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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

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      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

          Freelance Writer

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          Last Updated on June 13, 2019

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

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

          Think you have a boring life?

          The definition of boring is dull or not 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 of 20 things can definitely make any day 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 meaning) one!

          1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self

          What would he or she want to do right now? Color? Paint? Run around outside? Play dress up? Eat with your hands? Play that instrument hiding in the back of your closet that you haven’t touched in years?

          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.

          2. Go Play with Kids

          Speaking of little kids, if you have your own or access to any (in a non-creepy way, like they’re your niece or your best friend’s kid, you get the idea) go play with them!

          They didn’t create an entire show called Kids Say The Darndest Things because kids aren’t hilarious. 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. Order a Hot Dog

          While you’re eating it, Google: “What’s in a hot dog?” You decide whether or not you want to finish it.

          4. For the Ladies: Wear Your Sexiest Lingerie Under Your Work Clothes

          Your “little secret” will leave you feeling anything but boring all day!

          5. Play Cell Phone Roulette

          You’ll need at least one buddy for this. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one and call the person.

          You could spark an incredible catch up session or be incredibly awkward. Neither are boring.

          6. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards

          Give them to random people who probably don’t get thanked too often for doing what they do ever day.

          Ideas: police officers, librarians, servers, baristas, cab drivers, sanitation workers, teachers, people behind any check out counter, receptionists, your friends, the guy at the falafel stand, etc.

          7. Sign up for a Class in Something You’ve “Always Wanted to Do”, or Something That Makes You Really Uncomfortable

          Ideas: pole dancing, salsa lessons, improv, pottery, cooking, knitting (yup, there are classes for this, too!), karate, boxing, something techy like the workshops they run in Apple stores, get Rosetta Stone and learn that language you’ve always wanted to speak, etc.

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          What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people!

          8. Interview Your Grandparents About Their Lives

          You can bet they’ve had some crazy experiences you probably never knew about.

          9. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night

          Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage and just talk funny. And if you’re not, memorize a few of your favorite jokes and tell those!

          10. Do Something for Someone Else That You Wish Someone Would Do for You

          We all have a few ideas on this list. I promise you will feel amazing after and anything but bored.

          11. Start a DIY Project in Your Home

          It doesn’t have to be super complicated. If you need ideas, there’re plenty on Pinterest. Or you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.

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

          This will give you something to look forward to.

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

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          13. People Watch

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

          People are infinitely interesting.

          14. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before

          Bonus points if it’s a random fruit or veggie.

          15. 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 and get other people involved.

          16. Go to YOUTUBE and Search “Funny Pets” or “Funny Babies”

          This is also a great quickie ab workout as you will be laughing hysterically.

          17. Pick up a Book and Start Reading

          Check out the NY Times Best Sellers lists and grab a new book you can get lost in.

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          18. Step Away from the Computer and Go Get Some Time with People You Care About in Real Life

          Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. You can even share this post with your friends and vote on which one you’d like to do together!

          19. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to Before

          OK, depending on your interests, this one might actually be boring. If you love learning, art or different cultures though, this one is for you!

          20. 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 what you want happen.

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

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          Featured photo credit: Kev Costello via unsplash.com

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