When leading a movement or if you put yourself in a position to be a voice for change, a question to regularly ask is, what next?
What next, when things don’t go to plan?
What next, when people lose motivation?
What next, when you complete one of the things you were working towards?
The road to your destination will be paved with what next over and over again.
If you’re not ready to ask yourself (or be asked) that question and start figuring out an answer, then perhaps you’re not ready to lead.
To lead takes innovation, a strong sense of self, dedication and commitment.
Not everybody is able to hold out their hand and say come this way.
We are currently in the period where your new years resolutions may have fallen away and you’re now back to your normal (pre new years resolution) self.
It’s a common thing, it happens to everyone at some point, I’m certain.
It can get frustrating to feel like the person you thought you’d become this year might not be as feasible as you thought.
But a helpful thing to do is remind yourself that although it’s feasible it will never be as easy as simply wanting it.
So often we commit to the end goal but not what it takes to get there.
Go through your 2020 goals or resolutions and ask yourself what have I done to make this happen?
If you haven’t made much progress, chances are the answer will be nothing.
It could be helpful to reassess your goals and think not only about what you want but what you’re willing to work for.
It’s now a full week after New Year’s Day.
How are you goals, resolutions or plans coming along?
You might find that after 7 days you’re still enthusiastic and motivated or you might have found that you’ve lost steam.
If you resonate with the latter then it might be useful to ask yourself why?
Why after such a short period of time are you no longer committed or dedicated to the things that you were overflowing with excitement about less than a dozen days ago.
This could be the perfect time to call yourself out and acknowledge that the new year was not enough to change you into a brand new version of you.
There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact I’d say that’s the case for most of us.
Forming new habits or committing to new projects isn’t easy when you’re used to doing things a different way. And so the challenge or the work is to find a way of implementing new habits that works for you.
Or maybe it should be good vs better.
Sometimes better is worse than good but we think that good is enough so we don’t aim for better. The mindset of a Bare Minimum Betty often lies in the good zone.
Because when your bare minimum is good enough why would you do any better.
If you choose to aim for better that could mean a variety of things, a key one being commitment but it’s more than that.
Aiming for better is:
Trying something new that in the words of Seth Godin ‘might not work’
Doing more than you have to
Looking for ways to improve
Offering to help someone else
It might not be such a bad idea.
When it comes to creating content, you have so many options: blog posts, Instagram feed, Insta-stories, IGTV, YouTube, podcasts, tweets etc.
I’ve been thinking about how instead of just creating one thing, you can share one piece of content across different platforms.
That’s a great way to reach more people because blog readers might not watch YouTube and people that listen to podcasts might not be on twitter.
I think it can also be useful when building a brand and trying to grow your audience to not just be in one place.
With this blog I’ve been reluctant to do anything apart from write a blog posts each day because I don’t want to create more work than I can handle alongside a full-time job, part-time study and my lifestyle blog.
But I’m at a point where I’m close to 1 year of daily blogging and I’m opening myself up the idea of sharing things on Instagram and possibly having audio versions of the post or perhaps a podcast.
And so the blogposts are the molehills but the potential to create a variety of content from these posts is the mountain.
I’m realising that this writing practice based around personal growth and random musings can become so much more than I initially intended.
Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they’re the best person to seek advice from.
I think there’s a level of vulnerability that comes with asking for advice, to be open and honest enough to say ‘Hey, so I’m going through xyz and I just wanted to get some advice from you as I’m not really sure how to move forward.’
Something I’ve learnt is that when I have a difficult decision to make it helps to view the situation from a different perspective and sometimes that happens quickest when you talk to someone.
However, it’s important to make sure that you’re talking to the right person.
For me that would be:
Someone I trust.
Someone I look up to.
Someone I admire.
Someone who has my best interests at heart.
Someone who will give impartial advice.
Someone with experience.
When you feel stuck and want some advice you probably want it from someone who can help steer you in the right direction rather than someone who leaves you feeling stressed or further fuels your indecision.
Whilst recently asking for advice I realised that often the main thing I want is someone who can shift my perspective.
Perhaps to not even advise on my specific situation but to remind me that I’m capable of making the ‘right’ decision.
Or at least trying to be.
I remember being around 16 or 17 telling a classmate about my writing hobby and that I had thought of doing it as a career. At the time I was pretty lost with regard to career plans and my civil engineering dream was becoming less and less likely.
My classmate on the other hand was an excellent academic – who went on to study medicine.
He told me (in a roundabout way) that sometimes when you try to turn your hobby into your career it ruins it.
At the time I think I said something like yeah you’re right. But in my head I thought but I wanna be a writer and over half a decade later I still think that.
However, despite wanting to be a writer, I’m now 2 years into a career in transport. For the most part, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at and that has made me realise that more than wanting to be a writer what I really want is to write.
And I do write.
I think this statement is true for a lot of people.
We all know what we need to do in order to reach our goals or get things done. It’s the doing it part that hold us back.
You’re working on a project and maybe you spend a morning planning and preparing what to work on for the week ahead. But then when it comes down to it you’re scrolling through meme accounts and reading the lyrics to your favourite rap songs.
You’ve got good thoughts, you know what needs to be done.
You’ve got bad habits and you often find yourself procrastinating until it’s too late for things to go well.
There’s a discord between what you know and what you do.
You have to find a way to bring your habits into harmony with your thoughts.
That’s one way to transform your life.
Setting goals achieving them but always wanting more because you’re never satisfied.
I’ve often found that when I achieve something I’ve been working towards it never feels as good as I thought it would.
I just move on to the next big thing.
It’s as though as soon as I attain the thing I want it’s no longer a big deal because if I can get A then I want B and C.
But the problem with always being in search of the next big thing is that you might just be forever dissatisfied.
And maybe you feel that way because you don’t really know what you’re chasing.
Are you doing things you never thought you could do just to prove you can? Or is it because you want to make an offering or leave a legacy?
Whatever you’re reason might be, it’s definitely worth having one.
Great advice in 5 words.
So many of us want to be successful or achieve certain goals but what are we actually doing about it.
You might think you need another personal development, business or self-help book. Another conference, podcast episode or online course.
When you’re consuming with the goal of applying it to your own work, projects or goals it might be useful to check in every now and then and ask yourself ‘Is this helping me reach my goal?’
If the answer is no then stop trying to collect as much information as possible and start doing whatever your thing is.
It’s easy to think that more is always better but if you’re not doing anything with the information, what’s the point?
I think for some people fear comes into play. They say ‘I’ll start when I know more about it’ but there will always be something new to learn.
I think a pretty good approach is to just start and keep learning as you go. It might be scary but I bet you it will be worth it.