Treasuring moments in life

Life can move at a pretty fast pace at times, if you couple this with the throwaway nature of todays society, it means that many amazing moments in life are too quickly forgotten and lost.

Feeling Valued

Yesterday I had a moment I want to treasure and hold on to. Yesterday in the mail I received a copy of ‘the Journal of Dementia Care’ one of the leading publications for dementia care professionals in the UK. In said journal there was an article by me that they had published. To get that recognition, to know that they valued my voice and my words to put me in it, was an incredible feeling and to be in a publication featuring articles from many professionals and big organisations in the field of dementia, was just mind blowing.

It got me thinking about the moments in my life recently that I want to treasure forever, like my daughter learning to pull herself up to her feet, or listening to my wife sing. I am so fortunate in my life to have so many moments I want to treasure, that I don’t want to forget them or take them for granted, as I know it is not the same for everyone.

Moments that are big to you

It is also important to not just treasure the big moments but the moments that are big to you. The moments that put a smile on your face and really bring joy to your heart, regardless of what they are, we need to live in a world where we have no shame in being proud of what we are proud of, not a world where we are made to feel little or less amazing than the next person because we choose to treasure different things.

A moment to treasure can get you through a tough day, tough week or tough year. The power of a moment to treasure is something, which we need to value and appreciate. These special moments can motivate you on to even bigger and better things in your life if you to choose to use them.

The good moments in life are the ones that give you hope in the bad times and make this life worthwhile. I am already excited for my next one and to when I can start looking back at all of them in later life, remembering the rich life experience I have had.

Another year older

So this year I turned the age of 32. With every year that passes I always seem to look back and say to myself “that last year was crazy.” Last year I became a dad and that has made it the most life-changing year of my life! In previous years I have got married, travelled to places across the globe, written books, won awards, accomplished many great things etc. And in there own way they have been crazy years too.

I like to use my time on this earth wisely and do the best I can with it. That is why I know I have a lot of crazy years ahead of me. It is also my outlook on life as well that makes them crazy years. I choose to celebrate the great things and try not to dwell on the not so good. I appreciate every year and every opportunity I get. Every year I try and make sure I try new things, accept new challenges and put myself in the way of opportunity.

Amplifying experiences

The great thing about my years now, is the people I have chosen to do life with. Every good experience means more and is amplified; every accomplishment is backed by people that are so proud of me. I am surrounded by people who want to see me succeed and who go out of their way for me.

My years will always have lows and sad times but I all I can do is control how I react to those and by reacting well to them, I know that positive times will always follow them. My birthday isn’t about getting older to me. It’s about looking back on my experiences and looking forward to more that will come. I just can’t wait to see what I will be looking back on at my next birthday, as I can only see great things in my future.

A great celebration

My birthday this year was a lovely day thanks to my amazing wife who made it a great celebration. Life and experience should be celebrated. My birthday was a great day to catapult my in to the new year with. I have got no clue how far I will go or where I will land but I know the journey is going to be a fun one.

How do you get back up?

A question I have been thinking about a lot this week is: When bad things happen to people, how do they keep on going, get back up and be happy again? It all came about after my wife and I were listening to some music the other night and the Steven Curtis Chapman song – ‘Cinderella’ came on. My wife then shared the sad story of his daughter and how she was killed in a tragic accident at the family home. I heard the story and was so saddened by it that I just didn’t know how anyone could get back up after something like that happens.

Dealing with life

If you live long enough on this earth it is inevitable that sad things will happen to you or around you. Some people just seem to have more tragic events that happen to them, than others. I think the greatest strength in life is how you deal with life when it throws you things that nothing can prepare you for. I just don’t know how people do it.

I lost my mum at a young age and I got through it, but if I was to try and show other people how to get through things like this I wouldn’t be able to put advice down on paper from what I learned, as I don’t know how I got through it. The whole period when I lost my mum is like a blur and I can’t remember how and when I got through it.

Still standing

A question is how much tragedy can the human soul take? I know people who have been through so much tragedy that I don’t know how they are still standing. When things are going great the world is such a big place but when things turn bad it can make the world seem so small and hard to comprehend. When your life is sad and bad things keep happening it is hard to see the chance of anything happy or positive ever happening again, because experience tells you that it doesn’t, but the one thing I want to say this week is that happiness isn’t dependent on the past, there is always happiness to be found or happiness somewhere around you that can find you.

I think unless you have been in the situation of overcoming tragic events it is impossible to fathom how you do it. Sadly the only way you learn how to do it, is by going through it, everyone has their own different ways but there is always a way if you choose to find one.

Promoting Good News

There is so much bad news in this world that I think it is important to promote, make and share good news wherever we can. Thanks to rolling news, social media and the like we are bombarded with peoples thoughts and opinions that we never asked for or wanted at every turn. Sadly in the most the majority of these thoughts, opinions and news are negative.

I read and hear so much everyday that I don’t agree with and a lot that is just flat out wrong. We now seem to know peoples views in a way that we never did before, thanks to over sharing. Some of these views make me sad and it makes me sad when you see people have views that you never thought they had.

Don’t despair

To try and stop from despairing I now try to post as much positive and good news as I can online. As part of what I talked about last week about showing love instead of arguing, (https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/love-wins-any-argument/) I am also where I can trying to actively post good and positive news, thoughts and opinions where I can, in the hope that people will be impacted by them.

I don’t believe that when you see something you don’t like on social media that unfollowing, unfriending etc. etc, is the way. I think it is important to stay in the conversation and in the connections & relationships you have built up. Never forget the reason you connected with them on social media in the first place, if it was because you care for them then what they share / say shouldn’t matter as you should still care for them.

Keeping relationships

The only way you can help, inspire or give hope is by keeping these relationships and to keep on sharing positively. Sometimes it is so hard not to react emotionally about what we read, hear or see and to react in a kneejerk way but we need to fight this as much as we can. People may not agree with what I say, my views or what I post online but as long as they read it, one day it might affect them when they least expect it.

When the world seems a sad, bad or miserable place try not to get down, just keep doing your bit and keep spreading positivity as that is all you can do and all you can do is good enough.

Where is the positive news?

Why is the news always filled with such negativity? I think negativity breeds’ negativity and I think if the news industry as a whole covered more positive news stories or covered news stories in a more positive way, the population of the world, as a whole, would be more positive and optimistic.

It seems that regardless of the state of the world, it is the news companies that decide how we feel about it. There seems to be a message, that negativity sells and that people want negative news coverage.

Consequences

Take charities in the news for instance. This week in the UK a big charity has been in the news for negative reasons and I totally agree that this needs to be covered and if something is bad it needs to be reported as such, however it can have consequences for other charities.

Sadly many of the viewing public just want quick and easy news to digest and don’t do any research around it. Worse than this, they will use one news story on a specific case and then start lumping everything in that sector, in the same boat as bad. It’s like you never hear in the news of great things charities are doing day to day across the globe, because it isn’t deemed newsworthy but some how a negative story is? It’s like everyone is ok, until they do something wrong or something perceived to be wrong and then the media are interested. After one negative news story about a charity, some members of the audience will start thinking every charity is like that, which is not the case.

Responsibility

The news has no responsibility to be balanced but I think we all should have as human beings, the sad thing is that the news doesn’t help. The news plays a part in affecting how we think and that is why I think it is important that we are mindful of how it is affecting us.

I do think the news industry is in a hard spot though, as it seems these days that any news story can be twisted to support any argument and with more people consuming news than ever before, the global impact a news story can have is mind boggling. A perfectly innocent intended article can be latched on to, shared around the world and copied, before a news company knows it and can cause unintended damage and by the time it has been removed it is too late.

Power

With the changing face of news, news companies have evolved from print to now being digital content providers and I think this has changed how articles are written and the subjects they cover. I hope that the industry doesn’t lose sight of their place, the power they have and how they can affect the world for good and for bad.

The best way to win an argument is to avoid them

I think one of the most futile things in the world is an argument. In the instant world we live in, people seem to make arguments out of anything these days. People seem to go online with a want to argue with people or the want to try and start an argument.

If you seriously care about educating someone or changing someone’s opinion I think having an argument is one of the least effective ways of making a difference. If someone thinks they are right and you try and argue with them, all that it is more than likely to do, is get their back up even more and for that person to dig their heels in further. The problem with the internet these days is that you can literally find something to back up any argument and then you wait and watch, when you argue with someone online, for them to come running back with some links they have found.

Relationships

Arguing only leads to break downs in relationships and makes it even harder for you to get your point across to the person you are arguing with, as they are less likely to listen to you. Remember what you say only matters, if the person you want to listen is listening.

Nobody wants to look stupid or be embarrassed. No one likes to get things wrong or be ganged up upon. This is why so many of us are afraid to lose arguments. Taking that step of admitting defeat or being wrong is a step too far for many people, because instead of treating it as learning or being better informed they can’t get past the not wanting to be seen to be wrong.

Challenging

When trying to challenge someone’s views or change their opinions I would always advise of doing this out of the public sphere. You are more likely to be effective in person, talking to someone one-on-one and someone is more likely to listen to you, as they don’t have the worry of other people watching or getting involved, like you have online.

When you are arguing with someone, even if they keep coming back at you, the person might be being affected by what you are saying but they will never admit it and you will never know, these are more reasons why I think arguing is futile. The dangerous thing with arguments is that sometimes the smallest disagreement can lead to the biggest argument and the argument then grows so big that you lose perspective, on how it started and what you are arguing for.

Approaches

This is why I dislike it when I see people out and about whilst on a high street on a busy shopping day who are from churches and ministries (or more often one man mission) who are handing out leaflets and telling people they are going to hell or that they need to repent. The reason I hate it is, more often that not all that approach starts is an argument. If arguing with people worked, every church would be doing it and everyone would be a Christian.

Instead of rushing to an argument when someone says something you disagree with, why not take a moment and ask yourself why you think that person thinks the way they do. Try and understand the person’s past, because normally there are clues there and then try and work out what is the best way to engage with them. Timing is also key, as when someone is feeling emotional about a topic its probably not the best time to bring it up with them.

I’m not saying avoid the hard topics and the hard conversations as I think these are the most important ones to have. There are so many views in this world that need to be challenged, but challenged doesn’t mean argued. To me the more you have to argue the less strong your point is, as it is normally the views that don’t need an argument to back them up that are the best.

An important thing to do is not to take everything on your shoulders; it is not your job in life to change everyone’s viewpoints. You have to be wise and know when someone else might have a better chance than you of changing someone’s mind and leave it to them.

Just remember if you show someone you love them they will be more likely listen to you.

We All have a Platform

If you talk to anybody in your day to day life whether that be at work, at school, at home or on the street, you have a platform. If you are on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, WordPress etc you have a platform. Some people are blessed to have bigger platforms than others but that doesn’t mean you can’t make noise from yours.

By using your voice, by using your creativity and by using a keyboard you can change the world in some way, because I think more than ever now people are listening. An example of this would be this small blog. It is still in its infancy as we continue to grow and develop but yet we are getting the attention of influential people. Recently I posted on this site an open letter to the footballing world about the level of betting adverts displayed around football media, which can be viewed here:

https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/open-letter-to-football-teams-players-staff-and-tv-companies-that-screen-football-in-the-uk/

Then yesterday I went on and looked at the traffic stats for this site, on this admin page it shows me who is linking to blog posts and referring to them. In the box for the blog featuring the open letter was the intranet of the Gambling Commission. Inside the top authority on gambling in the UK they are talking about my blog post.

It just shows you that regardless of the size of your platform you can get your views seen and heard by the people that matter. When you go out in the world you need to be conscious of the platform you have. The words from your mouth or your fingers have the power to change hearts and minds; they have the power to positively influence the world. Sadly many people use their platforms in a negative way and for negative reasons and this is why we all need to be careful. As the saying goes “with great power comes great responsibility.”

If you feel passionately about something – tell someone about it! If you disagree with something in the world around you – say something about it! We have more power at our fingertips today than anyone ever had, so let’s start using it. Let’s start engaging with the world around us more. Nobody will ever listen to you if you don’t try, lets stop complaining or talking behind people’s backs, lets be the generation that grasps what we have and uses it for good.