What matters most?

Sometimes the choice you have to make is between taking care of yourself and meeting other peoples expectations.

Nobody wants to be considered a let down which is why often people end up putting themselves aside and focusing more on other people. But you shouldn’t treat yourself as though you don’t matter, you matter just as much as everyone else.

It shouldn’t take you sacrificing yourself in order for other people to be happy.

And maybe you haven’t even realised that you’re doing it. Perhaps it just takes you looking at things as an outsider to realise, you’re so focused on meeting other peoples needs that you’ve stopped making time to tend to your own.

Why people give unsolicited advice?

When someone you care about comes to you with a problem even if they don’t ask you for advice you’re instinct is to help them and to make the problem go away. You tell them what you think they should do or what you think will fix the problem because you feel like it’s the right thing to do.

But, in doing so we fail to consider the other persons needs. Perhaps they simply wanted to vent but now you’ve bombarded them with all your thoughts and opinions.

Maybe, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s fine to give advice that wasn’t asked for because you have good intentions. You’re just trying to help, you know how to fix things or you feel like your personal experience gives you authority on the matter.

But you have to put yourself aside and consider that maybe the best thing that you can do is ask the other person what they need, then support them as best as you can.

There’s no such thing as a stupid question

If you aspire to allow your curiosity to come out and play then this quote is one to live by.

Asking questions can be scary and uncomfortable so taking on a mindset that no question is stupid may help to relieve some of those feelings. But after mustering up the courage to ask, if you don’t get the kind of answer you’d have liked then you can end up feeling disheartened and wishing that you’d just said nothing.

However in this situation, it’s important to focus on the action, not the outcome. keeping quite may leave you riddled with fear and anxiety which comes with little to no benefit. But if you can relieve that by simply asking a question then why not?

Granted nobody wants to hear ‘no’ when they were pining for a ‘yes’. Nevertheless, I think it’s much better to unburden yourself and perhaps end up a little disappointed than it is to keep carrying the burden of an unanswered question even though you know you don’t have to.

What matters most?

When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.

In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.

These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.

Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.

It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.

Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.

How to get better at receiving feedback?

Getting feedback can be terrifying.

Even if you have confidence in what you do the last thing you want is for someone else to come along and tell you that actually what you’re doing isn’t as good as you think it is.

I think feedback is difficult to take in because we act as if it’s personal.

And if you’ve done something creative like a poem or a painting in some ways it is personal. But it’s also subjective so if someone thinks your painting could be improved by having a richer colour palette, doesnt mean someone else won’t love it just the way it is.

But the other kind of thing we get feedback on is the stuff that’s more rigid and regulated like what you might do at work. If you’re a construction worker, there isn’t really much room for perception. The feedback you would get isn’t personal, it’s a more a case of this is is how it’s done and here’s where you need to improve in order to do it the way it needs to done.

And of course there may be things that lie somewhere in between.

But either way the main thing to remember about feedback (when it’s from the right people) is that it’ll benefit you in the long run. And if you keep that in mind instead of focusing on the fact that there are people who don’t like what you create or that you didn’t do something perfectly, receiving feedback might get a little bit easier.

Does your life align with your values?

Yesterday I wrote about the simple life and after clicking publish I realised that I still had more thoughts to share.

After giving it some thought, I started to question why instead of living the life that we want we decide to pursue other paths. In yesterdays post, I wrote of how it is often the expectations of society however I didn’t consider that actually it can often have a lot to do with being out of alignment with your own values.

If asked the question ‘what do you value in life?’ it’s very unlikely that you would say things like stress, not having free time, feeling overwhelmed, working with people or in an environment where you’re not supported or not having the energy to do things that you enjoy. Yet, those are often traits of the kinds of jobs or lives that we settle into.

There is great value in asking yourself what you value in life and then working towards creating a life that aligns with that.

You don’t need to pay attention to what everyone else is doing or what everyone else is telling you that you should do. Maybe that’s not the sort of life that you will enjoy.

It’s worth so much more to reflect and ask yourself the big questions and follow where you think you want to go. If that leads you to where everyone else is great and if it leads you to a different path that is also great.

It’s about you and what you want rather than conforming or meeting the expectations of others.

Who are my readers?

I recently listened to an episode of Akimbo where a listener asked Seth about who he thought his audience was. Seth’s answer was pretty wonderful.

It got me thinking about my own audience, my readers, people like you.

For me it’s never been about appealing to a particular demographic, age, race, social class, etc. I’ve always wanted to create a space where you can come as you are. I like to think if it as us sitting in a circle and me telling a story.

My readers are people with a curiosity for life, people who notice things, people like you and people like me.

Around 6 or 7 years ago I thought that I needed to be ‘inspirational’ and needed to be someone that others would put on a pedestal. I thought that was the way that it should be.

In aspiring to that, I then found myself getting distracted by the idea of not being good enough especially when the numbers weren’t high enough.

These days I just focus on the writing.

Does more choice make us happier?

A lot of people regularly find themselves overwhelmed.

The possibilites in every area of life are growing more and more each day.

There was a point in time where what you ate was limited to what you could kill and what you could grow at that time of year.

On one hand having more choice gives us the possibility of a richer life with more freedom. And let’s not forget, the increase in choice is the result of innovation that has has resulted in more options than humans once thought was possible.

However, having more choice can also make things harder, having 100 options instead of 10 can end up causing unnecessary stress. This in turn can reduce your overall happiness.

I think the important thing to remember is that no matter how much or how little choice you have, there is always room for innovation.

But we can’t ignore the unhelpful side effects of increased choice and so the important thing to remember is that when you know what you want you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.

What can you do right now?

We often put things off, telling ourselves that later will always be an option.

But we ignore the fact that life is finite. That perhaps starting today will be the only chance you get to finish what it is you wanted to do.

Your work is important, it matters.

Don’t focus so much on how much time you could have instead focus on the present moment.

Ask yourself, what can I do right now that supports my end goal?

And it doesn’t have to be about making money or working yourself to the bone. Perhaps what you can do right now to support your end goal is a 20 minutue meditation or write yourself a to do list for the week.

It’s better to start now and start small than not start at all.

How do you feel?

How often do you honestly say how you feel when you don’t feel particularly good?

It’s fairly easy to talk about how happy you are, how much you’re looking forward to something or how great you feel. But when it comes to saying I feel low, I feel sad or I’m not feeling my best, most of us are much less willing to be open.

Instead you’ll find yourself saying things like ‘I’m fine’ even though you don’t mean it at all. Feeling sad or feeling low isn’t a bad thing, it isn’t something that you have to hide.

And sometimes all you need to feel better is to simply talk about why you don’t feel so great.