At Oprah’s house in California
The dictionary definition of hero is: A person who is admired for having done something very brave or having achieved something great.
Where would we be without our heroes to inspire us, to motivate us, to help us realise what we can achieve when we follow our passions and marry them with our values and beliefs. A true hero never asks to be put on a pedestal. Their achievements are powered by a deeply imbedded desire to go above and beyond average to carry out something life changing and selfless that has impact on not only themselves but the greater human condition.
There are super heroes and everyday heroes. We can’t all be Oprah, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, or Dr. king. However, it’s my belief that we all have a hero within, but they manifest themselves in many forms. You don’t have to leave your mark on the world to be a hero.
An everyday hero is the parents who dedicate themselves to raising good, happy, morally conscious children with and a zeal for life. A hero is the teacher who inspires her students to value education and intellectual curiosity. A hero is the public servant who puts their life on the line for our well-being. A hero is the musician who creates beautiful melodies that can stir our emotions and imaginations. A hero is the doctors who dedicates themselves to life saving research or the spiritual guide who rekindles our faith and hope. There are so many different kinds of heroes.
You see we all have the hero in us. They come out when your passion for something is so strong that you’re compelled to act for the power of good. Never under-estimate the impact you have on others or the hero in yourself. You don’t have to touch the world to be a hero, just touching one person in a positive way can make any and all of us an everyday hero.
As a coach, people often come to me when they feel they need to change. They feel stagnate in some way shape or form. Either it’s a pattern of behaviour, a plateau they can’t jump off or the everyday routine of life that makes them feel like they’re stuck in a groove. As Deepak Chopra says “The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of need for conformity.”
It’s fine to operate within your comfort zone, but before you get too cosy, remember change is often a good thing. Don’t conform to complacency. To make positive changes in life, you have to evolve. Don’t be ruled by fear. Step out of your comfort zone and take on things you find challenging.
Try something that you always wanted to do but were afraid to attempt for fear of failure. Go for that job that you may not be perfect for on paper but know you’d succeed in if you had the opportunity. Fake it ‘till you make it! Invite someone out that you’ve been admiring from a distance but were scared to ask. You never know what impact they may have on your life. Enlighten and empower yourself with knowledge. This will inspire you to move forward. Remind yourself of those less fortunate than you so that you don’t take life’s blessings for granted.
There’s comfort in routine and it plays an important part in a stable existence. However, routine shouldn’t stop you from achieving your dreams. Don’t stagnate. Life is too short for a long stall. Life is for living. Feeling like you didn’t live up to your potential can nag you for a lifetime. Keep on Moving.
Good life advice powered by emotional intelligence.
Photo by Daniel Hermy
Not long ago my husband asked me to write about something my male clients could identify with. His suggestion was:
What happens when your children leave home and you realise that they were the glue holding you and your wife together?
It’s a natural to marry people you think have good maternal/paternal instincts. After all, one of the main reasons people get married is to procreate. However, a good mother/father does not necessarily make a good lifetime companion something which dawns on people when they find themselves with an empty nest. My husband and I are rapidly approaching this stage in life and we are still relatively young and healthy. I wondered if his topic suggestion was a not so subtle hint?!? Hmmm.
Naturally, that transition from family life to me and you life is a major adjustment. It requires gradual and persistent preparation. Yes, sometimes when the children leave it becomes obvious to both parties that the fire is not on slow burn but no burn. Then it is time to part ways. No good comes from staying with someone you may respect but don’t love. “Till death do you part” is a hell of a long time. However, if you want to keep your love alive once the nest is empty, have a long-term game plan and start early.
Here are a few suggestions to help you keep your marriage foundation solid:
- It’s great to be independent but remember to regularly share your troubles and triumphs with your partner. Love is the foundation of a good marriage, but friendship and compromise will carry you a long way.
- Be an active listener and engage with your partner. How often do you actually listen to what your partner says? It’s easy to skim the surface of a conversation, but if you actually listen, you may head off trouble before it grows. Put the iPad down and look them in the eyes when you talk!
- Find mutual interests and engage in them. If you have faith, embrace it together.
- Don’t be afraid to seek counselling. Sage advice from an unbiased party can make cloudy skies clear.
- Let go of anger. It’s not easy to forgive and forget but a long-term undercurrent of anger will poison your partnership.
- Finally, sometimes you just have to embrace the madness that comes with marriage. If you thought about ‘til death do you part’ every time you hit a bump in the road, you’d go surely lose your mind!
Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows that each one is different. If you’re sexing it up after a quarter of a century with your partner, more power to you. If you’re happy with the comfort of a cuddle and a kiss to keep you going – great. In the long run, we all want someone who will make a good life companion. You don’t have to speak for them to know what’s going on, they’re there for the ups and downs in life and every once in a while you might get a lucky. May all you lifers have a Happy Valentine’s Day.
It’s that time of year when we send our kids back to school and anticipate clawing back a little more ‘me’ time. But, as our 17 year old daughter grows more independent, my husband and I are learning to let go. She is starting to make big decisions for herself and we are feeling a bit anxious not only for her but for us and our changing roles as parents.
These next two years are growth years for all of us as a family. While I have always tried to balance work with home life, soon I will have more time to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. But, like all middle-aged woman navigating hot flashes and menopause, I have to ask myself ‘now what?’ Yes, I’ve done my best to maintain a career and reinvent myself but I still have questions about my purpose in life. Don’t most of us at this age? It’s natural. Many of us have put our dreams and ambitions on hold to dedicate our attention to nurturing families or perhaps we’ve put aside family life in favour of careers. Either way, I still feel a bit short changed because we can’t have it all…at least not at the same time. Maybe that’s being greedy and I certainly don’t want pity, but it is bloody true that a woman’s work is never done!
My female clients in transition suffer anxiety attacks, depression and often feel hopeless about the future, especially when their role becomes less defined. I say at this time in life, you have to take control of your own destiny. Sit down and mind map what you want your life to look like; look back on your achievements with joy and your defeats with grace then dust of the rust and get back into the big picture of life. Drink martinis, dance on the table and live a little. Consider it the next rite of passage. Feel empowered by the fact that you’ve actually made it to middle age bouncing with botox or wrinkled and ripe. Believe in yourselves, girlfriends, and don’t let some inevitable disappointments do your heads in. Life begins again at 50 and I can attest that it can definitely be fabulous, but you have to work at it, you have to plan it and it has to be about YOU.
As a collective we need to support each other, listen to each other and encourage our sisters to go for it, to not be afraid of a new metamorphosis. After all, age is actually the mother of reinvention! If only we ruled the world. Go for it!