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Inspiration

Inspiration Lifestyle

Why it’s okay to want to be filthy rich

I sometimes feel like there is a widespread belief that it isn’t okay to want to be rich – it isn’t spiritual, it isn’t moral and it isn’t something we should strive for.

We should be ashamed of wanting to earn lots of money, wanting a big house and luxury cars and designer clothes to wear. It’s materialistic and won’t bring us happiness, so we should pretend that we don’t want to have a nice lifestyle full of beach holidays, champagne and dinner at the best restaurants.

This is how I used to feel.

I used to think it probably wasn’t the right thing to want to earn good money, that it isn’t morally right to want to feel a real fire in your soul ignited at the thought of becoming rich and successful and being able to buy whatever you want whenever you want.

We are frequently told that money doesn’t buy happiness and that other things in life are much more important, that we need to stop concentrating on money and success. We are often made to feel like money is the enemy and if we don’t drastically simplify our lives and focus on a distinctly minimalist lifestyle, we are going to end up burnt out, surrounded by things we don’t want and we’re all going to be extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with our lives.

I do believe that simply being rich doesn’t buy happiness. No way can earning lots of money make for an amazing and fulfilled life all on it’s own. I also believe that adopting a certain amount of minimalism can create wonders, particularly in terms of getting rid of everything in your life that doesn’t spark joy.

But is being well off and enjoying a luxurious lifestyle a bad thing? Certainly not. In fact, I believe that, along with other factors, having lots of money is a really a very good thing.

Having the desire to want to earn good money encourages hard work, it inspires you to dream, envision and create, and it gives you a burning desire that will to push you to achieve your goals and thrive in the world. I believe there is a high importance of following your dreams.

The more money you have, the more you have to spend.

The economy needs people who have plenty of cash to spare. It’s what makes small businesses emerge and succeed, it gives a workforce employment and it makes the world go round.

When you spend money in your local economy, you help your town, your city and your country to be the place that it is. You are supporting people’s livelihoods, fulfilling people’s dreams and providing the means for other people to work, live, provide, and enjoy their lives.

Money provides the means for us to not just buy things, but it also enables us to buy experiences. We can travel the world, experience other cultures, enrich our lives and the lives of our children and our families. We can experience more, learn more and grow our knowledge. And you know what they say – knowledge is power.

And you can inspire others too. Seeing how much you’ve achieved and the nice lifestyle you will lead can only inspire others to do the same.

It can be difficult to gain the motivation and determination needed to succeed if you are surrounded by people who don’t realise their dreams and aren’t capable of living the life they wish to live. When you can prove to others that it’s possible, they will be driven to realise their ambitions and to aim high. They will know that it can be done, that life can be wonderful and that they too can have for themselves and their family what you have managed to provide.

Abundance for all is the dream and you can play your part. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and thrive. You deserve it.

Inspiration Lifestyle

Why learning to say no is so important

Recently, I’ve been ridiculously busy. I wrote back in December about how I manage to juggle everything, while still having time for myself. I’m good at planning in advance and managing my time so that I get lots done and also take the time out to relax. Things were going really well and I was happy with the pace of life I was living.

However, over the last month or so, things just got too much. This is mainly because I hate to say no to people. I hate turning down work, so I’ve kept agreeing to taking more and more on. I don’t like to disappoint anyone or let anyone down.

Yesterday, I realised that I just can’t do it anymore. The last few weeks have been crazy. I’ve kept accepting every request that is sent my way, even when I’ve known in the back of my mind that squeezing yet another workload into my already busy schedule is going to make things difficult. But when something needs doing, I feel that I need to do it and do a damn good job at it while I’m at it.

There are no end of things to fit into my weeks. On top of my workload, there are family members that want Dan and I to visit them, our car needed servicing, there were appointments to attend, not to mention working on my biggest passion, this blog.

My blog started to turn from something that brings me so much enjoyment to being a chore. When you’re so busy, trying to find the time to work on something you usually adore can turn into what feels like another burden. The question of how to fit in writing and managing social media etc with everything else became an impossible task.

Well yesterday, everything changed.

I learnt that I need to start saying no, without feeling guilty. We need to start putting ourselves first, which is something I say all the time. Today, I plainly saw that over the last few weeks, I hadn’t been listening to my own advice.

The countless requests and large workloads asked of me were too much, I knew they were, yet I wasn’t brave enough to admit it and to turn jobs down. I wanted to please everyone, regardless of how it was making me feel. It couldn’t go on a day longer.

So I made the change that was needed. I put it out there that I needed to reduce my workload and when I received another long list of work being made available to me, I advised I couldn’t accept any new work.

Did I feel sad to be turning down a lot of work? Yes. Did I think of all the money I was waving goodbye to? Yes. Did I feel guilty for saying no? Yes. But knowing that it’s going to mean I’m not feeling exhausted and so stressed all the time makes it completely worth it.

Life is all about living and enjoying the moment, not rushing around every single day too busy and under pressure to be able to appreciate it. Taking on things you really don’t want to do and don’t have the time for isn’t going to make for a happy life. Being selective about what you say yes to and commit to, on the other hand, makes for a much more enjoyable lifestyle. I know that, but sometimes it can be hard to put into practice.

Sometimes, I think we need to just take a moment to take a breather and to think of how much we’ve got going on in our lives. We can then decide what parts it might be a good idea to minimise or cut out and where we can start saying no to things in order to slow down. Our health, wellbeing and happiness are our main priorities, after all.

Maybe now is a good time to spring clean not just our homes, but every aspect of our lives. Clearing out the life clutter to make way for a more joyous and relaxed lifestyle.

 

 

Inspiration Lifestyle

How to achieve body confidence in a world of constant comparison

I want to talk a little today about body confidence and how to achieve it. I hear so many people say on a regular basis that they hate parts of their body, and it makes me so sad.

Personally, I have struggled with my body confidence a great deal in the past. There are a lot of things about the way I look that I don’t like.

I think that getting a little older has helped with this. The thing is, we only have one body, so we might as well grow to damn well love it.

I could sit and constantly think about all the things about my body that I don’t like. What would be the point? It doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t alter my body in any way and it doesn’t magically make the parts I dislike disappear and come back anew. If anything, it makes the things I don’t like seem worse and it makes my self-confidence decrease.

Why spend time sad about the things you can’t change? What a waste.

If there’s something you don’t like, do something about it. If it makes you feel better, cover that part up and think of the parts of yourself you love and accentuate them.

I once heard Beyonce say in an interview that she doesn’t like her ears because she thinks they’re too big. Because of this, she wears big earrings to try to offset how big they are. Beyonce, the ultimate queen of pop, has got a hangup just like the rest of us, but she does something about it to make herself feel better. Do we all talk about how big her ears are? No, we talk about how amazing she is. We don’t notice that small niggle she has. Just like the chances are very high that other people don’t notice those things that you dislike about yourself that you constantly fret about.

What you see as imperfections might be the parts of you that other people love and wish they had themselves. I used to think I had bad skin, which was the complete opposite of flawless. However, when I got married, my makeup artist commented completely off the bat that I’ve got really good skin. I’ve also had friends previously comment that they wish they had great looking skin like mine. It just goes to show that what you see, isn’t what everybody else is seeing.

I used to watch Gok Wan’s TV show How to Look Good Naked. During the show, he would line up several women of various sizes and they would stand in order according to their dress size. The main participant of the show would then be told to put herself into where she believed she would fit in the line. Every single time, the participants would place themselves in completely the wrong places, always believing they were much larger than they actually were. They were always in shock when Gok would pull them out of the line and move them down past several ladies who were larger than them. Because we always see ourselves in a different way to how everyone else sees us, and this TV show proved time and time again that we are so hard on ourselves, when we really shouldn’t be.

We are so self critical. We look at ourselves every day, so obviously we’re going to scrutinize every single part of ourselves, notice things other people will never notice and critique every tiny part of ourselves. The ironic thing is that by doing that, we are ending up deciding we don’t like certain parts of our bodies. The amount of times I’ve heard someone say they wish they had someone else’s legs, arms, stomach, even eyelashes! The list is endless.

We always seem to want what we can’t have, the grass always appears to be greener, but that part of someone else you wish you had? They might just be thinking the same about you.

We are so guilty of feeling we need to compete with everyone all the time. Constant comparison has turned into an epidemic. Instead of comparing the way we look to everyone else, we need to embrace and celebrate our uniqueness and our beauty. The world would be a very boring place if we all looked the same.

Love yourself for who you are and for how incredible you are. Be like Beyonce – be too busy being fabulous to worry about what you see as your imperfections.

Inspiration Lifestyle

Why we all need to stop competing and just create

I regularly see so many people, bloggers in particular, putting themselves down. I see them comparing themselves to others, saying they feel they’re not getting anywhere, their blog isn’t growing as quickly as they had hoped and they feel like they’re never going to get their blog to the place they would like it to be.

This makes me so sad.

There are so many blogs out there now and so many of them have such big numbers of followers, people commenting on each post and so on. It can be all too easy to see someone have thousands of loyal followers and wonder where we are going wrong.

But the truth of the matter is, we often don’t know the full backgrounds of these bloggers. Some of them have been blogging tirelessly for years and years, putting in hard work day in, day out. Of course we’re not going to have the same numbers of loyal fans as they do. There are many who have a background that is going to help them to get off to a seriously good start at setting up their own blog, whether they are a qualified photographer, someone who works in PR or maybe they have been writing a blog for their workplace for several years. There are many claims that some social media accounts with a large following have paid for fake followers. You never know the full story behind anyone else’s blog/website/business, so don’t be put off by what you see others achieving.

We need to start having a creative mindset rather than a competitive one. I truly believe there is a place for everyone when it comes to blogging. I’ve heard so many people say the blogosphere is saturated. And I guess it kinda is. But to be honest, who cares? Blogging is one of so many areas where I personally think the more there are, the better.

I started reading one blog a few years ago that I adored, but did I stop at reading just that one? No. I went out in search of more. When I saw how much I enjoyed reading blogs, I wanted to find more and more to follow. I’m still always on the lookout for more great blogs to read and more Youtube videos to watch. There are so many people writing about the things that I’m passionate about in so many different ways and with so many new and fresh ideas that provide me with more inspiration and new ways of thinking.

When you find something you adore, keep at it and don’t give up just because other people are more successful than you currently are. There’s always going to be someone who is more successful than you at pretty much everything, but does that mean you should decide to quit?

Just imagine if every single other blogger out there looked at Zoella and decided they can’t compete with her, so why bother? There would be a ridiculously huge number of bloggers who are now very successful in their own right, many of whom have now turned it into their full-time job, people who have gathered thousands and thousands of loyal followers who would have given it all up before they found success. All because someone else has achieved more than them.

When I sit down at my laptop or my notebook and start writing, the words just flow. I feel so inspired, so in love with writing and so passionate about my blog. My blog is still relatively new and I don’t have a huge number of followers anywhere yet, but my numbers keep steadily rising, and that’s honestly all that counts. When you start comparing yourself with everyone else, you start losing the passion and the love for blogging.

If blogging is something you adore and you feel a burning desire to share your ideas/tips/advice with the world, don’t get disheartened when everyone around you seems to be doing better than you. Use your favourite bloggers as inspiration – they are proof that you can achieve what you want to achieve. It’s so important that you follow your dreams and put out into the blogosphere that something special that you have to offer.

Forget being competitive. You don’t need to be. You don’t need to worry about what everyone else is doing. Just focus on yourself and enjoy every moment.

 

Inspiration Lifestyle

How two little words can change your life

I’ve always been so organised and good at decluttering, or so I thought. There always seemed to be possessions I was clinging onto that I just couldn’t let go of, and I didn’t know why. That old dress that I didn’t particularly love but couldn’t seem to get rid of and the mugs in the cupboard that I’ve never liked but felt guilty to throw away.

I learnt 2 little words some time ago. They have significantly decreased the amount of possessions I was holding onto. But they’ve introduced more to me than more free space in my home and less possessions. It’s more than just objects. They’ve introduced to me a whole new way of living. A new way of seeing everything around me.

What are these life-changing words?

Spark joy.

Marie Kondo very kindly introduced them to me with her KonMari decluttering method in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying. Little did I know that beginning to declutter my home would have quite such an impact on the rest of my life too.

You see, only keeping hold of things that ‘spark joy’ is applicable to everything in your life, not just the physical objects around you. Once you begin to see how incredible it is to only have things that bring you joy in your home, you will want to continue this new-found lesson to change everything in your life.

I began to clear out my emails, unsubscribing from anything that I didn’t need or want to be subscribed to anymore. I was fed up of receiving countless emails every day I had to sort through. Why not give myself an easier life and drastically reduce the number I had to look at every day?

I started to clear out my laptop. I’ve got so many documents, photos, music, and sites bookmarked. It can be hard to find things when there are so many different folders on my laptop containing so many things I don’t need and photos I don’t even like. It’s so time-consuming going through everything and it’s something I’m still working on, but the feeling of relief is already starting to show.

Perhaps one of the most important things I came to realise is the importance of surrounding myself with people that ‘spark joy’ and to not concern myself with those that don’t.

I do find that sometimes this can be easier said than done. There are some people in my life who I consider to be toxic but who I am unable to completely reduce ties with, for whatever reason. The best I can do is to limit the amount of joy I lose through any involvement with them. When they say things to try to bring me down and spread negative energy, I choose to keep my head high, laugh it off and head straight back to those who support me.

I fell out quite some time ago with someone who was close to me. It hurts to not see them and speak to them anymore. I knew that it was a toxic relationship and that it was best that I no longer saw them. At the same time, through the years we had had so many good times, so much laughter, and so to lose that was incredibly difficult. I even reached out to them, ready to attempt to forgive and put the bad things aside and to try to move forward. But they didn’t want to accept the olive branch I held out.

At the time, that was incredibly hurtful and I was very upset. However, I can now see that, even though there were so many happy moments, that person was toxic on so many occasions. They were unsupportive, letting me down regularly, not having my back when others would say unkind things. I’ve come to realise what a relief it is that I no longer have to deal with any of that. I can remember the happy times fondly and be grateful that the negative energy is no longer in my life, and instead focus on people who truly do spark joy.

The spark joy ethos has helped me to see things in complete clarity for what they are. It’s helped me to move on from things and people that were holding me back, it’s cleared my home of anything that I didn’t truly love, it’s pushed me to minimise and simplify, and it’s constantly moving me towards a home and life filled solely with things I adore.

Living a luxurious life may be seen as purely owning expensive, luxe items. But that isn’t the case. It’s about a great deal more than that. A luxe life, to me, involves a home filled with my favourite things, being surrounded by amazing people who support and uplift me, and more free time in which to treat myself and enjoy the moment. And those two words ‘spark joy’ do so much to encourage that.

Two very small but extremely powerful words.

Inspiration

The importance of following your dreams

We have dreams and aspirations for a reason. They are there to inspire us, to show us what can be possible if we desire them enough to aim for them and work for them.

We all have different ideas of what a fabulous and fulfilled life is and that’s the beauty of this world – we all have something unique to offer. The world is crying out for that something special that only you have.

You owe it, not only to yourself, but to everyone else to design a life you are completely in love with.

Imagine if everybody decided to sit back and ignore their dreams. Our favourite musicians wouldn’t be creating music, there wouldn’t be the incredible variety of shops available to us, our bookshelves would be empty and restaurants simply wouldn’t exist.

The world would be a very boring and dull place. And no-one likes boring and dull. There needs to be an abundance of imagination, creativity and spice. You deserve to shine and the world deserves to have you follow your bliss.

Imagine if Martin Luther King never spoke out about his dream? That incredible speech would never have been spoken and taken it’s rightful place in history. Our dreams can impact everyone around us and you may not even begin to imagine their importance until you act on them. It may not be until you begin to fully realise your dreams that you understand the incredible effects they have on others around you, maybe even people who have never met you before.

You have an unquestionable ability to inspire and motivate through your actions. It may take time for you to get there, a lot of hard work, determination and vision. But you WILL get there.

By choosing a different path, one that brings you alive and ignites your soul, you can prove to everyone that it can be done – that you can chase your dreams with all your heart until you can pin them down and accomplish things you didn’t think were possible. They ARE possible. Just take the first step and know that amazing things are coming your way.

Be the one who dares to shine. You will be so glad you did.

 

 

 

Inspiration

Life is easy

Let’s be honest here, life is full of twists and turns. Things don’t always go to plan. Situations happen, things change and the unexpected crops up out of nowhere.

I went through a difficult time a few years ago, which resulted in me quitting my job and losing all my confidence. I was feeling pretty low at this point in my life and all I kept asking myself was why is life so hard? Why did this have to happen to me? What had I done to deserve this? Why is life so unfair?

Things hadn’t worked out as I had planned. I became so upset and angry that my life wasn’t heading in the direction I had thought it would and that I had no idea if things would ever be the same again. What if I couldn’t get my confidence back? Ever? What if I couldn’t go back to working again? My worries and fears escalated and spiralled and I truly felt as if my whole world had come crashing down around me and that there was no way out.

But this is what happens with negativity and worry – they do nothing to help our lives; in fact, they do the opposite, creating yet more worry and negative thoughts and fear. It can quickly turn into a downwards spiral.

What I learnt during this difficult time was that negativity and worry are not the way forward. I couldn’t let myself live this way anymore; change had to happen, or else things would continue to worsen. Change can be hard, but sometimes it is a necessity and I realised that changing the way I was thinking was something that had to be done, for my sake and for the sake of my family and everyone around me too. I’d had enough of feeling so low and completely worthless every day.

It was time to turn things around.

I came to realise that positivity needed to be my new way of thinking. I had had enough of worrying, of feeling anxious about anything and everything, and about being fearful of the future. I have always struggled to be a positive person, thinking that positivity doesn’t get you anywhere, but I slowly began to realise that actually the opposite is true.

the-future-will-develop-a-bright-warm-glow

Being positive and thinking the best of situations, rather than the worst, which is what I had previously got into the habit of doing, really can have a huge impact on your life. By looking at things in a new light, finding the joy in everything and making the conscious decision that you will be happy, life truly can be transformed. You will start to attract more positive people around you, new opportunities will open up, life will seem more exciting and the future will develop a bright warm glow; a big full-on glittery sparkle, even! By letting go of the worry, the fear, the negativity, a huge burden will feel like it has been lifted from your shoulders.

If you tell yourself every day that life is hard, money is tight, things aren’t working for you and so on, things probably aren’t going to change. Telling yourself that life is easy can seem like a difficult statement to believe; a complete lie perhaps. I’ve struggled to believe it myself. But I’ve come to learn that the more I do believe it, the easier and happier life can be.

There may be times of struggle, but we always come out the other side, so why stress and worry over the small things? Why not tell ourselves that it will soon be over, as we know it will be, and look forward to the future? Sometimes things happen that at the time may feel like the end of the world, but more often than not, they actually lead to bigger and better things that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. There are always going to be twists and turns in life, but with a positive mindset, we can glide through any more difficult phases and take great pleasure in the amazing phases.

Life can be easy, if you decide it will be.