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10 Things I Learned From The Amazing Patrick Stewart

10 Things I Learned From The Amazing Patrick Stewart

Let’s face it, if you don’t like Patrick Stewart, you are vehemently anti-Star Trek, or you think we’re talking about Patrick Kaleta. Unlike the overtly aggressive NHL player, Sir Patrick Stewart has been winning hearts since premiering on stage in 1966. Despite a sprawling history with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Patrick Stewart’s best known roles include Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-men films (as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and Charles Xavier respectively). Determined to be among the world’s best humans, Patrick Stewart’s accomplishments span far beyond the world of acting. An avid humanitarian and activist, Sir Patrick works tirelessly for charity groups like Amnesty International, Refuge and Combat Stress, plus aids scholarships and UN organizations. Such a well rounded, selfless person certainly has something to teach us mere mortals, including these ten impressive life lessons.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Despite impressive accomplishments, high salaries, and  fans around the world, Patrick Stewart seems to never let it get to his head. The first to laugh at himself, Patrick isn’t afraid of his perceived shortcomings: “I am not the archetypal leading man. This is mainly for one reason: as you may have noticed, I have no hair.” 

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    Where most stars might want to nurture the idea that their wise roles are true to life, Patrick instead states: “Having played many roles of scientific intellect I do have an empathy for that world. It’s been hard on me because flying the Enterprise for seven years in Star Trek and sitting in Cerebro in X-men has led people to believe that I know what I’m talking about. But I’m still trying to work out how to operate the air conditioning unit on my car.”

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      Embrace New Things

      Where many older celebrities avoid social media, and sometimes the internet all together, Patrick Stewart is quick to embrace new technologies. Patrick Stewart has become an internet darling in part because of his antics on Twitter. Constantly sharing silly poses and selfies with friends, Sir Patrick Stewart has amassed well over a million followers on Twitter. Not bad for an English gentleman born in 1940. 

      “[Twitter] has really taken us [Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell] by surprise to what extent people have enjoyed it. I get a great deal of satisfaction from using it for societal issues and concerns that I am involved with, but there’s also been this element of playfulness, which has opened up a new avenue of communication, which I am enjoying very much indeed.”

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        Stay Humble

        Similar to his humorous take on himself, Patrick is quick to downplay his accomplishments. Where other stars might be tempted to blame their success on pure talent, Patrick Stewart keeps his cool. “I wasn’t campaigning for a role in a Hollywood television series,” he shares, “it was a fluke. So you’ve got to have a measure of good luck, you really have, being in the right place at the right time.”

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          Even when the topic is his role in sprawling franchises, Patrick sidesteps the attention: “The studio have always claimed that the ship is the star of [Star Trek], especially when they’re renegotiating contracts.” Patrick is also quick to joke about his acting skills: “I don’t do impersonations. I can do a wounded elephant! I can do a really good cow! And because of the amount of time I spent in North Yorkshire, I do a variety of sheep. All of which I will be happy to roll out for you!”. 

          Patrick Stewart is happy to discuss his talent in a modest way: “[ X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner] showed me the first comic book and there was this bald guy in a wheelchair. I could see why she might have been interested in me.”

          Seek New Experiences

          Sir Patrick Stewart extends to his love of new things to life decisions as well, and is willing to taking risks. Many entertainers from outside the US have negative views of Hollywood’s hyper perfect culture, but Patrick Stewart didn’t let prejudice play a part in his life, saying: “I think I came back from America a funnier and nicer person than I went.”

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            Patrick also encourages an open, excited attitude for others: “If someone says ‘Give me one word of advice,’ I say ‘be fearless.’ And knowing without any shadow of a doubt that what they have to give—who they are—is totally unique and not shared by anybody else. And to believe in that uniqueness. It took me decades before I developed courage as an actor.”

            Always Keep Learning

            One would think that an actor as accomplished as Sir Patrick Stewart has nothing to fear. Despite his impressive acting resume, Patrick continues to push himself in his craft.

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            “I really, really don’t want to hit one of those walls and I really don’t want to finish last. This makes me more nervous than anything I’ve ever done.” Inspiring words when you consider how hard Patrick has studied acting, in theater as well as film.

            Use Your Adversity

            Patrick Stewart is pretty open about his background, including his difficult childhood. While growing up, Patrick Stewart witnessed constant domestic abuse. At the hands of his father, Patrick’s mother was frequently beaten and battered. Once saying “I never had teenage years. I guess because I was seen to be more adult than anybody around me”, his childhood was filled with heartache and difficulty. 

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              “I was brought up in a very poor and very violent household. I spent much of my childhood being afraid”, he also shared. Despite the troubles, and despite overcoming severely difficult circumstances to achieve stardom, Patrick doesn’t let his past control him. Quite the opposite, Patrick works constantly with Refuge, a UK organization focused on providing safety for victims of domestic abuse. He’s also quick to speak up for others, and offer support. 

              Work For A Cause

              Magnifying his involvement with charitable organizations, Patrick actively encourages each of us to also speak up for those who can’t. “It is what you do from now on that will either move our civilization forward a few tiny steps, or else… begin to march us steadily backward”, he has said.

              Even when the topic is Star Trek-esque space travel, Patrick jumps to encourage social growth: “I would like to see us get this place right first before we have the arrogance to put significantly flawed civilizations out onto other planets, even though they may be utterly uninhabited.”

              Preferring to use his celebrity for those who need a voice, Patrick once shared “[I’ve] been given a voice that I didn’t know was available to me, and it was to speak seriously and with a proper level of involvement on issues of inequality and unfairness.” 

              Never content to sit idly by, Patrick Stewart is a true champion of social causes. “I’ve always believed that it is not possible to be in the world and not be political.”

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                Nurture Friendships

                Patrick Stewart is also well known for his famous friendships. In an industry where back biting and harmful feuds pop up daily, it’s completely refreshing to see a celebrity treat people with respect. Patrick has been friends with Ian McKellen since they met in the 60’s, performing with The Royal Shakespeare Company. Additionally, Patrick and Helen Mirren worked together on the 1981 Excalibur film, and remain friends to this day.

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                    “I’ve met actors where you think, if only you could just clean up your act and get it together, people would want to work with you. Some people are so difficult, it’s just not worth working with them.”

                    Consider Others Perspectives

                    Patrick’s difficult childhood would be enough to make anyone hate their father. Confounding human nature once again, Patrick sees his father’s flawed life with empathy. When Patrick participated in a recent documentary program for the BBC, he learned that his father suffered severe PTSD from WWII. At the time, even more misunderstood than it is now, PTSD had absolutely no treatment in the 40’s and 50’s. After learning of his fathers struggles, Patrick immediately began working with an organization in the UK for veterans, called Combat Stress. Again, quick to understand and slow to judge, Patrick Stewart is helping to eliminate violence and health problems on all fronts.

                    “Now I can do something for women and their children who [deal with domestic abuse]. One of the most gratifying things in my life is that, I would say daily, someone stops me in the street or at the stage door and will mention the work that I’ve done there.”

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                    Never Stop Laughing

                    If his incredible accomplishments, humble attitude and sprawling list of awards aren’t enough to make you love Sir Patrick Stewart, hopefully his humor does. In his mid 70’s, Patrick shows no sign of slowing down. Starring in a theatre production with Sir Ian Mckellan in 2013, Patrick continues to inspire us and make us laugh.

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                      Proof that there’s no reason to stop spreading joy, Patrick Stewarts silly pictures and quick wit will undoubtedly keep us smiling (and learning) for years to come.

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                        And finally, great respect on how Sir Patrick Stewart took ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vpbm7ehr_4

                        Featured photo credit: Gage Skidmore via en.wikipedia.org

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                        Alicia Prince

                        A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                        Last Updated on June 18, 2019

                        40 Ways to Achieve Peace Of Mind and Inner Calm

                        40 Ways to Achieve Peace Of Mind and Inner Calm

                        Do you have racing thoughts and find yourself constantly worrying? An anxious mind is truly distressing.

                        The good news is, there’re simple things you can do to calm your thought.

                        If you want to achieve peace of mind and inner calm, try these 40 simple powerful ways:

                        1. Listen to Music

                        Studies have found that relaxing music can help kids with ADHD to be calmer and focus. But it doesn’t matter what genre of music you want to listen to, as long as you enjoy it and it makes you feel relaxed.

                        Music is food for the soul and an instant way to gain peace of mind.

                        2. Deep Breathing

                        When you focus on your breathing, your mind’s attention is drawn to the life-enhancing process of drawing in air and exhaling.

                        Take five long, deep breaths and focus on your lungs and diaphragm as you do this. This is a quick and easy way to instantly feel calm.

                        Here’re also 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly).

                        3. Go for a Walk

                        Getting out in the fresh air can do you a world of good and promote peace of mind. Take a break and get the blood pumping – especially when the sun is shining.

                        4. Enjoy Nature

                        Too much concrete is never a good thing. Spending time in nature can actually make you feel younger, happier. Here’s why.

                        Spend time away from the city. Listen to the birds singing and enjoy the peace and tranquility.

                        5. Play with a Pet

                        Having a pet to play with is a great way to de-stress. Touch is a powerful sense and can ease tension and promote peace of mind.

                        6. Declutter

                        Have regular clear-outs. Clutter can add to feelings of tension and a clean, clear home allows a clearer, more peaceful mind.

                        Take a look at this article and learn How to Declutter Your Mind to Sharpen Your Brain and Fall Asleep Faster.

                        7. Acceptance

                        Acceptance is crucial for peace of mind. Accepting that there are few guarantees in the world and learning to tolerate uncertainty is a huge leap in the peace-of-mind stakes. Differentiate between what you can and cannot control.

                        8. Mindfulness

                        When we are mindful, we are fully present in the moment and acutely aware of our five senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell.

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                        Engage your senses. This leaves less time for your mind to worry and think about “what ifs.”

                        Here you can learn about The Power of Mindfulness.

                        9. Self Love

                        The more we like ourselves, the greater our peace of mind. We accept ourselves more and feel at ease in the world, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. We experience less insecurity and as a result, our inner peace is heightened.

                        Start trying these 30 Ways To Practice Self-Love And Be Good To Yourself.

                        10. Be True to You

                        This is another vital component of peace of mind. When we practice congruency, we behave similarly to the way we feel and think. When the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us is the same, we are practicing congruency.

                        Problems arise when we see ourselves one way (for example, as a loving mother) but behave in ways that are at odds with how we would like to see ourselves (for example, neglect our children because we are too busy). Finding ways to keep our inner ideals and the way we behave similar is one of the keys to peace of mind.

                        Find out How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want.

                        11. Sense of Humor

                        Laugh a lot. The world is instantly a better place when you can see the funny side of life. Laughter is a great antidote for stress and releases hormones that help us relax.

                        12. Love Unconditionally

                        When you don’t expect anything back, it makes it easier to love without fear. When we love with conditions attached, our unmet expectations can create inner turmoil and feelings of resentment. Insecurities destroy peace of mind.

                        13. Go for Regular Health Checks

                        It pays to keep checks on your health and look after yourself. Letting ourselves go can indicate a lack of self-respect, and this in turn will affect the way we see the world and the way others interact with us. Be kind to yourself and make the most of what you have.

                        14. Take Stock

                        Every now and then, it’s a good idea to check whether you’re happy with the quality of your life. Do you like your job? Your relationship? Are you on the right track? Make adjustments if necessary to restore peace of mind.

                        15. Have Goals

                        This ties in with number 14. Goals keep us going in the right direction and give us a sense of purpose. Make your goals SMART: How to Set SMART Goal to Make Lasting Changes in Life

                        16. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

                        This relates to number 11. Learn to be more flexible in your approach to life. The more rigid our thinking is, the easier it is to experience situations that contradict our rigid ideas.

                        17. Live in the Moment

                        Instead of worrying about the past or panicking about the future, really enjoy the NOW. It’s all we have — this moment in time.

                        When we live in the present, the concerns of the past and future can’t worry us.

                        Here’re some tips on How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future.

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                        18. Worry Less

                        We apparently have somewhere between 30,000 – 75,000 thoughts per day, of which 80% are random “nonsense.”

                        Learn to “shelve” worrying by reminding yourself that most of your worries are unproductive and remove any chance of peace of mind.

                        Some advice for you who worry often: How to Worry Less: 90% of What You Fear Won’t Happen

                        19. Be Assertive

                        You have as much right to be here and to have an opinion as anyone else. When we become passive or submissive, we do ourselves a disservice.

                        Being assertive isn’t about your needs ahead of others (aggressive) or their needs ahead of yours (passive). Rather, it is about compromise —  a “win-win” situation.

                        Learn How to Be Assertive and Stand up for Yourself the Smart Way.

                        20. Speak Your Mind

                        Don’t be afraid to say what you’re thinking. This goes hand in hand with being assertive.

                        Ask for what you want in life. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

                        21. Enjoy “Me-Time”

                        Time out is important. A little bit of selfish time to treat yourself or do exactly as you please sets you up for taking on the constant demands of life. Balance in life is crucial.

                        22. Frolic

                        The free online dictionary describes the word “frolic” as:

                        “To behave playfully and uninhibitedly; romp.”

                        All work and no play will stress anyone out. Make time for things you enjoy. Try to inject fun into situations that aren’t particularly enjoyable. Approach life with a playful attitude. When did you last let the child in you come out to play?

                        23. Let It Go

                        There are some things that you just cannot change, no matter how hard you try. Know when to cut your losses and detach (Just like Elsa does!)

                        When you start to let go of your past, these 10 things will happen.

                        24. Resist Guilt

                        Guilt is a negative emotion that removes peace of mind. Although it can motivate us (in the wrong way), it is still a toxic emotion.

                        Challenge the reasons for your guilt to make sure you aren’t placing unnecessary pressure on yourself.

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                        25. Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude

                        Focusing on all the things in our lives that we are grateful for promotes peace of mind and reminds us that there are always positives. Sometimes we just have to nudge our awareness.

                        Try these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                        26. See Failure as a Learning Curve

                        Failure has such negative connotations, but actually, everyone fails. How can you improve or learn anything if you never fail?

                        A healthy attitude towards failure encourages bravery. It’s not you that is the failure, instead it is what you tried that failed. There is a big difference.

                        27. Connect with Others

                        One of the true joys of life is sharing life with others and knowing that others “get” you. We feel less alone and feeling understood allows a fantastic sense of well-being.

                        28. Test Your Limits

                        You’ll never know your true potential if you always stay in your comfort zone. As the old saying goes, it is better to look back and regret what you did than regret all those things you wish you’d tried.

                        Learn to step out of your comfort zone: 10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Overcome Your Fear

                        29. Find Positive Outlets for Negative Emotions

                        Sports, online forums, like-minded people, hobbies…whatever takes your fancy. Suppressing negative emotions can lead to ill health. Release tension and frustration in a pro social way and feel a whole lot happier.

                        30. Slow Down

                        Why does everything need to be accomplished today? Often, we place unrealistic pressure on ourselves when there is no need to.

                        Challenge your impatience, be mindful and enjoy life in the moment.

                        31. Challenge Your “Shoulds” and “Musts”

                        Self-induced pressure never leads to inner tranquility or peace of mind. Replace “should” with “could” and live life more on your own terms.

                        32. Be Kind

                        It’s free and it makes a difference. When we show kindness, it gives us an inner boost, too.

                        You can try these 29 Ways to Carry Out Random Acts of Kindness Every Day.

                        33. Don’t Compare

                        The more we compare, the more we lose ourselves.

                        Forget what everyone else is doing or saying. What do YOU want? We all have our own paths to follow, and we are all learning and going through life at our unique pace.

                        Focus on your own journey and lose the stress of comparing yourself to what you think is going on in the lives of others. This is a surefire way to eliminate peace of mind.

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                        34. Affirmations

                        Talk to yourself positively by using affirmations. A good example of one that encourages peace of mind is: “No matter what comes my way, I will find a way to get through it.”

                        Believe in yourself and remind yourself regularly that you will be okay.

                        Need some more inspirations to affirm yourself? Here’re 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

                        35. Save a Little Money as Often as You Can

                        Putting money aside is always a good idea. If you can afford to save money regularly, do it. Start up a regular debit each month, and you won’t even realize it’s gone.

                        36. Less Is More

                        Money buys choice, but it doesn’t buy us the happiness we crave. Be content with the simpler things in life — that’s where the real long-lasting joy and peace of mind comes from.

                        37. Perspective

                        Always  keep your eye on the bigger picture. Will you feel this way next week, or a year from now? Will your current experience of life seem as important?

                        More often than not, you will be just fine. Foster peace of mind by maintaining perspective in life.

                        38. Monitor Your Thoughts

                        Our thoughts can make or break our quality of life. Make sure to choose thinking that works for you.

                        Talk to yourself as you would a best friend. Self-loathing serves no purpose and will undoubtedly extract joy from your life.

                        39. Stand up for What You Believe In

                        Whether it’s protecting animals or helping those less fortunate than yourself, follow your heart and your passion. Fight the urge to fit in and do what’s expected.

                        When you change yourself to suit others, you give away your peace of mind.

                        40. Get Enough Sleep

                        When we’re tired and grumpy, nothing goes smoothly. Get eight hours of sleep per night and regenerate your body.

                        Final Thoughts

                        The most important ways to achieve peace of mind involve being true to yourself, accepting that life is uncertain and watching your thinking. Many of us mentally “torture” ourselves daily with the things we tell ourselves.

                        Trust your thoughts less, pay less attention to the negative ones and focus on what you are thankful for in life, and you’ll be well on your way to inner peace of mind.

                        Featured photo credit: sean Kong via unsplash.com

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