I was asked by LinkedIn in the ‘Influencer’ program – “What is the best advice I have every received?” Now there are many people who ask me that – a lot and I do believe that the wisdom is delivered to us when we most need it. My life is much different now than it was when I was starting my career – but really one fundamental strength has worked for me since I was a child – which is that I am curious and open to ideas.
It can be extremely amusing to be the parent of teenagers. How is it that they have been on the planet for less than two decades and they know everything? “I know, Mum!” is a constant retort to any attempt I make to share some little gem I have learned in my five decades on the planet.
The greatest piece of advice I had more than a decade ago – when my business was tiny – was simply: “If it’s meant to be, it is up to me”. A colleague had been to a presentation and she brought the idea back to the business…. so I do not really know its source.
It has served me so well. It speaks to me on so many levels.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi
“Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person.” – Mother Teresa
It is really easy to blame other people for how life is. Have you ever blamed the “traffic” for being late to work? There is so much freedom when you learn to accept that you just did not leave home early enough.
A deep sense of happiness comes from feeling that you have some level of control in your life. And when you stop blaming everyone else for the problems of the world, and instead ask yourself “how can I contribute?”, life shifts dramatically.
“If it’s meant to be it is up to me.” To me this does not mean that I have to do all the work… in fact what a bad leader I would be if I toiled 20 hours a day. What it means to me is that I am accountable. And I can live in a world without blame.
Try it! When you hear yourself say “They haven’t”, or “They should have”… stop yourself and ask: “How am I responsible?”
This is the single, most precious gift that I would like to give my teenagers….and others. It allows me to live in peace.