Inspired living

How to greet the world with joy and wonder

Happy child

Credit: istock

My two daughters and I were driving in the car the other day. My six-year-old spontaneously wound down the window and shouted out, much to the surprise of two people walking by at the time, ‘Hello world!’ We all laughed and laughed. She did that a couple more times. Her face was full of excitement and laughter.

How often do we really say hello to the world? How often do we approach life as an excited, daring, spontaneous child?

In the work that I do to help develop emotional intelligence and resilience, I see the struggles people experience. It could be dealing with difficult life events, relationships, a lack of self-esteem or boundaries, challenges at work or the impact of trauma or pain. Many things can hold us back from living our happiest, most fulfilled life.

I’ve experienced struggles in my own life. Sometimes I reflect on what I’ve gone through and how far I’ve come and I definitely feel like a different person … in a good way.

The inspiring part of this for me is that I see that, through our different challenges, we learn and grow. Pain and suffering can lead to greater self-awareness, compassion for others and the ability to open up to love and life. I love the quote by Kahlil Gibran, ‘Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.’ I have certainly felt this in my life.

I also know that, for myself and others, change is not easy. We are who we are with our life experiences, the messages we were given as children, our values, our perceptions, our insecurities, our personality. And yet (and I’m really happy about this) I see there is definitely room to move. It is possible to change and develop – yay! – but it also requires awareness and commitment.

How often do we approach life as an excited, daring, spontaneous child?

If life is not working for you, if there are parts of your life you are not happy with, if there seem to be negative patterns in your relationships, if you feel held back from taking risks and living life fully … you are not doomed to experience this forever. You can lead your own change. Even studies on the neuroplasticity of the brain show us that the brain has an amazing ability to change and heal itself with the right focus and action.

This blog will explore different challenges we experience, practical ways to develop awareness and overcome barriers, and tips, tools and strategies that will help you to live a happier and more fulfilled life.

Life for all of us is a work in progress. I learn and grow as I share the experiences, insights and transformation of myself and others. I continue to work on overcoming my own barriers. I’ve had to overcome my fear of standing out from the crowd, a message I absorbed as a young child and lived with for many years into adulthood. I’ve also experienced significant life struggles where I’ve felt flat and down and like I was only surviving in life. I feel I’ve learned and grown from this and I appreciate and value those experiences because they have made me the person I am today.

I love what I do. I want us all to be able to say, ‘Hello world!’ with a sense of adventure, love, enthusiasm and inspiration.

There is one key message that I think is so important for us all as we focus on developing ourselves and living our most fulfilled lives. Whether you’ve been on the journey of self-development for a long time or you feel like this is all new to you, I believe an important foundation for any change is to appreciate and love who you are right now. I work on this every day. I feel like I’m getting better at it but it is always a work in progress. When I start at the place of loving and accepting who I am right now, it gives me the space and freedom to embrace with excitement new opportunities for insight and for living the life that I’m meant to live … whatever that may be.

I would love you to join me on this journey.

You too can lead your own change.




Tulsi van de Graaff is a former lawyer with a psychology background as well as an experienced management consultant, workplace trainer, facilitator, presenter and coach. She is the founder of Lead Your Own Change and for over 7 years has been working with individuals, teams and organisations to solve their communication and conflict challenges. She also helps develop emotional intelligence and resilience, create positive personal and cultural change, manage change and uncertainty and enhance relationships and communication. Tulsi runs public workshops including Teen Talk: a communication workshop for mums and teen/tween daughters, Couple Talk, to enhance couple communication and Beyond Breakup, for people healing after a break up.

Tulsi is a volunteer facilitator and presenter for Dress for Success Sydney (DFSS). At DFSS, she runs workshops for women in need, including Finding Your Vision and Trusting in Your Ability as well as coaching training for DFSS volunteer coaches.

For more information check out Tulsi's website, www.leadyourownchange.com, her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LeadYourOwnChange/ or email Tulsi at Tulsi@leadyourownchange.com