It is another birthday today and now I have had 48 of them they have lost a little of the sparkle they used to have when I was very young and I remember having a Star Wars themed birthday.
I wasn’t going to draw attention to the fact, particularly as I am counting down to the big 5 0 but I felt inspired by Stephen Waddington’s blog from a few days ago when he gave 45 points he had learned over the years. Check it out @wadds . As well as loving the points I also did the usual sigh when I learn I am older than someone.
In many ways I don’t think I have had a very remarkable 48 years. I have the same partner I had 32 years ago, I have worked in police communication for 20 years, and I live in the same town where I was born. But there are many things that I wish I could tell my younger self and that I try to tell the younger people in the office. You never stop learning and you should never stop learning.
After a traumatic week I am not looking too far into the future but am focusing on taking one day at a time. Finding something to enjoy in that day and dealing with what I can.
So her goes with 48 thoughts on life:
1. Live every day
It might sound simple but being present in every day is harder than it sounds. You don’t know what is round the corner so make each day count.
2. Take time with family
It is easy to forget those closest to you but they are your past and your future.
3. Listen to your parents
I refused to when I was a child but now I want to know everything about them while I am lucky enough to still have them close.
4. Keep friends close
Life is full of ups and downs so have a network of close friends and it will help with everything you face.
5. It isn’t always roses
I have been with my partner for 32 years, not married, only fur babies to look after but for us it works. Relationships aren’t always love and flowers accept that and work at things.
6. Keep it simple
I love the Swedish Lagom approach to balanced living. Have only what you need don’t consume because people or society tells you you should.
7. Get to know you
Spend time with yourself it is harder than it looks.
8. Remember what you loved as a child
Find some things you can do that you enjoy with the same innocent pleasure. For me one is singing loudly usually when I am driving.
9. Love yourself
I still haven’t really mastered this but I am more accepting of myself which is a start.
10. Be yourself
We have to celebrate diversity be yourself it is the only way you will be happy.
11. Have a safe space
We all need somewhere to escape to so that we can recover and refresh find your place.
12. Be part of a community
It doesn’t matter what community that may be – local, interest group whatever – being a part of something is rewarding.
13. Accept help
We all need help sometimes so don’t be too quick to turn it down.
14. Be proud of your roots
I am a Northerner. I am from Wigan. It was spotted by someone when I was in Berlin the other week. Yes I have an accent but I have learnt to love it.
15. Dare to be different
It isn’t always easy to stand out from the crowd but you don’t have to conform.
16. Do no harm
It might sound trite but we need to look after each other. Do what makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt others.
17. Do what you love
And love what you do. It is true that it will never feel like work when you want to be doing it.
18. Find your purpose
We get a short time to enjoy life so make sure you are using your energy in a way that you want to. What is your purpose?
19. Make your dreams happen
Effort and determination can bring you what you want. Remember all those things you wanted to do well why can’t you do them. Put your mind to it and you can.
20. Bounce back from the knocks
Life brings us hurdles and challenges the key is to find a way to overcome them because they will always happen.
21. Unplanned can be great
We all make plans but some of the best times and best events happen when we deviate from our path and do something different.
22. Accept praise
It is lovely when people say nice things so just enjoy it.
23. Give praise
You know how good it feels to receive praise and compliments so make sure you give them to others.
24. Make it count
Every day only comes once so make sure you are making an impact.
25. Stop comparing
Tread your own path and stop looking at others. Your path in life is unique so learn from others but don’t try to follow each of their steps.
26. Surround yourself with positivity
Keep those who are positive and give you energy to push forward close.
27. Remember people are what matters
In everything we do it is the personal relationships that are most important. Keep that at the forefront in everything you do.
28. Never stop learning
It doesn’t matter whether you are in a new job or one you have done for a while keep learning. The world keeps moving on and so should you.
29. Set challenges
It is great to keep yourself fresh by setting yourself challenges whether they are work related or about personal issues.
30. It’s never too late
You can take up new things or change direction in life at any age.
31. Work hard, play hard
Work is tough so you need to relax with the same energy and determination that you have at work.
32. Value your development
You matter and so does your development. Get involved with a continuous professional development scheme.
33. Expect the unexpected
The joy of comms and PR is that you never know what will happen so just roll with it and enjoy it.
34. Comms is about knowing the data
It has to start with a clear understanding of what you know about the issue you are faced with. Don’t step blind into finding a solution.
35. Know what you are doing and why
Creativity and innovation are great but make sure they are achieving what you want them to.
36. Understand the widgets
If you want to be taken seriously make sure you can talk the language of the business. If you make widgets then ensure you know everything about the widget making process.
37. See the big picture
Know where comms and you fit within the organisation you are working in or with.
38. Don’t forget the small stuff
You will be judged on what you do and how you do it. Little things really can make a big difference.
39. Give something back
When you have progressed in your career take every opportunity to help others get their first step or to find ways to develop others.
40. Creativity is key
Remember at its best communication is about creative problem solving.
41. Keep it real
It is easy to get caught up in a PR world but that is a small part of life so make sure you keep grounded.
42. It needs to work together
All elements of communication have to work together from digital to engagement to social media and internal communication.
43. Words and pictures
It is all about the words you use and the images that illustrate. Hone your writing and design skills.
44. Explain what you do
People need to know what you are doing and what it delivers to the business. Remember to explain it so you take the bosses with you.
45. Make someone smile
Try to leave a lasting positive impression wherever you go and make someone smile each day.
46. Do one thing everyday that scares you
It is good to continue to challenge yourself so find ways to push yourself out of the comfort zone.
47. Life is for living
It is easy to worry about things that at the end of the day don’t matter. Stop. Start living your life.
48. Enjoy each day
What more needs to be said – make the most of every day.
I have enjoyed my birthday and remain truly grateful for everything I have in my life.