Figuring out what you want

We often get caught up in expectations of the way things should be. But in many cases we’re simply taking on the expectations of others.

When you’re surrounded by people living a certain type of way, you’re less likely to trust a path that leads to a different life. The reason for this is nobody wants to be separate or other.

You might even convince yourself that what you want is no more than a daydream. Furthermore, when others don’t see the vison for the path you’re carving out you’re likely to encounter backlash.

The backlash can be so challenging that you might end up thinking that it’s easier to push your wants aside. Nobody wants to be criticised for being themselves.

We often measure up how well we are doing in life against societies expectations of what we should be doing at certain points of life. However, these expectations leave very little room to experiment and wonder which are the very things you need to do in order to figure out what you want.

Dealing with the unexpected

No matter how much you plan and prepare you always encounter unexpected situations.

In the moment it can be easy to end up feeling overwhelmed after all this is not what you wanted, it’s not what you planned for.

And so you have two choices. The first is to get caught up in the unexpected and the feeling of things being out of your control. The second is to take a moment to check in and ask yourself whether this unexpected situation poses any real risk. Most of the time the answer is no, in fact you have something to gain.

Unexpected situations can serve as an opportunity to learn how to be more adaptable which is a pretty valuable thing.

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.

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.

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.

Knowing when to break the rules

There’s a well known phrase that says ‘Rules were made to be broken’.

In many cases I don’t agree, rules are put in place to create boundaries, keep us safe and so on.

But in some cases rules can cause us more harm than good, disadvantage the minority and are for the benefit of things we don’t support.

In those cases when it doesn’t feel right to comply, breaking the rules might be the right thing to do.

Price, value and auction

I recently wrote a post called Does the customer determine value?

Here are some more thoughts related to value, price and the customer.

Think about an auction, the seller will often have a reserve price (the minimum amount they’re willing to sell the item for). Yet items often get sold for significantly higher because buyers are prepared to keep bidding if they want the item badly enough.

Even if an item could fetch around 20k, the seller can never start with that price, they have to allow the buyers to build up to it. Instead, the seller can only hope that people will pay that amount or at least above their minimum price.

I think it could be said that, although the seller sets the price it is in fact the customer that determines the value of the item.

Putting it into practice

If you have an idea of what could be done or what is possible, would you be willing to put it into practice?

It’s really easy to talk the talk full of excitement and enthusiasm. But actually doing the things you talk about is a whole other story.

It’s easy to give advice when things are going well or tell other people what to do.

But what about taking your advice first?

Why not actually do the thing before you talk about it?

It’ll add some validation when you later recommend it to others and that might be what they need in order to listen.

Don’t wait until you’re ready

Because you’ll never be ready.

When it comes to fear the mistake we often make is trying to wait for it to go away.

It probably won’t.

But there you are saying no and putting things off because you think that by doing nothing the feeling will go away.

Instead how about try leaning into that feeling (I think Stacey June said something about leaning in on her podcast and maybe she got it from Brene Brown).

Anyway, an important lesson I’ve learnt this year is that you can’t bypass stuff so embrace it.

If not you’ll just end up making excuses and nothing will ever get done.

It might not be great for the environment but…

… I’m still going to do it.

I find it easier to write down my words by hand, perhaps because I write quicker than I can type. I can never manage to keep up with myself when I’m writing from my laptop.

The keyboard and screen of a phone, computer or laptop is no comparison to a Biro in hand scrawling away on a sheet of paper in a notebook.

At times the words are barely legible but that signifies the urgency to pour out all the words within.

That feeling is a beautiful thing, it’s one of the things I love most about writing, seeing my handwriting and the words I’ve written.

But I’m also aware of the very present environmental crisis on planet earth, so perhaps I should be more willing to go paperless.