Just because you try something new doesn’t mean you have to adopt it as a long term thing or even do it more than once.
This applies to so many things work, relationships, hobbies, habits, diet and fitness.
Trying new things is about being open to something you’ve not experienced before, it doesn’t require permanent change.
We so often advocate for change and for not sticking with the way things are. However, sometimes trying something new one time is enough to make you realise that you don’t actually need to change.
There’s nothing wrong with trying something and then deciding that it’s not for you. In the short run it might feel like a step back, in the long run you’re simply doing what feels best for you.
As we go through life we develop ideas of what freedom would look like or feel like for ourselves. It may come from how you were brought up, the career aspirations you have or maybe just how you feel in particular moments.
If the idea of feeling liberated matters to you then it’s worth while creating a life that aligns with that.
Maybe for you liberation comes from being able to have last minute getaways a few times a year. It could be a day in a new city or a week somewhere far away. What matters is that you have the choice to do it.
It could be that freedom for you comes from being able to speak your mind without worrying about what other people will think.
Or perhaps you feel free when you don’t have to explain yourself to other people, as in you’re free to make choices without having to justify them.
Choosing a life that conflicts with what makes you feel free only leads to frustration. Frustration towards those that have become a barrier to your freedom and frustration towards yourself for ending up in these circumstances.
In all this, one of the most important things to remember is that freedom is a feeling. You might not feel free right now but you can always feel differently tomorrow (or a few months from now once you’ve made some changes in your life).
I think most people have a list of at least a few things that they can do to improve their days.
Some examples could be exercise, being out in nature, mediation, yoga, drinking water, herbal tea, solo dance party, listening to music, journaling or going for a walk.
None of those things necessarily take a lot of time but they’re things that you have to make time for. They require more effort than sitting on the sofa binging episodes of a show but they come with way more benefits.
So, when you feel like you can’t be bothered, keep that in mind.
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.
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?
There is always so much emphasis on the work, on dedicating your time, effort and energy. There are quotes like the grind don’t stop or I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with working hard, being dedicated and focusing on making money or building something (as in a non-physical thing like community).
But what about fun?
When was the last time you consciously set time aside to do something for fun, to make yourself laugh and bring a little joy into your life. The work, your work is great and it matters but it doesn’t have to be your whole life.
And the fun can be short and free, in fact it’s better that way. It could be watching Key and Peele skits on YouTube, having a solo dance party or maybe baking cupcakes.
As much as the work matters, there is also so much more to life that you might end up missing out on when you don’t make time for fun.
When making a decision you might find yourself making a pros and cons list.
The choice you make in the end is likely to be based on whether the cons make the benefits worth it.
But sometimes we focus too much on the short-term. Making a particular decision might be great right now, great in 6 months and even great in a year. However, in 2 years or 5 years it will end up being something you regret.
Or, perhaps we allow short-term pros to outweigh long-term cons.
It could be taking a job where you earn way more money but isn’t in a field you want to progress in. Maybe the alternative was a job in the field you’re interested in but you passed it up because the salary is lower and the commute is longer.
In the short-term you’re earning more money and you’re journey to work is shorter. But in the long-term you’re progressing in a job you don’t want to be in which probably means you’re not as happy as you could be.
On the flipside, if you’d chosen the other job in the short-term you’re salary would be lower and your commute would be longer. However in the long-term, your salary will increase, you’re progressing in field you’re interested in, you may choose to move closer to work and have a shorter commute or perhaps you now work from home 2 or 3 days a week and best of all you’re happier.
If there’s something that you want and something that you’re working towards, you might find that you don’t quite know what to do once you finally get it.
We spend so much time wishing and pining for the things that we want that sometimes it takes finally getting them for us to realise that we don’t even want them anymore.
Or maybe once you get the thing you want you don’t really know what to do next.
This is about things like wanting a promotion but not fully considering that once you get it you’ll have more responsibilities. Instead you could begin by trying to get more experience in what will be involved in the new role before you get it so that when you do it’s a seamless transition.
It could be moving to a particular town that’s far from everyone you know but not considering that you might feel lonely for the first . To prepare you could come up with things you’ll do to meet new people such as volunteering or attending local events.
Or perhaps it’s wanting to go viral but not knowing what to do with the attention once you get it. You could instead focus on consistently putting stuff out so that when you gain an influx of attention nobody has to wonder ‘what’s next?’.
As great as it is to want things it’s also important to have some idea of what you’ll do once you get them.
I think that quite often we expect that those with more money, more opportunities and more freedom then we have should be doing more simply because they have more. I think that’s fine up to a point but it’s also important to consider that each individual has their own desires.
You could have access to a lot of money and a lot of opportunites but maybe you’ve chosen to live a fairly quiet and (what would be considered) a simple life. Perhaps you’re not career focused even though if you were you’d have it easy.
People look down on that because there’s an assumption that if you can do something then you should, almost to compensate for those that can’t. I think it’s so important to not place these expectations on others because we all have our own life paths. Of course some people have it easier than you do but they don’t owe you anything.
I think we should let go of expectations and focus more on ourselves instead. It might be frustrating to see someone with more opportunities than you that doesn’t take advantage of them but maybe that person just isn’t interested. It’s not your responsibility to berate them, get frustrated or tell them that they should be doing more with their lives.
Instead, respect the choices they’ve made.
Sometimes we back down from situations because upon reflection we can clearly see that the reason we pushed on with vigor and enthusiasm is simple because you felt as though you’d gone too far to turn back.
Or perhaps, you just didn’t want to accept that you were wrong.
But other times we back down because we’re not willing to commit to the cause and take things all the way. It might be a situation that you know will be difficult to overcome but your fear has made you believe that it it’s not worth it.
As much as it’s important to know when to quit, it’s important to know when to keep going.