It’s a tough, tough world out there. Much tougher, I believe, than the time of our mothers and fathers – we are bombarded with so much pressure, pressure to succeed, to look good, to achieve, to be unique, to make money…to create an app.
Every day we hear of terrible news stories splashed across multiple media channels, stories that are the direct outcome of the world we have now created. Sure, bad shit happened in the past, but current day shit is much more…well, shit. I mean machine guns in schools, I mean child pornography via the internet, I mean ISIS. It’s bad out there people.
We have no control over any of this, but we do have control over ourselves and what we do in life.
So girls – listen up. Here are my ‘not so wise’ words for you.
1. Be Strong
It’s a man’s world. It’s also a bitchy girls world out there. Be strong, stand up for yourself and those you love. Understand what is right and what is wrong, and don’t hide with fear of what others might think.
The old adage of ‘life’s curveballs’ is a good one. Yes, there are curveballs. They can come at you so hard and so surprisingly that they will hit you. Hit you straight in the throat. So hard your eyes sting. Ignore it, dust yourself off and take it like a woman.
Be strong, no matter what.
The is a global shortage of kindess, it’s the rarest of rare commodities. Forget oil, coal or diamonds – being nice to people is not only rare, but invaluable.
If you think someone is hurting, be nice and ask them how they are. If you see someone struggling to get an item off the top shelf in the supermarket, try and get it for them. If you see someone fall over in the street, don’t walk past, stop, be kind.
Kindness, like karma, can come back to you. Never think you are too important or too cool, to be kind.
3. Remember you are fabulous…(and modest)
One of the best pieces of advice my father gave me was, praise yourself as no one else might. Old daddy-o was right, if you achieve something, give yourself a little fist pump.*
Did well in an exam? Well done. Finished first in a race? Success. Kissed your first boy? Tell all the girls.
Life has enough crappiness, so every time you feel yourself winning – enjoy it, and bank it in the memory for years to come.
*Please don’t be too over the top however, no one likes cocky.
Just like your parents, you must see the world. They say it’s the best life lesson you could have but it is much more than that. Seeing the world and learning about other cultures and people makes you a much more rounded person, it makes you appreciate what you have and what you don’t have.
Travel is more than busy airports and bad airline food – it’s taking local buses, eating exotic foods, talking to strangers and playing cricket on the beach with kids.
Despite being from different countries, we are all essentially the same – we all sleep, eat, work etc but understanding what makes us different and appreciating this is what makes us a better person.
Travel irradicates ignorance, it brings people closer, it stops prejudice.
There is a huge world out there, it’ll take a while to see it all. Trust me, it’s worth every moment, so as soon as you can – save, get the map out, buy some walking shoes and a back pack and off you go.
5. Have a plan
I may sound like a stuck in the mud with this, but please have a plan. Any plan, the loosest of loose plans, but have one.
Don’t leave things to the last minute, do your research, find out what the best methods are to get what you want – it’ll be totally worth the work.
I’m not talking about OCD and writing list, have an idea of what you want to do and work out how to do it.
From what you want to do for a living, to buying a house, to…taking that world wide trip, plan it.
6. Make a difference
We can all go through life being no one special, we can all just think of ourselves and how we can live the happiest, fullest lives. Please remember, not everyone is as lucky as you.
Give back to society in some shape or form. Make a difference.
Do fun runs, adopt an animal, volunteer for a community organisation, write an article on something you think is morally wrong – try and make a difference. Leave a little footprint somewhere, it’s worth the hard work.
So there’s six little points that I will start with, no doubt there will be lots more advice from both your mothers. Hopefully, it’ll be good advice that helps you become strong, independent and caring women.
A few other tips include:
- Drink good wine
- Always have three funny jokes
- Don’t drink coffee after 5pm (insomnia sucks)
- Say thank you
- A kebab can stop hangovers
- Remember the birthdays of the ones you love
- Liverpool FC is your team (whether you like it or not, and don’t listen to your other mother)
- Exercise and find a sport you love
- Read, read and read
- If a boy isn’t nice to you, he’s not worth it
- It’s ok to love ABBA
- Be careful the first time you shave your legs (I can give you more detail later, it’s not pretty)
- It’s ok to say no
- Love your sister
- You can achieve anything if you want it enough and work hard
I guess I will be meeting you tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to falling in love again.