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Don’t Surrender To Any Definitions — You Can Decide Who You Are

Don’t Surrender To Any Definitions — You Can Decide Who You Are

It’s the ultimate cliché and something we all hear a thousand times over: to be truly happy, you need to start with yourself. But how often do we not live up to this? Media outlets are bombarding us with images of how we should look, society is telling us how we should act, and people with limited beliefs are telling us how we should feel.

A lot of the time, we are forced to define ourselves by other people’s ideas and perspectives. We seem to care too much about what other people think of us and live our lives pleasing or conforming to what society as a whole tells us is right.

Emma Watson may be best known as Hermione from the successful Harry Potter films, but she is much more than an actress — she is an activist and a true role model for women and men. She refuses to define herself through other people’s definitions and stands strong on the importance of making the person you are a reflection of who you truly want to be. She strives to be herself and continues to be an ambassador for equality, education, sense of self, and empowerment.

You Don’t Have To Follow The Crowd

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    How many times have you done or said something just because you felt it was what other people wanted from you? Our need to be accepted by others is a natural human instinct. It’s part of the pack mentality and an almost desperate want to not be rejected by our peers, family, and society as a whole.

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    As a hugely successful child actress, Emma Watson was catapulted into the world’s view. Many opportunities were laid out in front of her that would have earned her millions and gained her further recognition in a media-obsessed world. But she chose to go to university and focus on her education because she wanted to stay true to herself and she wanted to empower herself in a way that the movie industry solely wouldn’t allow her.

    While many child stars struggle to define their identity and lose themselves in the process, Emma took a different path; one that would defy traditional choices because she wanted to grow in the way she wanted to.

    Fight For What You Believe In

    Emma Watson 1

      When Emma Watson made her inspirational UN speech for the HeForShe campaign back in 2014, she showed her true strength of character and her passion to make a difference in gender equality.

      We don’t always stand up and get ourselves heard and, even worse, we believe that we just can’t make a difference in this world. Whether this stems from our own lack of self-worth or the general societal view that if you can’t make a big difference then there’s no point, Emma Watson is a true inspiration that, given the opportunity, you can help change views and situations despite inner self-doubt.

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      “You might think, ‘Who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the U.N.?’ And it’s a really good question — I’ve been asking myself the same thing.

      “In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I’ve told myself firmly, ‘If not me, who? If not now, when?'”

      Don’t Let Your Critics Define You

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        There are two types of critics: the people who criticise you for the things you do, say, or believe in, and the worst of all — yourself.

        While Emma Watson has campaigned for gender equality for both men and women, she has received negativity from people who’ve decided to define her feminism as “men-hating” despite the fact that she openly wants men to not feel pigeoned-holed by society’s masculine ideals.

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        As a result, she’s received hateful comments and threats of leaking nude pictures of her. But instead of backing down or succumbing to her critics, she used their anger as an example of exactly why she was calling for equality.

        She also believes in the importance of self-love. The bombardment of the perfect body and the perfect image that women feel they have to live up to in order to be noticed is detrimental to happiness and our ability to see ourselves as beautiful people, inside and out.

        “We [women] really damage our confidence when we put ourselves down, so I try not to.”

        Never let anyone criticise you for being who you want to be and doing what you want to do. Be yourself and stick with it. It’s the only way you can be truly happy.

        Live Your Life On Your Own Terms

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        Emma Watson Rocks

          Emma Watson has definitely stayed true to herself in terms of her private life. As many child stars are prone to partying, drinking, and baring their mental fragility unnecessarily, Emma hasn’t entered into the limelight in that regard, opting to keep her life as private as possible. Her decision to go to university, to date non-famous men, and to live her life as normally as possible has always been an admirable quality.

          In this media-hungry age, we are encouraged to post the ins and outs of our lives for all to see on social media and we’re made to feel we’re slightly outcasted if we don’t. This is ridiculous of course; we don’t need validation from others in order to feel fulfilled. Let people wonder about you, be interested in getting to know you, and keep your life within the circle of important people in your life.

          We are all on the search for happiness in our lives and Emma Watson has shown the sort of mindset and perspective we should all try to adopt in order to allow ourselves to define ourselves and no one else.

          Featured photo credit: College Times via collegetimes.com

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          Jenny Marchal

          A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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          Last Updated on October 5, 2020

          How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

          How to Quit Your Boring Life and Start Living an Interesting One

          We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.

          Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.

          Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!

          1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

          Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.

          What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.

          Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.

          2. Go Play With Kids

          Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!

          Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.

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          3. Play Cell Phone Roulette

          You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.

          You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.

          4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

          This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?

          Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.

          Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.

          5. Sign up for a Class

          Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.

          Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.

          What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!

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          6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives

          We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.

          7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

          Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.

          8. Do Something for Someone Else

          Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.

          For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below[1].

          Do random acts of kindness to avoid living a boring life.

            9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

            If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.

            It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.

            If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

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            10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation

            This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation[2]. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.

            Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!

            11. Go People Watching

            Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe[3].

            People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.

            12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

            You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.

            If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!

            13. Dance

            You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.

            If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.

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            14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

            Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.

            Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading: 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life

            15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About

            Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.

            16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to

            Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!

            17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want

            This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?

            Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.

            Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!

            More on How to Quit a Boring Life

            Featured photo credit: Alex Alvarez via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] FECAVA: Random Acts of Kindness
            [2] Applied Research in Quality of Life: Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday
            [3] Psychology Today: The Expert’s Guide to People Watching

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