The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Winston Churchill

I no doubt have a lifetime of my father quoting Churchill to thank for this one, but so many of his quotes have stuck with me over the years…

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It is no use saying, ‘We are doing our best.’ You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

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This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.

Winston Churchill and Kaiser Wilhelm at Military Review

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

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Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.

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Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all the others.

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If you are going through hell, keep going.

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Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

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The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Stephen Fry

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I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance.

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Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.

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Having a great intellect is no path to being happy.

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Life, that can shower you with so much splendour is unremittingly cruel to those who have given up.

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What’s great about them is that anybody can go into them and find a book and borrow it free of charge and read it. They don’t have to steal it from a bookshop. … You know when you’re young, you’re growing up, they’re almost sexually exciting places because books are powerhouses of knowledge, and therefore they’re kind of slightly dark and dangerous. You see books that kind of make you go ‘Oh!’

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I used many times to touch my own chest and feel, under its asthmatic quiver, the engine of the heart and lungs and blood and feel amazed at what I sensed was the enormity of the power I possessed. Not magical power, not all that Carrie teenage telekinetic wank, but realpower. The power simply to go on, the power to endure, that is power enough, but I felt I had also the power to create, to add, to delight, to amaze and to transform. Yet I was unwanted, rejected and unthought of. My mother, yes, she believed in me, but everybody’s mother believes in them. No one else believed in me.

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“Principally of course—oh how one sees that now—myself. Principally, I did not believe in me. I believed in ghosts more than I believed in me, and take my word for it, I never believed in ghosts, I’m far too spiritual and emotional and passionate to believe in the supernatural.”

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The 3 L's

Inspiration of the Week: Emma Thompson

After last week’s post in regards to Emma Watson’s amazing first speech as a Goodwill ambassador, I decided that this will be a new little tid-bit feature of this blog, because, you know, I’m not all about photography projects and aimless wanderings around London sans camera and stylised OOTDs and runway favourites. I have always been an ‘idol connoisseur’, and from that a ‘quotation connoisseur’; I have numerous little Moleskine cahier journals lying around filled to the brim with quotes from everything from political debates to feature films, literature to theatre to overheard snippets of bus-stop conversation. My ‘idols’ are equally as varied, but all generally follow a leading thread; wisdom, ambition, and quite often a dizzying level of intellect. I think it’s important to have idols to inspire us, to envy enough that it motivates us to not just want what they have, but to go ahead and get it. I also think it’s important not to simply what the materialistic perks, and the inflated bank balance to make it so, but rather, I find myself watching a show or reading an autobiography of my idols, and envying their minds, their wisdom, their knowledge and experiences, enough to seek my own personal growth with an even greater degree of hunger than usual.

So, it felt only natural that once a week I give a little nod to the people who inspire me.

And where to begin… Emma Thompson.

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Isn’t she just amazing? She’s the gem who introduced Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry, two equally-valued idols of mine, she’s has been awarded two Oscar’s as both an actress and a screenwriter, not to mention Baftas, Golden Globes, Emmy’s… she is a comedy treasure, a brilliant actress, a talented screenwriter, and author, and yet she still finds the time to support about a dozen charities, including being an ambassador for ActionAid. Not to mention that her husband is so, so gorgeous. And she’s also a really smart cookie. There’s just something about her quirky sense of humour… she’s in equal parts embarrassing mother and hilariously fun aunt. Or that’s how she strikes me, anyway.

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That’s the dream, right? To spread our talent across multiple platforms, to become just as celebrated in each medium that we fancy dipping our toes in, and to help the world with our influence.

A few great Emma Thompson quotes:

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It is remarkable how many misconceptions there are here about life in the developing world, and I think that that knowledge gap has done a lot to contribute to the imbalance quite frankly.

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I think our hearts are very chemical and we change the way we see people according to how we feel about them. That’s what love is, in a way.

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Children are much more understanding of the suddenness and arbitrariness of death than we are. The old fairy tales contain a lot of that, and we’ve stolen from them, just as they stole from Greek myth, which has that same mixture of pre-Christian chaos.

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If you don’t want women to do whatever they need to do, then you must provide them with food, you must provide them with shelter and their basic human rights.

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I’ve realized that in all the great stories, even if there’s a happily-ever-after ending, there’s something sad.

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It’s unfortunate–and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this–but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.

It’s fair to say, I love her.

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The 3 L's

Idol of the Week: Emma Watson

Surely you’ve seen it? Everyone’s talking about it – the internet is going crazy over it. Twitter is pinging with supportive tweets and snaps. Celebrities are clamouring over each other to try and associate themselves with it. I’m talking about Emma Watson’s amazing UN Speech, which can be viewed here.

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I’m a big believer in having idols. I think having people to admire and even envy (within reason) is healthy – without losing sight of ourselves, of course – as it inspires us all to embark on a path of self improvement, and so when those who we admire involve themselves in greater causes, such as charities, it inspires those who look up to them to become involved, and to step back and think ‘how can I help? Is there something about my lifestyle that contradicts this amazing cause? Is there something that I can do?’

I’ve heard some people say things such as ‘why is this little actress getting involved with this stuff? What difference can she make – she’s an actress’. Please. As a member of the Harry Potter generation, its fairly obvious to me just how influential Emma Watson is. The series may be over (for now… who knows, after all), but the Harry Potter generation is ongoing, and therefore whatever ‘Hermione Granger’ has to say, this age group sits up and listens.

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It’s so great that she is obviously fully aware of this fact and is therefore using her voice wisely.

So yes, she is someone who I admire, in the mush that is the often-ugly world of Hollywood; a world of twerking, ‘accidental’ wardrobe malfunctions, sex tapes and… Jesus.. the Kardashians I think I’d cry if either of my younger sisters turned around and said that they want to be just like one of the Kardashians or Miley Cyrus when they grow up, to be quite frank.

So this is a little shout out post to someone who actually speaks sense.. simply because I like people who speak sense, but they are such a rare find!

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I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself.

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All I can do is follow my instincts, because I’ll never please everyone.

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But it’s a journey and the sad thing is you only learn from experience, so as much as someone can tell you things, you have to go out there and make your own mistakes in order to learn.

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I don’t want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about.

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There’s nothing wrong with being afraid. It’s not the absence of fear, it’s overcoming it. Sometimes you’ve got to blast through and have faith.

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I have felt for the last 10 years I have had this battle; I’ve been fighting so hard to have an education. It’s been this uphill struggle. I was Warner Bros’ pain in the butt. I was their scheduling conflict. I was the one who made life difficult.

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I don’t have perfect teeth, I’m not stick thin. I want to be the person who feels great in her body and can say that she loves it and doesn’t want to change anything.

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The saddest thing for a girl to do is to dumb herself down for a guy.

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I feel that young girls are told that they have to be a princess and fragile. It’s bullshit. I identify much more with being a warrior – a fighter. If I was going to be a princess, I’d be a warrior princess, definitely.

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Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.

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As much as someone can tell you things, you have to go out there and make your own mistakes in order to learn.

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The 3 L's

Motivation from my Idols

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘collector’ of inspirational quotes and idols, people to admire and look up to, and, in any way possible, learn from. Too many people choose the wrong sort of idols now days, celebrities who have too much of a tendency to get caught with drugs, stumbling around drunk, crashing their expensive cars and generally setting a bad example.

Most of my idols are, and have always been, entrepreneurs, and yet while so many people have heard of their companies, so few can name a single founder’s name, besides a few of the ‘A list’ entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I’ve always been someone who wants to be a ‘business polymath’, rather than purely focusing on photography, or design, or writing. There are so many things I wish to do, notebooks full of business ideas. I’m a big dreamer, but I know my strengths and my weaknesses – I’m creative. My creativity completely engulfs the rest of my personality, in fact. However, I’m having to work heard to learn about the business side of things. I’m not sure that I believe that some people are born with the instinctive knowledge required for building a business empire, but if such a person exists, I most certainly am not one of them. That said, I’m intelligent, I’m hard working, and I make the most of my library card, my kindle, I’m always contacting the right people with the right knowledge, picking their brains, and slowly, I’m improving.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes from a few of my entrepreneurial idols. Hopefully someone will be blogging about my business(es) one day.

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To be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future.

-Simone de Beauvoir. Writer, philosopher, political activist.

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Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of, or still haven’t had time to dream up.

-Sophia Amoruso. Founder of Nasty Gal.

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I think you can be a jack-of-all-trades and a mistress-of-all-trades. If you study it, and you put reasonable intelligence and reasonable energy, reasonable electricity to it, you can do that.

-Maya Angelou. Author, dancer, actress, singer.

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It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
-JK Rowling. Author.

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Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.

-Anita Roddick. Founder of The Body Shop, human rights and environmental activist.

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The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.
-Gisele Bundchen. Model, actress, producer, entrepreneur.

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The thing about us, is we think big. Huge.

-Mary Kate Olsen. Fashion designer, entrepreneur.

I will never stop working. I want to have something to do. When you work, you’re taking part in life.

-Ashley Olsen. Fashion designer, entrepreneur.

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The lesson that I have learned in life is that we should try and try and try again – but never give up.

-Richard Branson. Founder of the Virgin brand, entrepreneur.

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Don’t worry about being successful but work towards being significant and the success will naturally follow.

-Oprah. TV host, producer, entrepreneur.

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How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

-Coco Chanel. Fashion designer, Founder of the Chanel brand.

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Life-fulfilling work is never about the money – when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.

-Eileen Fisher. Fashion designer.

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Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

-Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, author, historian, artist.

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One evening after a photo session at my place, the usual crew and I sat around over sandwiches and drinks. It was a while before we noticed that Jim had left us.‘Hey, Jimmy,’ we yelled. No response… The next thing we knew there was a hell of a racket out in the street, complete with horns blowing and people yelling. We ran to the window and opened the venetian blind. There, in the middle of the street, sitting cross-legged in my chair, smoking a cigarette, was our boy, holding up traffic. As we flew out the front door, we looked beyond the chair and saw a long string of headlights and people getting out of cars. Marty and I grabbed Dean from the chair – and also from a tall, angry-looking guy with big hands who looked ready to pummel him. Jim acted like a rag doll when we pulled him from a chair, his arms and head flopping around, the rest of him just dead weight. Bob and Billy picked up the chair.  Once inside, we all looked at the grinning Dean. ‘God damn it, Jim,’ I yelled… After I calmed down, I asked him, ‘Why, Jim, why?’ He took a fresh cigarette and sat in the chair that had been put back in its place. He lighted up and looked at all of us. ‘Don’t you sons of bitches ever get bored? I just wanted to spark things, man, that’s all.’ He got up and began bonging the side table. ‘Look at you. Before I did it, we were all sitting quietly eating and drinking, and outside a lot of nine-to-fivers were going home to their wives, like they do every night. Now you’re all juiced up, and so are they, man. They’ll talk about it for years.’

– Roy SchattJames Dean: a Portrait

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The 3 L's

James Dean: A Portrait

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“McQueen, as well as being a fashion designer, art-directed many photoshoots, he art-directed many films, and this film formed the backdrop to the collection Irere that told the story of a shipwreck at sea and a subsequent landfall in the Amazon. And it was peopled with characters like pirates, conquistadors, and Amazonian Indians. The film itself was shot by John Maybury and depicts a moment when a woman falls overboard in a dress that’s referred to as the “shipwreck dress.” As she’s floating down in the ocean, the strands of chiffon get tangled around her legs and arms like seaweed.”

-Andrew Bolton

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Alexander McQueen Inspiration

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