Right now whilst having to stay inside you might find yourself wondering what the best thing is to do with your time.
There’s too much time to lounge around watching movies and shows but at the same time when was the last time you had this much free time, do you really want to spend it working on something.
The easiest way to decide is to check in with yourself, how do you feel?
Do you feel good lounging around? Do you need something to occupy your mind?
You don’t need to start a project or learn a new language but you could choose to read 50 pages a day, try a new recipe each week or read an article a day on a site like The Conversation or The Atlantic.
Often when a person finds themselves craving something new, it’s because they’re bored with where they’re at.
As much as familiarity can be comforting and pleasant, for many people they find themselves at a point where they want more.
You find yourself wanting something different, not because what you’re used to isn’t working but because you want to remember the feeling of newness.
It’s like taking a different route home every once in a while. You do it to switch things up not because you never want to take your usual route again.
This idea can apply to so many things and one of them is the work you do. When you’re doing the same thing over and over you’ll get sick of it after a while because you’re no longer doing it consciously, you’re not thinking or stretching your mind and you want to be challenged.
So, you put yourself forward for a new type of work. It’s new and unfamiliar and you enjoy it simply because it’s not what you’re used to.
The beauty of this kind of situation is after you’re tried something new, you can go back to what you were doing before often with new found appreciation.
You have the choice to treat people however you like and sometimes that will depend on how much you care.
Small acts of kindness can allow you to escape your own mind for long enough to remember that we’ve all got stuff going on.
Without knowing it, sometimes the kindness of strangers can be enough to change someone’s mood or brighten their day.
It doesn’t have to be something big, it could be as small as making someone a drink or picking something up that you thought they’d like when you’re out shopping.
In order to do those things you have to get out of your head a little and pay attention to what’s around you. In some ways kindness is about not being bare minimum.
You do it because you want to, not because you have to.
On learning to see things more clearly.
In situations where your perspective is hazy you might need someone to polish your glasses.
Not in the literal sense but in the form of sharing words, interacting and connecting.
When you’re so used to your own way of thinking you might find that you’ve become rigid and closed minded.
And unless you make a conscious effort to open your mind, your way of seeing things is not likely to change.
That’s why it’ll take someone else to shift your way of seeing things. Someone that’ll come into your life with polish and one one of those microfiber dust free cloths to give your glasses a little polish.
And it’ll rarely be explicit instead it’ll be so subtle that you don’t notice until it’s already done.
I think that’s the purpose some people serve in our lives. They could be in your life for multiple years or a mere moment but they spark change.
If you’re an avid reader of this site you may notice that I actually haven’t posted every single day.
You may also notice that the day after I don’t post, I post twice.
I could just backdate a post to the previous day and pretend that I didn’t forget but I did forget and I’m okay with that.
Granted I don’t want to make a habit of it but I think it’s important to not get too frustrated.
Beating myself up about it won’t make me any less frustrated either.
And so instead I try figure out why I forgot and do my best to avoid it happening again.
Turns out the reason I forget is because I get the dates mixed up when I schedule posts in advance. An easy way to fix that is to set a reminder on my phone, problem solved.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, talking helps.
When used correctly it’s an excellent tool for self exploration where you can walk away from conversations and gain insight into aspects of yourself you hadn’t yet uncovered.
The beauty of it is that you don’t have to even need talking about the thing. However, you do have to be open and vulnerable to allow things to rise to the surface.
Yes, it might feel scary or uncomfortable but you don’t have to hold onto those feelings.
Do it, because you believe that by exploring your mind it’ll help you figure some things out and that might lead to a breakthrough.
How one small act can change it all
One of my oldest beliefs is that pivotal moments exist. We don’t always recognise them in the moment but on reflection we can see that the small thing that we said or did changed the trajectory or has greatly impacted who we are today.
I experienced a pivotal moment over a year ago. I committed to an act of bravery in spite of fear and panic. Unlike before even, prior to taking any action I knew that I was on course to quite literally transform my life, I could just feel it.
It was that feeling that enabled me to go forth despite the survival mode bit of my brain presenting a strong case against doing what I wanted to do.
In a book a read a while back it explained why we should focus on what we do want instead of what we don’t want.
It gave the example of someone telling you not to think of a purple elephant and how despite being told not to that is exactly where the mind wanders. That simple example is the same for our wants and goals. It’s the reason why the focus should be on the things that we actually wan’t.
When you spend time focusing on what you don’t wan’t your mind will give energy to those things. Your mind will visualise and think about these things which will only amplify them in your physical reality.
When you’re a kid you think that 21 is grown up. You think that by that age you’ll have everything figured out, that you’ll have met your life partner and that you’ll suddenly be this proper adult with a career…
But then you get to that age and you don’t quite feel how you thought you would.
Is this what its like to be an adult?
That’s the kind of question you ponder regularly. You might even have a professional job in a fancy office but you still feel like a kid in a classroom. But you have colleagues, deadlines, meetings, projects, clients and a work phone with a company branded case. You have all that yet you still feel like you’re playing dress-up and pretending to be professional.
Perhaps some would refer to this as imposter syndrome but you can call it whatever you want really. Often the only way to cure this feeling/mindset is to tell yourself that it will go once you achieve a particular goal. Once you gain accreditation in your field or lead a project.
But moving the benchmark probably won’t work because it’s a mind thing not a physical thing. It’s about how you feel about yourself and your ability.
My advice would be (to quote Sinek) start with why. Why do you feel that way about yourself? Once you understand that, it’s just a case of implementing a new mindset.
It’s much easier to tell yourself a story about the worst case scenario.
‘Of course this won’t work out…’
But even in those cases we often have this picture in our mind of how we want things to really turn out. We’re just too scared to believe in the possibility of something good happening for us.
As life would have it, sometimes good things do happen. It’s not as rare as our minds will have us believe.