite frankly I like the person he was and I know for sure that he would never stop trying to achieve and never accept that there are impossibilities in this world. Wake up your inner child, it’s time to really grow up!

Leave behind the baggage of your past

We often walk through life dragging every problem around like luggage. I know I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion. Everyone has problems and everyone will come against people that see the world in a different way. Although sometimes these incidents can be hostile, they are usually over very quickly. But within our minds, and especially mine, the conversations continue over and over again, constantly re-energizing the feelings of anxiety and anger that are so destructive. So what’s the answer?

I have been trying to figure this out most of my adult life and as it is part of my character I guess it is something that I will always have to work hard on losing. Regardless of the size of an issue that has been in my past, it seems to appear occasionally in my subconscious as though it is knocking on a door in my mind. I have to learn to untie the shackles that weigh down my future, because as they say, Misery loves company!

Removing the chains that are attached to these moments in life that hold you back can be a liberating experience. It doesn’t mean they cannot come back, but like most things in life taking action within your self is already more than half the battle. A sense of freedom will pass over you like a morning summer breeze as you stride forward away from that baggage that has held you back. Looking back in life only means you are missing what is happening now, and stops you seeing all the good things that are ahead of you.