This month our Alex and Ani bangle of the month is the Endless Knot representing Wisdom. Wisdom unlike intelligence is built of experience, insight and understanding. We’ve asked women in their 30’s through to their 70’s to pass on their pearls of wisdom to young women today, as so many young people now head off on new adventures of travel, study, moving away from home, and starting the next chapter of their fabulous lives…
“My parents were very strict on myself and my four sisters, more so than on my one brother – perhaps because they feared more for our safety as girls, and felt we had to work even harder to succeed in life. I would probably try to strike more of a balance today.
- Work hard and to the best of your ability
- Always be kind and considerate, never ever bully someone, it must be so difficult being a teenager today with social media
- Stay away from drugs and think about contraception, it’s all too easy to take a wrong turn which could change the course of your life
- Travel, broaden your mind and see other cultures
It is easy to think that parents are being over-protective, which I know I thought about mine when I was a young woman – but I understand now that we all need some ground rules when we are young, and I am grateful that I had parents that cared enough about me to set some rules.”
- Don’t focus on your “perceived” imperfections – remember you are a whole package and most people only compare you to make themselves feel better. We are all equal but different and someone is probably admiring you right now!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – if you won’t be worrying about it in 6 months – it isn’t worth losing sleep over now
- Respect yourself and your values – trying to be what everyone else wants you to be will undermine the true version of yourself. Just be you, it is much easier
- You become what you think about most…your choice
- You are much better than you think you are.. smile and let it show
When I was younger I would put off going out as I wanted to lose weight and to wear my dream dress. I realised one day that I was missing out and that my friends didn’t and don’t care how big or small I am and neither does the rest of the world, so my advice…
- Take part in life and make sure you make some amazing memories
- Life passes far too quickly, so never wish it to go faster
- Time is precious and should be lived for today and not some perceived better moment in the future
“I grew up as a very shy teenager, an only child with older parents who weren’t particularly ambitious or pro school work. My teachers and other adults mistook my shyness for indifference and thought that I couldn’t be bothered which was so far from the truth.
But getting a job in a local restaurant when I was a sixth former was the best thing that happened to me – it forced me to talk to people, to engage and I realised swiftly that the more I did the better the tips got. If I was interested, I appeared interesting. I had no clue what to do for a career until the owner of the restaurant suggested I got into advertising, I jumped in and have never looked back. Up to that point no-one had given me any indication that I was capable of doing anything – so my advice…
- Take opportunities you never know where they’ll lead
- Get a bar job or work in a restaurant, it will do wonders for you confidence
- Believe in yourself, you can do anything
- Don’t worry too much about your career plans, the decisions you make and the people you meet will help you find your way”
- “Do what you love – it took me a while to work out what this was, 32 years to be precise!! At the tender age of 13 when you are asked to choose your options there are very few people who really know what they want to do as a career at that point. Do what you love, it makes studying much easier when you are working on subjects that interest you.
- Be confident in who you are and don’t do things to suit other people – ensure that you are making decisions because they are what you want to do. It is so easy for teens to be persuaded into taking choices that they know in their heart of hearts are not right for them.
- Stick to what you believe in and be the person you want to be. I remember some key decisions I made as a teenager and they were really defining moments. All we can do as parents is teach our children right from wrong and imbue them with love and strong values, trusting that when important decisions come along, their own internal compass will guide them to take the right decisions. But don’t worry, we all mess up from time to time – even grown ups!!
- Enjoy your teenage years – I remember being told by adults that they are the best days of your life, no worries and responsibilities etc, etc. At the time I didn’t believe them in my desire to be a grown up. Looking back, they were carefree days when the most important things were friends, who was dating who and what was No 1 in the charts! They are days to be enjoyed and savoured as we do frequently look back on them as an adult wishing we could capture those times again. Enjoy and have fun!”
Tell us how you’re planning to change your life this year, and you could win a different bangle each month. One lucky winner will win £150 at the end of the year to create their own stack of Alex and Ani bangles, bursting with positive energy!
Just let us know what WISDOM you’d pass on to your teenage self for your chance to win. One lucky winner will be picked out on August 31st to win the Endless Knot bangle. Let us know on Twitter or Facebook or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org #positivechange