Do unto others…

…as you would have them do unto you.

The idea of treating people as you’d want to be treated is all good and well in theory.

But when it comes down to the crunch, is it what you practice in your day to day life.

When people talk about this topic of how we should treat other people, often they’re thinking of how they want to be treated. Yet the same kindness, respect, honestly, understanding and patience is not extended to others.

It doesn’t mean that you’re cruel to people, it could be something as small as not holding the door open for people but expecting others to do it for you.

Sometimes it’s intentional and sometimes it’s by accident. But when you catch yourself treating someone in a way you would not want to be treated, change your behavior.

5 Quotes from Zig Ziglar

I first came across Zig Ziglar after hearing Seth Godin mention him. I later listened to one his talks on YouTube, This is your brain and here’s how it works.

It was a few years ago but I jotted down a some quotes that I thought were worth sharing:

  1. Positive thinking won’t let you do anything but it it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.
  2. Motivation isn’t permanent.
  3. Opportunity is where you are, most people simply overlook it.
  4. The person you are and the person who people think you are , are many times entirely different people.
  5. You cannot consistently perform in a manner which is inconsistent with the way you see yourself.

Perfection, perception and possibility

I once wrote that perfection is a falsehood. I stand by that statement. Perfection doesn’t really exist becuase of 2 things: perception and possibility.

What may seem perfect to one person will be viewed differently by another. Perceptions of others might end up changing your own view of your work. But perfection will never be universal because not everything is for everyone.

The end result of anything you do is based on picking one option out of several. But if at certain stages you found yourself caught between perhaps 2 out of the 5 options, when you’re finally done you may wonder about the possibilities of the other options. You might find yourself thinking, maybe it would have been even better if you chose the other option.

So why not let go of the perfectionism, something you’ll never truly achieve. Instead focus on the joy joy of creating your work and getting better and better over time.

Worth a shot

It’s one thing to have all these really good ideas but it’s another thing to put yourself out there.

Often the reason for holding back is fear that comes in the form of what ifs.

What if I’m not good enough?

What if nobody is interested?

What if peopel make fun of me?

What if I fail?

The questions go on and on until you’ve totally written yourself off.

But the chances are that if you never try you’ll always wonder if things could have turned out okay, so maybe it’s worth a shot.

Take a risk, put yourself out there.

Self-deception and the power of checking in

Sometimes we trick ourselves into accepting things that we don’t want. We make excuses and convince ourselves that we’re so totally content with our current circumstances.

This happens for a variety of reasons but a major factor is our core beliefs. If you don’t think there is something better out there for you then will always settle even if that means being perpetually unhappy.

The wake up call that you’re not as happy as you think will come when you least expect it. Perhaps you will encounter someone or something that represents what you really want. Then suddenly you find yourself wondering how you could have ever thought that you were happy with what you had accepted.

It’s like clearing the colour from your rose tinted classes and finally seeing things as they are.

A great way to stop yourself accepting less is to check in with yourself regularly. When you’re not where you should be you can end up getting so used to the anxiety that you don’t even realise that it’ there until you leave

Make a note of what you want in different areas of your life and think about how it would feel.

Lets say you moved into a tiny apartment in a neighbourhood you don’t like but you tell yourself you’re happy because you’re saving money and you don’t even spend much time at home anyway. That’s you convincing yourself that you’re okay with not feeling comfortable in your local area and that you don’t want to spend time at home.

But if the notes you make on what you want from your home and how you want to feel don’t align with your reality then you might want to make some changes. That might mean paying a little more to be in an area, in a bigger apartment or both.

That’s the power of checking in, it allows you to identify whether the life you’re creating is the life you actually want.

The way that things should be

We often go around with this idea in our heads of the way that things should be, in some ways it’s a good thing. When you know what you want you’re much less likely to let life pass you by.

On the other hand when you’re so fixated on the way that things should be you don’t give room for organic growth and development.

Lets say you applied for what you think will be your dream job but when you get there it’s not quite what you thought it would be. If you’re dead set on your ‘dream job’ you might end up leaving after a few months or staying put but hating it because it’s not what you wanted.

But if you take your foot off the gas and let go of the rigid plan created you might find that in this job you’re able to discover something that you’re actually interested in. It might be be even better than what you thought you wanted.

Letting go of expectations and letting things be isn’t always easy to put into practice. It requires patience and the ability to trust that things will turn out okay.

How to figure out what you want?

This is a topic that has been on many peoples minds mainly because we’ve all had much more time to think about our lives over the past few months.

For a lot of people what they want is actually what they think they want because it comes from other people. When you’re constantly being told what you should want and what you should do with your life it’s no wonder you don’t know your own mind.

It’s in the quiet moments where external influences have fallen away that you’ll figure out what you want. It’s like when people say they get their best ideas in the shower. When you’re alone with little distraction, your mind can finally relax and peacefully wander.

One of the biggest distractions in this day and age is social media. You can spend a few hours online and come away thinking you want to create fashion content, be a painter, start a podcast, work in marketing, start a project for your local community, be a graphic designer, start a youtube channel, make music, be a makeup artist, be a textile artist, start a band, be a poet, be an artist and so much more.

Granted you could be interested but when you constantly surround yourself with other peoples stuff it makes it harder to figure out what you want for yourself.

I’ve found that trying new things is invaluable, to be able to say I tried painting and it wasn’t for me but I really like sculpting. So often we try one thing and then get frustrated if it doesn’t work out as though their aren’t over 101 other options for things to try. How are you meant to know what you want if you haven’t tried anything.

Secondly switching off and embracing quite moments is the perfect way to get more in tune with yourself. I’ve found myself most inspired when I’m gazing at the sunset, taking a walk or crafting whilst the sounds of Litany, Montaigne and Hayley Mary drift through the air.

Lastly, give it time.

When it’s no longer trendy

For some people they choose to follow trends not because it’s something they care about but because it’s what everbody else is doing.

And once the trend dies down and is no longer as popular they stop following it too. They only joined in because they wanted to be a part of something.

Then you get other people who don’t follow trends at their height. They wait for things to slow down and then determine whether or not it’s something they’re even interested in.

Sometimes it turns out they don’t really have an interest in the trend so they don’t participate. But other times they find themselves enthusiastic even when things have died down and thats when they choose to join in.

I suppose it’s just about discernment really but that is something that takes practice.

Perhaps one day you won’t have to wait until it’s no longer trendy to figure out if you’re really interested.

The problem with pedestaling

Disclaimer: By pedestaling, I just means to put someone on a pedestal.

I’ve noticed quite a lot recently that people put celebrities, popular people, well known people, people they follow online and overall people that they don’t know much about on a pedestal.

They see someone that sings great songs, dresses well, posts pretty pictures, is good looking, writes captivating articles, shares relatable tweets or has some other positive or good quality and then they fill in the blanks convincing themselves they know the person.

They fill in the blanks with ideas of the person being perfect, amazing at everything and faultless. In some cases it’s to the point of idolising them.

So, when this person does something they don’t like, makes a mistake or even doesn’t show up online in the way they think they should, they end up taking it personally and feeling hurt.

But the truth is you didn’t know this person in the first place, you just created this fantasy of who they are in your mind.

How lockdown changed my writing routine?

Prior to mid-march 2020 my writing time consisted of my journey to and from work, my lunch break and in the evenings after dinner. I’d do my best to plan ahead and have my posts scheduled for 7.30am each morning.

But once lockdown started my day to day life changed significantly. I was no longer travelling to and from work each day, my work and home life were blended.

Over the past couple of months I’ve stopped planning ahead, almost never schedule posts in advance and I’m no longer posting in the morning. Instead I write and post on my blog in the evenings as my day is winding down. I’m still posting the same amount but I actually find that it’s a lot easier.

It’s much simpler and less time consuming which means I have more time for everything else that i enjoy.