Prioritise the solution

When you have a problem that you’re working to overcome, where do you focus your efforts?

Often we end up priotising the problem because we think we need to assess, analyse, dissect and understand every little bit of it before we can move forward.

However, it turns out that you’re much better off prioritising the solution.

For example, if the problem is that it’s raining the solution might be to open you’re umbrella, put on a hood or find shelter. However, if you’re just focused on the issue of rain you’re likely to end up frustrated because you’re clothes are getting wet.

The problem already exists and focusing on it only allows it to grow further and further. On the other hand, the solution is unknown and it requires your efforts (or energy) to bring it to life.

Putting pressure on the outcome

In periods of uncertainty we often put an excessive amount of pressure on a particular outcome.

You tell yourself you’ll be be happy if things turn out one way and that the other outcome will be a disaster.

And of course, in life often one option is much better than the other. However, too much attachment to something you have no control over can have unhelpful impacts.

What happens when things don’t turn out the way you wanted?

I’ve learnt that it is much more helpful to focus on yourself and your own well being and not be so dictated by external influences. That way even when things don’t turn out the way you’d have liked, you’ll still be totally fine.

Moving towards future plans

When starting something new, whilst it’s great to have a long term strategy, it is also important to focus on the present.

The last thing thing you want to do is get overwhelmed or distracted with where you want to be in a few years time.

The long term strategy gives you something to focus on and can help you figure out what you need to be doing day to day in order to achieve the bigger goal.

But what can end up happening is that you’re so focused on the little things you’re doing each day that you aren’t actually moving any closer to your goal.

And so it’s important to ensure that you regularly check in to keep things moving forward.

Marathons and sprints

At some point in your life you’ll be faced with the decision of taking a break or keep pushing on.

When you’re running a marathon you know from the beginning that you have to pace yourself for the long haul.

But often we live our lives like it’s a sprint. We want the end goal too quickly without being committed for the long haul. Then you run out of steam before you’ve reached your goal and end up feeling like you can’t go on.

Good things take time so, slow down, be patient and focus on the journey more than the goal.

Establishing an intention

A useful exercise.

Something I would consider worth doing is establishing an intention behind your actions. There are many things that we do in our day to day life without putting much thought into it and so when others perceive your actions in a certain way, you may find yourself wanting to change your intention in order to receive the desired response.

I think establishing intention is helpful because it’s a guide to remind you why you started in the first place.

I think for a lot of people, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on how you are perceived. By establishing an intention, what you’re actually doing is giving yourself a baseline to come back to, or a north star to guide you, something that comes from yourself instead of other people.

The last thing you want to end up doing is putting too much emphasis on what other people think and then being swayed every which way because you’re so focused on trying to please people.

I think that there are two things that often happen, the first is that you are perceived in a way that is different to what you intended. The second is thing is that you find yourself changing to fit a particular perception that is does not align with your original intentions.

This is because when we don’t hold a clear vision for what we want we’re more likely to give into the short-term attention gained from aligning with a trend or popular perception rather than building a solid foundation.

Sometimes we need a reminder to focus more on ourselves instead of the world around us.

Difficult conversations

A difficult conversation is a conversation worth having.

It’s hard speaking up when you don’t know how to say things eloquently, you’re worried about how people will react and feel like nobody will pay attention.

But that doesn’t mean you should say nothing.

Maybe it means you should take a different approach, ensure you’re talking to the right people and trust that even if you don’t get the outcome you wanted at least you tried.

Sometimes we’re so focused on the end result that if things don’t go our way, we end up thinking that it was mistake to even try.

Slowly building

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.

If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.

It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.

One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.

When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.

And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.

Don’t focus on the fear

It is so easy to get carried away.

There are lots of things that you could be afraid of but it doesn’t mean you should be.

I find that the more you focus on fear the more you amplify it until all of a sudden you’re having heart palpitations over something that would be better off as a passing thought.

There’s so much more to you and your life than the things you’re afraid of.

And sure it’s easier said than done but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least try.

Taking a break

In pursuit of the dream stopping to take a break or to smell the roses might seem like a waste of time.

Why stop when there’s at least fifty ‘leven things that you could be doing at any one time?

A great place to start is thinking about why you need a break in the first place. Perhaps you need to recharge, refocus or change direction.

Those are definitely worth stopping for.

Once you’re truly committed a break will never be enough to get you off track, in fact a break might be a necessary part of the process.

 

 

Exposed

How do you feel when you try something that doesn’t work?

One of the things that limits people from trying new things or just being themselves is not the thing itself but the feeling that comes afterwards.

That feeling of being exposed. Of all eyes on you and nothing to show for yourself. The thought of people knowing you tried and failed.

Especially when you already feel your own disappointment.

So, how about if instead of focusing on how bad it feels you focus on being kinder to yourself.

After all it might be worth acknowledging that you had the courage to try in the first place.