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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 August 20, 2018

          60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

          60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

          Sometimes it’s easier to focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have. It’s important to take time out and remember all of the things to be thankful for that many of us take for granted.

            Here you’ll find 60 very solid things to be thankful for in your everyday life. These are great reminders for you to treasure everything you have.

            1. Good Health

            Even if you’re health isn’t great, it could be worse and you likely still have some working parts to be thankful for.

            2. Money in the Bank

            Having just a few coins makes you richer than most people on Earth.

            3. Good Friends

            Often, it’s the quality of friendships, not the quantity.

            4. Freedom of Religion

            Being able to worship whomever and however you want is something many people don’t ever experience.

            5. Your Parents

            Even if they’re dysfunctional, they gave you life.

            6. Weekends

            There’s something magical about weekends.

            7.Having a Partner

            Being in a romantic relationship can teach you so much about the world and yourself.

            8. Pets

            Pets offer one of the best examples of unconditional love.

            9. Learning from Mistakes

            If we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t learn much so it is one of those things we should be thankful for.

            10. Opportunity to Get an Education

            The opportunity to attend school is something many people don’t have.

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            11. Having a Home

            Whether you live in an apartment, a mansion, or a tent, having a place to call home is something to be thankful for.

            12. An Ability to Read

            If you’re reading this right now, you have a lot to be thankful for.

            13. Breathing Fresh Air

            Being able to step outside to breathe in fresh air is a good reminder how many little things we should be thankful for.

            14. A Bed to Sleep

            A bed is one of those things that’s easy to take for granted, until you don’t have one.

            15. Laughter

            Without laughter, the world would be a sad place.

            16. Safety and Security

            Being able to wake up without immense fear frees us up to really live life.

            17. Cars

            Without cars, it would take a lot longer to get our activities done.

            18. Sunshine

            The sun’s warmth can brighten any day.

            19. Time

            Although we often don’t think there’s enough of it, time is something we shouldn’t take for granted.

            20. Clean Water

            Many people on earth lack access to clean water.

            21. Cell Phones

            Cell phones make talking to loved ones easy.

            22. Love

            The world sure would be a different place if we lacked the ability to love.

            23. Books

            Books provide an opportunity to enter another world all from the comfort of your own home.

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            24. Kindness of Strangers

            Never take the kindness of a stranger for granted.

            25. Campfires

            The simplicity of a campfire creates lifelong memories.

            26. Pain

            Without pain, it would be difficulty to appreciate life’s joys.

            27. Art

            The world would be less beautiful if art didn’t exist.

            28. Holidays

            Any reason to celebrate is something we should be thankful for.

            29. Freedom of Speech

            Being able to express your thoughts and feelings freely should never be taken for granted.

            30. Rainbows

            The beauty of a rainbow is unmatched.

            31. Tears

            Sometimes when there are no words to say, tears express how we feel for us.

            32. Waking up Today

            Simply waking up today means you have things to be thankful for.

            33. Indoor Plumbing

            Indoor plumbing not only provides convenience, it spares us from disease.

            34. Wisdom that Comes with Age

            Thankfully, we grow smarter over time.

            35. Mountains

            Mountains provide us with beauty and recreation.

            36. Eyesight

            Being able to see allows us to view the world’s beauty.

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            37. Grocery Stores

            Grocery stores mean we don’t have to spend all of our time getting our own food.

            38. Sunsets

            Sunsets are a reminder that we should enjoy the simple things in life.

            39. Entertainment

            Entertainment gives us a way to relax and enjoy life.

            40. Your Mind

            Being able to think, remember, and solve problems sure makes life easier.

            41. Employment

            Even if you don’t like your job, being employed means someone thought you were special enough to hire.

            42. Diversity

            The world would be a boring place without diversity.

            43. Moon and Stars

            The moon and stars encourage us to dream.

            44. Electricity

            Electricity makes most of our chores efficient.

            45. Air Conditioning

            Staying cool on a hot day is something people wouldn’t have dreamed about in past centuries.

            46. Hearing

            Being able to hear your loved one’s voice is something that not everyone gets to do.

            47. Children

            Watching children laugh, grow, and dream can keep things in perspective.

            48. Ability to Learn

            The ability to learn new things means we have endless potential.

            49. People Willing to Teach

            Whether it’s your grandmother teaching you to knit or your plumber showing you how to prevent future problems, be grateful that others are willing to use their time and talents to teach you something new.

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            50. Oceans

            The sea creatures in the ocean almost seem too mystical to be real.

            51. Modern Medicine

            Without advances in modern medicine, many of us wouldn’t be alive.

            52. Music

            Music brings out new emotions.

            53. Entrepreneurs

            Some of life’s best inventions resulted from an entrepreneur who was willing to take a risk.

            54. Warm Clothing

            On a cold day, there’s nothing more important than warm clothing.

            55. Freedom to Vote

            Being able to have a say in the laws should never be taken for granted.

            56. An Internet Connection

            It’s hard to believe how easy it is to take the internet for granted, seeing how none of us had just a couple of decades ago.

            57. Challenges

            Without challenges in life, we wouldn’t be the people we are now.

            58. Hiking Trails

            Hiking trails give us the chance to enjoy mother’s nature beauty.

            59. Vaccines

            Many of us wouldn’t be alive without today’s vaccinations.

            60. Armed Forces

            Our lives would likely be very different if we didn’t have protection from the armed forces.

            Realizing all the things you should be thankful for is the first step, practicing gratitude is what you should start doing:

            6 Ways To Implement More Gratitude In Your Life

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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