A mission to love more than I am loved

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I have set myself a pretty impossible mission this year, to try and show love and act more in love to others than I am loved myself. I have a wife and child that love me so much and I am so thankful for them, they show me love that I think will be impossible to beat, however with the wider world I want to spread more love through my actions, than I have in the past.

I am doing this because I think if everyone gave more love than they received, this world would be an amazing place that never ran short of love. As a Christian I know I am loved everyday by God but I am not called to be loved by the world, I am called to show Christ like love and that is what I want to do.

Looking beyond myself

There are so many people that need love in this world that you will never run out of people to love. I want to look beyond myself and when I am out and about, to look where I can to be loving to people instead of just walking on. I want to be the one that stops.

Love can be anything from just lending an ear to someone so they can vent or helping someone you see that is struggling. A little bit of love goes along way and I think it is the best chance we have of helping change the world for the better.

The great thing about showing love is that it makes you feel brilliant as well, so not only are you helping others but you are also helping yourself. I don’t want to love others for selfless reasons but I think that it is great that everyone can get something from it.

Love is an attitude

I want loving to be my attitude. I want to be forgiving, I want to turn the other cheek as many times as it takes and never let my feelings stop me from loving on people. To create change the first thing you need to change is you, love is an attitude, it is something that needs to come from within and needs to be something that is acted out everyday.

Your love or your attitude to somebody might be the only thing that is keeping them hanging on or the only thing that brightens up their day. No one is sad for no reason so cut them some slack and instead of judging, just love on them. Regardless of what has happened everyone needs a bit of love in their life. Don’t let your feelings or opinions stop you on loving others.

 

Hard work creates opportunities

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If you are looking for an opportunity, the best way to get your hands on one is through hard work. The more you do, the more opportunities you expose yourself to. The people that give out opportunities are more likely to hand those opportunities out to those people that work hard, so make sure you are working hard.

I have been afforded many great opportunities in life, commentating at Wembley stadium, speaking at the House of Commons, writing for a national newspaper, coaching my team to a national final and the list goes on. Each of these I can honestly say I worked hard to achieve. None of them came easy and I was beyond thankful for each opportunity I was given but I believe I deserved all of them. That’s the thing; with every opportunity, I wanted to know that I deserved it and that I wasn’t just given it.

Unexpected

Sometimes opportunities don’t come quickly, sometimes they come from unexpected places and at times you don’t expect. It’s like this week I have been asked to be a trustee for one of the best theatre projects in the local area. I wasn’t expecting this opportunity and I have never worked with them before, but because of my hard work in the community they have found out about me and think that I can add something to their board.

When this week started I had no clue this offer would come in and was not expecting it, but it felt so rewarding to receive. The great thing with this opportunity is that it presents another chance to get stuck in and work hard in an organisation that creates opportunities for others. Because I have had so many amazing opportunities I want to do all I can to help create opportunities for others and be in a position where I can give opportunities to others.

Making the most of an opportunity

I now want to do the best I can with this opportunity that has been given to me. If you work hard to get an opportunity and then don’t make the most of it, then was the hard work worth it? I have got no clue where this latest opportunity will take me but I am excited to see where it does. That’s the thing with opportunities, sometimes you don’t know where they are going to take you but for many the journey itself is exciting enough and you never know what further opportunities this one opportunity may lead to.

So people its time to start enjoying hard work and its time to get yourself ready for the opportunities that may come your way. Don’t go in to everything expecting an opportunity to come your way but be ready for any that do. If opportunities don’t come your way then its time to start thinking of taking your hard work and investing it in something else that gets you closer to the opportunities you would like in life. The opportunities are out there and ready for those that want to take them.

Taking pride and not shame

Over the last year I have noticed even more than before, that people are really starting to invest in themselves and are feeling strong enough to share it with the world. Things that people wouldn’t have talked about as much in the past, are now things people feel proud to share. With the rise in social media it is ‘Trolling’ that grabs the headlines but I think amongst friends, social media has been a key tool for people to feel good about themselves and get support.

In the UK we have clubs like ‘Weight Watchers’ and ‘Slimming World’ that people can join in an effort to get their weight down and get fitter.

http://www.slimmingworld.com/

http://www.weightwatchers.co.uk/index.aspx

These clubs have been around for years, but one thing I have noticed this year, is that many people are sharing on social media that they are going and after they go they are updating their social media platforms with a status or a photo of their success. These updates then tend to get a lot of likes and positive comments from people they are connected with.

Support

I think the more we can do to support people who want to improve themselves, the better. That kind word or that like may be all that person needs to start something or to keep going. Lets try and not scroll past updates about people wanting to improve themselves, lets get behind them, it takes all but a few seconds to do and could make a lifetime of difference for that person.

If someone you know is trying a new skill lets encourage those first efforts. If someone is taking a cooking class or a pottery class, lets praise their first efforts regardless of what they look or taste like. If someone you know is taking a course to help them find employment, lets take the time to motivate them to keep going when the course is getting hard and exams are looming.

If you have a friend that is starting a creative project like making music, making art or writing a blog, lets support them with viewing or listening to their project and sharing it with your friends. In these ventures the best way to help them is to help increase the size of their audience and spread the word.

The power of a kind word

Just never underestimate the power that your words and actions have on other people. That email, that text, that post can all make a difference. I have found in life that if you support others, others will support you and you will find yourself in a more supportive group of friends and acquaintances.

Sharing in the success of others is a very uplifting thing to do. Doing this can help make you feel happier and can spur you on to try and achieve things in your own life. The only way we can achieve more and to achieve better is by trying and that is the thing we need to be applauding. Lets forget about the end goal for a minute and what might happen later, as nothing will ever happen if we never try.

We need to encourage as many people as possible to try things and then once we’ve done this, we then need to encourage people to keep on trying and to try other things. If someone tries something once they might not succeed but if he or she keeps on trying they will increase their chance of success by a massive percentage.

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Combating ‘Trolling’

The best way to combat ‘Trolling’ is building people up and not breaking them down. Before anyone has the chance to say something negative about someone or what he or she is doing, get in there first with a positive comment.

It is hard not to worry about what other people are going to say when you try to do something, but you have to keep remembering why you want to do it and what you want to achieve. It is important that we don’t let the words of people that don’t want you to succeed, dictate how your life is going to play out, because if we stop trying after the first negative word we may never try again.

Always remember there is no shame in trying to improve yourself, your situation and the world around you.

Why I don’t like the term ‘Unsung Hero’

After winning many ‘Unsung Hero’ type awards myself, I don’t think many people would expect me to have such an issue with the term ‘Unsung Hero’ but I do!

In towns and cities around the world various ‘Unsung Hero’ awards are given out every year, like the ones in the links below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/get-inspired/27037119

http://www.prideofbritain.com/

The key thing I don’t like about these awards is the fact they are every year. For years and years we have had these awards and we will have them for years to come. This proves that these awards aren’t really changing the public perception and attitudes, as we still have to have these awards so these people are recognised and celebrated, which I don’t think is a good thing.

A pat on the back

In award ceremonies the Unsung Hero award is never the main category. It is normally always the only award with the word unsung in it, as everyone else gets to be Fundraiser of the Year, Carer of the Year, Teacher of the Year etc. To me, by the way the award is treated, it is like giving someone a very patronising pat on the back.

Dictionary Definition

Why can’t the Unsung Hero award be just the Hero award? As when I looked up the definition of hero on Google it said:

A person, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%27unsung+hero%27&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=89vRVOCFDYGL7Aba7oCgDg#q=define:hero

Can we change the term?

Now doesn’t that sound like what the winners of Unsung Hero awards are? Why do they need the word ‘Unsung’ in front of it? Wouldn’t the award get more recognition and people talking if they were called the ‘Hero Awards’?
There shouldn’t be a separate category for the amazing people who win these Unsung Hero style awards. The winners should be put in the same echelons as any other award winner, in any other award category and any awards show.

Surely the point of Unsung Hero Awards are to shine a light on them and to get them more recognition? Sometimes I think the way these awards are branded it is having the opposite effect. The awards should be about changing societies opinion on who we see as a hero and who we should be talking about. The type of people that win these awards should be getting recognised everyday, not just when a company wants to give out an award. After someone has won one of these awards it seems like we don’t hear about him or her again, but they are probably still going around everyday doing great things in their community.

Proud

Don’t get me wrong I am proud to have won the awards that I have, I just wish we did more for these people and that we didn’t need to have the awards. In every community there are many heroes and I think it is all of our jobs to recognise them. Lets not just read stories about those that win awards. Lets look around us and make sure we are noticing those that are doing great things that haven’t won awards.

At times it seems the only way to get ahead is to be all about yourself. I think caring for and supporting others are some of the most important things we as humans can do. I think its time that these people start getting pushed to the front, not by awards alone, but by supporting them and honouring them in the best way we can. It is only when we do this that more people will be encouraged to be and have that desire to be what I think a hero truly is.