Congratulations, you made it!

We’re almost at the end of a year that none of us could have anticipated.

Whether you’ve had a good time or hated every minute of it, you still managed to get to this moment right now.

Congratulations, you made it!

Despite isolation, boredom, tears, frustration, lonliness, hopelessness, anger, grief and fear we’re now at the point of getting ready to close out the year.

Sometimes we don’t take enough time and care to acknowledge the difficulties we’ve faced and overcome. Instead we just dust ourselves off and carry on, which is fine in some situations.

However, this has been a year where we have all been forced to learn and grow in ways that we never thought we’d have to. That is something worth honouring.

The pick me up playlist

Around 18 months ago I created a Pick me up playlist.

The reason I did this is in the name, I wanted a pick me up. But more importantly I wanted something I could go back to.

I’m lucky enough to know how the music I listen to makes me feel and, I curated a playlist of songs to listen to when I am in need of a pick me up.

It is simple yet incredibly effective.

And of course the music doesn’t fix the issue but it reminds me what it is like to feel good and that makes me want to make the effort to make things better.

If you’re someone that enjoys listening to music, I’d advise you to give it a go.

You don’t even need to create a whole playlist but the next time you feel down just listen to one of your favourite songs and see how it makes you feel.

On learning to voice your needs

I just googled not being able to voice your needs and there were about 1,220,000,000 results.

Being able to voice your needs is an important part of life. If you can’t say what you need, you probably won’t get it.

If you’ve ever been that person you might have been lucky enough to find someone that gets you. Not in any romantic sense but just someone that understands you even when you’re not able to find the words. That kind of person comes into your life through you being open and vulnerable enough to voice your needs.

It could be as simple as letting someone know that you need space, at first the person might be surprised or not take it well. But over time a good friend or someone that cares about you will understand that at certain times you need to be alone. And it won’t become an issue, they won’t try and make you feel bad or tell you that you have to have to talk now. They will listen and respect your needs.

On the flipside, people that aren’t able to voice their needs might end up falling into feeling misunderstood or uncared for and then carrying that feeling around them everywhere they go. But more often than not, that feeling isn’t true at all. It only feels true because you’re not saying what you need.

2 kinds of value

If you had to leave your home and could only take 10 things with you, what would you take?

Turns out the things we value in our day to day lives aren’t the same things we value in an emergency.

In our day to day life we’re more materialistic, we care more about perception. It’s not that we don’t value the things we need to survive but that they are a given rather than something we need to think about.

In an emergency we place value on safety and survival. There’s not much point valuing your green faux croc handbag when you are without food and water.

And sometimes people choose to live their day to day lives valuing only the essentials even when they don’t have to.

Cheap, easy and accessible

Every once in a while I am reminded of the power of taking a walk in nature.

It is calming, refreshing, relaxing and simple.

If you haven’t done it for a while, I’d recommend it.

You’ll often find that some of the most helpful things are the cheapest, easiest and most accessible. But instead we end up looking to things that are expensive, difficult and challenging to obtain.

I think the reason for this is that we assume that big problems will require big solutions. Or if you’re not ready to work at something, you can use the excuse of the solution being out of reach, something you don’t have access to.

It can be difficult to comprehend that the very thing you need to help make things better, is something you can do right now.

Does more choice make us happier?

A lot of people regularly find themselves overwhelmed.

The possibilites in every area of life are growing more and more each day.

There was a point in time where what you ate was limited to what you could kill and what you could grow at that time of year.

On one hand having more choice gives us the possibility of a richer life with more freedom. And let’s not forget, the increase in choice is the result of innovation that has has resulted in more options than humans once thought was possible.

However, having more choice can also make things harder, having 100 options instead of 10 can end up causing unnecessary stress. This in turn can reduce your overall happiness.

I think the important thing to remember is that no matter how much or how little choice you have, there is always room for innovation.

But we can’t ignore the unhelpful side effects of increased choice and so the important thing to remember is that when you know what you want you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.

Emotional labour

When it comes to the work that you do, do you work hard?

Not as in work that requires physical labour but another kind of hard work, the sort that requires you to give something of yourself. I guess it’s what is known as emotional labour.

So often, we refrain from exerting emotional labour because it’s easier not to. Or maybe you feel like it’ll wear you out or you just don’t want to give that much of yourself.

But I think it’s really just about making the choice to offer something of yourself. It’s sort of like an act of generosity, if you look back on the places you have worked you’re likely to find that your willingness to be generous varied.

I suppose that’s why I think it’s important that we like the place we work and the work that we do.

What to do when it’s not working

If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. It really is that simple yet we often end up making things more complicated than they need to be.

We moan and complain about the way things are and daydream about the way we wish things could be. But we forget that actually things can change and things can be different if we choose another option. In moments it might seem like you’re stuck but there are always options available to you.

Choosing a different way may require patience and it might not be easy but trying something new is much better than sticking with what’s not working.

The consumer doesn’t care

The viewer or the consumer does not have to care about what went on behind the scenes. They are there for the art not the person and I think that in some cases that’s the way it should be.

In other cases, like on social media, the consumer is often there for the person just as much as if not more than they’re there for the art (or whatever creative thing that the person does).

This is why people with highly dedicated fans/followers will be supported no matter what they do.

I think that because of social media there are now blurred lines between what is business and what is personal.

But it is important to know that just because you’re visible online and people may know what you do it doesn’t mean that they care. Some people are there for the work, not for you and that is perfectly alright.

So, if you offer a product or service and the customer is not satisfied they might voice how they feel. If it is not considered good enough the customer doesn’t necessarily care that you did your best and that you will be better next time. They care that they bought someone thing they are not happy with.

And so your job is not to find customers that care about you personally but to instead to show up, create great work and deliver.

Starting trends

Anyone that starts a trend will find that others end up mimicking or copying them.

That’s how trends work.

It’s very rare for something being done by one person to become popular without others also trying it too.

And it’s not a bad thing, that’s what comes with being ahead of the curve, being innovative or even just being popular.

However, it is worth noting that the one who starts a trend is often not the first to do it.