Photographs from the cutting room floor of the YELLOWGLEN Always Sparkling Campaign, Shot By Scott Ehler
December 1st was due date the doctors gave my Mum, and that’s when I arrived. Albeit like most things, as cutting it close to time as possible arriving in the world just before midnight the night of..
Today, I start my 37th ‘spin around the sun’. Someone wished me those words as a birthday greeting a few years ago, and I loved not only the concept of it but also the meaning it holds. I now use it as my greeting for when I give people birthday wishes.
With every trip around the sun, we are giving a full year of experience. Some of it celebratory and the happiest of times, some of the experience involves darker days that while not fun or enjoyable in the moment, when reflected on often bring the most growth & self-learning’s. It is also the roughest of times that can make us truly appreciate the happiest of times.
On The SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION we did a call out a few months ago for anyone who wanted to share any of his or her experiences to submit as a contributor by writing the amount of things you have learnt in the same amount of spins around the sun you have taken. You can read Contributing Writers submissions HERE, and we also encourage you to submit your own HERE.
Thankyou to all my dear friends who are my life-gifted family (you know who you are!) who are my teachers everyday, my greatest celebrators of my wins, and my first responders to the scene when life throws curve balls. To my family, my Mum and Dad for their ongoing love and support, and even when I have made some decisions they didn’t necessarily agree with over the past 36 years, still supported and loved me just the same. And to you guys, my digital family! Your sharing’s and and conversations and love and support on here has taught me so much.
December 1st, I farewell 35, and welcome in 36; Here are 36 things I’ve learnt at 36. - SWx
1. Have an opinion; stand for something, but do so always keep an open mind, and open ears. Everyone has something to teach you.
2. There will be relationships that just aren’t meant to be. When you have the perspective, if you are being honest with yourself you will probably be able to look back and agree. As much as you may want it to work, don’t compromise your values with what you turn a blind eye to. You will save yourself a lot of time (and heartache!) if you pay attention to the red flags along the way… instead of wearing them as blindfolds.
3. Surround yourself with people who have the same type of personal values as you.
4. Be kind, always. To others. To yourself.
5. When you are angry, rather than reply instantly, step away and come back to it. Taste your words before they come out your mouth; you cannot take them back.
6. Own your mistakes. Apologize when you have fucked up. Do this in person, and be the one to initiate the conversation. It shows more about a person’s character of how they deal with owning and righting a wrong.
7. ‘I’m sorry you felt that way’ is not an apology; so do not ever use it as one. Similarly, stand your ground if someone uses those words as an apology to you.
8. Continually ask yourself what you want your life’s legacy to be, and what are you doing daily to contribute to that.
9. Salt water helps cure lots of things. Ocean Swims refresh and reset you. Sweat focuses you and if you commit to it, has a longterm reward physically and mentally. Tears are cleansing.
10. If you are going to a publisher be on social media, do so knowing that you will receive some of the most awful things people will ever say to you, as well as some of the most adoring and loveliest things. Know exactly who you are and rest on the confidence and the truth of inner self, because it could be very easy to believe you are what people say you are, either/both the awful, or adoring.
11. Having social reach is a privilege, and as such there is a responsibility to use that to pay forward sharing’s of learning’s, hurdles, downfalls and to celebrate others. Publish with vulnerability, integrity & thoughtfulness.
12. However much time you spend on social media, you must spend more time reading books.
13. Break-ups hurt. Be gentle with yourself in these times and take time to heal, but don’t stay in that place for a second longer than you need to.
14. When people show you who they are the first time, believe them…You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about that.
15. Business is all about relationships. Relationships are all about people. Invest your time in good people. Surround yourself in business with people who hold your same values.
16. Understand empathy; the power of it, & the beauty of it.
17. People who talk shit about other people to you, will be talking shit about you to other people. These are not your people.
18. The older you get, your tolerance for bullshit should become very low. This is a good thing.
19. Sharing vulnerabilities is how you build relationships. It is a sign of trust, and investment in someone. To work, it must be a two way street.
20. Always reflect. When an outcome is good; reflect and ask why. When it didn’t play out how you thought it would; reflect and ask why. When it goes terribly wrong; reflect and ask why.
21. Try to learn from your mistake the first time. If not the first time, the second time. And for fucks sake, if not then, than please for the love of god, the third time. The universe will continue to present you with the same situation until you take the lesson from it. (Remember; do not wear the red flags as blindfolds.)
22. Sometimes, it takes a (damn long) while to appreciate the benefits of meditation. I like to use this as a base; breath in gratitude, and exhale surrender.
23. ‘Surrender’ is very different to ‘giving up’.
24. Accept change rather than resist it. It will probably be something you need to remind yourself of daily. But trust me, surrendering to the fact that all things change brings with it an incredible power of calmness.
25. Call your family more.
26. Remember ‘People don’t purchase what you do, they purchase why you do it.’ Business and brand are different things. You will loose your way a few times, when this happens always go back to your ‘why’, realign and refocus.
27. Conscious kindness has the power to change people’s day. Don’t underestimate the impact of even the smallest act.
28. You where raised with religion, and it will take you a long time to rectify with yourself that it may not be your path. This is OK. Finding your own spirituality and beliefs is important and it is your own journey.
29. You can have everything, but not all at the same time. The life path you choose will come with different reward and sacrifice. Own these decisions, but also be brave enough to make changes. Do not regret any of your choices. You are exactly where you are meant to be.
30. Be aware; of your thoughts and how you speak to yourself. Be aware; of how you impact others. Be aware; of your energy & body language, these often say more with you even speaking a word.
31. Manners. Use them. Always. It shocks people.
32. Be fierce, but don’t let it harden you.
33. We accept what we think you deserve; from others and ourselves.
34. Your friends are your family, bring them home often to meet your parents, warn them in advance of your dad’s jokes.
35. Gratitude; make it your nightly prayer.
36. Know what, and makes you truly happy. Do more of that. Know who you can be truly yourself with. Spend more time with them. Do both these things, with all your heart.