“Those who lead inspire us.”

I’m not usually one to reference specific books directly but Start With Why by Sinek spoke to me. It speaks of leaders with power and those who lead by inspiring. It speaks to those that desire to inspire and those seeking inspiration from others. Perhaps the most fantastic part of it all is realizing how the most influential people leading communities and organizations all share the talent that tells us the “why” of their presence in our lives.

If we take a moment to consider inspiring leaders, not once do we envision a 30-minute powerpoint presentation packed with specific information nailed down to the nitty gritty details of their ideas. Instead, we recall the board–inspirational statements–they make that celebrate the very driving ideals that give us the reason to believe and recall it when we wake up the next morning.

Not once did you favourite author have to tell you “I write great books”. They let you know that their written work is valuable by challenging the norms of a supposedly saturated industry. No one will ever be motivated, nor care enough, to be part of a community that only preaches on how well you do one thing.

There is a reason people thrive on inspiration. Because it can model both our personal lives and organizations we run.

Sinek developed the Golden Circle as pictured above. Just as I spoke of inspiration, the Golden Circle encompasses both people and their business interactions.

In short: It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do–people won’t care unless they know “why”.

Is this really applicable to our lives you might ask?

Fair question. I thought the same.

Last week someone asked me to map out the “why” of my life for my own personal clarification. After what felt like hours of talk, I realized I still had no understanding of what “why” really meant.

So, here’s what I’ve come up with: Your WHY can be broad. Vague. With lack of details in fact. All it has to be is something that drives you to continue moving forward every morning.

My why in this case is to inspire through written communication. To enable people to find their own place in the world–whether this be a mental state of well-being or a physical home.

We are people of change and growth. Our actions will shift its course as we move forward but our “why” is what will remain consistent.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Safe to say, most of us have been asked the big looming question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” before the age of 7. Sure we can easily criticize the poser of the question for asking this too soon in one’s life but is that really an issue? Living in a day and age where technology is revolutionizing itself before our eyes — there is perhaps no point in asking children the big looming question. Not only is it too soon for a child to have pre-established ideas of what they need to be passionate about but jobs exist today that didn’t exist just a decade ago.

Gone are the days where one person was only meant to do one thing. [Click to Tweet!]

As the fickle creatures we truly are, there is no surprise that we have the tendency to proclaim our love for one career — only to wind up hating it and moving on to another one. And to be fair, that’s why we’re given more than one chance to get it right. Because how are we supposed to know whether or not we’re actually passionate about something before trying it? No expectations formed from a single job description will ever match exactly with what the job is really like. Things just aren’t as you first imagine them to be.

There is fear that the technology revolution will make jobs disappear. Since we are stuck to old assumptions about pursuing one career we forget that these jobs are being replaced by new ones. Ones that we too can have if we were willing to re-educate ourselves. Of course education doesn’t always have to be tied to the bureaucratic system that made up nearly 2 decades of our early lives. If anything, learning from reading every book, talking to people in the industry and attending very event takes a heck of a lot more energy than going back for another degree.

If selling ourselves to employers has become increasingly important to answering the modern day version of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” the need for us to: define what we want, test out the waters and steer onto a whole new course free of obstacles is essential. With the overwhelming number of passionate people setting out to fix problems through start-ups, workplace models are rapidly changing. What are the chances of your start-up finding success like Google or Instagram you say? I’ll say we’ll all have a better chance if only we treated ourselves more like start-ups. Selling ourselves is one thing, but it’s another to be able to identify and make changes before diving into disasters head on.

Here are the days we can give the most interesting answers to the question: “What do you do for a living?” [Click to Tweet!]

— itsfruitcakeweather.

Make Your Own Life

You’ve been over this before. Frankly, your brain is sick of hearing it. There is something you want to do that you just haven’t yet. You want to go back to school, you want to start your own business, you want to learn to cook…

The non-existent book you have yet to write.

Perhaps HALF of a book draft that you just haven’t been able to bring yourself back to touching since work got in the way.

And I could go on with this list, but what’s the point? You’re such a smart cookie you’ve already got where I’m going with all this talk.

We’ve got to take the “you only live once” and direct it in the most positive way possible. It shouldn’t be an excuse for acts of recklessness. What it should help us realize, is that we ought to stop preventing ourselves from doing the things we want to.

Funny thing is, we like to assume we’re being realistic and logical for not pursuing the things we are deeply passionate about. Common logic: No money, no time, not young enough to fail again, don’t want to start over, don’t want to do something you’re not the best at etc. They say we’re afraid of failure, but it seems we also have a fear of great success. To know so much is to have more potential fear.

At some point someone might have told you you’re not capable of the thing you wanted. You didn’t want to believe it. You thought you were capable of not listening and not caring about what they said. Why is it that you went ahead and followed through on someone else’s words instead of your own?

Your single belief should be the only thing that matters.

Some of us are just naturally the ‘glass half empty’-types. We pride ourselves on being able to avoid all disappointment because of the lack of risk in our lives. And as our ancestors might have advised us from the dinosaur era, stay in a place where there is the lowest possibility of your predators ever hurting you.

There is no short-cut out of the pessimistic mindset. For every 10 lovely compliments you receive, you may only find yourself pondering the one time someone doubted you. Not only doubted your dream but also doubted you as a person. It’s important we make an effort to facilitate encouraging interaction between those that we care about and care about us in return.

We will forever notice more reasons to not do something we want than to go for it. At the end of the day, we don’t ACTUALLY need a perfect track record clear of failures in the long-run –so stop being so OCD about it. Take the first step. And if it doesn’t work? Well, now you know what the better step is to take the next time around. To give yourself a chance at succeeding is to gift yourself with a new habit; the habit of accepting better solutions to old problems.

You’re doing it for yourself. To remind yourself that you’re amazing and deserve to follow through with your own words and not others’.

Make your own life.

— itsfruitcakeweather.

What Are Your Ideas Worth?

Photo Source

Ideas are essentially of zero value in themselves.

So why fear the judgment and failure?

Only the valued ideas brought to life bring upon stares of awe and judgment from others. The successful ideas and creations that result from them are often blown out of proportion –a real life rags-to-riches story the inspires millions of people.

Of course, that in itself, is our problem. We only care to hear about successful ideas and beautiful victories.

There will always be more losses than victories, more failures than successes. It’s important for us to stop leaving out the failure chunk of the story. To try before continuously speaking.

The common excuse: Why bother trying when the rate of failure is so high and rate of success so low? And to an extent, the skeptics are right.

All we’re forgetting is that one success doesn’t come without many failures.

So be ready to embrace failures and your time of judgment will arrive with your success down the road. But for now, why fear the nonexistent judgment?

— itsfruitcakeweather.

“Quintet of Radiance”: Five Ennobling Awards & Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

I was shocked to discover just a couple days ago that Shivani had nominated me for Five Ennobling Awards! Many thanks to her and the rest of the awesome people that continue to read my posts. Being busy with work I haven’t had the opportunity until today to write a proper post to acknowledge the amazing people that read my blog. For years I’ve held back from posting publicly on a blog, but my fulfillment in the days since I started at the end of April has undeniably skyrocketed.

Awesome Blog Content (ABC) Award

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Inner Peace Award

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Most Influential Blogger Award

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Sunshine Award

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Versatile Blogger Award

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The ABC Award requires me to write a word or a phrase about myself for each of the English alphabets, so here it is:

A: Avocado in sushi but not anything else. I’m weird like that.

B: Big Comfy Couch. Absolutely adored this TV show when I was little. There was always something about the mysterious number of toys that the girl was able to fit into a couch.

C: Cats and cookies. I can’t bring myself to pick one of over the other. They make my life.

D: I used to wish on dandelions.

E: Eating is my sport.

F: I desperately wanted to be a figure skater when I was young.

G: My favourite Beanie Baby toy is a blue giraffe.

H: Homebody. This is me on most days.

I: Instant noodles. Something I have much more often than I really should.

J: Jam but not peanut butter. The two just don’t go together for me.

K: Knitting is a side-hobby of mine.

L: I’ve been lucky enough to have such caring people in my life.

M:May you walk through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.” – Apache Blessing

N: New Caledonia. A place I would love to visit one day.

O: Ovaltine. I haven’t had it in forever but I really miss the idea of it.

P: PJs. My outfit of the day (everyday) if I could.

Q: When I was a child I got a quarter every Tuesday and believed I’d be rich by the time I hit my 20s.

R: Reality shows. I’m guilty of watching these for entertainment purposes.

S: It used to be stickers but… now I collect scarves!!

T: TedTalks. Best. Things. Ever. Like how I went from reality TV to TedTalks? Yeah, now you’re feeling a little skeptical.

U: I’ve never learned my lesson to carry an umbrella at all times despite living in a city that rains constantly.

V: Violin was really difficult to learn.

W: The wordpress platform!

X: Xylophone. The word I never learned to spell as a child.

Y: Yam fries! Or just yams in general because my family loves them.

Z: Zebra print. I can’t stand the pattern on furniture.

MY NOMINATIONS:

1. 20something and beyond – http://20somethingandbeyond.com/

2. Cristian Mihai – http://cristianmihai.net/

3. The Happy Guide – http://thehappyguide.wordpress.com/

4. TheBigForest – http://thebigforestuk.wordpress.com/

5. 2unpublishedgirls – http://2unpublishedgirls.com/

***

UPDATE:

Thank you Tilly for nominating me for the ‘very inspiring blogger’ award just days after my first nomination!

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The rules for this award are:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate other bloggers for this award and link to them.
4. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

MY NOMINATIONS:

  1. Sarah http://livetolist.wordpress.com/
  2. Katy http://katywarner.com/
  3. Julia http://defeatdespair.wordpress.com/
  4. Endahya http://carakata.wordpress.com/
  5. Jeks http://jeksplore.wordpress.com/

— itsfruitcakeweather.

5 Common Thoughts Of Those Experiencing Quarter Life Crisis

  1. “What am I going  to do with my life?” I bet you would like to know (because I certainly do). I’ve recently learned that perhaps we have been misguided to think that we must know where we’re going with out lives. In high school we decided which courses to take for college/university admission, in post-secondary we decided on our majors… what does it really mean? Perhaps it is most important for us to realize that we can be in our 20s without knowing where we’re going with our lives. Things are going to be okay.
  2. “So this is what it’s like to have grown up.” This thought is often accompanied by an unpleasant feeling of stress or anxiety as a result of assumed expectations of where you should be or what you should be doing in your life. When we were young and fearless you always looked forward to your birthday, why is it now that you’re dreading your next birthday and family gathering? Just remember that those expectations are made up by other people –not you. You’re still young.
  3. “Sometimes it feels like everyone is doing better than me in life.” How well do you really know these people you’re referring to? The fact of the matter is you don’t know. Don’t forget that while you may see all the positive progress of they’ve made in their lives you haven’t been around to witness all the failures. As cliche as it sounds, to someone else you might be making amazing progress. Don’t be undermining yourself now.
  4. “I need a job.” Not going to lie, I’m often pestered by this thought. In the case that you do have a job and you don’t enjoy it… we all understand that financial stress can be overwhelming.
  5. “I really need to make changes.” It doesn’t matter what change, you just want to do something different to enter this new stage in your life in hopes of moving forward. Do what makes you happy. Cut your hair. There doesn’t have to be a purpose behind everything you do now that you feel older. You can still enjoy a lot of the same things you loved as a child.

– itsfruitcakeweather.