meganatkinsonslife

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Self Improvement- My Journey So Far

The journey of self improvement can be an frustrating one. The internet is saturated with videos and blog posts promising you the ‘secret’ to a happy, put together life, which usually require you to use techniques such as the Law Of Attraction, the 80/20 rule and in depth spreadsheets for every single area of your life- not before performing an over complex morning routine involving meditation and a Pinterest worthy breakfast of course. This leaves you creating an unattainable minute by minute routine jam packed with every single trick you’ve heard will lead you to become a well rounded, organized, spiritually enlightened, constantly productive person, then not actually following any of it through because you’re so overwhelmed- you’ve been sucked in to the counterproductive cycle. I’ve been there.

When I first started giving more energy to my own self improvement journey, my controlling nature got the better of me and I started getting worked up over exactly how my week would look, exactly which exercise routine I’d be doing, exactly what I’d be eating  and exactly which sub-sub-subject I’d study for school and how long for. The truth is, self improvement doesn’t come from micromanaging your time and it doesn’t happen overnight- it comes from consistency, patience and life experience. To give you a real idea of just how long it takes to build up the characteristics, habits and skills you’re lusting after when consuming self improvement content, I’ve created a timeline showing my personal journey and at which point I made genuine improvements to my life.

2015

My self improvement journey started in 2015, when terrible teenage acne drove me to drinking two liters of water a day. I started bringing a water bottle to school and created a habit of starting each lesson with a 500ml bottle and seeing how much I could drink by the end of it. In two or three months, this habit was solidified and I saw improvements such as better skin, less drowsiness and more energy. This may seem like a small change over quite a long period of time, but it triggered the journey to gradually becoming a better functioning person.

Around this time I also started buying into the idea of fate, which allowed me to adopt a more relaxed, ‘it is what it is’ attitude to life. Again, a small change, but a change none the less.

 

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So, at the end of 2015, I was hydrated with a relaxed mindset- a good start to my self improvement journey.

      2016

In 2016 the small changes kept coming, I focused on my environment and decorated my room completely white with minimal furniture and decoration, meaning it was low maintenance and one less thing to worry about.

I also created a routine to help me feel in control physically, involving taking a shower, tying my hair back and moisturizing, meaning whenever I got overwhelmed I could take back physical control of my situation.

Procrastination was cut out of my life in 2016 too, when I forced myself to stop spending time with a towel on my head after a shower, stop spending time scrolling through twitter mindlessly and realized that procrastination wastes precious time, and if you’re putting something off, its better just to take a relaxing break and come back to it.

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So, at the end of 2016, I was hydrated with a relaxed mindset, I had a home environment I loved, a routine to help me when I felt overwhelmed and plenty of extra time gained by cutting out procrastination- I was making progress. 

 

 

 

2017

2017 was when things really started changing for me and I made more progress than ever. I started journaling and writing positive affirmations; I wasn’t to strict with myself and made sure it was a cathartic experience rather than the daily journaling I subjected myself to every year as a child until mid January.

I also found genuine, life enriching passions– something which I’d been lacking for years. Throughout school, I was never really passionate about anything, I just did the subjects on the curriculum according to the mark scheme- everything was regulated and I wasn’t doing anything for me. That all changed in July when I left education and started this blog as a personal project. Blogging allowed me to design a website, write about what I love, practice my photography and build up my own personal ‘brand’ that completely represents me. I also started traveling a lot more and took my camera everywhere with me and even if the photos didn’t go anywhere there was a huge amount of satisfaction in indulging in a creative passion purely for my own enjoyment. The cinema also played a huge part in enriching my life. Film is one of my favorite art forms out there and since getting a cinema card I’ve loved watching a huge variety of work, keeping up with certain actors and actresses and forming thought out opinions on the different aspects of a film instead of just thinking it was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Having all these things enriching my life and keeping me creatively stimulated has been a huge part of my self improvement journey.

I also went through my first ever job search last year, which taught me not only how to write a proper CV and present myself professionally in interviews, but also strengthened my character and made me a more confident, self motivated, self believing, positive and most of all determined person. I walked tirelessly around every shop I could think of to hand out CV’s personally and spent hours upon hours filling out applications online- but I never gave up because I knew how much I needed a job. I’m glad that I had to have that experience, because its taught me that if I want something I can’t just take the easy way out.

Along with the determination needed to get a job, I also learned the value in making the bold, brave decision to quit one. In my most recent position, I felt like I wasn’t being treated properly and every second I spent there was miserable, so whilst on my birthday trip to London, in the time it took me to get from Sloane Square to Victoria Station on the tube, I decided enough was enough- I quit the very next day. Handing in my notice was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had, I felt free and in control of my own life again.

I also took control of my organisation problem last year. Back in school I was messy, disorganised and often didn’t know where I was supposed to be and when, but in 2017 I really took control of that and started using a colour coded Google Calendar, meaning I always had a monthly overview of what I was doing and life became a lot easier to manage.

IMG_4879So, at the end of 2017 I was hydrated with a relaxed mindset, I had home environment I loved, a routine to help me when I felt overwhelmed, and plenty of extra time gained by cutting out procrastination, I was using journaling to manage my mental health, I’d gained CV writing and job skills, I was determined, confident, self motivated, self believing, I had creative hobbies that enriched my life and I had a proper organization method- I’d made more self improvement than ever.

2018

We’re only three months into 2018 but already I’ve made so much more progress on my self improvement journey. One of the biggest changes I’ve made is waking up early(ish) every morning. My sleeping pattern slipped when I started my gap year and had nothing to wake up for, so I decided to get back on top of it and got into the habit of waking up at 7.40am every morning, which still isn’t as early as I’d like but I’m being consistent and working on it.

I’ve also started meal prepping which has saved me SO much time and effort on a daily basis, and has also meant I’ve been keeping up a healthier, more balanced diet than last year.

After finding a muchelleb video on meditation, I’ve started taking some time to myself on a morning to put on some relaxing music, do some deep breathing and practice some basic yoga stretches. This has made a huge impact on not only my mental wellbeing, but also my physical wellbeing as it means I have to get off the sofa, stretch my muscles and get my body going for the day.

In the last month or so, I’ve started making the effort to get out in the fresh air and daylight for a walk around my neighbourhood, which may not seem like a big deal to some but its made a big difference to my life and allowed me to manage stress SO much better.

Since my biggest goal of 2018 is financial, I’ve made the effort to become more responsible with my money and have started using Microsoft One Note (which is SO useful for keeping all of your ideas, lists, blog posts, spreadsheets and everything in between all together) to keep track of how much I’m spending and saving, meaning I’m so much more on top of my finances and focused on my goal.

Along with taking care of my physical health and keeping my finances in check, I’ve also started 2018 by decluttering my wardrobe and adding a few key pieces to *hopefully* make my minimalist style Pinterest board become a reality.

The final change so far this year that I want to mention is spending less time on social media, which has cleared my mind and given me more time to get sh*t done.

FullSizeRender-3So, a quarter of the way through 2018, I’m hydrated                                                                   with a relaxed mindset, I have a home environment I love,                                                                       a routine to help me when I feel overwhelmed, plenty of extra time gained by cutting out procrastination, I used journaling to manage my mental health, I’ve gained job skills, I’m determined, confident, self motivated, self believing, I have creative hobbies that enrich my life, a proper organisation method, a good sleeping pattern, a relatively healthy diet, I do                                                                                                                             yoga and walking to help both my mental and physical health, I’ve got a money management system, a wardrobe thats getting more minimal everyday and enough self control to spend minimal time on social media.

I’m the put together person I’ve always strived to be, but I hope you can see from this timeline that it took baby steps to get there, not starting thirty new habits overnight. Yes, self improvement can come from giving your room a makeover, taking up yoga and organizing your life through spreadsheets, but you don’t have to do all of that at once. There’s no formula to follow and no shortcuts- self improvement is recognising what needs improving in your life, finding ways that work for you and using them to make steady progress that builds up over time. If you take anything from this blog post, let it be these three things-

  1. Recognise that you don’t have to do all the things all the time. If you don’t want to get up at 5am and do yoga you don’t have to- find out what works for you and practice it consistently over time.

    2. Be pateint. As you can see from my timeline self improvement doesnt happen over night but you WILL get there- take time to appreciate how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved like I have in this blog post as motivation to carry on.

     3. Accept that you’re ALWAYS a work in progress. You’ll never be perfect, you’ll never be excelling in every single area of your life, but as long as you’re making small changes consistently you’ll see a lot of improvement.

What I’m Focusing On Now

Some more small changes I’d love to make this year are:

  • Wake up even earlier- I’m aiming for 5am!
  • Start more intense excersise- I’m going to slowly increase the length of my walks and yoga sessions then add some proper exercise routines in
  • Practice mindfulness and living in the moment
  • Make my blog into a business

If you’re on a journey of self improvement and have any tips for me and others reading this post be sure to leave them in the comments! Megan x

21 Before 21

Now I’m officially one year into adulthood and feeling older than ever, I’ve decided to make a ’21 Before 21′ list and challenge myself to pack as much into my young years as possible. Below is everything I want to experience before I get the key to the door, from life long bucket list trips to newer goals…

  1. The biggest and most important goal on this list is to buy my first investment property. I recently heard the saying ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now.’ and it definitely rang true with me. Although I’m happy with my blogs progress so far, I sometimes wonder how much progress I could’ve made if I’d have started it a year earlier, and I definitely don’t want to be in that position when it comes to my long term career and financial stability. I want to make sure I’m investing in my future at a young age so I’m ahead of the game.
  2. The next goal on my list is to do at least one sponsored blog post. To have a brand recognise my effort and want to work in collaboration with me would be amazing and I think its definitely possible if I keep putting consistent work in.

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3. Every year I stalk Coachella on Instagram and stare at pictures of pretty girls in Bohemian dresses enjoying the festival in the beautiful California sun, and before I’m twenty one I want to be one of those girls. I’ve never been to a festival because, surprisingly, I’ve never fancied sitting in a cold field in Leeds drinking cans, but I’d happily go to one if it involved sitting in a valley in LA enjoying mocktails.

4. I’ll hold my hands up and admit I have a pretty horrific diet that consists of 90% bread and pasta, which is why next on this list is take a food tour of a city (preferably not an Italian one!). I really want to find a variety of foods I enjoy and I think a food tour would be perfect, since I always tend to play it safe when I’m ordering from a menu.

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5. My next 21 before 21 goal is to go on a mindfulness/yoga/wellbeing retreat for a week. I want to have a full seven days completely without the internet or technology and take time to rest my mind and body. I think being in an environment where healthy meals and classes are readily available would be really beneficial for my physical and mental health and would hopefully help me implement better ways of living into my everyday life.

6. Although I visit my local cinema a LOT, I’ve never experienced the novelty of an outdoor film screening. Enjoying a warm summer evening watching a film on a London rooftop would be incredible and its definitely something I’ll be doing before I turn twenty one!

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7. I was late to the game, but I recently binge watched all four seasons of ‘Peaky Blinders’ and fell in love with Tommy Shelby, so next on my list is visit the Peaky Blinders sets around the UK. §

8. Ever since I saw ‘Kinky Boots’ on my eighteenth birthday I’ve been obsessed with musicals, so I really want to go to some more before I’m twenty one, preferably ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, ‘The Book Of Mormon’ and ‘Wicked’, because theres just nothing that makes me feel fancier than a night at the theatre.

9. Next on my ’21 Before 21′ list is to visit more galleries and museums. I’d quite like this one to be a solo thing- I love the idea of spending a whole afternoon wandering around an art gallery enjoying my own company and being present in my own thoughts.

10. Number ten on this list is to go back to New York– its my absolute favourite place in the entire world and although I might not be living there by twenty one, I’d love to go back and scout out my future neighbourhood.

11. I’ve been reading Blogosphere for over a year now, and before I’m twenty one I’d love to be in it, even if its just on the Instagram photos page.

12. A longstanding dream of mine has been to skydive, so before I reach the ripe old age of twenty one I’m going to put all my fear to one side, throw myself out of a plane and enjoy the freedom and exhilaration I’ve heard the experience gives you.

13. When I left college I was lacking creativity and inspiration after having my art assessed and graded for two years, so I started a blog to give me something to put my creativity into without being judged. I love the satisfaction of starting something from scratch and seeing how big I can build it from the ground up, so in the next two years I really want to work on an another extended creatively challenging project, whether that be a book, a screenplay or a photography project- I just want to work on something just for my own personal satisfaction.

14. Just once in my life I want to eat at the top of the shard. I’m not sure I can justify £50 for one pea, celeriac puree and a ‘chicken jeux’ more often than that, but just for one night I’m going to put on my glad rags and get allll the Instagrams of the fancy food.

15. Recently I watched the masterpiece that is ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and it’s inspired me to retrace Elio and Oliver’s footsteps around Crema- mainly so I can use the Instagram location ‘Somewhere In Northern Italy’ and bag myself some cool points.

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16. The next thing I really want to do before my 21st is take my first solo trip abroad, even if its just for one night. So far I’ve only ever had holidays with my family and friends and I really want to prove to myself that I can survive alone in a brand new city.

17. Until now I’ve been living it up in premier economy (which, lets be honest, only really has an extra two inches of leg room and a mini Twix half way through the flight), but at least once before I turn twenty one I want to experience what its like to travel in actual style and book myself a first class ticket. Who knows, maybe I’ll splash out and sit first class on my first solo trip!

18. I don’t want to look back at my life and regret not doing things out of fear, so although the thought of it absolutely terrifies me, next on my list is go on a hot air ballon ride. I don’t know if putting my life in the hands of a basket and giant bag of air will be thrilling or throw-up worthy, but you can’t knock it till you try it.

19. I’m not one for the great outdoors, in fact the last time I went camping was the worst night of my life, but I would like to experience a night in the middle of nowhere in a log cabin. A weekend with no social media, fresh air, campfire food and star watching sounds like absolute bliss!

20. New Year is one of my favourite occasions, but only once in my life have I ever celebrated it. Apart from that I’ve been in my pjs in bed waiting to do the countdown so I can go to sleep, so next on my list is celebrate New Year in a city.

21. Naturally, I became an avid snowboarding enthusiast for the three weeks the Winter Olympics was on- this combined with the unexpected UK snowfall and a day on the sledge-snowboard hybrid thats found a home in my garage was enough to put ‘try snowboarding’ on this list. I have been skiing before, but by the time I’d got myself on the lift, to the top of the hill and back down again I was a sweaty, stressed mess, so I’m hoping snowboarding will give me the effortless ‘edgy, adventurist’ vibe I’m going for.

So those are all the things I want to experience before twenty one, if you’ve tried any of them or think theres anything I need to add be sure to let me know in the comments! Megan x

19 Lessons At 19

Recently, I reached the grand old age of nineteen, so I thought I’d look back on all of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my childhood and teenage years in the hope that it will help some of you a little younger (and possibly older) than me! Heres nineteen lessons I’ve learned in nineteen years…

1. Despite what people will tell you, school days are NOT the best days of your life. If you accept that being told what to do and when to do it, dealing with sh*tty people, eating dinner hall food and stressing about Pythagoras theorem is the best your life ever going to get, then to be honestly I feel sorry for you. I know the rest of my life is going to be SO much better than all the years I had to waste being miserable at school.

2. Skipping class really isn’t that big of a deal- Seriously, I skipped 30% of my A Level year, completed the work at my own pace and still passed all of my subjects. I’m not saying completely ditch school, but if theres lessons you’re attending just to get your mark, time could be better spent doing revision you know works for you in a productive environment.

3. Money really does make the world go round. The older I get, the more I realise how much easier life gets the more money you have. A fat bank account doesn’t just get you new Chanel bags and sports cars, it gets you time, freedom and opportunity. At nineteen, I’m already thinking about long term investments and maximising my financial potential, because I definitely don’t want to be twenty five and still waiting for my minimum wage to drop into my bank account at the end of the month.

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4. It’s really hard to get a job in retail- like really, REALLY hard. One of the biggest shocks of my adult life so far is just how much employers expect of you before they pay you £5.30 an hour- if you’re not educated, experienced, able to drive and available 24/7 (EVEN for 8 hour contracts🙄) don’t even bother applying to stack shelves. It took me 150+ applications to get my first job and knowing that that many people didn’t even deem me worthy of minimum wage was really disheartening and frustrating. Be prepared for a LOT of rejection emails.

5. Organisation is key. I wish I could go back and give my sixteen year old self a shake and tell her to get her sh*t together- I could have saved myself SO much stress during GCSE’s if I’d have been properly organised. I’m not saying you have to plan your life minute by minute, but having a calendar and a tidy room will make the world of difference to your life, I promise.

6. Fresh air and daylight will never fail to lift your mood. Whenever I’m stuck in a rut, I take fifteen minutes to go outside and let my mind and body breathe.

7. Being an introvert is fine. If you don’t want to go out clubbing every weekend you don’t have to- if staying in your own safe environment and watching a film makes you happy, do it! You’ll save your bank account and liver a lot of problems.

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8.  I wholeheartedly believe EVERYTHING happens for a reason. I once read somewhere that the odds of you even existing are something like 1 in 100 trillion because of all the tiny events that had to happen at exactly the right time for you to be born, and knowing that helps me stress a little less when something goes wrong, because I know its just a tiny event happening at exactly the right time to get me to where I need to be.

9. I’ve recently found that you have to experiment before you find your passion. It might take you GCSE’s, A Levels, a university degree and ten different hobbies to find something you’re truly passionate about, but its better to have a go at everything than to think ‘what if’.

10. Bold decisions pay off. My recent step into adulthood led me to make some pretty adventurous moves, including rejecting university offers to take a gap year, deciding I don’t want to go to uni at all and working towards something completely new, and quitting my job because it was making me unhappy. Now, I’m working towards something I absolutely adore and I’m the process of finding a job that doesn’t make me feel sick at the thought of going for in the meantime.

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11. Don’t feel guilty about wanting more. One night, whilst trying to enjoy a meal with my grandparents in my town centre, we were interrupted by a man clearly on drugs banging on the window who waved and laughed at us when we tutted and told him to go away. This lead me to put something along the lines of ‘I didn’t deserve to be born in Middlesbrough’ in my friendship group chat, to which someone replied ‘What, and we all did?’, which for a second, made me feel guilty. I felt like a snob for putting myself above where I came from. Then I realised- I AM worth more than being stuck in a dead end town full of drug addicts, I DO deserve to live in a nice place where I can enjoy a meal in peace, and if you don’t even place that much value on yourself then thats YOUR problem. Sometimes, I think people are threatened when you have bigger aspirations than them because they don’t have the nerve to aim high themselves.

12. An important lesson I’ve learned very recently is don’t let your boss walk all over you. No matter how young or inexperienced you are, your boss should never expect you to be at their beck and call 24/7 to do the jobs no one else wants to, because they’re definitely not going to be paying you enough for that. Yes, you have to work hard to progress, but don’t put up with being used as a zero hour contractor just because you’re young. Stand your ground and let your boss know you’re a valued member of the team like everyone else, and deserve to be treated like one.

13. You’re always a work in progress. This has been a hard lesson to learn because as a child I always believed that by this age I’d have my life together, I’d be organised, creative and successful, and I am all three, just not in the capacity or way I imaged. I’ve learned that small steps add up and it may not seem like you’re making progress, but when you look back and see how far you’ve come it’ll encourage you to keep working on yourself.

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14. Being a minimalist makes your life so much easier. I’m SO glad I found this out so early in my life because it has seriously changed the way I live. I used to stress about how my bedroom looked, having one of absolutely everything in my wardrobe and making sure I had every lipstick shade, foundation and skincare product known to man. Now, I have a low maintenance, black and white, *almost clinical* room, a monochrome wardrobe and personal uniform of a t-shirt, leggings and black trainers. Make up has been the biggest change though, and now I hop out of bed every morning, cleanse and get on with my day barefaced. Getting rid of all my make up and simplifying my skincare routine has saved me SO much time and energy- I definitely think minimalism could help you if you feel overwhelmed and busy all the time.

15. Its okay to have a write off day. Sometimes, its counterproductive to attempt to get things done when you know you’re not in the right mindset to do so- your time could be better spent taking a proper break then coming back to the task with a fresh mind.

16. ‘The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now.’ Whatever you want to do, get as much of a head start as you possibly can- your future self will thank you for it.

17. Drink your water, eat your veggies, take your vitamins. Taking basic care of your physical health will make you feel full of energy and on top of your game in the short term and will benefit you no end in the long term.

18. In my nineteen short years I’ve visited three continents, eleven countries and four US states and its taught me theres nothing more inspiring than travel. Life isn’t meant to be lived in one place- theres jungles, beaches, deserts, oceans, mountains, architecture, museums, galleries and cafes waiting to be explored on every corner of the globe and to me the point of life is to see as many of them as possible.

19. Life’s better when you give less f*cks. I used to get stressed over every minor inconvenience you could possibly think of, and don’t get me wrong, there are still days now where I’ll have to take deep breaths over my car key fob not working or there being no milk in the fridge, but for the most part I’m chiller than I’ve ever been. I pick and choose very carefully whats worth giving a f*ck about and whats a waste of energy.

I hope you found some of these life lessons useful, feel free to share anything you’ve learned in the comments and share your knowledge! Megan x

Ten Motivational Quotes To Live By

Recently, I’ve felt myself morphing into a member of business major twitter. I’m not quite as annoying as the people who tweet ‘Rise and grind !! 🙌🏻💦💪🏻 I just FINESSED a coffee !! ☕️ The work ! Never ! Stops !👊🏻’ but I have found myself searching ‘success quotes’ on Pinterest to give myself some motivation, so I thought I’d share the ones that have helped me in the hope they help you too.

“97% of the people who quit too soon are employed by the 3% of people who never gave up”

Don’t be one of the 97% who have to ask someone else for a day off, who have to rely on someone else to set their schedule and who let someone else control their life.

“Hustle until your haters ask if you’re hiring”

Although the words ‘hustle’ and ‘haters’ make me cringe, this quote really gives me the fire in my belly I need to get sh*t done.

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“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do”

I remind myself of this quote every time I’m filling out a retail assistant application or looking at flights I can’t afford to book, because I know that if I put the hard work in now, one day I’ll be able to live life on my own terms.

“Work while they sleep, learn while they party, save while they spend, live like they dream”

Similarly to the last quote, this one reminds me that sacrifices made now will benefit me later. I don’t want to completely give up my quality of life and spend every waking moment and penny I have on my future, but I do want to make sure I’m finding a balance of living in the present as well as investing in the future.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is now”

Now I don’t want to sound like a show off, but this quote reminds me how much I’ve got my life together. Since I’m only eighteen, to plant my trees twenty years ago would have been impossible, so I’m glad I’ve started planting them as early as I possibly could in the first year of my adult life, in the form of savings to use for solid financial investments. I know that my thirty year old self will thank me for working so hard at such a young age.

“Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger”

This ones probably the cheesiest of them all, but recently I wrote a post on gaining confidence and I feel like this quote really sums it up- you should never think small because you feel like you have to- aim as high as you possibly can.

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I included this quote for no other reason than I want it in my future Instagram bio for very vain, egotistical reasons. I’m not an arrogant person that likes to show everything off, but one day I want to know that I’m the boss and I’m doing a bloody good job at it.

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“Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself”

Again for no reason other than feeding my ego, I’d love to walk into a room one day and have people know who I am because of my achievements.

“Don’t stop chasing a goal because of the time it will take to complete, that time will pass anyway”

Admittedly, this is one I need to remind myself of quite often because I want to hit milestones by a ‘x’ age. So often I’m focused on having my own business by twenty and owning a house by twenty five I neglect long term projects, but I need to remember that the time will pass regardless of whether I complete them or not.

“Mum, wheres my purple rucksack?”

My last and favourite of all the quotes comes from the film ‘Eddie The Eagle’. Eddie Edwards had an adorable amount of naivety and blind confidence, and was willing to pack up his purple rucksack and head to the Winter Olympics with no experience like a child heading off for their first day of school. I think we can all learn from him and pack our metaphorical purple rucksacks and go after whatever we want, no matter how unprepared or naive we may be.

 

I hope these quotes gave you some motivation! Leave a comment and let me know what your favourite motivational quote is below. Megan x

Succeeding Against The Odds

In a world where people, particularly women, are shamed for thinking highly of their abilities and having ambitions, I’ve got a new found sense of self belief. At the ripe old age of eighteen I was figuring out what I wanted to do with my life and it became a toss up of film making or building my own business. After much deliberation I decided I wanted to be a property developer. Not just your standard do-er upper, but a property development business owner with branches worldwide. I became obsessed with this idea, and I truly believed I could achieve it, but for a while I rejected all other possibilities, including working in film, because building a worldwide business was a big enough goal, right? Wrong. One day I had an epiphany, why can’t I be BOTH a business owner and a film maker? Theres no laws against it, but for some reason my subconscious told me it was only possible to be successful in one area. Although I don’t have plans to direct a film and renovate a house tomorrow, I’m glad my self confidence has outweighed my self doubt and allowed me to see both are possible.

“why can’t I be BOTH a business owner and a film maker?”

I haven’t always had this much faith in myself though. When I was younger, I used to joke to my parents that I’d buy them a fancy house for their retirement when I was a millionaire, knowing full well the best I’d ever get was a five figure salary and a bungalow for them. Their standard reply was ‘yeah, if you win the lottery.’ That wasn’t because they didn’t believe I could do it myself, it was because I’m from a small town in Northern England that isn’t known for producing successful millionaires like big cities are. I’m by no means pleading poverty, I had a very privileged upbringing with everything I wanted and needed, but the sad assumption was that I’d stay where I was born and bred, earn a decent wage, but never really do anything astounding, because money and success go to those who are born into it. I used to see rich and famous people as elusive beings with superpowers only some had. I thought their success must have been down to a perfect blend of wealth and superhuman genes, but, as I’ve grown up, I’ve realised that yes, fortune does favour those that have a nice chunk of inheritance to invest, but success isn’t as exclusive and unachievable as I once believed.

“I used to see rich and famous people as elusive beings with superpowers only some had.”

Since shifting my mindset and becoming more career focused, I’ve paid close attention to people who have achieved incredible things I never thought possible, and it started with Lin Manuel Miranda. Last year I was in a taxi on the way to Manhattan, and whilst waiting for my first glimpse of the skyline, two GIGANTIC ‘Hamilton’ posters hung off a building and started me in the face. It absolutely blew my mind that one person had the creativity, initiative and sheer talent to write a whole musical, get it on Broadway and have it advertised so extravagantly in the greatest city in the world (see what I did there?). After that it continued, people such as Taron Egerton, who came from a small town in Wales and ended up starring in multi million dollar films, Sophia Aramuso, who built a $300 million dollar business from an Ebay shop and Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards who, despite his lack of talent and experience, made it to the Winter Olympics using sheer determination, are all people who have proved to me just whats possible when you put your mind to it.

The final affirmation I needed came when I watched the 2018 BAFTA’s, in which Ridley Scott, a man who attended a college 20 minutes away from me and grew up looking at the same industrial skyline as me (which incidentally inspired Blade Runner) was presented with the BAFTA Fellowship Award. To know that someone from the North East was stood onstage in front of such prestigious film makers accepting an award for outstanding lifetime achievement in cinema was an incredible feeling. It well and truly proved to me that no matter where you’re from or what you were born in to, with hard work and dedication you can achieve things you never thought possible.

So now, safe in the knowledge that ordinary people just like me are writing musicals, starting businesses and winning awards, I’m more confident and determined than ever to put the work in and become just as successful as them.

Who’s someone you admire for succeeding against the odds? Leave a comment and let me know. Megan x