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).

Conscious consumption

Over the past few weeks or months, there has been an increase in posts related to social media. In particular, I have been writing about Instagram more.

Aside from the fact that I find it interesting, I also find that writing about social media enables me to consume it a little more consciously.

Instagram has become such a prominent part of many of our daily lives, at times it can become a little excessive.

Writing about Instagram (or just social media in general) means I’m much more reflective when it comes to what I use it for and how I feel about it. But I’m also developing more of an interest in what it can be used for and how it is changing.

All of this combined has changed my thoughts on social media and made me want to use it much more intentionally but also use it a little bit less.

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.

Daily blogging isn’t always easy

…but it’s worth it.

In a recent post I shared some thoughts about quitting daily blogging and I laid out some plans for what I would do moving forward.

At the time I thought it was a good idea and I thought that it would make things easier.

But in the weeks that followed I really started to enjoy daily blogging again. The writing process had become less difficult than it had been at the weeks prior.

Now, looking back I realise that the changes I planned to make wouldn’t have made things easier, they’d have remained pretty much the same. I’d have gone from posting short blog posts daily to posting slightly longer posts a few times a week. As much as daily blogging doesn’t always feel easy there is something quite special about making a commitment to posting everyday.

There is something special about the way I choose to see the world because I know I have to write something, even if it’s only 167 words.

What’s the use in blogging?

Over the past few years with the way that the online world is changing, people are regularly asking whether there is any use in still blogging.

There is no set answer, it just depends on what works for you.

If your blog is used to advertise and sell you might find other platforms more advantageous. But if you used your blog to simply just write, I don’t think any other social media platform can quite compete.

It also depends on what you prefer. Some people see a blog as the main focus whilst everything else is supplementary. For others the focus is what is most popular and right now that is Instagram.

2 things your blog might be missing

So, I’ve recently been reflecting on how I can make this site better. The things that came up were adding categories and adding a search bar.

Categories give the reader a good idea of what they can can expect. Catergories also give the blogger structure as if you have to ensure what you write fits within your chosen areas. I think what stopped me creating categories was my worry that the structure may be limiting.

Also, even though there are clear recurring themes in my blog posts they might not be able to be fit into 3-5 catergories and having more than that might look messy.

But despite all that I’m now realising that there are benefits to having structure.

Having a search bar is simple and gives the reader the option to specify what they’re looking for and that could in turn help me to improve my site.

So, expect to see these 2 changes on the blog soon. Use this as a reminder to do a little audit of your own site and figure out if there’s something missing.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

It doesn’t matter where you share your work

When it comes to being someone who is creative, puts stuff out there and has ideas to share there is one piece of advice I’ve heard from two people that will never grow old.

It is something worth remembering as things change and develop over time.

The advice is to not become attached to the platforms where you share your work but to use them to your advantage in a way that works for you. Instead your focus should be on the work, the idea or the message.

When you do this, it doesn’t matter where you share your work. It could be on IGTV, pictures and captions on your Instagram feed, Insta stories, IG reels, a podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, a newsletter, Facebook, or even snapchat.

And when a platform changes or becomes obsolete you can seamlessly shift to something else.

The misalignment of us

Most people that you choose to have in your life are chosen because your lives or you as people align in some way.

It could be a similar taste in music, studying (or have studied) the same subjects, enjoying the same leisure activities, similar mindsets and worldviews or maybe you share the same aspirations.

Whatever it may be, when the base of your connection shifts it is likely that you may change your mind about having the person in your life.

Granted you will have built up a connection based on other things over time but when the core bits of you and a person no longer align, the relationship may no longer make sense.

This sort of thing quite commonly occurs once you begin to really figure out who you are and what you want in life. Perhaps the people you used to party with don’t really fit with the life you’re creating. Maybe your corporate aspirations clash with the aspirations of people around you to the point of causing disagreements.

Despite how it may feel, it’s a natural thing for relationships to change. It’s much better to allow things to be than to restrict your development or the development of someone else because you’d rather hold on to something that was never meant to last.

75% qualified

There are stats to prove that when it comes to job applications women are less likely to apply than men, if they don’t meet all the requirements.

The interesting thing about this is that if you don’t get the job you don’t really lose out because nothing changes. So if you apply yo a job where you only meet 75% of what they are asking for, there’s no real risk at all, in fact you should probably do it more often.

The things you can’t yet do or don’t have much experience of are probably things that can be learnt on the job.

Of course, if what they’re asking for is experience in a specialised software that you’ve never even heard of it’s probably not worth going for. However, if the application asks for someone who has used a particular software and you have, don’t let not being an expert stop you from applying.

When you don’t perfectly meet all the criteria for a job application perhaps you feel like you won’t be able to do a good, you’re worried about your weaknesses (the things you’re not as experienced in) being exposed or maybe you don’t think you’ll get an interview.

All that stuff is just guesswork. You can apply to a job you’re perfectly qualified for and not get it, you can apply to a job you’re 75% qualified for and get it.

The risk of applying is minimal, I think the real risk is in getting your hopes up.

But the purpose of taking a risk is knowing there’s a chance it might not work and doing it anyway.