Adopt new vocabulary and change your life

When I look back at the year past I must admit that I smile. I smile because what I have learnt in life is to be very conscious of what I do at that moment in time so that I never need to pause and look back. I know… it might sound strange but it’s a life philosophy. Living in the moment, experiencing it for 100% and making that a way of living.

When I used to work for a corporate organisation I needed to work between Christmas and New Year just to catch my breath. The new KPI’s were just rounded up and the new ones would then again be presented in the first week of January. By living in the moment – nowadays – I am always with my breath and that helps a lot. I wish I knew this back then.


Since a few years I have decided to adopt certain words and incorporate them in my daily life style. Don’t laugh… they are amazing words. For the next year it will be ‘feed forward’. We have the natural tendency to speak about the word ‘feedback’. There are several issues with feedback and one of it is that it does not challenge us to think differently. How often don’t we use that word without actually thinking about what it really means.

I take language very literally; when someone says ‘feedback’ to me, I automatically start thinking about the past. Feedback… whoever came up with that word?

I want to look forward, forward in time. Make a difference, challenge myself to new and interesting things and terms. So when I speak to people now, I ask them, could I give you some feedforward after this meeting or conversation? I somehow believe that people actually expect this of me.

Budget for mistakes

Another phrase might be ‘failing forward’.  I truly love this word because it’s all about awareness. In the past people used to think that making mistakes was detrimental. Now when I enter companies they are happy that people make mistakes because by making mistakes we learn. I remember my daughter telling me: ‘Mom, if I knew it all, I would not need to go to school! Then I could skip school and move on. I need to make mistakes to move on.’

I know that I once advised a company on how to get women to move up the corporate ladder. I told them that we needed a budget – rather in time than money – for mistakes; to turn ‘mistakes’ into real learning moments. They could not believe their ears so that ended that adventure. I would have been safer to not use this word. We like using the words we are used to but we never get any further. I love this phrase ‘failing forward’. It changed my life.

Influence. The more I get known as, the more…

The word that I have been busy with for a while is ‘influence’ and now you have been wondering when is she going to come with something for us women… well, here we go. The coming weeks I will be working on writing my new book and I do it for the sole purpose of increasing my influence.

I write and speak and give advice and the more I do that, the more the media knows how to find me for a range of topics. The more I get known as the expert on the topic of female empowerment, the more people need to have me around when certain decisions are made.


Well, that’s enough about me. You could join the branch organisation for whatever you fancy. Get more of your colleagues to be part of Women in Exhibitions Network or plan breakfasts or lunches with women in your company. Perhaps women outside your company would want to learn from your experiences.

I always have great ideas and am prepared to share them at all times… Change the way you think, change your world but most of all make sure that you carve your year!

by Lucinda Douglas

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