Smells good, tastes bad

Ideas of things are always beautiful and wonderful because we can make them whatever we want them to be. Reality on the other hand is much more rigid and fixed.

It’s like the ideas are the smell of a cake and reality is the actual cake. You could smell chocolate cake and anticipate it to be the best you’ve ever had but when you cut a slice and take a bite, it’s absolutely awful.

And so, I think as much as it’s important to daydream, it’s very important to focus on the reality of things because things don’t always turn out the way you imagine they will. And just like with the cake, something that smells good or even looks good doesn’t always taste good.

Taking a break

It might not be what you want to do but perhaps it is exactly what you need right now.

So often instead of taking regular breaks, we wait until the point of exhaustion to finally slow down and rest.

Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that you need to work hard in order to rest or reach a particular achievement in order to justify taking a break.

Maybe you think that rest is a waste of time, as the saying goes I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

But, maybe the best thing for you to do is to take a break right now. Stop, slow down and rest.

5 Reasons your blog might not be going as well as you’d hoped

Your content isn’t cohesive

If your content varies greatly, it doesn’t allow you to appeal to any set of people as an audience. As good as it may seem to have mass appeal, if you want to build an audience the best thing you can do is start small.

You post inconsistently

If your reader know that you put a new post out every Sunday they will come to expect it and even look forward to it. If you say you’ll post every Sunday and sometimes you do but other times you post on tuesday or you skip a week, readers may lose interest because you’re no longer showing up in the way that you said you would.

You haven’t reached the right audience

Seth Godin has said many times, you’re either not reaching the right people or you’re not making good enough stuff. You’re content could be outstanding quality but it’s important that the right people find your work as that is why you created it in the first place.

You make too many changes

If the colours, logo, and layout of your site are constantly changing, readers won’t come to recognise it. This means readers won’t be able to establish that sense of familiarity when they visit your site, it will feel like something new each time you change something.

You don’t stand out

Obviously there is no way to be totally unique and often people copy the stuff that they’ve seen work for others in the hopes that they will achieve the same success. However, if the look of your site and content that you post is exactly the same as 1001 other people, what incentive is their for readers to choose your site over another?

If you’re a regular reader you may notice that there are things on this list I’ve done or even continue to do. The purpose of this list is to offer some ideas because sometimes when things aren’t going well we get so overwhelmed that we don’t even think of reasons why.

Once you identify the reasons things aren’t going well, you can put a plan in place to overcome them.

What’s in a (brand) name?

Clubhouse.io (a project management platform) recently announced that they would soon be changing their name to Shortcut.

I think a big reason for this was to not be confused with the audio based social media app also called Clubhouse.

My initial thought was that changing the name was risky because even if nothing else changes, it will still feel like something new.

But, I also understand that nobody wants to have their brand or service confused with something else. And the social media app Clubhouse has become pretty dominant. I guess the choice was to either stick with the name and hope to not be overshadowed by the audio app or redefine themselves with a new name.

After reading the article and giving it some thought I realised that it actually doesn’t matter as much it might seem. After all, a name is just a name. The name of a brand isn’t more important than what it’s about or what the services they provide, sometimes we just fall into thinking that it does.

Cost and accountability

People pay a lot of money to ensure they remain accountable.

Perhaps you want to lose weight and you’re struggling to do it alone so you join weight loss group. You might be a writer who is struggling to make time to write so you join an online weekly writing group. Both of these types of groups can be created and attended for free.

However, when it comes to losing weight many people choose to pay to join a group like Weight Watchers. Or perhaps they pay to join a gym or a particular fitness class. The group provides a community of like minded people and the fact that you pay makes you more likely to commit because now you have something to lose.

If you’re paying a certain amount every month or every week and you ignore the meal plans, don’t exercise and continue with a diet full of processed, sugary, high fat and high salt foods then you’ve just wasted your money.

With writing perhaps you pay to attend a writing group where you sit and write for an hour or 2 each week. The purpose of the group is to work on your writing separately but for many it feels easier together. Of course you wouldn’t be reliant on the group to get all your writing done however if the group also involves sharing writing progress made throughtout the week it gives you an incentive to something done between meetings.

From the outside some people may not see the value in joining these kinds of groups, perhaps because they don’t need to but I think if it works then it’s worth it.

On your own terms

If you don’t like the way things are or the way that other people tell you that things should be, you don’t have to accept it.

So often we find ourselves frustrated and feeling hopeless as if there is no other way. But we forget that we have other options available to us. You always have the option to do things on your own terms.

Do things in the way that makes you feel happy, brings you joy or simply just makes you feel good. Other people might not get it, they might even question it but it’s not something that you ever have to justify or explain.

Talk is easy

…the hard part is following through.

When you end up being focused on the short term things like how liberated we’ll feel when you say it or how the other person will think of you when they hear your words, you distract yourself from the long term.

It’s the long term that matters most, things like how it will feel to follow through with what you said, the effort it will require, how long until you see desired results or what you’ll need to put in place to make it easier to keep to your word.

Sometimes doing what you said you’d do is easy but other times it’s a little more challenging. And so I think it’s worth focusing a little more on the action required and a little less on talking about it.

Trial and error

In order to find the solution to a problem, it often takes trial and error. Sure, the first thing might work but not always.

Trial and error requires you to be willing to embrace uncertainty, take risks and persevere. However, often in life we’re not willing to do those things as much as we could or even should. And so our problems remain.

It has nothing to do with our problems being difficult or challenging. Instead we simply aren’t willing to try something that might not work, so we simply don’t try at all.

What if things could be easier?

I have this belief about the people that we meet.

I believe that sometimes we meet people who may be in our lives for a few days, a few months or maybe for years and years but we meet them and they become reminders. They remind us of the way that things can be.

Maybe there is something in your life that is challenging, frustrating, difficult or stressful, the total opposite of easeful. Chances are, within your mind you know that things could or even should be different but you’re so used to the way that things are that you just allow them to remain.

Then all of a sudden you meet a person that shows you a different way. It can be shocking or surprising because you’re not used to it. Maybe you even judge it as being wrong or not the way that things should be because you’re so used to them being otherwise. Sometimes the ease of the situation is the very thing that you’ve been longing for but when you get it, you almost resist because you’ve gotten used to things being difficult .

I think that’s something a lot of people struggle with. So many people are used to things being difficult that they almost get hesitant when things become easier. Sometimes we unknowingly use the challenge and the difficulty to justify getting the thing we want. You end up feeling as though if you didn’t have to struggle to achieve something then you didn’t really deserve it. I think it’s healthy to let go of that mindset, not everything has to be difficult.

Other peoples numbers

Instagram now allows you to turn off the numbers (likes and views) on other people’s posts. I didn’t think much of it until I turned the likes back on.

I found that with the numbers off, I was solely focused on the content. However, with the numbers on, they were the first thing I looked at.

It’s interesting to see how many likes and views the videos and photos get. But, I think it’s easy to get distracted by other peoples numbers instead of just enjoying the content.