Taking advantage of free stuff

We never truly take advantage of what we have access to because we don’t value free stuff.

How many free pdfs have you downloaded?
How many free courses have you signed up for?
How many helpful free YouTube videos have you watched?

How much of that information have you implemented into your life or made use of?

There is an abundance of free stuff out there but the problem is, we don’t value it. Somewhere in our minds we feel like if it has no monetary price then it is not of value.

And we know that this is true because many of us pay for things that we can get for free.

Seeking information

We now have access to more information than we’ll ever use and can ever truly comprehend.

You might have grown up where the only way to learn about something was if you went to the library, watched a documentary on TV or even asked someone you know.

If you want to learn about something nowadays, the answer is a few seconds away. Any random thought or curiosity that comes to mind doesn’t have to pass you by.

You can google it.

And because we have that access, it might make us less likely to read books, watch documentaries and ask questions. Those are things I’d consider to still be worth doing.

When we’re seeking answers or information on a topic, we can find it out on our own pretty quickly.

It’s also something we take for granted.

Don’t check the stats

It’s easy to fall into thinking that having access to and analysing the numbers will improve your work.

But sometimes it just makes you miserable.

When you sacrifice what you want to do with what will make the numbers go up you’re less likely to be satisfied with the work you produce.

If you focus on producing work that will make the numbers go up but instead they go down, you’ll be even less satisfied.

Sometimes the numbers are helpful when they give you information about what is or isn’t working.

But other times, they’re not worth checking at all.

You don’t need more information

You buy more books, attend more events and enroll on more courses.

You think these things will give you the necessary knowledge and tools to pursue the thing you’re interested in.

But how much is too much?

When will you stop gathering information and just start?

We’re often relunctant to accept that we’re ready to jump in and really do the work. Instead we hide behind this great online course that will teach us what we need to know. You probably tell yourself, you’ll start once the course is done.

But then you just end up finding something else to distract yourself.

Of course, there’s no point starting something if you have no knowledge of what you’re trying to purse. But it gets to a point where you’re better off starting with some knowledge and learning along the way than simply consuming more information.

For those that refuse to listen

Some people will never truly hear you when you speak no matter how hard you try.

In those circumstances the solution is never to try harder.

You might think that the harder you try they’ll eventually come around and hear you out. But the thing is some people aren’t interested in being wrong.

Some people aren’t interested in hearing a perspective that contradicts their own.

And even if they realise that they were wrong and the information you shared had changed their mind, they’re more likely to dismiss that.

When a person is more interested in being  right than being open to new information, it might be a waste of time trying to get them to listen.

Keeping up with strangers

Social media makes it really easy to keep up with everything going on in the world around us. From crises happening across the globe to personal details about people we’ve never met.

And on an average day for many, I don’t think I’d be wrong in assuming that little thought goes into it.

How often do you find yourself questioning whether you need to know all this information you’re consuming?

I’m guilty of clicking on trending topics out of curiosity but on reflection I know that this information isn’t something I need to know.

The goings on of celebrities (and even just people we’ve never met) has always been a popular form of entertainment which is why gossip magazines were so popular. I guess those magazines have now changed to social media, something that is free and consumed by even more people.

And as much as you control who you follow, you can’t control what they post, tweet, re-tweet, like or share on their stories.

But what you do have control over is your active consumption. As much as knowing certain things might tickle your fancy, upon reflection would you really choose knowing details about a strangers personal life over reading a book, working on your craft, writing, planning ahead etc.

Of course you can make time for both (if you so wish) but this is more about being intentional with what you consume rather than getting swept up in it all.

If you leave the twitter thread, video or post feeling fine that’s great but if you feel like you’ve wasted time then maybe you need to start making some changes.

Assumptions and understanding

In the past couple of weeks you’ve probably seen things happen that you would have once considered bad. Yet the way these events have unfolded, these acts are almost worthy of praise.

When you look at an incident in isolation, it’s easy to make a judgement about what is wrong or right, what should or shouldn’t happen and if something is good or bad. It’s something we do quite often.

We go around making assumptions based on limited information ignoring the fact that we don’t know the full story because it’s fun to fill in the gaps. But also because sometimes the full story takes more time and effort than we are willing to give.

It’s much easier to assume that someone is wrong than it is to consider the why behind their actions. This may not have any real impact in the moment however, in the long run simply choosing the easiest thought path can have negative results.

So, it might be worth slowing down, looking at the bigger picture, getting informed and then making a judgment based on much more than surface level understanding.

Value and oversharing online

In the age of social media it’s easy to overshare. You can go from sharing behind the scenes of your business, hobby or creative work to showing people what you ate for breakfast, how you ruined your manicure and asking for suggestions for your new hair colour.

For some people, it works, they like sharing themselves with people in that way. But for others it would be considered too much.

It’s can be challenging to judge whether you need to push yourself to share more online or if sharing more is the wrong thing for you.

If you find yourself caught up in uncertainty over what to share online, consider why you want to share those details.

Does it add to the work you create, does it add value, is it something you’re comfortable doing or is it just more ‘stuff’ to scroll through?

 

 

Free information

It’s out there, you just have to know where to look.

If you ever have a curiosity, want to learn more or are looking for answers the information is out there.

It’s east to forget that the same thing you use to scroll twitter, watch YouTube videos, double tap on Instagram and swipe on dating apps can be the very same thing to educate you.

In so many cases you don’t even need to ask questions because the answer is only a few clicks away.

Take advantage of that and seek out knowledge on the things that matter to you, simply because you can.

Easy access

Blogs, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Podcasts and Facebook.

There a tonne of ways to access peoples lives and see what they get up to. You might do it with people you know, strangers or people you used to know.

But I think an important question to ask when checking in on other peoples lives is why?

Why do you need to know what this person is up to, what they’re wearing, where they’re going, what they’re buying, how they’re feeling, who they’re spending time with etc.

Granted, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might be looking at someones outfits for inspiration or maybe you’re just into fashion.

However, I think the problem lies in having access to strangers and people you used to know.

Strangers because having excessive amounts of information about people you don’t know, people that don’t know you exist and people you’ve never met can be unhealthy.

People you used to know because there’s a reason people leave your life and you’re meant to let them go, not hang on by a technological thread (no matter how tempting it gets).

Yes, you have easy access to tonnes of people and it can be a pretty amazing.

But more isn’t always better, sometimes it’s best to just leave it alone.