Pace, pace, Lead

Something I read in a book about NLP.

Sometimes I’m a little hesitant to embrace every aspect of NLP because using methods to influence people in your favour is potentially unethical or at least comes across as manipulative.

But other times I find that NLP can provide a useful guide on how to word things when you want your intentions to be clear.

When asking for what you want just blurting it out can sometimes be too aggressive. You need to approach things gently. You need to pace, pace, lead.

Check out changing minds for more information on exactly how it’s done.

Checking in on your 2021 plans

If you set any sort of goals, plans or intentions for 2021, now is the perfect time to check in.

You’ve had a month to live the year so far and maybe what you thought you wanted to do or ahcve has now chnaged.

The ‘magic’ of the new year has now faded, perhaps your thoughts on what you want have become much clearer.

Read through what you wrote last month and see if it still fits with the your overall vision for 2021.

Perhaps you’ll find that you were putting too much pressure on yourself to make up for 2020, maybe you haven’t been ambitious enough or it could just be that you made plans that you’re no longer interested in pursuing.

Choosing words wisely

It would be fair to say those that write and those that are writers probably pay much more attention to words than most.

A writer is intentional about the words they use based on what feelings they want to evoke or how they want to portray the subject.

And sometimes that act of choosing words wisely trickles over into how the words of others are perceived. Except the writer forgets that other people aren’t always so picky with their words.

So, sometimes the writer receives words not quite as they were intended.

Busy is a choice

One thing I’ve notice is how busy we all seem to be. We’re constantly going from one thing to the next and wishing for more hours in the day.

But how often do you consider that it’s a choice?

Do you ever consider that you can stop, slow down and do less?

We fill our days with meetings, social media, main projects, side projects, shows, music, YouTube, socialising and so on.

But what if instead you decided to be a little more intentional about how you spend your time.

Instead of filling up your day with a bunch of stuff, why not be more selective? Why not pick and choose what is actually worth doing?

Furthermore, you could even block out time each day or week to do specific things or even just time to do nothing.

Useless criticism

If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.

It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.

It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.

I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?

Writing for the reader

I was recently asked about whether I write for myself or for readers.

It’s something I think about every now and then but it was interesting to be asked.

On one hand I write for myself because I love it but on the other hand I write for my readers too.

I’m thoughtful about what I share and my intention is to always add value in some way.

I don’t expect anyone to read every single post I write but for the posts you do read I’d like it to feel like time well spent.

Whether it’s 100 words on friendship, career development or overcoming fear, I do my best to add some kind of takeaway.

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.

Establishing an intention

A useful exercise.

Something I would consider worth doing is establishing an intention behind your actions. There are many things that we do in our day to day life without putting much thought into it and so when others perceive your actions in a certain way, you may find yourself wanting to change your intention in order to receive the desired response.

I think establishing intention is helpful because it’s a guide to remind you why you started in the first place.

I think for a lot of people, it’s easy to get caught up in focusing on how you are perceived. By establishing an intention, what you’re actually doing is giving yourself a baseline to come back to, or a north star to guide you, something that comes from yourself instead of other people.

The last thing you want to end up doing is putting too much emphasis on what other people think and then being swayed every which way because you’re so focused on trying to please people.

I think that there are two things that often happen, the first is that you are perceived in a way that is different to what you intended. The second is thing is that you find yourself changing to fit a particular perception that is does not align with your original intentions.

This is because when we don’t hold a clear vision for what we want we’re more likely to give into the short-term attention gained from aligning with a trend or popular perception rather than building a solid foundation.

Sometimes we need a reminder to focus more on ourselves instead of the world around us.

The difference between right and wrong

Right now there are a lot of discussions about what is right and wrong.

More often than not we consider it to be black and white. Of course in some cases it is that clear but there are also many cases where the waters are murky.

Robin Hood was known for stealing from the rich to give to the poor. stealing is considered wrong in society yet Robin Hood was never promoted as the bad guy becuase he had good intentions and was helping people.

I think a key part of figuring out right and wrong is looking at the intention behind the action. It also helps to put yourself in the other persons shoes.

Just because you don’t agree with a persons actions, doesn’t mean you have to bring out the pitchforks.

It might be easy but it’s not helping

Right now is a difficult time for a lot of people.

One of the easiest things you can do is read every article, keep up with live news updates online or on TV, scroll social media and panic.

But the chances are those things aren’t actually helping. Knowing the ever’changing stats of cases in countries across the globe is probably not going to bring you comfort or put your mind at ease.

Most people use social media in excess on a normal day but it’s likely that things have been ramped up even further recently.

Seeing people tell you what they think you should think or how they think you should feel might only add to your frustrations, not soothe them.

And so right now it’s worth being a little more intentional about what you’re consuming.

You don’t need to keep up with everything.