Happy New Year!!!

OMGGGGG!!! Guys it’s 2017. “New Year…New Me!” Right?

LOOOL, jk jk. I don’t go by that motto! For me, I’ve always been improving myself but I am not going to lie, a new year is just another reason that motivates me to carry on.

2016 was a MAD year. When I see people complaining about how bad it went I feel quite sad because I felt like 2016 was an amazing year for me. It taught me a lot about myself, friendship, my faith and so much more! By far it was not my easiest year, I had huge mental breakdowns, anxiety and lots of stress but it has also granted me so many blessed opportunities. I lost people and I had to constantly battle with my biggest enemy…Myself! However, without enduring such a war I wouldn’t have been able to make it to 2017. But I AM HERE! So clearly, I went right somewhere.

Last year I changed the way I approached new years resolutions. Instead of setting a small number of specific targets that I aimed to fulfil, I set a theme. My theme for 2016 was ‘Selfishness’. Yes, you read correctly. In 2016 I wanted to become a lot more selfish. Why? Well, one thing that I have observed about myself is that I am quite a selfless person, so I usually put other people first. It reached a point where I essentially forgot to live for myself (sounds quite sad now that I think about… but it was true) . As a result, I decided to put myself first in many situations. Whether that meant rejecting people’s company to study for myself, treating myself or spending time dedicated to myself. It was quite difficult but the more I did it, the more I realised the benefits. For example, I procrastinated less and learnt more about myself. It’s weird because this was the first ‘New Years Resolution’ that I managed to fulfil. I am not going to lie and say that there isn’t any room for improvement, but I have accomplished a lot more than I believed that I could.

This year I want to continue my themed resolutions. So whilst continuing my theme of selfishness, I aim to start a new theme for the new year. This year my theme is : CONSISTENCY! I have realised that one of my biggest problems with  remaining consistent to certain things e.g. school revision. This year, I have so many important events happening which means that slacking isn’t an option and consistency is the key solution to this. This will be a huge challenge for my personal development but I plan to make the most of it, just as I did in 2016. As well as school, I want to be consistent at home e.g. with this blog so I am hoping to ensure I can commit to a post a week (on Fridays). Gradually, I can challenge myself by adding Monday’s back  around June (or earlier if necessary).

Personal development is a very important part of life so I want this year to be another year for that. I hope 2017 is a great year for all of us! If you have any new years resolutions, please feel to share but regardless I just hope you all have a Happy New Year (again)!

Feature Image Source: Happy New Years 2017

Blog Bites: September Reflection

With all my recent posts, I feel like it is time to just cool things down and take some time to reflect on just life. September is drawing to a close and I feel like it’s just a cool thing being able to look back and see how far you’ve come in a space of the month. So sorry if you don’t like these personal type of posts because this basically going to be all about me. Having said that,if you want something a bit more political or what not you can wait for my Friday post or read last weeks post about Cultural Appropriation.

So… September… What have I done?

Well… when you put me on the spot, I’m actually having some difficulty to remember. I usually take each day at a time so I fail to remember everything I have done as a collective. I will try and recollect some memories and throw out whatever comes to mind

  1. I started Year 13 – OMG!!! I still can’t believe that I am in my final year of school. Typing that seems weird. It’s a similar feeling to how I felt in Year 11 but maybe not as nostalgic. With secondary school, I was saying goodbye to 5 years of my life whereas my current school has only been 2. After this I will be moving on to University and endeavouring another huge milestone of my life. One chapter of my life is closing and another is soon to begin; I’m not afraid of that but excited for it. Moving to another school has helped me with that because it has allowed me to get used to change and adapt to new environments. Additionally, I have noticed that I have become a lot more engaged with my work.
  2. University applications – Erghhh… growing up = responsibility and this is one of them. The university application process has been a roller coaster of a process which has challenged me both physically and mentally. However, because of this, I have been able to grow as a person (I might elaborate on this more in another post).
  3. Motivation! – One reason why I wrote my Motivation post last week was because I understand the difficulty in motivating yourself and keeping on top of things in school. I’m not going to lie and say I have been perfectly motivated since the beginning of the month, BUT, I can truly say that I have seen an improvement. For example, my procrastination has moved from an A* to probably a C (there’s still more improvement to go though) and that’s because I have been more focused and keen with school! I am really proud at how I can basically complete most of my homework relatively on time and that’s wayyyyy better than last year!

This may have been a bit longer than I expected… Sorry but once you start reminiscing you can’t stop!

P.S My life isn’t as boring as you think – I have done a lot more than I highlighted above I’ve just forgotten (this will improve over time)!

Haddy x

Featured Image Source: Time and date

Blog Bites: School Motivation

Hey guys!!! I’m back again with another edition of blog bites. The first edition went well so I look forward to what may come. Today I am going to be talking about all things SCHOOL related. I know…*YAWN* but hear me out. Today I am specifically trying to motivate us all to get through this year. Besides, this advice is basically applicable to all aspects of life.

Year 13. A very daunting year for me to conquer. On paper it looks great but in practice I am overwhelmed by the constant homework, revision and post sixth form prep that I just want to SCREAM!!!

Okay finally. I’ve let it out.

Now that the anger and frustration is gone, I can start thinking rationally. So what is my current situation:

  • A2 Exams
  • University applications
  • Homework
  • Revision
  • STRESS

Yes. You guys are not alone. Just like you I have a lot of things to worry and that scares me. Last year I spent too much time getting too comfortable getting used to my new atmosphere and that’s just something I can’t afford to do again. BUT… How can I stop myself from reverting back?

Well… that’s where MOTIVATION kicks in!

It can be quite difficult to motivate yourself to work. How do I know? Because I suffer from motivation-deficiency quite regularly, but that’s okay. I mean who loves school 24/7? Regardless, we have to start by changing our mentality. Revision and studies shouldn’t be something that we NEED to do but something we WANT to do! As the old saying goes “Times goes by when you’re having fun.” So make your work something fun, something that you look forward to doing. Whether it’s by watching videos, creating posters or teaching your friends. Make things interactive so you don’t fall asleep!

Also, set short term targets to achieve long term goals. There will be many hurdles in your way but once you overcome them, you can cross the finishing line with ease.  You do you and work at your own pace (just don’t take too long because that was my mistake last year). People get so overwhelmed by the stress and pressure of exams but if you realise that life is more than a piece of paper then I am sure you will relish at every challenge that comes your way!

Featured Image: Plus Quotes

“Time to dig my grave for RESULTS DAY!”

Okay! Okay! Before we start preparing for our death, re-evaluating our life plans and crafting the perfect explanations for our parents we just need to PAUSE!

Just PAUSE!

Great! Now let’s just start over!

RESULTS DAY! These two words are possibly the most terrifying pair EVER! I am not going to lie to you but hearing them or seeing them across my Snapchat drives me crazy. Not crazy mad but crazy nervous! Why? It’s the day which declares whether you FAILED or SUCCEEDED in life!

WRONG!

Throughout our lives we have been rigorously trained to conquer the evil beast: EXAMS! Therefore, it is only natural to be worried when you are awaiting to find out how well you did. However, one thing we haven’t constantly been taught is that “EXAM ≠ LIFE“. If you fail an exam, it doesn’t mean you have failed life. As a student, I understand how annoying my last sentence sounded! However, I do realise that we are so consumed by this ‘bubble of education’ that we fail to see that life is a lot more than grades on a piece of paper.

Success can be defined in many different ways so it doesn’t have to be based purely on your educational performance. There is so much more you can do to create success in your life. Alternatively, if you have a particular career ambition, don’t think that there is only one path to getting there because there is a lot more.

When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us

– Alexander Graham Bell

During my work experience at UBS bank, I learned that people entered the industry in different ways. That’s the beauty of life, we all have a different story to share – otherwise our world would be pretty boring!

So yes, I sound super dopey and cheesy but it’s little motivational pieces like this which can help you change your mind set. I also want to be able to look back at this every results day so that I don’t bury myself in so much negativity.

If there is one quote I basically live by it’s “Positive vibes only“! There is no room for negativity – life is too short to be a glum bum so cheer up and keep it moving because I ASSURE you that there are GREATER things that lie ahead!

P.S I have been so worried about Result’s day that I couldn’t sleep. Writing this post helped me to de-stress and leak out all the negative thoughts in my brain (very therapeutic)! We’re all in the same boat so you’re NOT ALONE!

Photo credit: Nottingham University student blogs

Hello August!

WOW!!! I can’t believe that we are already in the 8th month of 2016. We are nearly 3/4 through the year. I still can’t comprehend how fast time has zoomed by. This year I know that personally, I have accomplished a lot and I know that also applies to many of you amazing people out there!Today’s post is a little light hearted since I  wanted to give you a general update of what’s happening with me and my blog at this moment of time.

Apologetically, I have taken quite a break from blogging. However, I really needed time to just SHUT DOWN! It’s crazy how consumed we can be by the internet and social media. I definitely love going onto Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter on a daily to see what’s going on, but at times I just need to throw away the phone and pick up a book instead.

As a matter of fact, I have currently been reading ‘Dreams from my father’ by Barack Obama and it has been so insightful learning about his life but also about black lives in America at that point in time. It is a great read (I would totally recommend it even though I haven’t finished it!) and I wouldn’t mind writing a book review if people are interested (comment below).

In addition, I have been working on my blog and making some improvements to parts of it. For example, for every page, you can see all the blog posts related to that topic! I understand that seems like nothing to you, but I put in a lot of time and effort just to make a small alteration. Furthermore, I have updated my Home and About page so please go and have a read because you will get to know me a bit better!

During this month, I have a lot of exciting things coming up. Some of which can provide exciting blog content and other’s which are huge changes for me personally so just watch this space for whatever may pop up occasionally. I have many cool ideas for things I want to discuss but I don’t want to mention them here since I don’t want to make a promise I can’t keep.

Overall, I just want to thank you for all your patience and support. This blog has been alive for nearly 2 years and it’s crazy how much I have achieved in such a short space of time! I look forward to the rest of the year and the crazy adventures we can explore next!

Social Media: The good, the bad and the ugly

SOCIAL MEDIA.

Wow! It has definitely come a long way since I was born – in the late 20th century (that makes me sound extremely old). Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are becoming increasing popular and essentially key forms of communication in our daily lives. Not only are they being used to connect with people all around the world e.g. friends and family, they have become platforms where companies can market themselves and reach out to a wider audience. I have no doubt that it definitely has it’s high points but simultaneously it has it’s low points.

Today, I was watching a bunch of YouTube videos and I came across one called ‘The Stripped down challenge’. As far as I am concerned, it has been surfacing quite a lot recently since Jonah Green started it in early November this year (click here to watch it). The challenge entails sitting in front of a camera for 10 minutes and talking about whatever topic you want – it could be personal, it could be random, it could be anything. The only rules are

  1. You can’t edit the video
  2. You can’t cut anything out
  3. You can’t have any background music
For many of the people I have seen, (I have only watched a few) this was quite difficult because you weren’t able to remove any of those ‘awkward thinking moments‘ or interruptions during your time of recording. The main aim of it was to demonstrate the real side of Youtubers (the true side of people behind the camera) in response to a video uploaded by Essena O’ Neil which was called ‘Why I really am quitting social media’ (click here to watch). The video was quite emotional (especially towards the end) as she talked about the negatives of social media, how her life has been consumed by it and ‘numbers’ e.g. Number of followers or number of likes. She discussed a lot of things which were very much true to an extent and completely justified in some respect but I thought her overall perception of social media was clouded by her experiences. This created a very subjective view of some of the platforms I have mentioned above. Consequently, I had the idea to just sit down and reflect on social media & respond to what she said.
The GOOD
Social media is a great way to connect with people you know & don’t know from the comfort of your home or anywhere because of the availability of the internet on all platforms of technology. To be honest, wherever there is a place where people can come together and talk to each other online, that can be defined as social media. Regardless, of whether it is a forum or just the good old Snapchat.
I am very active on social media and have numerous social media accounts because not only do they allow me to engage in different experiences, they allow me to do different things. For example:
 NetworkPeople
Twitter
It allows me spontaneously blurt out my reactions to daily life, trending topics and connect with celebrities or fandoms e.g. The Walking Dead Fans (you are AWESOME if you watch that show)
Snapchat
It allows me to be 100% free. I post stupid, funny and ugly looking content to my friends or story but I don’t care about the reaction (to a certain extent) because I don’t feel like I need to wear a ‘mask’.
Tumblr/Instagram
It allows me explore my creativity and artistic side. I’m not going to lie but I love aesthetics hence why I have a passion for photography and pictures. Therefore I create themes or edit pictures not because I want to make myself look ‘perfect’ but because I want to create a mood.
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I could write a paragraph or essay on each of these (but ain’t nobody got time for that) however, I just wanted to show that you can achieve great things by using social media as a tool rather than a weapon. It’s qualities such as these which I believe Essena overlooked and forgot to mention in her video.
The BAD

Simultaneously, there are negative things that come from social media. Similar to the saying ‘love and hate are two sides of the same coin’ this also applies. From my experiences, I have witnessed and also experienced the abuse from social media. Although many people go onto Instagram, for example. and post compliments on people’s pictures there are also those trolls a.k.a ‘haters’ who can spam your account with horrible messages.

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Art by Kristina Webb

An example of this is through the platform Ask.fm. This platform allowed people to ask questions to each other or celebrities then those people would be able to directly respond. However, there was a feature where you could make yourself anonymous and people used this as ammunition to ask horrible questions or spam you with horrible messages. I remember, seeing my friends undergoing such torment so I stepped in to protect them. Nevertheless, the hate didn’t stop, it continued and eventually I became the next target. Those days of my life where honestly the most horrible and darkest periods because I felt like I couldn’t turn to anyone. Although I put a brave face and responded back diplomatically, a part of me felt defeated because the hate began to tug on my emotions and wear me down. Fortunately, I had the support of my family and friends to get me out of the situation but not all people are able to recover. Consequently, at the time many young people were commiting suicide due to the hate which accumulated from that site.

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Art by Kristina Webb

The sad thing is the hate/ judgement of other people is almost like a drug. You know it is bad for you but you keep taking it because you’re addicted. You need to see/ know what people think about you so that you can be secure about yourself but this shouldn’t be the case.
The UGLY
The ugly side of social media is this side I believe Essena was dicsuccing about predominantly in her video. Most of her opinions about social media seemed to come from this line of argument so I thought it would be reasonable to share this angle.
After using social media for a while, sometimes it has this undesired affect on people to crave more. It turns you into a person who is no longer content with what they have because they always want more. This is mainly represented with ‘numbers.’ You want a good number of likes, followers and comments in order to demonstrate the social power you have amongst social media and to also gain personal satisfaction. For example, I would feel really gassed if one of my pictures received 10,000 likes because it would feel like 10,000 people approve of your looks, they like your photo and possibly like you. Once you hit that target, you always want to achieve better and better. This applies to all people regardless of whether you are on social media or not e.g. if you get an A on your test, the next time you take a test you would either aim to get another A or possibly an A* because we are generally brought up under the principle tat working hard allows is to achieve success.luubet9hck0dpddtgmhl
However, the problem with this desire is that sometimes we become hungry for it which then makes it a neccessity. You begin to ask for more shoutouts or ask for more likes. You research ways in order to create a better appeal and then start changing yourself in order to conform to the ‘perfect person’ that society wants you to be. You are no longer an individual, just as copy. So this allows the question to arise… What makes you special? How are you different? At this point you have lost your scence of identity and your life becomes dedicated and infatuated by social media. Whenever you get a notification you check your phone and do things that you wouldn’t do in real life (the world outside the computer screen). Therefore, you slowly damage the memories of life because you ‘don’t have time’ to create them because you are stuck behind a screen.
These arguments may seem extreme or a bit far fetched, but honestly social media is a combination of all, even though it doesn’t want to be. For example a person can be kind, a liar and manipulative, they compromise of different personality traits  but depending on who comes into contact with it depends on your perception of them. One person may perceive them to be really kind whilst another may feel like they are a total liar. It’s all down to perception. The problem with perception is that if you’re not open minded then you won’t be able to acknowledge the full package and you will be limited to one view. So I am not going to glorify social media and give it a ton of praise when there are still negative sides to it BUT unlike Essena I will acknowledge the positives rather than allow the negatives to shut them out. As a result, I still stand by my original view about the amazing benefits of social media.
What do you think about social media?

Wait… it’s Christmas?

Christmas EVE

Raise your hand if you still haven’t got that feeling of ‘Christmas cheer’?

I can definitely say that I feel the exact same way. For some reason I don’t feel very festive for Christmas this year. I don’t know whether its because I am getting older or because I don’t celebrate it religiously but for some strange reason Christmas doesn’t make me excited. The weird thing is, I have been bombarded by Christmas advertisements, deals, movies, jumpers and Christmas dinner (at school) but I still feel like we have another month to go. Regardless, I can say that I am looking forward to stuffing my little mouth with all the delicious food and deserts which I am yet to eat. Hmmmmm…. thinking about it now makes my mouth water.

Christmas DAY

I have now eaten that delicious meal and I am very satisfied. To add to that, I have a lot more food still yet to come – my Christmas wishes are certainly coming true. Now that it is Christmas, I want to quickly take the opportunity to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Throughout the day I have been messaging, whatsapping and snapchatting people and I have received many myself which makes me very happy (spread the Christmas love). Although I don’t really celebrate Christmas, it has been so nice to watch all my friends Snapchat stories or YouTube videos to witness the happiness which has been dancing across the homes of many. Call me cheesy… but it’s one of the best Christmas gifts I can receive (considering I don’t get any). My thoughts are still with those all around the world who might not be as fortunate to receive iPads and Mac products but it’s still nice to see how people remain grateful for what they have whilst acknowledging those who are less fortunate (e.g. ME LOOL).

Sorry this isn’t a very long post but I know that many people will not be reading this and are more concerned about having a nice chilled day with the family. SOOOO once again Merry Christmas and I look forward to speaking to you a lot more in the new year.

 

 

 

General Update #1

Hellllooooooooo readers,

How art thee?

Yes, sometimes I have very weird urges to speak in ‘Shakespearean English’. However, this is just how my random and complex mind works so I enjoy giving you guys a sample of what’s inside.

Regardless, the main point of today’s blog post is to update you all about where the heck I have been for the last couple of weeks. I am definitely not the world’s best blogger (because I DO have a life outside of the computer screen LOOOOL – I know, not really funny) but I do try my best. I really wanted to fill you and myself in with what’s been happening lately. It’s not until you actually sit down and think about things until you realise how fast time has sped by and all the crazy things you have done in the process.

One word to sum things up is SCHOOL! Yes, as a 16 year old blogger it is not easy balancing books and a blog at the same time. Especially as your focus usually zooms into one. Consequently, I have been procrastinating with my blog and pushing it aside in order to prioritise my school work. However, today is the first ‘official‘ day of my Christmas holiday so I thought that it would make logical sense to sit down and really have a heart to heart with the computer.

In terms of school, I get to look forward to a lot of mocks and exams in the new year…. Yippee! As a result, I have been trying to be productive in my revision and studies to ensure that I don’t jeopardise my A Levels. Additionally, I want to ensure I practice good habits e.g. time management in preparation for university and simply life in general. I know that sounds a bit deep, but I just find it important to practice good habits now so I don’t regret anything later. In contrast to all the academic activities, I have been quite engaged in the social activities at school e.g. watching the school performance so that I can remind myself that a 16 year old girl still needs a life outside school. Thus, I can look back in 20 years time and brag about all the fun and crazy memories of my teenage/ youth years.

In terms of my blog, I have a lot of fun things planned that I want to write about. Many of which are locked away in my head but never get typed up. Consequently, this holiday I am going to try and blog once a day so that I can save those blogs for ‘rainy days’ where I need to post but don’t have time to write anything. Additionally, I want to start posting on Mondays and Fridays just so I have a bit of time during the week and weekend to think/ see what’s happening in the world so I can write about current affairs whether it relates to politics, fashion or my life in general.

I am also under going some new personal challenges which I want to accomplish by the end of 2016. Rather than setting new years resolutions which I am unlikely to fulfil, I am just setting myself personal goals whenever I feel like it so that I am more likely to commit. For example,  I am undergoing a hair journey where I am currently transitioning to natural hair, therefore, I am aiming to commit and share the journey so I can track the progress along the way.

I apologise if this post isn’t as interesting as my others but I really wanted to have a ‘sit down session’ to review things before the upcoming year of 2016. Regardless, I look forward to being a bit more consistent and organised with my blog and with any other goals I have set myself.

 

 

A Wonderful Weekend

This weekend has been jam-packed with a lot of fun & interesting things to do thus I formally declare that this post will be the first of many different lifestyle posts… YAYYYY!!! *this is your queue to clap*

Saturday

Like every other Saturday, I woke up slightly hungover from the night before – don’t worry, I don’t drink… I just wake up with a huge headache sometimes because I spend my sleepy time watching a great deal of movies & TV shows. Yesterday, however, I had a plan to get things. Consequently, I got up quite early to venture off to the circus. Yes circus… well Oxford Circus. There were a number of things I had to purchase before the end of this weekend.

By 12, I was ready to leave and I went to pick up my brother from his Saturday School along the way.

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We were greeted by huge crowds, but that the beauty of the Circus – you can dodge all the people in order to reach your destination on time.

There were a number of shops we visited since I had to purchase a number of goods. I had to get some school supplies from WHSmith (now I feel super organised), we went to Forbidden Planet (its where we can be super nerdy) and we also visited His Masters Voice (a.k.a HMV).

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Sunday

Today I had a great day today being able to meet all the girls again after a month. Even though we don’t go to the same school, whenever I see them, it feels like no time has passed at all. That’s the beauty of our friendship, its so strong that time can’t even weaken our your bonds (I sound really poetic and sciency but it’s true). Any way, the plan was to meet up at 2 – but that’s obviously the teenage equivalent to 3, thus we left later than planned – but that wasn’t surprising. We headed over to Old Spitalfields Market where we dined at the luxurious… Wagamama’s.

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We  had a great time eating a lot of delicious dishes… as a matter of fact we had ‘mini celebrations’ whenever the food came round. It was really delicious and appetising. I had Green tea, Tropical Juice and a Chilli Chicken Ramen.

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Overall, today was amazing. Being able to meet up with such awesome people always gets me excited, happy and emotional at the same time. The only thing that would have made the day better is if Louise and Laura were here but they couldn’t LOL – (this is only funny if you understand why they couldn’t come – at least one of them).

Friendship isn’t valued as much as it deserves to be and I think people need to realise that being surrounded by a couple of diamonds is way better than surrounding yourself with several scraps of metal. Make sure you stick with the ones who treat you right and make you feel happy because at the end of the day – they will be the ones you will lean on for support & comfort. Words can’t describe the love I have for these beauties and if I had to write about them – my fingers would be worn out from all the typing since I would be sitting at my Laptop screen for the rest of my life. I just hope that whoever reads this is in the same scenario.

THANK YOU FOR ACCEPTING ME GIRLS!!!

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Mistakes…

Perfection. A concept that we can all agree is basically flawed because it is a perception that society works towards in order to achieve some ‘success’. However, ‘behind the scenes’ of this masterpiece are our shadows called mistakes – forever lurking and keeping you company where ever you may go.

Making a mistake is inevitable and without them we wouldn’t be the individuals we are today; life wouldn’t be the same. Mistakes are a part of our human nature (like DNA) and shouldn’t be looked down upon. As a famous author quoted:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default” 

– J K Rowling

However there is a thin line between a mistake and senseless acts of stupidity. How you define that line is completely up to you, but in my opinion you generally make a mistake unintentionally & don’t repeat them because presumably you learn from the past and move on. Sadly, many people can’t distinguish between the two and do stupid things instead. This leads to a numerous amount of events which keep occurring and repeat on a regular basis creating a viscous cycle.

It is very simple to brush things off and call them mistakes when in all honesty, they are not. Instead of tucking things under a  carpet, its better to bring them out in the open and acknowledge them hence allowing you to deal with the situation at an earlier stage. This prevents the repercussions of the severe consequences which may follow.

This all nicely ties in with our responsibilities and where they may lie. Mistake or stupidity…it doesn’t really matter. As long as we accept the outcomes of our action and simply move on, that’s what counts. Time waits for no man and no man should wait for time. We live a life of fast movements, rapid decisions and quick processing so rather than slowing down to gaze into the past, we should power through like a jet to our future – whilst enjoying the ride.