Identifying the discord

In some situations you might find that that there is a discord between what you want and the outcome you get.

If you’re unsure if this applies to you, think about some of your recent encounters with people.

What did you want?

What was the outcome?

Were you happy with the way things turned out?

It’s worth noting that what you want and the outcome don’t have to align completely. Sometimes you end up happy with the way things turn out even when it’s different to what you originally wanted.

But when you find yourself discontent with the outcome, the reason more often than you might think is your choice of words.

People often talk about how it’s good to open up, to let people know how you feel and be vulnerable.

However, it’s important to add if you don’t take the time to word things thoughtfully the outcome can be just as unhelpful as it would be if you say nothing at all.

The right people

A message I’m always keen to get across is that as much as it’s important to open up, what matters even more is that you do it with the right people.

For some that may be obvious but others might find themselves wondering who qualifies as ‘right’.

It really depends on the individual.

However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself like…

How do I want to feel when I open up?

What do I want from the person I open up to?

Then come up with the answers and think about the people you know that align with this.

For example, if what you want from the person you open up to is emotional support and a listening ear, it’s no use opening up to someone who is just going to tell you what to do. Or if you want to feel calm and supported it’s no use talking to someone that leaves you feeling anxious.

Further to that think about your past experiences. Can you think of a time you opened up to someone and regretted it? Can you think of a time you were glad you opened up to someone?

I’ve found that these types of situations, when you know what you want, you’ll know what you’re willing to accept.

Sometimes that means being a little more picky about who you choose to open to.

What do you want to be known for?

When Seth Godin answered this question he said ‘ I would like to be known by what the people who have learned from me have taught other people’.

I think this was said on an episode of Tim Bilyeus’ podcast, Impact Theory.

If you’re somebody that creates or puts stuff out there, I think it’s an important question to have regularly running through your mind.

Your answer will serve as a compass to help guide your decisions.

I often ponder on that question in relation to this blog and my answer is always about adding value and sharing something useful. And so I’m so I’m less likely to write about personal details in the day to day life because it doesn’t align with my answer.

Perhaps, it isn’t something you’ve considered much and maybe right now you can’t sum it up in 18 words. But it is definitely something worth thinking about.

If I was you…

It’s easy to pass judgements on other peoples choices.

‘If I was you I’d have…’

‘Maybe if you ….. then this wouldn’t have happened’

But your judgement is rarely being sought out so maybe think about ways to be helpful instead.

Sometimes when a person is riled up, frustrated and they take action it’s not from a place of clarity. If they’d have waited a few hours or a day or two they’d have done things differently. But everybody makes mistakes, we’re all just learning as we go.

Choice and change

When you’re comfortable with the way things are it can be difficult to make the choice to change.

Most people have dreams of the kind of life that they want yet they allow their feelings of comfort to stand in the way.

The inner monologue will say something like ‘Why move to a new city, when you have everything here. Why would you want to be away from your friends and family?’.

Those kinds of thoughts totally underestimate our capabilities as human beings.

If you move to a new city and hate it, you can always move back. When it comes to friends and family of course you’ll miss them but it’s not like you’ll never see them again. Also you’ll make new friends and meet new people.

So often people don’t allow themselves to grow because they’re stuck on feeling comfortable instead of being open to exploring life.

Free information

It’s out there, you just have to know where to look.

If you ever have a curiosity, want to learn more or are looking for answers the information is out there.

It’s east to forget that the same thing you use to scroll twitter, watch YouTube videos, double tap on Instagram and swipe on dating apps can be the very same thing to educate you.

In so many cases you don’t even need to ask questions because the answer is only a few clicks away.

Take advantage of that and seek out knowledge on the things that matter to you, simply because you can.

In spite of everything

Looking back on the past couple of months, what have been your highlights?

What has brought you joy?

How have you been spending your time?

For some there’s a chance that they have been blossoming into a more truer version of themselves. Becoming someone who is considerate about how they spend their time.

It’s not that you didn’t give it much thought before, it’s that it’s suddenly become much easier to be choosy.

You’re no longer making the best of small fragments of free time, you’re making the best of your time overall.

As a result (in spite of everything going on in the world), you might feel the happiest you’ve felt in a while.

Breaking up the day

If you”re working on a laptop from 9-5 and spend your evenings scrolling social media, watching youtube and binging the latest fantasy thriller series, you’ll have spent most of your day staring at a screen.

You aren’t going out to restaurants, going for drinks, visiting museums, catching up with friends in a local cafe or going dancing like you used.

When you’re spending your days staring at a screen, it’s no wonder the days will start to blur into one.

Obviously you can’t eliminate the 8 working hours from your day but being at home means you have some level of flexibility when it comes to how you choose to structure your day.

What are you doing in-between work, emails, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook, Netflix etc?

What are you doing to break up your day?

Now might be the perfect time to find some offline hobbies that you can easily do from home, things that don’t require a screen.

It could be hand embroidery, baking, gardening, reading, drawing, making body butter, mixing essential oils, writing in a notebook or sewing on a machine.

It’s not about ditching your screens but instead acknowledging that you might get more fulfillment from an hour of baking in the afternoon instead of an extra hour on social media.

Unlearning panic

Sometimes you just need to against the easy option.

Panic is really easy to do. A moment of stress or overwhelm often ends in panic when you don’t know how to handle the situation.

If you find yourself panicking in these situations often, it’ll eventually become a habit. Even when you can handle the situation if you give yourself patience, once you get used to going into panic mode it’ll end up happening at any opportunity.

So, you have to teach yourself not to panic.

It mainly takes patience but you also have to be able to catch yourself in the moment before you start to freak out.

You have to remind yourself that the situation isn’t too much for you and that you’re capable of coming up with a solution.

Will we still have meetings post-pandemic?

A while from now we’ll be living in a post pandemic world. Companies and businesses will have to make decisions about the way they will choose to work moving forward.

Presentations, discussions, conversations and updates are all being done remotely when normally they’d have required meetings.

Those meetings may have involved: a journey to another city by car or train, a large group when only a small few were needed or time wasted because it could have easily been a 10 minute conversation over the phone.

But when the world goes back to the office, back to the normal 9 to 5 lifestyle, I have no doubt that there will still be unnecessary meetings.

And so a question worth pondering on is, ‘Why do we meet when we know we don’t need to?’