Introduction\n\nRecently a good friend of mine celebrated his 30th Birthday to a large group of guys friends and family. It was a surprise party, and his brother (a close friend) actually asked me to give a speech at the occasion to celebrate the life of the birthday boy! I've given quite a few speeches in my life (many with this group) which is why I was asked, and the specification this time was a no holds barred presentation of the good, the bad and DEFINITELY the funny 🙈! His cousin provided me some stories that definitely helped with that hahaha!\n\nWhen prepping the speech, I outlined my blueprint, structured the talking points, worked out my flow and inserted the funny parts where I felt they fit. I also worked in a bit of self-deprecation so I didn't come across as too much of an asshole bully 🤣, I mean, it was his birthday! I also made sure that I ended things on a high, where we as a group celebrated his positive qualities as a person. This for me was the MOST IMPORTANT element of my speech, as sometimes we can forget to give credit where credit is due. This got me thinking about the wider topic and inspired me to write a few words.\n\nSimon Ramzi giving a Birthday speech at Forge Bar\n\nConsidering Our Approach\n\nNo Man Is An Island\n\nThis is a phrase that has always resonated strongly with me throughout my adult life. Despite our individual strengths and the fantastic accomplishments these strengths can (and do) bring, it is imperative that we have a close collection of people around us to support our endeavours. These people act as our foil, building us up when we need it, constructively criticising us when there are opportunities to improve and providing us with valuable feedback every step of the way. Whilst it is vital that we don't ever derive our self-worth from the external, it is also equally critical that we consider opinions from beyond ourselves so that we understand and appreciate differing points of view.\n\nWhen benefiting from such a fantastic group of close people, it is important at times to take a step back and celebrate them, especially from an individual perspective. Now if you're anything like me and my friends, we spend the majority of time laughing at each other and find things to ridicule and mock at every opportunity 😅, which of course means that actual compliments are pretty sparse. "What are you after?" would likely be asked following any attempt to be nice, but it's all harmless fun. Even (sometimes especially) with relationships like this, it's important to give credit where credit is due, no matter how uncomfortable it makes people 🙉.\n\nOnly Seeing the Bad\n\nAn approaching storm\n\nIn life and at times especially at work, it can become really easy to see only the bad occurrences and focus squarely on those. It's not that good things aren't in abundance and happening all the time around you, it's just that it's really easy to just take them in your stride without much fanfare whilst simultaneously letting any little bad thing burrow deep beneath your skin. We all go through this, and it can very easily become the norm within groups of people, including the people who form your close inner circle.\n\nThis kind of mindset, if prevalent can seriously undermine people's self-worth, confidence and overall mood. It can also be difficult to be mindful enough to realise this is even happening to you so course-correcting can be nigh on impossible. If this can happen to you, then it can definitely happen to those who you care about. Definitely not the optimal way to go about your day!\n\nThe Power of Positivity\n\nFriends out in a forest providing each other with encouragement\n\nConsidering how easy it is to get into a funk, it's therefore VERY important to celebrate our accomplishments as well as the nice things that happen as and when they occur 😁. We should try to NOT take the good things in our stride and actually take the time to properly consider this goodness and commit the goodness to memory. When someone achieves the fantastic, or reaches an important milestone we should be there to CALL IT OUT in all its glory 🥳!\n\nKnowing that it can be difficult for our close family, friends and even colleagues to focus on our positives, it is up to us to help shine a spotlight where it is needed. It might "go without saying" and even be implied, but sometimes we need to help make it explicit to help each other when we need it. You could end up being that person that brightens someone else's day, and that is nothing to be scoffed at 😁.\n\nA toast to the fantastic things that we and those close to us achieve\n\nOur Words Can Speak Volumes\n\nWhen writing my friend's Birthday speech, I wanted to channel this energy and harness his positivety for good. Yes I spoke of the banter we've had over the years, yes I told funny stories about him, and yes I somewhat embarrassed him in a room full of people 😉, but ultimately a large group of us were there for his 30th because of his infectious personality and his strength of character and this CANNOT be understated. He loved it too, and quickly got back to mocking me (he had an even larger incentive 🤣). Whilst laughing at the silly stuff, we can still give credit where credit is due. I think that this is important to achieve balance in life.\n\nTake care and all the best, Si.