On the 28th April we are taking 2 weeks out at a busy time of our year to support the Cycle Against Suicide charity in Ireland that has become really important to us as a business, we will be cycling 1,400km’s around the island of Ireland & Northern Ireland to raise awareness around the key message of “It’s OK not to feel OK and it’s absolutely OK to ask for help”.
I guess it could have been any charity but it isn’t, this is about raising awareness for mental health sufferers initially in Ireland & Northern Ireland with the intention to spread the word globally. The reason it is something we feel very committed to as a business is that it is completely in line with our Purpose which “Is to change the way people see themselves and the world”.
If you look at what lies at the core of mental illness, there will be a common aspect of low self worthiness which links to low self esteem, I was lucky enough to be part of this new charity last year and although we’re talking predominately about depression, the whole experience was extremely uplifting! Complete strangers would open up and share their stories, it takes a lot of courage to be able to be comfortable to hold that vulnerable space and share your deepest darkness thoughts and feelings and that’s what the cycle ride allowed to happen. Being out amongst nature and exercising opened people up and created a real sense of oneness.
What became apparent to me through that experience last year was that we are never really alone, there’s always an opportunity to pick up the phone or go and see someone if you need support, again, it takes courage to ask for help but whenever I’ve asked for help, the response has always blown me away. It is also in our power to be hyper sensitive to where we could perhaps support someone who we know might need a little extra ray of sunshine in their day, we can chose to go the extra mile and deliberately leave a more positive finger print.
The latest data in the field of positive psychology is that you need a ratio of 3 positive thoughts to counter 1 negative or 3 acts of kindness will work in the same way, simple things like holding a door open for someone, giving a smile away to a complete stranger or dare I say it, letting someone in front of you on the motorway even if you are in a hurry! There are loads of kind acts you could perform throughout your day, just because you can!
I personally have been caught in some dark and lonely places but luckily for me, it’s never really lasted for months and then led into years worth of suffering, what I’m attempting to say here is that it’s not been a permanent issue for me. I’ve always seen that I have had a choice in whether I sit in that dark place or whether I chose to see it as an opportunity to grow. We often think about having a bad day but when you really look at it in detail, it’s rarely a day full of bad! If you can look at the bad experience as a bad moment and make sure you don’t make it worse by continuing to retell the story over and over to yourself and other people, this will short circuit it into becoming a bad day!
Remember the energy that kids have or tap into your own memories of being a kid and being outside playing and exploring with your friends when you were growing up. Reconnect to that childlike energy and become more curious with the things that show up in your day, you’ll notice that you can get more from your day when you use your imagination and creativity more frequently.
Here’s some really powerful words from Mother Teresa which you can draw strength from.
The Final Analysis
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self – centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is all between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
Here’s some more inspiration:-
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world. Anne Frank
Here’s some useful things you can do to build your happiness scale:-
- Do kind things for others
- Thank the people you’re grateful to
- Find three good things each day
- Look for the good in those around you
- Bring mindfulness into your day
- Find your strengths and focus on using them
- Get help if you’re struggling
- Help kids build emotional resilience
- Use positive parenting techniques
- Volunteer your time, energy and skills