There is a time to be open and there is a time to be less open.
It’s important to choose wisely.
Being open with people can be a great way to create understanding and build a connection. But it should also be appropriate to the situation. The openness required to create understanding with a romantic partner and a manager are very different.
Plus, the level of openness is also affected by the boundaries in place by others and also ourselves.
If a client asks how you’re weekend was the boundaries you have in place will ensure the openness is fairly restrictive. But if a friend asked you”re more likely to go into signififcnatly greater detail and divulge information that you may not share with anyone else.
These thoughts about openness and boundaries are nothing new or revolutionary but I do think it’s interesting to think about. It gets even more interesting when you observe the way openness decreases and increases as relationships change. Perhaps as a colleague becomes a manager or a friend becomes a romantic partner.
Some days will be more challenging than others.
There will be difficult days and then there will be better days.
It’s easy to forget when things are challenging and difficult that they won’t be that way forever.
It’s easy to focus on the thing that is not going to plan and you can end up doing it so much that you lose the ability to see past it.
But just because today is difficult, doesn’t mean it’ll stay that way forever. Maybe tomorrow (or the next day) will be better.
Often we look at situations and systems that are in place and we hope for better.
We are able to identify there is a gap between where we are and where we want to be.
And even if you have no idea how to bridge the gap, identifying it is the perfect place to begin.
You can then start thinking about how things could be better and what sort of changes should be implemented.
You can start asking useful questions like why certain things are the way they are and what can be done to change them.
Of course it is not solely up to you to make change as it would be impossible for one person to do it all. However, I think a bunch of individuals that are willing to hope for better than what we currently have is exactly what we need.
We need people that are willing to ask the right questions, people that are willing to say maybe we should try something different and most of all people that are willing to act even if they don’t directly benefit.
You can go from making grand plans one day to forgetting why you wanted to change your life the next.
It can be hard to shake the unhelpful habits that bind you to your past self. Even though you know they don’t benefit you and that you should change them, you can’t.
And it’s not that you haven’t tried, you just haven’t been able to make any real long term change.
Maybe somedays you find yourself questioning whether you should even bother trying to change at all.
But change takes time and if you really want it, the effort it takes will always be worth it.
Often in life the thing causing the most anxiety and frustration is not particularly important in the long term. If you were to assess it in the grand scheme of life and death you’ll probably find that it doesn’t matter as much as you think it does.
We tend to get swept up in how other people feel and what other people will think (in general but mainly towards us). We do this because we are eager to please, want to be liked and we convince ourselves that if we just try hard enough we can control what other people think and feel towards us.
But instead of getting swept up in other people, think about yourself. Have you even considered that what you feel and think is important too?
More to the point, maybe how you think and feel is actually the most important thing.
Last year there were lots of discussions, tweets and conversations about how we’re in a pandemic, you don’t need to do xyz it’s totally okay if all you did was survive.
The thing is, of course you don’t need to do anything new or different with your time. That statement has always been true. But if you want to and if you feel like you can, why not choose to do something new?
And even if you don’t feel like it, even if you’re anxious and overwhelmed maybe trying 10 minutes of aerobics or a breath work exercise might actually help.
I think learning or doing something new during a period where you have more free time than usual is a great idea.
The reason for this is whether you sit around passively watching YouTube all day or try out a couple of new recipes every week, the same amount of time has still gone by.
You don’t need to force yourself to do things you don’t want to do, pick something that you will enjoy.
And you don’t need to use up all your free time, it could be 20 minutes of meditation each day or a few hours a week doing an online course.
You don’t need to post about it online and it doesn’t make you better than others because you’ve now started a successful business or have perfected the crème brûlée.
The focus should be on how you feel about the way that you’re choosing to live and the way that you’re spending your time.
Do you ever have those days when you feel stuck and even though you know exactly what you need to do to get unstuck, you still do nothing?
And what you need to do could be incredibly simple. It could be as simple as watching your favoutite Key and Peele sketch on youtube, listening to your favourite pick me up song or maybe a breathwork mediation.
You might feel like doing something simple won’t help or maybe you feel like you don’t have the time. But it’s important to make the time because the feeling of being stuck won’t go away unless you do something about it.
No matter the kind of life that you live, I think it is important to regularly switch up your routine.
Spend a day or even just a few hours doing something you wouldn’t usually do.
The first reason is just to keep things fresh. It’s good to switch things up and experiment with how you spend your time and structure your days.
But the second reason is to check in with how you’re currently living.
Sometimes it takes time away from your usual routine for you to realise that you are unsatisfied with your present life circumstances.
When people procrastinate they often tell themselves they are waiting until they are ready or waiting for a feeling that will push them to begin.
But the truth is you just have to start. Instead of waiting for some kind of magic to turn you into someone that gets things done straight away, make it a habit.
Any habit or behaviour takes practice to implement and practice to change.
So, instead of hiding behind the label of being a procrastinator start making a conscious effort to be the kind of person you want to be. The kind of person that gets things done sooner rather than later.
I often wonder what I would have done if I was a twenty something year old in the 90s or even 80s.
Would I still write? Maybe I’d have written articles for a magazine or newspaper and I’d have tried to make a career out of writing. Maybe I wouldn’t have tried to put my words out there and instead stuck with journaling.
The advances in technology have allowed us to be our own gatekeepers. You don’t need to ask for permission if you want to have a website, write articles, put out music, be a presenter etc
And so if you’re willing to take initiative and do something, you can do all the things that would have been a lot more difficult 20, 30 or 40 years ago.