When I was a child, I thought I would grow up, have a successful career, get married, have children and live happily ever after.

But that was what we were always led to believe. That's what happens in life... right or at least we were told.
Is life just a big fat con?

It wasn't until I was a teenager that I realised that life is a bit different to my expectations. In fact, life was far from meeting my expectations.

Everything was harder than I thought and life wasn't as fair as I would imagine. Mostly, the path to where I was going was scattered with things that got in the way, particularly when I least expected it to.

30 years on, and life isn't what you would imagine

Fast forward 30 years, and I find myself in the same condundrum. Life isn't fair. It seems we work harder and harder and it doesn't always work out how we plan. We look up to smell the roses, and sometimes without us realising it, the roses have wilted or worse, died. 

People are so complex and hard to understand, sometimes it's easier to not understand them at all and walk a different way. Love it seems for many around me, lasts around 10 to 20 years if they are lucky, then a new shiny toy comes along for either party, and there goes the 'happily ever after'.

The saying that people come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime is true

Friends are definitely for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It is true, you can count your real friends on one hand - but that takes many years to realise.

People say and do awful things; they lie, manipulate and deliberately try to sabotage your 'happy' path - just because they can. There doesn't have to be a reason other than the fact that you have long hair, short hair, skinny, fat, rich or poor. It happens to everyone at some stage in your life no matter how nice you are or how much you want to see the good in people.

Work will always be work

Work is a constant, relentless beast that requires your undivided attention, and just when you think you have nailed it, something or someone comes in to spoil your fruits and you are forced to second guess your judgement, change your direction or put your hands up in defeat.

The world encourages people to be nasty. Just look at the television (which I don't watch), trolling, anonymous commentary online and the absolutely harsh opinions based on "fake facts" that swirl our world whether we like it or not.

We wake up each day knowing it's not going to be perfect and that we have to try our best. It really isn't too often when our day turns out to be perfect - and isn't that sad? Why is this the case? Why can't it be perfect? Do we have to live on a beach and not work to have a perfect world? 

Facebook is bullshit

I cannot phantom how I got to the point of where I am now, but I know for sure that it has been an excruciating journey even though by Facebook standards it has been amazing and adventurous.  In real life, sitting in the seat that I have to sit in, it has been hard work, at times gut-wrenching, and a test that seems to never, ever end.

I choose the path I want to walk, but I know that it is never going to be easy. I get excited, only to find out the next day something didn't quite go to plan. I put my faith in people, determined to not be one of those who spends their life second guessing those around them, and more often than not, it disappoints me.

Life is so short. So very short. People we know are dying around us, or may have already passed. Once you hit your 40's, things change. Your world changes. It is so important to embrace a positive outlook, make the most of every opportunity and don't ever let work define who you are. Let people inside, even though it is a risk. Keep your head held high and see things that are happening around you, knowing that the small steps you take can create change or open others eyes to positive change.

Don't live life as a by-stander

Don't be a by-stander and always bring something to the table. Leave your fakeness at the door, and be you. Be present. Be kind. Be deliberate. Have purpose. Love and hold out your hand to help a stranger. That's the best we can do, and it's our job to make the most of every moment.

When you watch the television and see storms destroying people's livelihood in Queensland. Don't think that that is just happening up there. See what you can do to help. Instead of holidaying, why not volunteer on a farm or give away stuff you no longer use to people who have nothing left.

We are all responsible for the world we live in, and walking around in a selfish, self-centred way isn't going to bring you happiness or fulfilment - I promise.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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