It is 3:30 am on my birthday and I’m typing this in a hotel room in Bangkok while Irene is asleep in the bed behind me. We are on our first ever overseas trip without Zoey and we’ve been having a fantastic time enjoying Thai massages, eating yummy food and spending quality time together. Zoey is currently having her first sleepover at her Godma’s home. This trip was only possible because we have the support of an amazing helper and friends who are really family.
As I reflect on how my life has changed over the past year, I am grateful for everything that has happened to make 2015 one of the best years of my life. The opportunities I have been given, the people I have met, the projects I have worked on.
I know many people think I accomplished a lot last year. One of the questions that keep coming up is “How do you find the time?”
To be honest, when people ask that, I feel like an imposter. A friend and mentor of mine, Andrew Griffiths wrote about the imposter syndrome recently. When I read the post, I realised how much it resonated with me. While I know I am supposed to be the productivity and time management expert (after all, I wrote a whole book about it) I think I make it seem easy when it’s not.
My life is pretty much the same as everyone else’s. Some days I wake up feeling motivated and excited, other days I wake up completely flat out exhausted and I don’t want to do anything at all.
I know on the outside it looks like I am well organised and very much in control, with loads of energy and time to make things happen. However, on the inside, it takes a tremendous amount of effort to remain motivated. I am fortunate that a number of things fell into place in 2015 and created a fantastic environment for me to thrive in. A large part of that is the people I have met through working at Key Person of Influence Singapore. Now I truly believe that if you are surrounded by amazing people who are doing cool things on a daily basis, you automatically find the strength and motivation to achieve greater heights. After all, if they can do it, so can you!
Therefore, for my birthday this year, I am stealing Andrew’s birthday idea and making a wishlist, although my list is quite different from his. If you want to send me birthday greetings or get me a gift, I ask that you do one of the below for yourself instead.
1. Think of someone you know who inspires you and reach out to them.
Send them a message, write them an email or give them a call to let them know how much you appreciate what they do and how much it inspires you. I received many messages from complete strangers last year who told me how much they appreciate my blog. Each message helped to keep me motivated to continue writing.
My message today will be to Andrew who has inspired me so much with how generous he is with his time, knowledge and energy. Thank you Andrew!
2. Tell a family member you love them and give them a hug.
Family are the people we most often take for granted. I know that I would never have been able to achieve everything I did last year without the love and support of Irene. It is often easy to forget the sacrifices our family make in order for us to achieve our dreams. Let’s remember to appreciate them a bit more.
3. Make time for yourself and your dreams.
With the hyper-connectivity of the world we live in now, it’s hard to get 5 minutes of alone time without being bombarded by Facebook feeds, WhatsApp messages or emails. So disconnect for an hour, find a quiet space and spend it thinking about what you would like to achieve for yourself this year.
4. Treat yourself to an experience.
Get a massage, sign up for a class or maybe even book a holiday. Research has shown that buying experience instead of things makes for a happier person. So go ahead and make yourself happy by trying something different. For me, this trip has made me a very happy birthday girl.
5. Donate your time and/or money to a cause you believe in.
Today I made my first personal giving on Buy 1 Give 1.
It consists of some proceeds from the sale of my book and a bonus giving on behalf of people who have visited my website since the launch of my book. I am committed to making this a monthly contribution and I am excited about the possibilities of the lives I can impact through the givings.
So there you have it, 5 things you can do today instead of wishing me Happy Birthday or buying me a gift. If everyone I know does one of the above, it will make my birthday this year pretty special 🙂