Alex Pawlowska spends her time connecting with the everyday people of London through her camera. Taking pictures, making short movies and sharing their inspirational stories on Instagram and Youtube, she's just been nominated for Instagrammer of the year.
Meet Alex - Looking for Heroes....
Alex, tell us about your project, "Looking for heroes". Where did the idea originate from and how has it grown?
Starting Looking for Heroes was a combination of many things. I studied journalism at university and always dreamt of writing about people. When I came up with the idea for the project I was fighting depression and it was my way of bringing positivity back to my life. It was my way of fighting for myself, for my dream and a way in which I could share positivity with others.
What do you believe to be your strengths and how does this project use them best?
Strength is an incredibly important thing to me. When you’re depressed you feel the exact opposite of strong. You’re vulnerable. Bringing my strength back was a long process but overcoming depression left me feeling stronger and more confident than ever before. I believe the biggest strength comes from overcoming your vulnerability. I think that character strengths are very important and I see a part of me in every single one. The attributes of wisdom and knowledge were key for creating Looking for Heroes as well as humanity. I couldn’t have started the project without creativity and curiosity but also without social intelligence and kindness. Kindness is so important to me. I think that courage is an incredible aspect of everyday life. I have complete respect for courageous people. The appreciation of beauty, gratitude, transcendence and hope are also essential - they can turn a bad situation, or an ordinary day to something beautiful.
During the project, what strengths have you seen in people and how do you believe this makes them everyday heroes?
I see so many different strengths in people from bravery, kindness, fighting spirit, willingness to help others to leadership. Every person has different strengths and this is what I find most beautiful about us as humans, that we are all different. I think that your strengths reflect how you impact the environment around you and that we spread our attitudes around us.
Do you think everyone is a hero in some way?
Definitely. I called this project Looking for Heroes because I believe that every person is a hero in a sense - from the small things that we do, to the battles we fight, to how we impact other people around us. This project is a celebration of us everyday people, whose courage very often goes unnoticed.
Tell us about some of the happiness this project has created..
I think that giving people a voice is an incredibly important thing and that creates a lot of happiness, not only for people who tell their story but also for those who listen. It makes us feel less lonely and it spreads more understanding of one another. I believe that human stories have incredible power and it makes me very happy knowing that more people have a platform to share their experiences. I hope that I have a positive impact on every person who comes across Looking for Heroes. This project has made my life much happier. It made me find my purpose.
Can you share your experience of focussing on what's right with people rather than what's wrong with them?
Seeing the brighter side of life is one of my skills. I am an optimist and I always tend to look for the positives in the every situation. Depression taught me that our experience of life depends on what we focus on and I constantly remind myself of the positives of life. I consider it as training for the mind.
Science says that people who use their strengths are happier, less stressed and more satisfied with their life. Do you agree?
I completely agree. I feel like developing your strengths is equal with finding your purpose in life. For me it is spreading positivity, listening and empowering others.When I started Looking for Heroes it was the first time when I felt that I was doing something completely aligned with who I am and what I represent. It was because I was using my strengths in the best possible way.
Right now you share beautiful visual stories of everyday people, being everyday heroes. Looking ahead, what's the BIG DREAM for this project?
I would love for this project to keep on growing. I have started making short videos about the heroes now and I most certainly will be doing more of that. I constantly come up with new ideas and I hope that in the future I will be able to make more positive impact with every story I share.