This Sunday, HuffPost UK celebrates its third birthday, and rather than ask for piles of presents, we asked some of our favourite bloggers to gift us with their three best pieces of advice.
Over the past few years, as our audience has grown and our team multiplied in size, the stories we've heard from our amazing army of bloggers - more than 9,000 in the UK today - continue to inspire and amaze, and I feel privileged to be in a position to share these with you.
Elsewhere on the site today, you can read business lessons from entrepreneur and former Dragon James Caan; discover how to be happier from Action for Happiness director Dr Mark Williamson; learn how to live life to the full from breast cancer awareness campaigner Ismena Clout; and even hear what Morph has to say!
To kick things off, here are my three contributions - all of which have stood me in good stead during my editorship. I may not have followed them to the tee all the time, and I certainly forgot them on numerous occasions, but they're a timely reminder when times are tough about how to live a more fulfilling life.
1. "And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good"
I learnt this wonderful lesson from that notable philosopher Olivia Wilde. For those of you who know your literary giants from your ex-OC actresses, it's actually a John Steinbeck quote, but I discovered it while reading a Guardian interview with Olivia and decided to adopt it as my own.
I (used to) beat myself up all the time when things weren't just so, which meant I spent an awful lot of my time feeling pretty miserable. When I finally realised perfection didn't have to be the ultimate aim, a lot fell into place, and I ended up being better than I'd been striving to be in the first place. This goes for friendships, my career, and even my yoga poses!
2. "I really regret that workout," said no one ever
Is it wrong I get plenty of my inspirational quotes from Instagram? I figure that goes with the (online) territory of this job!
This particular gem was posted by HuffPost SVP Brian Sirgutz, and basically summarised what I had worked out myself over the past few years. I've been fairly sporty my entire life, but like most people got into bad habits in my twenties. A few months after we launched HuffPost UK, I rediscovered running and found the only failsafe way to clear my head and restore some semblance of sanity in my life. To begin with, I saved it for weekends, and actually wrote in a post at the time that I didn't beat myself up about the fact I didn't exercise during the week.
These days, exercise of one form or another fits into most days of my life, whether that's tennis lessons with a friend or a solo yoga class and I feel much, much better for it.
3. Bitching and moaning are like cheap chocolate - They might make you feel great at the time, but within minutes you actually feel pretty sick
If it's not wrong to get life advice from Instagram, then it's definitely not wrong to get it from women's magazines. This last missive came from an interview with a female comedian in American Glamour. Sadly, I left the magazine in the Belfast hotel where I found it, and have since been unable to find the interview online, so I can't credit exactly which female comedian it was, but it makes a hell of a lot of sense.
Her point was simply that bitching and moaning about things is a massive waste of energy, and ultimately makes you feel bad about yourself. The chocolate analogy is all my own.Suggest a correction