The Key to Kindness: Live a Life You Are Proud Of

Who knew you could find practical advice on being kind to you on YouTube?

Thanks to a newly released 40-minute documentary, you can.

And the good news is, you don’t have to be perfect to live a life you are proud of. There is beauty in your messiness. In fact, what you think are your biggest obstacles may actually be your biggest gifts. So, be kind to yourself.

“I can be exactly who I am in the moment, with all my mess-ups, and my failures, and my pain and my complications. I can…still have something to give, still have a life worth living.” —Claire Wineland

Claire the documentary is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Nick Reed, and Ryan Azevedo. The film tells the story of the young activist and Claire’s Place Foundation Founder, Claire Wineland, through interviews and footage. It spotlights her unique outlook, which inspires millions to find purpose and to live proudly. Reed and Azevedo masterfully use their film to allow Claire’s message to resonate with the audience.

Claire, even as a very young girl, spouted little pearls of wisdom as effortlessly as most of us ask for ice cream:

“There is this notion that we go through life with:
if we are just better…
if we just do more,
if we just fix ourselves more,
if we become better people,
if we get healthy, right?….

Like once we’re rich, we’ll be okay.
Once we’re in love, we’ll be okay.
Once we have a family, we’ll be okay.”

Claire’s whimsical manner, contrasted with her terminal illness, made her—and makes this documentary, as the viewers’ comments attest: “inspirational,” “life changing,” “life affirming,” and “powerful.” I promise you, you will be uplifted, not depressed by her story. This is not a Disney story of a poor little sick girl, nor is it Pollyanna. It will leave you asking: Am I proud of the life I’m living?

I first met Claire when I helped grant her wish with Make-A-Wish; she was 13 years old and she had just come out of a coma. That was eight years ago. Claire and her family have been in my life ever since.

Claire had that magical “thing” that makes directors swoon, turns people into raving fans, and sets the world on fire. I think of her as a snarky, goofy little Buddha. She calls herself “a moving walking slap in the face for people.”

Maybe you’re struggling with how to be better at self-care throughout your day. Or maybe you’re just trying to be more organized and not procrastinate. Maybe, just maybe, the messiness and clutter in your life have nothing to do with external stuff and everything to do with internal stuff.

Instead of beating yourself up for hating your job or missing a deadline, what if you asked yourself: What do I really want to do with my life? What would I try if failing wasn’t a possibility? What am I doing every day, to make myself proud of my life? What little steps am I taking to let my life be fully mine?

“Maybe I’m not the person I want to be…because right now, in this moment, I’m not doing what I should be doing.”

“When you find your passion and your moment, (expecting) it to be epic, it never is.
It’s small, every single day, decisions to show up and apply yourself.” —Claire Wineland

Claire’s keen perspective and playful manner remind us to just let the kindness and joy in. Joy isn’t like it is in storybooks. It’s in the minutiae of life. It’s in the mundane. It’s in the messiness, and it’s in the freedom of living authentically.

“I can’t spend my entire life waiting for someone to give me permission to live a life that I’m proud of.” —Claire Wineland

No waiting. No permission needed. What if you just decided to stop blaming yourself and playing it safe, and live your life fully?

“I’m sure you have challenges, things that you wish you could overcome, or things that you could get over….Stop. Stop trying to get over it. Because if we’re trying to get over all of the problems in our life, then our entire lifetime is just going to be trying to get over problems—that’s all there is going to be. And that is not a life to be proud of. Instead, find those challenges in your life and use them! Use them and turn them into an opportunity.” —Claire Wineland

Full disclosure: I am now the Chairman of the Board of Claire’s Place Foundation. And I am living proudly.

Watch the new YouTube original film on Claire Wineland’s YouTube channel.

One of the few women at the helm of a moving company and featured in Ladies’ Home Journal as one of 16 women making the world a happier place, Laura McHolm is a speaker and marketing consultant, as well as the Co-Founder of NorthStar Moving Company and Chairman of the Board of Claire‘s Place Foundation. Laura uses the podium to spread her unique outlook and share tactics on how to disrupt your industry for positive change.

About the Author | Claire's Place Foundation

Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc., is a 501c3 nonprofit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Claire’s Place Foundation is named in honor of Claire Wineland, now a teenager, who has been living with CF her entire life. The foundation offers a Support Families Network and Extended Hospital Stay Grants to families affected by CF, offering both emotional and financial support.

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