So, today I tried something new in the kitchen that involved shortcrust pastry.
My hopes were high but unfortunately the end result was pretty terrible.
I tried to rectify it but to no avail.
I found myself feeling a little frustrated because it wasn’t a complicated dish and I thought it was going well, until it wasn’t.
But once I got thinking I realised that it wasn’t so bad. I was lucky enough that there was plenty of other food in my house so I didn’t have to go hungry.
And then I moved on to thinking about what went wrong and what I could do differently next time in order to improve the outcome. I could roll the pastry thinner, I could cook the pastry for longer, I could use less egg for the filling or I could follow a recipe properly rather than just for the amount of butter and flour for the pastry.
The bottom line is that I tried something new and it didn’t work out how I had hoped. That’s something that happens a lot in life and I think the issue is that we consider it to be a bad thing when in fact it’s a normal thing.
It’s normal for things to not work out sometimes especially when it’s something you’re doing for the first time. It’s all just part of the learning process. And if you’re willing to try again, then there’s a possibility that things can get better.
There is often a gap between what we want and our actions.
For example you could say that you want to be a writer but you never take up the opportunity to share your work or get feedback.
Or maybe you want to move to a new city but you never look for jobs outside the city you currently live in.
In situations like this, when you’re actions don’t align with what you say you want it’s quite unlikely that things will ever work out.
And maybe you don’t really want the things you think you want but maybe you do.
This is why it is so useful to reflect and check. You might not even realise that if you just make a few small changes you can start making good progress towards the things you want.
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.
Often we look at situations and systems that are in place and we hope for better.
We are able to identify there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be.
And even if you have no idea how to bridge the gap, identifying it is the perfect place to begin.
You can then start thinking about how things could be better and what sort of changes should be implemented.
You can start asking useful questions like why certain things are the way they are and what can be done to change them.
Of course it is not solely up to you to make change as it would be impossible for one person to do it all. However, I think a bunch of individuals that are willing to hope for better than what we currently have is exactly what we need.
We need people that are willing to ask the right questions, people that are willing to say maybe we should try something different and most of all people that are willing to act even if they don’t directly benefit.
You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.
It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.
And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.
Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.
But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.
Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?
And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.
You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.
No matter the kind of life that you live, I think it is important to regularly switch up your routine.
Spend a day or even just a few hours doing something you wouldn’t usually do.
The first reason is just to keep things fresh. It’s good to switch things up and experiment with how you spend your time and structure your days.
But the second reason is to check in with how you’re currently living.
Sometimes it takes time away from your usual routine for you to realise that you are unsatisfied with your present life circumstances.
When people procrastinate they often tell themselves they are waiting until they are ready or waiting for a feeling that will push them to begin.
But the truth is you just have to start. Instead of waiting for some kind of magic to turn you into someone that gets things done straight away, make it a habit.
Any habit or behaviour takes practice to implement and practice to change.
So, instead of hiding behind the label of being a procrastinator start making a conscious effort to be the kind of person you want to be. The kind of person that gets things done sooner rather than later.
I often wonder what I would have done if I was a twenty something year old in the 90s or even 80s.
Would I still write? Maybe I’d have written articles for a magazine or newspaper and I’d have tried to make a career out of writing. Maybe I wouldn’t have tried to put my words out there and instead stuck with journaling.
The advances in technology have allowed us to be our own gatekeepers. You don’t need to ask for permission if you want to have a website, write articles, put out music, be a presenter etc
And so if you’re willing to take initiative and do something, you can do all the things that would have been a lot more difficult 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
Sometimes change begins not with action but with a feeling.
Perhaps you find yourself doing something you’ve done for years, something that you usually enjoy but this time it feels different.
And so you have 2 choices. The first is to follow that feeling and the second is to ignore it.
Following that feeling will allow you to go with the tide and become the person that you are developing into.
If you choose to ignore, it means resisting the flow of life. This happens when we are not ready to change because sometimes we feel like we need more time.
But eventually you’ll get bored of not growing and you’ll find ourselves seeking out the very thing you didn’t think you were ready for.