Keeping up with strangers

Social media makes it really easy to keep up with everything going on in the world around us. From crises happening across the globe to personal details about people we’ve never met.

And on an average day for many, I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming that little thought goes into it.

How often do you find yourself questioning whether you need to know all this information you’re consuming?

I’m guilty of clicking on trending topics out of curiosity but on reflection I know that this information isn’t something I need to know.

The goings on of celebrities (and even just people we’ve never met) has always been a popular form of entertainment which is why gossip magazines were so popular. I guess those magazines have now changed to social media, something that is free and consumed by even more people.

And as much as you control who you follow, you can’t control what they post, tweet, re-tweet, like or share on their stories.

But what you do have control over is your active consumption. As much as knowing certain things might tickle your fancy, upon reflection would you really choose knowing details about a strangers personal life over reading a book, working on your craft, writing, planning ahead etc.

Of course you can make time for both (if you so wish) but this is more about being intentional with what you consume rather than getting swept up in it all.

If you leave the twitter thread, video or post feeling fine that’s great but if you feel like you’ve wasted time then maybe you need to start making some changes.

Welcoming normal

I think what many are craving is a sense of ‘normal’, the way things once were.

If you’re lucky, normal might have been just fine but it’s worth acknowledging that that’s not the case for everyone.

Of course the easy thing to do would be nothing and just let things go back to what they were, after all you don’t have any issues.

I think that’s the mindset that limits us and stops progress.

We’re so afraid that better for them means worse for us that we’re willing to let them suffer.

It might not be so explicit in your mind but if you take some time you might realise that’s the reason behind your mindset.

Something to look forward to

This is one of the easiest ways to feel better about life.

Instead of gazing into the abyss of nothingness wondering what the future will hold, you can set yourself up with something to look forward to.

It could be a catch up with a friend in a few days time or a holiday a year from now. But it could also be you making time for a hobby you enjoy one evening after work.

I think the reason having something to look forward to can help us feel better is because it gives us some indication of how the future will be. Granted we can’t predict everything but if we can set one or even a few things in stone then suddenly the future isn’t so frightening.

It’s common to fear the unknown and so if you can in some way bring some sense of knowing or stability, it helps make things easier.

Making a change vs Doing nothing

When making a difficult decision a good place to start is weighing up the pros and cons.

Take some time and really think about it.

Let’s say for example you were deciding whether or not move to a new city. The pros might be things like getting a fresh start, more opportunities and challenging yourself. The cons could be a lack of familiarity, time lost having to start over and leaving family/friends behind.

You could also ask yourself questions like:

Will the short-term advantage benefit me in the long-run?

I think if you regularly find yourself caught between making a change and doing nothing, you might just be afraid of trying something new or making a mistake.

In those cases it might actually be better to throw yourself into doing the the thing you’re unsure of because at least you’re giving yourself the opportunity to grow, develop and explore.

Reflecting on the past 3 months

The past few months have been something none of us could have ever anticipated. It’s been challenging, sad, stressful and at times overwhelming.

Times like this are perfect for reflection because we’ve all been reminded how short life is and how tomorrow isn’t promised.

Our day to day have all changed in some way. We’ve had to do without things we didn’t even know we relied on and instead had to stay indoors.

I’ve written a few questions below for you to think about. They’re things I’ve been reflecting on as the lockdown rules start to ease up here in England.

What has brought you joy?

How have you been spending your free time?

What do you miss?

What have you been happy without?

What will you change moving forward?

Learning from mistakes

In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.

If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.

But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.

When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.

Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.

And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging

A convincing sales person

Anyone can make a living selling things if they’re good enough at driving sales.

It’s not about being an ‘influencer’, having the most followers or being the loudest.

Sometimes it’s about having something that people want and presenting it to them in a way where they value it enough to buy it.

Yet we somehow find a way to over complicate things. Perhaps by convincing ourselves that we’re not ready.

But if you have something you believe is worth selling, you don’t need to wait for a big audience to do it.

Start small, work your way up and focus on being good at what you do instead of on being popular.

What do you want?

A seemingly simple four word question that is often almost impossible to answer.

Even when you know what you want you’re likely to find yourself making excuses for why it’s not possible for you or how it’s just a daydream.

But also I think it’s difficult to admit what you truly want when you know that you haven’t even tried to make it happen. If your wants don’t align with what you currently do or are currently working towards it highlights where you’ve fallen short.

Nobody wants to be reminded that they’re not where they want to be in life especially when you’re not even working towards what you want.

And so the lesson is to keep checking in with what you want in life. Once you have that figured out all you have to do is start bridging the gap.

Becoming obsolete

One of my most memorable scenes from Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory comes quite near to the beginning.

Charlie’s dad worked in a toothpaste factory screwing lid onto each tube one by one. Then one day he lost his job because the factory he worked in bought a machine that could do his job quicker and cheaper.

Just like that his job role had become obsolete.

That’s happening more and more these days.

A prime example is self service machines instead of a cashier. Instead of a shop having 4  people working on the tills you can have 4 self service machines and one person there to oversee and assist if necessary.

Granted some people prefer being served by a person instead of serving themselves. However, the main point is that the cashier role is no longer as necessary as it used to be.

When it’s no longer trendy

For some people they choose to follow trends not because it’s something they care about but because it’s what everbody else is doing.

And once the trend dies down and is no longer as popular they stop following it too. They only joined in because they wanted to be a part of something.

Then you get other people who don’t follow trends at their height. They wait for things to slow down and then determine whether or not it’s something they’re even interested in.

Sometimes it turns out they don’t really have an interest in the trend so they don’t participate. But other times they find themselves enthusiastic even when things have died down and thats when they choose to join in.

I suppose it’s just about discernment really but that is something that takes practice.

Perhaps one day you won’t have to wait until it’s no longer trendy to figure out if you’re really interested.