The list of plausible topics for this first post of 2014 was rather long. CES 2014, wearables and the quantified self or again social media as a job search tool are topics that will certainly appear in this blog in the following weeks. But not today. Today I have decided to share some end of year reflection with you. End of year reflection often lead to a long list of good resolutions that we never keep. This year, my reflection led me to one and only resolution. A resolution that is rather a state of mind that I will try to keep all year long. Let me explain:
I am sitting in a picturesque Parisian cafe drinking great wine and enjoying New Year Eve with friends and family. As the time comes closer to midnight I start looking back at the past year. 2013 was an amazing year. As a matter of fact it was one of the best years of my life. It was a year of realisation but also the end of a journey. A journey that started 5 years ago…
“Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”. (Steve Jobs, Commencement at Stanford University, 2005).
When I first heard this quote from Steve Jobs it struck me as an epiphany about the current state of my professional life. I was working as a make up artist for one of the most high profile fashion brands in the world: Chanel. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I did not love my work and I felt that I should be doing something I really love and not only have a job but make an impact in the industry I am working in.Driven by a desire for personal accomplishment and change I left France for England in 2009 determined to learn the language and pursue my dreams. […]
This opening paragraph of my personal statement written as part of my application to the LSE resumes perfectly the reasons why I left France 5 years ago. I was at the time full of hopes and dreamt of a better future. I would lie if I told you that the journey was easy. It wasn’t. The last 5 years have probably been the best and the hardest of my life. I have been tired, sick and I cried a lot. I clearly remember my first few months in London. My english level was close to nothing and the simplest things seemed to be extremely hard. Going through the language barrier was certainly the hardest challenge of them all. This was only 5 years ago yet it seems so far away. Since then, I have learnt English, applied to university, graduated with a first class Bachelor degree in advertising and marketing and graduated with a Masters degree from the LSE. Graduating from LSE represents the end of a journey. I have made it, I have followed my dreams and changed my life for the best. I am now doing a job I truly love and I cannot wait to see what the future holds.
Now I have talked a lot about myself but the truth is, on this New Year’s eve I felt happy, proud but mainly extremely grateful. Indeed, every great success is the result not only of personal hard work but also luck and some great meetings. I am grateful for all the amazing people I have met along the way that have trusted me and believed in me. Teachers, advisers, mentors, bosses, friends, lovers; all have played a tremendous role in my success.
So on this new year, my resolution is to be grateful. And what best than sending a thank you note to all the people that have made a difference in my life. I have written 4 emails so far. Thanking all these people feels absolutely wonderful. From the lady who first gave me a job (despite the fact that I could not speak a word of English and nodded the entire interview) to the TFL staff who tried so hard to explain to me the principle of an Oyster card on my very first day, I can remember all these people like it was yesterday.
Gratefulness is a powerful concept. As a matter of fact as I started researching for this blogpost I realised that being grateful could not only make you happier it could also boost your productivity. Now you must think that I have gone nuts. Not at all, this is not some kind of crazy new religion. Research studies have proven that being grateful has a positive impact on stress, (Wood; Maltby, Gillet, Linley, Joseph,2008), sleep (Wooda,Joseph, Lloyd, Atkins, 2009) and helps you being more optimistic (Mathews & Green, 2008). Fundamentally it can boots your health as well as your social and professional life.
Now let’s be honest, I will still be grumpy and self-centered at times. (It sometimes feels good to complain. Plus I’m French so I will just blame that on my native culture…. ) but I will try to be more grateful!
Here is to 2014. Wishing you all a wonderful year, may it be so amazing that it leaves you filled with gratefulness !