The new normal

Right now things might feel strange, they certainly don’t feel normal.

When we experience difficult or challenging situations so often we end up craving the way things were.

You might find yourself longing for the simple everyday things you used to do like working in an office building, travelling by train and seeing full shelves in the supermarket.

Once the situation passes you have to establish a new normal because challenges change you. It will be almost impossible to go back to the way things were because what you’re experiencing right now is significant.

We all have the opportunity to let this situation change us for the better. To become more resilient, self-aware and perhaps a little kinder or more thoughtful.

Saying yes to exploration

The idea of exploring is one I don’t think is valued enough. I don’t mean travelling and exploring new countries or cities, I mean exploring self.

Being able to know your own limits whilst also being able to put yourself out there and experience new things.

It’s so easy to stay within the remit of what you know because there’s comfort in familiarity. However, it’s also worth considering when you don’t venture outside of that you lose the chance to learn about yourself about and understand yourself.

When you give yourself the opportunity to explore life a little more, you might find that you don’t actually believe the things you thought were true.

What we can learn from working from home

Turns out that the 9-5 isn’t as necessary as it once was.

With everything going on in the world meetings are becoming emails or being done by video, travel has come to a halt and working from home may become the non-optional office alternative.

Despite the unfortunate situation that has caused things to change, I can’t help but notice that there is something to learn.

As someone that works in an office less than 50% of what I do requires me to be in the building or to interact with my co-workers.

But I can imagine a time when people used typewriters or even computers that you couldn’t physically take home. Back then, being in your office was necessary to undertake your work.

These days all you need is a laptop and you can use that anywhere.

I’m not championing no longer having an office at all. However, I do think it is worth exploring how often you actually need to be in the company office and the purpose that it serves.

For many it’s the social aspect of going to the kitchen for tea and a catch up with a work pal, it’s meeting people when you’re new to the city, it’s having a space to work for those with limited room at home or those wanting to maintain separation between work and life.

Having an office to go to isn’t necessary for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week but it does come with benefits.

It introduces us to new people, gives us a routine and gives us the opportunity to be part of a culture.

You might not get tomorrow

If you’ve got something to say, then say it.

And if there’s something you want to do, you may as well do it.

You only have to look at the current events whether on social media or on the TV to be reminded that sometimes you won’t get the chance to do the thing you’ve been putting off.

It really is true what they say, tomorrow isn’t promised.

If that’s not enough to get the ball rolling, then maybe you’re okay with missing out.

A man, his hat and my bubble

There I was on a Tuesday morning on my usual commute to work engrossed in my phone, writing a blog post with my headphones in.

That’s how I often spend my journey to and from work engrossed in my thoughts, my phone or looking out of the window.

But one day a man’s hat fell out of his bag or his pocket as he headed down the ailse to get off the bus. I appeared to be the only one that noticed so I took the opportunity to hand it back to him. Granted this was a small thing but I’d stepped out of my own bubble.

I could’ve taken the do nothing approach.

Quitting

If you feel discouraged with where you’re at you have two options.

The first is to quit and the second is to stick at it.

Whichever option you choose commit to it wholeheartedly.

If you think about it, there really isn’t much point going after your dreams (or the thing that you’re telling everyone is your dream) if you can’t even be bothered to give it your all.

People don’t often talk about quitting or deciding that they don’t want to proceed with the thing they have been working on.

I used to think that quitting was a bad thing, that it meant you were giving up, that you didn’t try hard enough and so on.

But with age and I suppose also experience I’ve come to realise that there are times when quitting is necessary.

Not everything that you try is going to work out, not everything you do will be a success.

And so you have to know when to quit because sometimes in quitting and closing the door to one thing you allow yourself to open up to something else.

An act of spontaneity (don’t overthink it)

Around 8 months ago I went to see one of my favourite singers in a city a couple hours north from where I live.

I booked my ticket 6 months in advance because I didn’t want to miss out and knew the opportunity may not come around for a while.

But I also didn’t have anyone to go with which was caused some initial hesitation.

In the end, I went alone had a great time and bought a t-shirt from the merch stand.

Looking back it really was an act of spontaneity (albeit a pretty small-scale act one all the same).

I’m glad I didn’t get stuck overthinking, I’m glad I didn’t miss out and I’m glad I went alone.

There’s often a lot of judgement (both internally and externally) when it comes to doing things alone but when the alternative is missing out, ask yourself ‘Are those voices worth listening to?’.