The perfect words

There are some cases when, if you don’t know what to say the best thing to say is nothing at all. But that doesn’t apply to every situation.

In fact, in some scenarios saying nothing is one of the worst things that you can do.

Sometimes we hold off from speaking up because we think that less than perfect is not good enough. However, the perfect composition of words shouldn’t always be the aim.

At times it’s better to speak up in the moment, to perhaps let someone know that you care instead of staying quiet. The alternative is to wait until what you have to say is closer to perfect but by then it will be too late.

The inconvenience of a tennis ball

When something is on your mind and you choose not to say it, the result is often unideal.

Let’s think of the thing you choose to hold in as a tennis ball. If you say it, you can drop the ball but if you don’t say it, you have to carry the ball around with you.

At first, it doesn’t really bother you because a tennis ball isn’t particularly big and you can carry it in one hand with no issue.

But after a few hours, days or weeks it starts to become an inconvenience.

We sometimes kid ourselves that things don’t bother us but then a few weeks later it’s still on our mind, the tennis ball is still in your hand.

And like with the tennis ball concept, we end up telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter because it’s small or easy to carry. But if you apply this mentality, you’ll find yourself carrying several tennis balls.

The point is that you don’t have to.

When you allow yourself to hold on to lots of little things, they eventually become a great burden instead of a potentially short conversation that you can move on from.

Welcoming normal

I think what many are craving is a sense of ‘normal’, the way things once were.

If you’re lucky, normal might have been just fine but it’s worth acknowledging that that’s not the case for everyone.

Of course the easy thing to do would be nothing and just let things go back to what they were, after all you don’t have any issues.

I think that’s the mindset that limits us and stops progress.

We’re so afraid that better for them means worse for us that we’re willing to let them suffer.

It might not be so explicit in your mind but if you take some time you might realise that’s the reason behind your mindset.

Leaders and followers

When it comes to trends, movements and change there are leaders and there are followers.

There are people that go around regularly talking about something, doing something or wearing something, to the point where that they become known for that one specific thing. Then on the other hand there are followers, those that have to see it done before they choose to do it.

There is often a negative connotation of being a follower. It’s often associated with someone that is weak minded or perhaps does not have a strong sense of self. But what I rarely see discussed is the positive impacts of people following when it is in support of a good cause.

For example, if someone is campaigning for better working conditions, it’s not much use if there is only one person willing to stand up for the cause. If there is only one person then change is much less likely. The followers are a necessary part of making things happen.

Campaigning for better working conditions might not be your idea or perhaps you didn’t have the courage to lead. But that shouldn’t stop you from joining in and being a part of it.

“There is immense power when a group of people with similar interests gets together to work toward the same goals.”

Idowu Koyenikan

The outsiders mentality

People that think they’re outsiders act like outsiders.

The idea of being an outsider is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, something that is brought into existence rather than being totally true in the first place.

When the thought comes into your mind, as soon as you hold onto it and allow it to become a part of how you identify yourself you’ll subconsciously work to make it true.

Being an outsider is associated with being fringe, being different but sometimes even unique or original.

It can have both positive and negative connotations.

As soon as you start to think you’re different and ‘not like them’. You’ll start to separate yourself, exclude yourself even. Often that is what makes a person become an outsider.

The reality is, groups of people come together that are very different all the time.

Improving average

Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?

Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.

On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.

Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.

The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.

In the case of my original question, you have two options.

You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.

On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.

How to be more productive

If you ever find yourself wanting to be productive but struggling to get things done, here’s a simple solution.

Get the materials you need, go somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, start and don’t stop until the task is complete.

Being productive isn’t as complicated as we often make it.

Of course if you’re sitting with your fave show on and your phone at your side the task you’re working in will take much longer than it needs to. You have to allow your mind to focus.

Once you take away the distractions, you might start off slow but you’ll build up momentum and find yourself working much more efficiently.

Embracing temporary things

Wake up, wake up! The world is changing.

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve noticed a big change in the way that people work. Self-employment is on the rise along with jobs in the gig economy.

Perhaps as a society we believe in ourselves more or we’ve opened up to the idea that we don’t have to commit to a single career.

Maybe work can just be something you do to fund the life you want rather than being where you gain your sense of self and something you want to grow and develop in.

You might have a career or means of income in mind that you have yet to actualise, so on your journey to bringing that to life you do temporary, flexible or short-term jobs like hospitality and Uber driving.

You could be that person in your late 20s or early 30s and to some what you’re doing may seem risky or not the sensible choice. But it’s actually pretty amazing to be able to trust your vision of what you want in life enough that you’re not willing to settle because so many of us settle.

The world is changing and you have to find a way to evolve and adapt.

…endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

Testing the theory

Sometimes things don’t quite pan out in real life.

I recently put something I believed to be true into practice and to my surprise, my theory turned out to be wrong.

It’s something I had tested before and carried in my mind as an idea that was true.

But all of a sudden I was faced with the harsh reality of being wrong or perhaps it was the reality of an anomaly.

However, the main takeaway was that theories should be tested. It’s no use going round with a thought, idea or even belief system that you consider to be true if it only exists in your mind.

Pick something

Anything!

We’re constantly making decisions each day. Some are small scale like toast or cereal for breakfast, whilst others can have more of an impact.

It’s easy to go back and forth when you have multiple options and are intent on picking the ‘right one’.

But it’s often the act of picking that’s more important than what you actually pick.

If you struggle to make decisions, you don’t need to get better at being right, you need to work on being more decisive.