In the fast-paced modern world, there’s an intense pressure to make the right moves, meet the right people, and never fall along the way. But in our mad rush, we risk losing the person we really want to be. So, how do we ground ourselves so we don't miss out on life?

From our professional successes and failures to the friends we keep, there are countless factors contributing to who we are. But to truly understand who we are, it's sometimes best to focus on being yourself, shutting off outside influences and forming an intimate relationship with ourselves. As the musician Lizzo highlights in her ‘Selfie Talk’ campaign with Dove skincare, celebrating individuality and practising self-acceptance needs to be a greater priority.

By fostering a positive mindset around our unique qualities and appreciating the art of Ikigai, we might discover who we really are as we start to get to know ourselves better.

How to BE

Keep an open mind and follow your passions and purpose in life. For example, Mary Ho decided at 60 to pick up the guitar; she now has millions of fans around the world.

Want to be like Mary? These tips might give you the courage you need to step outside your comfort zone:

1. Create a Self-care Routine

Take charge of your well-being and develop a relationship with your feelings by developing a self-care routine. Figure out what helps you to feel centred and work these activities into your daily schedule. Set aside 30 minutes for exercise daily, meditate for 15-minutes every morning, or read a book before bed instead of scrolling through your phone .

2. Meet a Mentor

Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being is always important, but it's especially so when you’re trying to find your passion and direction in life. Speaking to a trusted mentor is one way to help you process your thoughts and feelings, and you can expect them to provide great third-party insights that may change your perspective. By chatting with someone who has overcome similar challenges or simply has the benefit of more life experience, they can help you truly understand yourself.

3. Appreciate Ikigai

When commitments start building up, things can feel overwhelming. The ancient Japanese philosophy of Ikigai is designed to help with stress management and to find one's purpose in life. Although typically used to advance one's career, the 5 pillars of ikigai are also about learning to live in the moment, overcome negative thoughts, and practice self-acceptance. They are:

  1. Starting small
  2. Releasing yourself
  3. Harmony and sustainability
  4. The joy of little things
  5. Being in the here and now

For more inspiration and want to celebrate individuality, check out the fascinating stories behind the 7 local Singaporeans featured in M1’s BE campaign.