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Written by KATHERINE HARGRAVES, DIRECTOR CONTENT STRATEGY

It’s a complicated world and finding a balance between what you love, what you are good at and what makes you feel successful is tough! So, in the spirit of mothers day, I wanted to share the best quotes and advice from my own dear mum (love you Marie). These are the most inspiring of ways she’s propelled me through my life and my career.

‘Life rewards effort’

Every time in my life I came home with a medal, an award, a new job or just a huge smile on my face, mum would repeat with much excitement ‘See! Life rewards effort!’. She’s right too. If you put the effort in, life will reward you. You’ve just got to remember rewards come in all shapes and sizes (and they don’t always come quickly). It’s easy to be hard on yourself. To think that you should have it all together, right now. But you are a work in progress. Give yourself a break! All you can do is wake up, get going and take risks. Push your boundaries, a little or a lot. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it. Ultimately life rewards effort, not excuses!

‘Life is a stage, act!’

This is honestly the phrase that has got me through EVERY tense, sticky or awkward work situation. Here’s how it goes. You have a huge presentation, a meeting with issues likely to be raised, an emotional encounter you desperately want to avoid but can’t. What you do, is prepare. Like an actor. Picture someone you know who you admire. Then become them. Personify their confidence, their professionalism, their composure. ‘Fake it til you make it’ is a saying that actually has a lot of credit to it!

‘This too shall pass’

Personal, professional, it’s easy to get bogged down. You’ve got a choice. You stay… or you go! When you are going through hell… keep bloody going! It will pass. Remember that worst time in your life? When you thought that was it and there was no way out? Well look at you now. You’ve made it. Let that be a lesson. It too SHALL pass and when it does you’ll look back and be proud of yourself for keeping on going.

‘Plant now and harvest later’

The only way to know what your future holds is to build it now. Simple isn’t it? Life is full of surprises and I hope you get some that are wonderful. But in the meantime reap what you sow. Look at all the things you desire. Think about what you are doing now and if it leads you there. If not, make some changes. Remember too, the influence you have over other people around you. Both negative and positive. People forget how influential they are: they have the power to make somebody’s day, and also the power to ruin it. Be the person that makes it. It takes no effort to be kind. ‘It’s not about being the best, but trying your best’.

If (like me) you are a competitive little devil and you constantly strive for perfection, for approval, for success. STOP. I’ve been obsessed with it myself. I must perform, I must look good, I must be seen as successful, as happy, as having it all. It’s a common trap… much like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is success and happiness. Don’t strive to become what you think other people think you must. Find what makes you happy and successful, and simply DO MORE OF IT.

If you are the same, read this book, it will change your life. The title reflects a key theme in the book: “popular ideas about happiness are misleading or inaccurate, and will make you miserable in the long term, if you base your life on them”.

‘You’ve got this’

Behind every problem, experience and learning awaits you. I certainly don’t have it nailed. I don’t think anybody does. Not even mum (although she’s damn near perfect in my eyes). But what I do remind myself daily is that I have power. I have the power to change my situation if I don’t like it. I have the power to look at everything through a positive lens to find that experience and that lesson. Stop focusing on how stressed you are, and remember how blessed you are.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mums out there. Thank you for shaping our lives.

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