Values Series: Strength




These have been our family values for the past 8 years, developed when my eldest, now 11, was around three. My 8 year old has been chanting them her whole life. 

We created our mantra, our family affirmation, to unite us, to get us through tricky times and to focus us on the way we want to live our lives. Three words that serve as a reminder that we can thrive and be happy if we try and live by these humble, yet powerful values. And guess what, we are strong, kind and resilient!

Strength was chosen because it is two-fold. It encompasses strength of body and strength of mind. Both, to us, are of equal importance, both deeply intertwined and interdependent. When strength of mind and body are in balance, life is more harmonious and peaceful and it provides time for growth.

Strength of body

Health is important to me. In the past few years, I’ve recovered from operations, injuries, and illness with the help of exercise. I dedicate around 9 hours a week to exercise, which as a good friend pointed out, is an extra working day! I enjoy exercise and it sets me up for each day; it’s ingrained into my daily routine. Subsequently, my body is strong, I have physical stamina, and for the majority of the time, I am healthy. When I’m not physically strong, which is rare, it’s usually because my mental strength is compromised, because of emotional fatigue, exhaustion, stress etc.

Being physically strong is also about being independent. I teach my girls to strive to be physically strong so that they can achieve things for themselves and be less reliant on others. They giggled, when recently, a gentleman offered to lift our suitcases onto the luggage rack on the train and I politely responded, ‘No thank you darling, I’ve already lifted 30kg this morning, I’m good!’ I like to role model to them that I am strong and independent, hopeful that they will grow up with the same outlook. Empowerment, self-esteem and independence lie in physical strength. Strong is also healthy. We only have one body and it should be respected and nurtured.

Strength is built through endurance and enables us to endure

Strength of Mind

A strong mind is often born through struggle and suffering. A strong mind is developed through an innate understanding of self, of others and environment. A strong mind is an emotionally intelligent mind with a clear sense of purpose, of values and of vision.

I’ve admired strong women for as long as I can remember. I’ve surrounded myself with them, I’ve supported them, I’ve called upon them and I’ve become one of them. Maybe I was always one of them?My circle of friends comprise strong women, all unique in their own strengths and in the way they live their lives. Spiritually strong.

I’ve had to be strong in my mind over the years, both personally and professionally. Each setback has made me stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to deal with the next challenge. I’ve learned to see opportunity in bad days, to stay positive in hard times and have developed strategies, both self regulatory and external, to support myself in tough times. I understand that every set back passes, even when you can’t see the wood for trees, it passes.

Though I am introverted, I am strong. I remind myself often that I have overcome incredible challenges before and that I am successful in my own personal and professional goals. My strength is in being my authentic self; engaging in joy and purpose with humility, kindness and resilience.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.