Let’s delve into a topic that matters. But first cue the music *plays satisfaction by the rolling stones*.
If someone asked the question of what would make you happier in your current job, what would you say?
If the answer is more money, think again, think about the job itself.
Some possible answers could be:
To be less stressed
Work less hours
To feel more connected to the people you work with
To work on more interesting projects
To learn a software or a new skill
To have a manager that’s helpful
To feel heard
To be recognised for the work you do
To feel valued
Some of these could probably apply to life in general and I’m guessing the same could be said for whatever is on your list too.
A lot of us settle when it comes to what we do for a living then get surprised that we’re unsatisfied.
If you decided to work in healthcare because you were taught it was a good stable job and you got scared into believing that an ‘unstable’ job would be too risky, sure you might grow to like what you do but you also might not.
If you make choices based on the belief that you can’t get the things you actually want, well then you’re probably not going to get them.
Now let’s get back the list and against each point write down what you can do to make them happen. And what you will do if there’s any pushback.
After a month or so you’ll probably notice some changes in how you feel about your job.
If not you can always get a new one.
You don’t have to grin and bear it.
I recently discovered a new podcast and listening to it brings me joy.
I find myself often relating to the conversations they have or smiling/laughing.
It’s so useful to fill your life with little things that bring you joy that you have easy access to.
Something extravagant like a week in the Maldives isn’t accessible to you on a regular basis.
You have to think small-scale.
A useful exercise is either throughout or at the end of the day write down all the things you did that brought you joy, then make a vow to do those things more.
It could be meditation, morning gratitude, getting a coffee in the kitchen with your work pal, listening to a particular song or podcast, reading a book, putting on a face mask, saying good morning to strangers on your way to the bus stop or train station or even going for a walk.
As humans we have a tendency to over complicate things but often it’s as simple as, whatever makes you feel good, do more of it.
Sometimes I find myself caught up in trying to be a blogger instead of simply just being myself. And in the process I find myself being drawn to creating content that I don’t love as much as I could.
When I first started blogging 8 years ago I was just sharing stuff that I was interested in which mostly included fashion and personal style. But over time instead of following my own flow of creativity I started trying to be a blogger. I ended up falling out of love with creating stuff to share online because I’d sacrificed my sense of self in order to try and fit it and do things ‘the right way’.
I didn’t realise it at the time but I lost my creativity. Not to the extent that I was unable to create because I haven’t really stopped blogging since I started. However, what my content lacked was passion, consistency and quality.
For the past few years I’ve ticked along in the lifestyle blogging space not improving, sharing, connecting, experimenting or expanding as much as I could have.
But starting this blog almost a year ago (can you believe it!) helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. Despite not having designed a fancy header or logo and the fact that this site contains no pictures, I feel more creative here than I’ve felt on wordsbygemm for the majority of the year.
On The Daily Gemm, I don’t get to hide behind content that has been done 101 timed before. As a result I’ve made up characters like Betty and Debbies brother, I’ve explored my feelings, wrote about my work life, shared my experiences with having anxiety, shared things that I’ve learnt and even written about current events like fires, abortion laws and politics.
The year is not over yet but I’m proud of all that I’ve managed to share so far and thankful to you for reading.
It’s like a keystone habit but for moments.
A keystone habit is a term created by Charles Duhigg that was featured in his book The Power of Habit, in Duhiggs words it is ‘small changes or habits that people introduce into their routines that unintentionally carry over into other aspects of their lives’.
But what if that could be applied to moments that we experience.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to create a shift in perspective and if you follow that feeling it could end up changing your life for the better.
Imagine you’re pretty frustrated and uninspired by life then one day you meet someone and have a conversation about aspirations that moves you. So much so that you’re driven to make changes like start a project, spend more time with friends, make time for the people you live, go for that promotion at work, volunteer or pick up a hobby you’ve been meaning to try.
Chances are you have at least one conversation everyday so that perspective shifting moment could come at any time. However, it’s also important to not be too reliant on external factors in order to drive change in your life.
If you’re not happy with where you’re at you probably have some idea (no matter how vague) of the way you’d actually things to be.
You don’t need a stranger to prompt change in your life.
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.
It’s easier said than done.
We grow up having people tell us to be more or less of ourselves.
And for many at a young age you follow the words of those older than you. That’s fine when it comes to things like eating a balanced diet, doing your homework and being kind to people.
But on the flip-side when you’re being told to what career path to pursue or who you should be, I think that’s a problem.
How are you ever going to figure out who you are and be yourself if you’re always listening to other people? Sure this person might mean well and think they’re being helpful but they could also be projecting.
You’ll get told not to pursue something creative because it’s risky, to get a job in a particular sector because it’s more stable, to dress in differently… the list goes on. But often this advice has nothing to do with your happiness or life goals, it’s about conformity, a lack of belief, other peoples discomfort or even control.
And if you listen to all these voices and follow along with what you’re told you slowly start being less and less yourself and therefore less happy.
It’s not much fun living your life as an actor and allowing everyone else to direct.
And so in order to ‘simply’ be yourself you have to let go of all that stuff and be okay with other people being frustrated that you won’t do what they say.
In exchange for that, you get to be you.
How does it feel when you realise you’re living your dreams.
I’d consider myself to be a bit of a dreamer. I daydream, I can be idealistic and I love stories.
I daydream/visualise about my future on a regular basis sometimes intentionally and sometimes on accident.
I often find that months or years later that thing I was daydreaming about is part of my reality.
And it can something like the kind of person I want to meet or an aspect of my lifestyle.
It fascinates me that you can have days where you’re happily going through life and then you suddenly realise that last year you’d been dreaming about being where you are right now.