There is a popular saying goes something like ‘insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results’.
But what’s worth understanding is that sometimes you need to do the same thing over and over again.
Take meditation for example, it’s very rare that you get it the first time. It could take ten times, that doesnt mean you should stop.
Or, maybe you’re an artist taking your work to galleries, or a writer pitching to publications. Just because things don’t work out the first or 15th time, doesn’t mean you should stop. But, of course if you’re doing something that costs money don’t go broke trying to make things work.
I think it’s good to have the determination to keep going even when things aren’t working out.
But it’s also important to know when to pivot. The end goal doesn’t need to change but maybe your approach should.
Sometimes we assume that the solution to a problem has to be complicated. We overlook the little things forgetting how big an impact can be caused by something small.
And so we go in search of something complicated but to no avail. Then the problem continues and maybe even grows which causes us to become more frustrated.
Until finally we decide to start small, to have a conversation, to go to bed a little earlier or to drink more water.
In time the problem will begin to dissolve until suddenly it’s gone. However, it’s important to remember that these small solutions aren’t quick fixes. It could take weeks of conversations to fix a big problem.
A while back I came to the realisation that unless your basic needs like food, air and shelter etc. are at risk then any mistake you make or growth point you encounter is not ‘the end of the world’.
You can bounceback and get on with life. And that’s it. Life is as life does and like someone once said ‘it doesn’t stop till you’re dead’.
If you’re going into survival mode over small things that are just part of life that have no significant impact to your basic needs, you’ll undoubtedly struggle in life.
I think a useful thing to do is acknowledge you may have fears/triggers for your survival mode/panic button to go off but to check in and ask does it make sense to have the same reaction as though your life is at risk?
Survival mode is draining, our lives aren’t at risk in the way they used to be.
I think it’s fair to say that sometimes we’d rather be comfortable and complain than push ourselves. It’s not a bad thing to be able to admit it, infact I think it’s good to be able to pick up on these habits if you have them.
A common example of where this occurs is the work place. You have an issue to deal with and instead of sorting out the issue by facing it head on, you skirt around it.
Perhaps you’ve even had times of venting to someone but when they offered you suggestions you ignored them because you weren’t ready.
And sometimes that’s the simple truth, you need more time.
So, complain and stay stagnant for a little longer, just until you can take it no more.
Then either you take a leap and do what needs to be done or someone gives you a push. If it’s the latter it might not feel so good in the moment but it will benefit you in the long run.
The familiarity of what you know might be the thing that keeps you from exploring other ideas or options.
Let’s take the example of food.
Imagine you go to a restaurant and order the duck. Now imagine the duck is incredibly delicious and so each time you go back, you order the same thing.
You find yourself sticking with what you know because you know you’ll like it. But there are many other options available to you that are worth exploring. It’s not that you’ll like them more but instead a reminder of the important of taking advantage of what is available. I think sometimes in life we take our options for granted.
As much as there are so many other options available for you to experience, you turn them down because you’d rather play it safe with wat you know than venture out into the unknown.
But what you end up forgetting is that the very thing you’re clinging to because of familiarity was also once unfamiliar, you just got used to it over time.
When doing something new, if you don’t do it well or you face challenges along the way, you might find yourself feeling frustrated.
Sometimes, that feeling you get will determine your willingness to do the thing again and effect how much effort you put in.
Finding it difficult in the beginning might even cause you to believe that you’ll never get it.
However, often the case is that you just need to do it a few more times until it becomes more familiar.
Then in time it’ll become easier.
The way your world operates would be quite different if you lived in another period or in another country. You’d be living a life made up of slightly or even totally different systems to the ones you currently know.
That’s something that may have crossed your mind multiple times.
But, do you ever take it one step further?
What if the systems upheld in our current society, that contribute so heavily to what we consider important or even real, were given an over haul.
Maybe some of what you consider to be ‘just the way things are’ could change and become something different, something better.
It’s worth thinking about, not to inspire you to overthrow the status quo but because this is your life.
Many times we get so caught up in the way the world is, that end up placing the most importance on the things that matter the least.
Thats how long it took me to read through one of last weeks blog posts.
For quite some time now I’ve been thinking of creating audio versions of my blog posts. There are various reasons I have resisted, from not having any equipment to wondering whether I’m taking on too much (I’ve written over 800 blog posts). However, one of the biggest reasons is that I think they would be too short.
We’re in the season of audio content and even though there are people that listen to short podcasts, I can’t help but wonder if under 5 minutes would put people off. Of course, one may argue that my work isn’t for the people that would be put off. However, when you’re just starting out you want to know that there is a market for what you have to offer.
A solution I’d considered was to have a weeks worth of posts per episode almost like a sort of story but I wasn’t sold on the idea enough to proceed with it.
I’m still in limbo with whether or not this podcast idea will come to life and even what the format will be. But I do think that now is the perfect time to be experimenting with audio content, even if it ends up being temporary.
It might feel easier to hold on but maybe what you really need to do is let go.
Taking space is a powerful thing. When you spend time away from something you have developed an attachment to it gives you room to find clarity and to come back to yourself. So often you may find ourselves getting caught up in other people and trying to please or appease them that you forget yourself and your own values or ideas.
And sometimes when you’re not ready to let go you convince yourself that there is something for us in the attachment, something that we need. But even if it is true that the attachment offers us something it can’t possibly be placed above that which we can offer ourselves.
So go forth and take space, then when you’re ready you can return and figure out how you really feel without attachment cloud your judgement.
It’s so interesting that often in different types of relationships we hold back instead from just being ourselves and allowing things to work out the way they’re meant to be.
You make a conscious effort to be less of yourself instead of just modelling what you want from your relationships. This choice leaves you feeling unfulfilled. You may end up finding yourselves in spaces you don’t want to be in, sometimes even with people you don’t really like because you have sacrificed your true self.
I think sometimes we’re scared to be ourselves for fear of rejection and so we wait for others to go first and be open. But if you find yourself in a space where you think you’ll be rejected for simply being yourself, then deep down (or maybe even just beneath the surface), you know that you’re somewhere you don’t really want to be.
Perhaps you want people in your life that you can be vulnerable with, yet when you have the opportunity to open up you choose to resist. And if the people around you aren’t being vulnerable with you, you end up feeling frustrated. But I think it’s fair to ask yourself, if you’re not willing to open up why should anyone else?
And in the grander scheme, if you aren’t willing to show up as your truest self in your relationships, why should you expect anyone else will?