Real Issues That Affect Us

2018 has been a year for reflection and understanding. I’ve finally been able to get my head out of the clouds or sand (other places available upon request) and into reality. It was like a reckoning or an awakening that I needed.

As much as it hurt, and still does, the lesson that 2018 has taught me is the ability to notice a pipe dream from an achievable goal.

I was known as a forward thinker, future-planner and someone who’s dreams were bigger than their personality. It was just a part of me, I never noticed it until this year… It’s amazing when you step back to evaluate yourself and realise that it was all you’ve known.

My thoughts and perceptions had been a certain way for 26 years, so it was hard for me to accept that it wasn’t a reality nor that it never had been.

When you’re a forward thinker, you have plans, ideas and visions… You strive to make those visions happen. But, if those visions, ideas and/or plans involve other people who aren’t physically in your life at present – don’t (or do, but only for fun – in a story or film).

If your dreams involve other people, that is a ‘pipe dream’. If a dream involves no one else but you, it’s an ‘achievable goal’. Simple.

You can’t force someone or do anything in your power to make them want to share that dream nor want to make it a reality with you.

Therefore, it’s better not to waste your own time on this… Focus on those dreams that involve only you. We are in control of our own destiny where those are concerned.

Yes, your dreams that involve others can work out, but they don’t always pan out the way we’d hoped and there’s always a reason. Patience allows something more suited to you to come along in time…

However, a whopping 89% of those dreams that involve only us can be made into a reality if we not only believe but stay persistent and most importantly: work hard.

Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Do your best.

Dreams that involve just us are achievable because: we are the only ones in control. What we put in, we get out. Whereas, if it’s a ‘pipe dream’ involving others, we can put in 110%, but what we get out of it is not in our control.

Tip: strive for greatness for you and only you. If things are meant to be, they will. But, you’d have spent your time focusing on yourself and changing your reality during the time when you were the only one in it at the time.

Then, when it’s your time to build a future with someone, it will no longer be a pipe dream, but an achievable goal.

To conclude, only build a future or dream with someone when they’re there, beside, in front or around you. Until then, do but not to the extent that you’re attaching hopes or visions – because one day, you’ll look back and realise you were wishing on planes the whole time (not stars).

2018 has been one of the hardest years for me, personally. Just when I thought I’d done all the growing I needed to do previously, something comes out of the woodwork which I need to deal with and learn from. That’s life…

I found 2018 particularly difficult because it was the year of bubble bursting, awakening and reality checking. I had spent years of my life planning or hoping for stuff that weren’t even a reality and looking back, never would be. It’s hard when you’ve put your all into something only to step back and see you’ve achieved nothing this whole time.

So, I guess the message is: it’s great to dream big and have high hopes, but also don’t expect anything from them. Discern between a pipe dream and an achievable goal. That way, you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re in the UK, you’d have heard that England was able to raise £50k to fly a “flying Donald Trump manbaby balloon” around London… A total of £50k was raised, enough to take it from an idea to reality.

Now, I’m all about fun and games… I appreciate a joke as much as the next person and, yes, I did find the thing quite funny. But, when you think about it a little more seriously – in effect, we were able to raise £50k for a flying “manbaby” balloon in times when our NHS is on the brink of closure and our youths are out there ruining their futures by joining gangs.

Our society is a mess. Yet, all we do is complain. Could we not have raised £50k for the NHS? Could we not have raised another 50k (going towards the Sadiq Khan manbaby balloon) towards building a solid foundation for our youths; creating activities or programmes/courses for our youths to take up outside of school?

Why do we rely on the Gov. when we’ve just proven that we can raise the money ourselves? I can’t believe that we’re able to raise £100k in total for flying manbabies that will only be used in protest, but won’t put our money where our mouths are to make a more permanent and long-lasting difference to our society.

I am not a partypooper. I’m just a realist. Complaining about our issues doesn’t eliminate them… Hard work and change does. I understand it’s just for a laugh, but there are families crying over loss of their friends/families while we’re laughing at flying manbabies. So, let’s help the people in suffering laugh with and out of joy rather than just focusing on ourselves and who we’re going to laugh at or mock.

As a society, we have proven we can singlehandedly raise enough money to make a difference. So, rather than spending the funds we are able to raise collectively on silly things, let’s put it towards our youths and/or health service. This will in turn protect our youths and give our life-threatening illness suffering peers, friends and relatives a better and longer future.

I have arthritis and it’s something I’ve been dealing with for a while. Yes, I’m 26 – not 89. Although, my love for aqua aerobics means I’m already there… I’m a grandma before I even became a mum. SURPRISE! For you, and not me. I knew it was coming… I love pigeons, community centres and aqua aerobics. I’m an old soul. If anyone wants to find me an old-people’s home which has a room spare, comment below.

All sarcasm aside, it’s serious. My arthritis is very serious. It’s, in my opinion, the worst type of arthritis too… The kind where you literally can’t avoid it. I have reactive arthritis which basically means I get flare ups when my body suffers infection. When I came back from New York in February, I came back with a severe chest infection. My body doesn’t know how to fight it, so fluid starts filling up in my right knee. Not that my right knee can do ANYTHING for my chest… But, at least it tries. Good on my right knee for taking one for the team!

Anyway, as soon as my knee flares, it ends up debilitating me and making me sort of immobile. I’m not joking when I say on some occasions, I cannot walk on that leg at all. Like my knee trying to sort out my chest issues, I try to walk to get to work and/or other places but end up imitating a penguin. Waddling or limping there.

There was actually a moment where I crossed paths with a stranger who was limping too. He was having problems with his right knee also. Mad, right? We stopped, looked at each other before pointing straight at our knees and saying: “liability!”

I think that’s the best part of it, meeting people who also have knee ailments. You kind of bond over the fact that you can’t even walk on occasions. I’ll tell you what’s not the best part – going to check-ups or MRIs. I hope I never have to endure MRIs ever again. It’s like VR but showing you what it feels like after you die. Ain’t no one got time for that…

Is there a cure? Not getting infections. So, in a word, no there isn’t a cure.

Do I take any tablets for it? Yeah, an iPad. Hahaha! I want to die.

In our world dominated by social media, photoshopped ads, and superficial values, it’s hard to pinpoint what a person of substance actually is, let alone be one. We’re constantly bombarded with pictures and commercials showing attractive, accomplished people wearing expensive clothes and driving flashy cars.

The mass media imposes a certain role model of a successful person and regular people do their best to reach that, for many, unattainable goal. But, these shallow representations don’t go even an inch beyond that shiny exterior. To become a person of substance, we need to go deeper than the skin and do some soul-searching.

Find out who you really are

There’s no way to be a person of substance without knowing yourself. Sure, your identity has many layers, but you need to know your true self, stripped of all external roles. It’s important to have your  integrity and know who you really are and what you want. Society inevitably tries to mould you, but you need to set yourself free from its constraints. Men should be strong and masculine. Women should be feminine and polished all the time. Real men don’t cry. These misconceptions can be very dangerous because they force people into becoming something that they aren’t. The key to your personal growth is being aware of your strengths and weaknesses and using them to become the best version of yourself. Don’t try to please anyone but yourself.

Be empathetic

People are social beings, and only by making strong connections with others can you feel fulfilled. Research shows that empathy is something that you can learn, and not necessarily born with, so go the extra mile to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes and practice that approach as much as you can.

Compassion is something that can change your life and make you a better and more substantial person. Don’t judge others and try to understand what their motivations are instead. Don’t forget that everybody carries an invisible burden and that sometimes even a single kind word or act can make a tremendous difference. Be compassionate towards your friends, family, colleagues, and strangers, but most of, be compassionate towards yourself. In order to be able to help others and relieve their pain, you first need to attend to your own needs. This is the principle that nurses, caregivers, or in-home care professionals follow so that they can handle demands of their job and provide the best service.

Always be consistent

Being a reliable person who always sticks to their word is something that will make you a worthy person. It’s easier said than done, because many times unexpected obstacles and situations come along, and many people succumb to the temptation to break their promises. But, a person of substance does things even when they don’t feel like it. However, this consistency doesn’t apply only when others are involved, so make sure to be consistent even if your plans and goals are at stake. Such an approach will help you be able to rely on your own strengths. It’s a great feeling when you know that you can count on
yourself.

Don’t be a brag

A person of substance never blows their own horn. Bragging about yourself and boosting your own ego is something will only alienate people and make you look superficial. Let your actions speak louder than your words, and someone will take a notice and spread the word. Learn how to be humble and stop comparing yourself to others.

Start really listening

People are usually self-centered and they’re not particularly interested in listening to what others have to say. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, not to mention that it’s hard to actually establish a connection with someone if you don’t hear what they say. Active listening is a skill that can help you become a good interlocutor, as well as someone that people trust and respect. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everything people say, but you need to let it sink in so that you can understand where they come from.

Learn and experience new things

The best way to become a person of substance is to challenge yourself to learn new things all the time. Take up belly dancing lessons or start hitting the gym on a regular basis. Apart from learning something new, such activities will also help you improve your physical and mental health. This is how you’ll expand your horizons and understand the world and life better. Get out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you. And remember that “Everything you’ve always wanted is on the other side of
fear.”

Although style undoubtedly matters, it’s the substance that adds quality and value to your life.

By: Olivia Jones