7 Quotes On Life, Risk, & Fear That You Need To Read Right Now

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Courage. Everyone loves a good story about it  and I was honoured to deliver mine two weeks ago to 200 of Jamaica’s most prominent women. Financial powerhouse, JMMB, extended the invitation last October after their search for a feature speaker ended when they saw our video.

It was a perfect match.

JMMB’s core principle is LOVE, and Forward Forty’s bedrock is the same. The Jamaican based financial services company (with offices in Trinidad and Tobago and the Dominican Republic) was founded by Joan Duncan when she was, get this, 52-years-old. How completely inspiring! Joan was a financial pioneer who started the Money Market Fund  in Jamaica, undeterred by her gender or her age. Our own blog echoes everything she stood for. In fact, at Forward Forty, our mantra is that women should grow more beautiful and successful as they age.

On the evening of my talk,  I entered the stage to Bunji Garlin’s Differentology. The crowd rose to their feet clapping and cheering and  for the next 25 minutes I strode, sauntered, danced and spoke from the podium as my stories required. Many times I felt as if I was  speaking to few friends, as opposed to hundreds of strangers and a gaggle of media personalities.

The talk is one of the highlights of my year. Here’s a look at some of my big themes that included: understanding the role of courage and fear, letting go of toxic attitudes and behaviour and surrendering to your dreams once your purpose is understood.

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On Living With Intention

I would like to believe that all of these things: courage, passion, conviction, perseverance are really what separates the people who dream about the life they want to have, and those who are actually living it. Because each one of us has the right to live the exact life that we want.

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On Starting Forward Forty

A little over a year ago, when my heart screamed at me that if I didn’t slow down it would stop beating, I determined that I would live my life differently, that my life would be about giving light to any woman who crossed my path, at the very moment that she needed it. In fact, I was paying that gift forward.

And so, I came up with the idea of starting a blog for women, but particularly women of colour, particularly women of colour in the Caribbean, particularly for women of colour in the Caribbean who were over forty. And I determined my mission in life would be to hold up a mirror to each woman so she could see that it was possible to grow more successful and beautiful as she aged.

I felt that we, women over 40, had a voice, stories worth telling, that while we had enjoyed success, we could still want more of it, whatever we determined that success to be. I felt that looking beautiful and stylish was not just for the young, as gorgeous as they may be, because ageing is a work of art, a privilege from God and we had a birthright once we passed 40 to treat our bodies well, eat well, do well, be well, look well.

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On Finding Your Purpose

One of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and ours, is to bury strange jewels inside of us and the step back to see if we can find them The hunt we are called upon to go on in search of those jewels is what living with intention is all about.

The courage to go on that hunt in the first place is what separates the more mundane existence from a more enchanted one ~ as adapted from writer Elizabeth Gilbert.

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On Fear

Fear and the fascination you should have for living should not live in the same house. It’s like bad sex, like having bad lover.

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On Thinking Small

Your life is short. Your life is rare and you are miraculous And its awfully assumptive of you to think you’ve got all the time in the world, to think you’ve got five years, to think you’ve got tomorrow. Understanding your purpose takes work, faith, focus, courage and hours of devotion and the clock is ticking and the world is spinning and you simply have no time to think small.

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On Success

I recognise even in my own journey, that success in your life, the sweet spot between passion and your purpose is not something that can be downloaded or googled. There is no escalator and no elevator up to it. You’ve got to do the work and allow your actions to breathe fire into the dreams you have for yourself.

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Some Questions About Courage

Do you have the courage to do what you don’t want to do?
Do you have the courage to see what you don’t want to see?
Do you have the courage to make it by yourself?
Do you have the courage to release some of your old toxic habits?
Do you have the courage to know you deserve more joy?
Do you have the courage to admit the job isn’t working, the man isn’t working, the life isn’t working
Do you have the courage to do the work?

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 All images by Andrea De Silva

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