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. 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 T all the time, and certainly forgot them on numerous occasions, but they're a timely reminder when times are tough about how to live a more fulfilling life.
As director of Women 1st, an initiative that aims to increase the number of women working in senior roles, I have come into contact plenty of high-achievers, from CEOs to editors, all of whom have valuable advice to share for women looking to reach the top. Here are a few top tips I've gained from some of the UK's smartest women.
I learnt a new word during a yoga class this week: 'Yama'. Devoted yogis will probably point out that it's hardly a new word, having been around for centuries and centuries, but I'm an occasional yogi, and it's been going round and round in my head ever since. According to the yoga teacher who introduced me to it, Yama means not pushing yourself too far. In a world when we're constantly told to strive for more, to push our limits and test our boundaries, the idea of it being ok - and not just ok, but actually wonderful - to find a comfortable spot and just sit there for a while resonated.
Say 'Cannes' to the average guy or girl on the street, and they automatically think film festival. However, for the last six days, it has been the media industry clogging up La Croisette - the famous boutique-lined, beach-front boulevard - for the annual Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity. A melting pot of advertising creatives, PR gurus and media moguls this week flew into Cannes to drink their body weight in rosé, shake hands on deals and, if they were really lucky, party with Kim Kardashian. Away from the starry parties, however, the advertising industry is facing many of the same challenges other industries do, starting with the lack of women role models.
Before the race: I used to be really into sport, netball, badminton and I'm a 3-star kayaker, but since I started working
With Jay Z and his not-all-that-happy sister-in-law dominating the celebrity pages, and a hero cat called Tara on the front pages (remember when it was only the internet that loved cat videos?!), serious news was in short supply this week. Or it might have felt that way. Meanwhile, a group of people whose names you quite probably don't know, were taking part in a televised debate to help decide who runs the European Union.
So here's the first in what may well be a regular missive from myself, the HuffPost UK's blogs editor, informing you of the best of the Huffpost UK blog goodness in a daily bite-size round-up...
International Women's Day takes place this Saturday, and will be celebrated with events across the world. The theme this year? 'Inspire Change'. Taking that notion on board, this year at HuffPost we have decided to move the conversation on. While it's all too temping to go over the same old arguments - so many of them still far from resolved - it's also time to look to the future and celebrate those paving a way for the next generation.
As a society, we like our news fast and our solutions faster, but this week delivered a reminder that problems that made front-page news years back can make for positive updates a decade or so later (albeit hidden on page 23 of the paper). Teen pregnancies are a case in point. Oft-used as the (im)perfect example of 'Broken Britain', it was announced this week that girls aged between 15 and 19 are today half as likely as their grandmothers to become pregnant.
With typhoon Haiyan but a distant memory for most people outside the Philippines, reports emerged this week of a stand-off on one of the islands most seriously affected, which is keeping thousands from being re-housed. There are still 50,000 people in Tacloban whose homes were destroyed or are unsafe to live in. Despite a pledge from the mayor to re-house everyone by December, the necessary funds to make that happen have not been forthcoming from the Philippine government. Why? A decades-old feud between two political families