Temporary things

The idea of things not lasting, of things being temporary is often seen as a bad thing.

It’s seen as a failure.

We get caught up in this idea that if something is good it should last and if it doesn’t last then something was wrong.

I think the problem is that we find it hard to let go of a good thing, perhaps because we don’t believe their is more good things out there for us.

This idea of temporary things can be applied to many situations but lets take the example of friendship.

If you grow apart from someone who was once a close friend you can accept the situation or you can try to get back to the way things were. We idolise the past and try to force things to become what they once were.

I guess it’s difficult to accept that not everything was meant to last.

But in learning to accept temporary things you also open yourself up to some of life’s most beautiful moments.

Understanding others

The easiest perspective to understand a situation from is your own. If you look back on past experiences you can get a good idea of why you respond the way you do, what gets you enraged and perhaps what helps you stay calm.

But a helpful perspective to try and understand is the perspective of others. For example, when you and Person A have a disagreement if you’re only willing to see things from your point of view you won’t get a full picture of the situation.

As much as you have past experiences that effect the way you are, challenges and even things stressing you out, you’re not alone in that. And so if you remember that Person A has all those same things too, it might make their perspective easier to understand.

Let’s say Person A lies to you. From your perspective you might be angry/hurt that they lied and wished that they could have been honest. But when you make the effort to understand things from Person As perspective you might realise that they have always been someone that struggles with opening up. Or you’ll remember that since you haven’t taken their honesty well in the past the lie probably wasn’t coming from a cruel or malicious place.

That doesn’t mean you need to excuse bad behaviour but it serves as a reminder that situations aren’t always as shallow as we like to pretend they are.

Understand others isn’t about psychoanalysing or thinking that you know everything about why a person is the way they are, it’s just about having compassion.

Even if we don’t say it, it’s what we’d like extended to us, so why not do the same for others.

Gets better with time

It’s something you’ll have no doubt read or heard countless times but it’s true, some things really do get better with time.

Maybe you’re a teenager (or even an adult) feeling like you don’t belong, you’ve experienced a harsh rejection or you have a physical injury.

In the height of it, you might not be able to see a way out. The possibility for change might seem like nothing more than a fantasy. I think thats because more often than not (when it comes to lasting change anyway), it happens so slowly that we never notice it in the moment.

But then a few months later you’re able to look back on that rejection as a growth point rather than a blow to your self-esteem.

Defending what you know

So often we cling to the familiarity of what we know. We cling so hard that we’re unable to see any other option as viable.

Even when what we know is no longer working, we resist change because that means we have to learn a new way of doing things and maybe change our perspective.

And so we defend what we know, we say things like ‘that’s just the way things are’ or ‘that’s what I’ve always done’, often full of pride.

But what you’re actually doing is stunting your growth and development, closing yourself off from the opportnuty to explore a different way.

So next time you think something isn’t working, don’t just stick with it, take it as an opportunity to try something new.

Back to the drawing board

The plans you made a year ago, 6 months ago or even a few weeks ago may now be obsolete. You can time planning far in advance but when it comes to putting those plans into action, you never really know how things will go until you see the results.

Sometimes the results are as expected or better and other times the results are a learning curve, a growth point an opportunity to go back to the drawing board.

It can be disappointing when things don’t turn out as well as you’d hoped, you might feel like the time and effort you put in was wasted. In times like this it’s so important to not to dwell on what went wrong but instead to think about how you can move forward.

How can you improve?

How can you do things better?

What can you do differently?

Of course, going back to the drawing board is never part of the plan but if you use it as an opportunity to grow, experiment and explore, suddenly it might not seem so bad.

Do you really want to do it?

When someone comes to you, asking some thing of you, how do you respond?

Do you simply think about whether or not you want to do it?

Do you worry about how the other person will react if you say no?

So often we grow up inadvertently being taught to people please and unless we later unlearn it, it stays with us.

Then you find yourself saying yes to something you don’t want to do because you’re worried about hurting someones feelings, to the point where you place that above doing what feels right for you.

If that’s something you can relate to, you might want to start learning to say no.

It gets easier over time, practice makes perfect after all.

When to start

Do it now.

There are 100 cliches about the right time to begin

You’ve heard them, I’ve heard them and sometimes i even write them.

But the truth is now is really as good a time as any.

If you think something is worth putting off and doing later instead, ask yourself why.

Do you genuinely have more work to do behind the scenes. More planning, learning and preparing.

Or are you using it as an excuse to hide.

You don’t have to wait until you’re perfect to start putting stuff out out there, learn to see the beauty in your growth.

You say you’ll do it later but later may never come, so why not do it now?

Can I do better?

A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?

It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.

You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.

That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.

When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.

When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.

Who you think you are

For many people if they give it some thought they’ll find that a large proportion of their character is based on who they think they are.

Often those opinions are made at a young age without any real judgement. Yet you carry them with you into adulthood without even checking to see if your mind has changed.

It could be something as simple as a food that you don’t eat. Perhaps as a child you weren’t willing to explore with what you ate so you told yourself ‘I’m not the kind of person that eats that kind of food’ or ‘I don’t like to experiment with what I eat, I just like simple food’. Twenty years later you’re still saying the same thing and maybe that’s true but maybe you haven’t changed.

We get so attached to the idea we create of who we think we are that we close ourselves off to anything that challenges that.

Saying yes to exploration

The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.

Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.

It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.

When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.