Julie Moor - Three pieces of advice for young women
Julie Moor is Principal of Rangi Ruru Girl’s School in Christchurch
When I first contemplated this topic many things whirled around in my head, from the very basic and perhaps motherly ‘be on time’ to the rather more lofty and clichéd ‘to thine own self be true’. Both, of course, have their place. But for me, when I think of the hundreds of young women who have moved on from Rangi Ruru to the next step in their lives, the people I have worked with and my own family, there are three things that stand out as being central to a fulfilled life.
The first is ‘Surround yourself with positive people and develop relationships that are positive’. The people in our lives and our relationships are vital to our wellbeing. They centre us, they support us and they help to fulfil us. You need positive people who affirm you and empower you throughout your life, who guide you in your choices, are willing to be truthful with you (and that is a big ask!) and who form relationships with you that are mutually positive. Thus, with the support of such people, you will develop your inner strength and will be able to flourish, like a plant in a healthy environment. The other thing about positive people is that you can always have a good laugh with them and laughter is so important. It’s a great de-stressor!
The second is ‘Take time to make a difference to the lives of others’. Everyone wants to save the world at some time, but if we connect with our own communities there is much we can do to make a difference. It’s important to look beyond yourself and give time and thought to those in your communities who struggle. By helping others you can make a difference not only to the health of your community but also to your own sense of wellbeing. Our staff are on a roster to cook at the City Mission and although sometimes I find it hard to fit this in, when I do it, I get a huge sense of having made a small difference to someone’s day. It’s also good to be doing something like this with colleagues.
The third piece of advice is ‘Have hopes and dreams and persevere to make these realities’. Hope is a powerful emotion and combined with sense of direction gives purpose to your life. Perseverance requires determination, hard work and the ability to see something through, particularly through the hard times. It is sometimes tempting to give up but you gain and learn so much more by keeping going, by holding fast to the goals that are important. Difficult though it is sometimes, you can reframe the concept of failure, so that rather than something negative, it is an opportunity to learn and to grow so that ultimately you can achieve the things that are important, the hopes and the dreams.
These three pieces of advice work together in that they are about our relationship with those in our lives and in our communities and our own sense of direction: the three aspects of a fulfilled life.
What three bits of advice would you give a young woman to help them be successful?