balance

In life, you just have to find something you love to do and hope that it makes a difference.

Simple but poignant words spoken by my beautiful and wise younger sister, over brunch this morning.

What a great sentiment – to find something you love to do, to work on it, share it with others and believe in its potential to grow, move, inspire, comfort, entertain and educate somebody and hopefully, make a positive contribution to the world in some way. This is what nurtures humanity, drives the soul and fulfills us.

The challenge for me, as it has been for some time, is not in the finding, but in the working on my passions amidst the distractions, priorities, responsiblities and pressures of adult life – where ‘reality’ often means foregoing one’s ‘dreams’.

As I (somewhat anxiously) head towards my third decade, I’ve decided that I’m not going to live with the regret of foregoing said dreams. 

This next chapter will be about balance. 

It will be about working on my dreams whilst embracing the realities of the less fantastical world (comprising of such dreary matters as money, politics and keeping up appearances), which inevitably, are integral to our survival.

While adjusting to adulthood has led me to believe that comprimises must be made in order to give full focus to any given priority, I’ve realised for myself that dreams and realities can co-exist and in fact, help nurture one another.

Now is the time to take ownership of both aspects of my life, to give the same energy to the important though mundane things, as well as the defining and exciting.

May you also seek and achieve balance as you live your beautiful lives!

balance

momentum

This week I was fortunate to have attended the VAMFF Buisness Seminar, an event organised largely for those in the Fashion industry, but nonetheless still valuable to me as one working in the business of Media and Entertainment.  Both worlds after all, are made up of similar issues and challenges, often behind the mask that is what we term ‘glitz and glamour.’

Learning and accumulating knowledge from others who are better and different to myself, has always been of deep interest, and the conference/seminar environment in particular, is one that I’ve always enjoyed and seek out to experience as much as I can. There is always (at the very least), one positive thing that I can take away from each event that I have attended of this nature.

However this time around, there was more than just a single takeaway, though each of the nuggets of inspiration that I accrued at the seminar did come from the one man – James ‘JC’ Curleigh. JC is more than just the President of the Levi’s brand.  He is a global leader, innovative thinker, passionate doer.

Needless to say, I was inspired from the moment he walked onto the stage.  With a video graphic of a swinging pendulum in the background, JC opened his talk by defining Newton’s Three Laws of Motion.  Seamlessly, he went on to connect the science of Physics with the business world, how for every action, there is an opposite reaction, how Mass (being your product/brand) multiplied by Acceleration (your marketing strategy) equals Force (the strength and energy of your business).

He demystified the notion that we must always choose between one thing or another. To be Iconic or Innovative, Accessible or Aspirational, Simple or Sophisticated – he challenged us to replace the word ‘or’ with ‘and’ because striving for both leads to progress and puts you and your business in better stead for the future.

It was clear to me that JC’s presentation stood out from the rest. He spoke with passion, expertise, spirit and conviction.  He was as perfect an ambassador for his brand as any president should be.  In context of the seminar, it was a true case of saving the best for last.

Perhaps my admiration is heightened because of how much JC’s presentation resonated with my life at this very point.

He spoke of momentum; specifically, finding and acknowledging the moments that create momentum.  For me, hearing this has become key to my development career-wise as well as on a personal level.  I learned to never underestimate the moments in my life that have contributed to where I am now, even though I am not yet quite where I want to be.

Since establishing my resolutions to better look after myself this year, physically, mentally and emotionally, I can confidently report that I do feel, right now, that I have the momentum. I am learning to embrace the present whilst making good progress towards the future.

As JC puts it, I am ‘protecting my core but expanding for more.’

And it feels great.

momentum

fill up your lungs and just run

The reality that death is imminent is fearsome yes, but even more frightening is the idea of not living as if you are truly alive.

There are so many things that I want to achieve in my life, places I want to see, people I want to meet, change I want to create. I’m scared that I’ll never have the time, the resources or the opportunities to do it all and that often overwhelms me to the point that I can’t even make a start.

But today was a revelation.

Driving home from a beautiful dinner with a dear friend, I listened to Sara Bareilles’ ‘Chasing The Sun’ and there, I felt clarity.

This earth that I stand on is someone else’s ceiling, I owe it to their memories, their experiences and their hopes for the world to make something of life by just living it. There lies power in the gift of my heartbeat alone – I cannot be wasteful or ungrateful for I am, we are, incredibly blessed just to be here.

My dear friend and I talked for hours about life and the future, we both feel something great ahead for us and it is with that optimism that we have both been working towards it. Of course we acknowledged the obstacles, the world’s harsh realities, but we were too immersed in love and beauty to let it get in the way.

And then to end the night, Sara B, once again, through her music, spoke to my heart and perfectly encapsulated everything that I know deep down and strive to believe in every day. That is, to go on living with a real thirst for feeling alive. To breathe in the fresh air, run with your dreams, always aspiring to be and do more. To be extraordinary and amazing.

For life is not meant to be wasted.

fill up your lungs and just run