It may be Fast and Furious – but it’s on to something!

It may be Fast and Furious – but it’s on to something!

Don’t know if you’re a ‘Fast and Furious Fan’ the film series now up to number 8? I am. Yes I love the absurdly high impact action, the car chases, the explosions and the muscles (is The Rock for real?) but just as much as that I love the emphasis on family, eating together and looking after one another. All the characters have a sense of purpose, not just in their car crazy missions but in life and family existence. And it’s this sense of purpose and belonging that keeps us healthy and mentally strong.

So as I read the latest statistics from the OECD ‘1 in 6 pupils are unhappy by the age of 15’ or Steve Biddulph’s research on how ‘pushy parents damage teenage girls’, or even how Prince Harry was lost when his mother died, we have to ask ourselves how do we provide that sense of purpose, that sense of belonging to our children, our friends and each other? It can’t be through prescription tablets – something that’s gone on for far too long – it’s something far simpler, it is about finding a ‘soft’ place to be yourself and discovering what you want to do with your life. As an advisor to the Samaritans and working with The British Transport Police on ways to prevent people from taking their own life (suicide being the biggest killer of young men) it’s something we need to do urgently.

So I was interested to read that the government is looking to do a pilot on mindful classes and in talks with the Goldie Hawn Foundation which is already delivering such classes in the States. Now mindful classes, can slow down the mind, help you dispose of the clutter and the everyday negative conversations you have in your head so you can focus on where you’re going. I’ve done mindfulness (or mediation) for years and it’s a powerful tool but you need then to follow this through with action and finding a purpose. That’s why for years I’ve worked in schools with young pupils on careers and life outside and after school. Getting pupils to work on themselves, understand themselves, what they like doing and where they want to go.

Once you have a mission, then the distractions all around you become quieter. The constant noise of twitter, Instagram, Facebook, not looking or being good enough become less significant. So whilst I welcome mindfulness, we also need purpose and friends, these are what fill our time and keep us on the straight and narrow. We need to make more time for ourselves and our friends….. So if you’ve any free time left check out the family that is Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and The Rock….. I’ve got a group of friends going and dinner afterwards at mine!

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