Olivia Wilde is a familiar face to a lot of people in their 20s – starring in the OC and House, she has walked upon many a red carpet and acted in a number of films and TV shows in the past few years. What many people may not realise is that behind the acting she is an inspiring and philanthropic woman, one whom we may learn a lot from. Here are a few lessons I think we can take from Olivia in being comfortable in yourself and really standing up for what you believe in, not just following the crowd.
Make time for me-time.
“I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.”
It is so easy to rely on other people to define you, and you probably don’t even realise you’re doing it. Think to yourself; when was the last time you were alone for a whole day? When everything you did was just for you and not for the needs of other people? Sometimes we need some alone time to clear our heads and to think about ourselves first before others.
Truly love what you do.
“I think there was no other profession for me. I was either going into an insane asylum or to be an actor. If I’m left high and dry at the end of this wild journey, just taking it is a great feeling.”
There is no point in spending your life doing something you dislike. Even if you think you won’t succeed, even if you haven’t succeeded in the past, keep doing what you love. Do it for yourself, not for the money or for other people’s gratification. You are the one that has to work for a living, so start living through your work – it’s great to have goals but enjoy the ride too.
Recognise those you admire and emulate them in your own way.
“Inspiration is the key to everything. From a very early age, I made my decisions based on careers that I admire.” Make a list of people who inspire you – it could be anyone from the first lady to your aunty to your company’s CEO. Write down their admirable traits and try to incorporate a few in your own life.
Don’t feel the need to apologise for who you are.
“I admire women who can be feminists and fight for women’s rights, who believe in our powers as individuals and yet not apologise for beauty. ” You don’t need to be afraid of being outspoken or opinionated, you are not being hot-headed or arrogant, you are standing up for what you believe in regardless of those who criticise and the people who put you down (and there will be some along the way, inevitably). Staying true to yourself doesn’t mean not being openminded, but not letting people tell you what to think or believe. That is up to you!
Don’t just say, do.
Olivia is a board member of Artists for Peace and Justice, which provides education and health services in Haiti, and the ACLU of Southern California. She also participated in the “Chime for Change” campaign that aims to raise funds and awareness of women’s issues in terms of education, health, and justice.
You can make a difference, even if you can’t at first see it. You might discuss politics at work or a charitable cause with your friends, but you also have the power to do something. Start small – you don’t know where it could take you. If you need more inspiring ladies, we’ve got you! Read more about Malala Yousafzai or IBM’s Ginni Rometty.
By Genieve Crump