Better days

Some days will be more challenging than others.

There will be difficult days and then there will be better days.

It’s easy to forget when things are challenging and difficult that they won’t be that way forever.

It’s easy to focus on the thing that is not going to plan and you can end up doing it so much that you lose the ability to see past it.

But just because today is difficult, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Maybe tomorrow (or the next day) will be better.

Learned behaviour

I’m really into self-observation and learning about why we are the way we are.

I find behaviour to be quite fascinating. I’ve learnt that often how we act is down to the people we surround ourselves with and the people we allow ourselves to be influenced by rather than just something ingrained within.

It might be easy to blame external factors for why you are the way you are. But that doesn’t mean you can’t change.

The same way you learned to be one way you can choose to learn to be different (and hopefully better).

Knowing when to make a change

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

A common phrase that essentially means, if something is going well don’t change it.

We don’t have to wait until something is broken before we decide to fix it or change it. You could be in the habit of doing something like eating chocolate chip pancakes everyday for breakfast. You never miss a day and always make time to sit and relax whilst you eat.

Essentially, nothing is broken.

But you might be better off eating fruit, or oats instead.

Just because something isn’t going badly, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth thinking of how you can make it better.

You need to do better

Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?

When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.

But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.

Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.

Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Everything is better in the movies

A movie is kind of like a summary. It only focuses on the key parts and skips or at least fast forwards the mundane bits.

6 months of hard work is displayed in 10 minutes split across the movie in various montages and short scenes. It looks much easier on the big screen.

In less than 2 hours the lead manages to fall in and out of love then back into it again. You find yourself wondering how on earth to even meet someone.

But what movies are great at is showing moments.

We all have those good bits in our lives, in among the chaos, stress and challenges.

And more often than not they’re even better than the movies because they’re real and they’re happening to you.

Gets better with time

It’s something you’ll have no doubt read or heard countless times but it’s true, some things really do get better with time.

Maybe you’re a teenager (or even an adult) feeling like you don’t belong, you’ve experienced a harsh rejection or you have a physical injury.

In the height of it, you might not be able to see a way out. The possibility for change might seem like nothing more than a fantasy. I think thats because more often than not (when it comes to lasting change anyway), it happens so slowly that we never notice it in the moment.

But then a few months later you’re able to look back on that rejection as a growth point rather than a blow to your self-esteem.

Improving average

Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?

Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.

On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.

Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.

The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.

In the case of my original question, you have two options.

You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.

On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.

Can I do better?

A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?

It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.

You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.

That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.

When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.

When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.

Boosting morale and feeling connected

Through challenging times it’s always helpful to find ways of boosting morale.

A common way of doing this is through bringing people together.

Very little compares to the feeling of people being united for a common cause. When that cause is gratitude, it really can help people feel connected to each other.

Right now a lot of people are becoming aware of the contributions that particular people make in society.

Despite everything that is going on there is this sense of ‘things aren’t particularly great right now but there are people showing up everyday that are helping to make things a little bit better or easier and I’m grateful for it‘.

I think just knowing that there are people showing up even though it’s difficult is enough to make us all feel a little bit better.

 

Good and better

Or maybe it should be good vs better.

Sometimes better is worse than good but we think that good is enough so we don’t aim for better. The mindset of a Bare Minimum Betty often lies in the good zone.

Because when your bare minimum is good enough why would you do any better.

If you choose to aim for better that could mean a variety of things, a key one being commitment but it’s more than that.

Aiming for better is:

Trying something new that in the words of Seth Godin ‘might not work’

Doing more than you have to

Looking for ways to improve

Offering to help someone else

Asking questions