Picking the right project to pursue

If you’re what I like to refer to as an ideas person, you probably have the challenge of picking what to pursue. You might find yourself with half a dozen great ideas and the thought of bringing each one to life is equally exciting.

It can be difficult figuring out the best way to solve this issue. And so, sometimes we end up picking multiple things to do at once.

We become a jack of all trades.

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with having more than one project at a time, it’s not worth it if you can’t do them well. I like to think of it in terms of spinning plates. The best way to do it is start with one plate and add another when you’re comfortable and then keep going. When you start with multiple plates, they’re more likely to end up broken.

If we take it back to projects, we end up producing work we aren’t proud of and struggle to achieve our desired outcomes.

On the flipside, if we work on things one at a time we give ourselves the opportunity to actualise the vision. If things don’t work out how you’d hoped, you can be much more content with quitting because you know you’ve given it your all.

When you’re doing important work that you believe in, the best way to honour the vision is by being solely dedicated to it. You do yourself and the vision a disservice when you choose to do multiple things at once.

When it comes to deciding what to do, there are plenty of ways to decide.

  • What do you care about the most?
  • What idea feels most important?
  • What will you be most dedicated to?
  • Write them all down and pick out of a hat?
  • Introduce yourself as the person behind each project, which one feels the best?

Maybe try a combination of these things and see what idea comes up the most.

The only thing you need to do is make a choice. If you’re finding it difficult, you’re putting too much weight on it.

And, if you pick something and it doesn’t work out, just try something else.

How to avoid getting caught up in your feelings?

Around a month or so ago, an idea came to me that I found really useful.

The idea was that situations that emotionally charge us are a reminder to focus on ourselves. Instead of getting caught up in the moment, feeling bad or worrying, take some time to check in with yourself.

Perhaps you were involved in a situation that left you feeling upset. You could ‘go off’ at the other people involved, blame them or get annoyed at yourself.

You could also ask yourself ‘Why is this bothering me?’, ‘What can I do for myself to shift my mood?’ or ‘How can I take responsibility for the part I played in this?’.

Asking these questions assures you’re looking at the situation consciously, taking care of yourself and not focusing on other people.

A mindful offload

If you’re someone that likes to vent and offload I think it’s important to be mindful.

Think about things such as:

How many times have I vented to this person about the same issue?

Has anything changed or am I just repeating the same thing over and over again?

Do I want help solving this or just someone to sit and listen?

The answer to those questions might make you realise that you should spend more time solving your problems than you do talking about them. Your answer might also inspire you to ask before you vent instead of dumping on someone and apologising after.

As much as I think it’s totally fine to want someone to just listen without trying to offer advice, I also think that people have the right no not want to hear you talk about your problems, especially when you’ve gotten into the habit of carelessly dumping on someone over and over again.

Willing to walk away

When it comes to asking for what you want, if you don’t get it, what do you do next?

Are you willing to walk away?

I think that sometimes problems arise when we aren’t willing to be firm. We say we want something, don’t get it and then just continue on as normal.

But I think that it’s okay to have boundaries. I think that it’s okay to ask for what you and not be willing to settle for less.

It’s a difficult adjustment to make when you’re used to accepting the bare minimum but it’s worth trying.

Asking for what you want

I think that sometimes we’re afraid to ask for what we want because we’re afraid that we won’t get it.

And so, it seems easier to stay where we are and to stick with what we have right now than to seek more. If you don’t believe that you can have it then what’s the point?

But, I still think that it’s important to ask and to seek more. This is how you create the life that you want. If your expectations and ideas of what you can have and what is possible for your life are capped based what particular people will agree to, then you’re never going to have the life you want.

Just because one person says no, doesn’t mean you’ll never get a yes. It’s also important to remember that you might not even need anyone’s permission, you can decide what you want for yourself and then go for it.

Value in the workplace

When you go to work, you want to feel like you’re of value. Perhaps not to the point where the whole place would fall apart without you but at least like what you contribute each day matters.

When a person wakes up, gets ready and goes to work, if they feel like they don’t need to be there or as though everything would seamlessly continue if they walked out, the person won’t take much care in the work they do.

And deep down or perhaps just beneath the surface we all know that often the care comes before the feeling of significance. It tends to start with taking pride in what you do and then the feeling of value or making a worthy contribution comes after.

But what if you’re doing your best and that feeling still never comes?

I think a big part of feeling of value in your job can come from external validation. This isn’t about knowing that you’re working hard and doing a great job but your manager or boss is undervaluing you. This is about how you feel about yourself and the role you play.

I think when a person doesn’t feel like they make a valuable contribution at work, they also start to feel a loss of interest in their work. When it seems like what you do doesn’t matter, what’s the point in caring?

If you don’t see the value in what you do and you’re not interested in it anymore then chances are you’re not happy either. And so the next step is to think about whether or not it’s time to move on to something new or to find a way to make things work.

Asking the right questions

Before you ask the question, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want the answer to be.

Sometimes it goes as far as you formulating a question in order to hear a specific answer, like prasie or a compliment.

And sometimes it comes from a place of vanity but other times perhaps you need a little reassurance or a confidence boost.

Then there are other situations where we beat around the bush and ask questions that don’t quite get us the information we wanted. We’re indirect instead of direct. We do this from a place of fear.

When you’re scared to ask a question it’s much easier to ask around the question but the issue with this is that you end up unsatisfied.

The answer you get doesn’t satisfy you because you really wanted to ask about something else. You end up still having more to ask.

This is why it’s so important to ask the right questions.

If you have to ask…

…you probably already know the answer.

Sometimes when you ask questions, you’re not looking for an answer, you’re looking for confirmation on what you’ve already decided or you want someone to tell you what you want to hear. This is why you end up frustrated with how the person responds, you didn’t get the answer that you wanted.

For the person on the other end they’re simply being honest. As much as you may favour a particular response, there’s not much point in asking a question if you’ll only be satisfied when things go your way.

You have to learn to ask the question and accept that things could go either way. You can begin implementing this by learning to give people the space to be open without judgement and then placing honesty above things going your way.

Clubhouse probably won’t become the next Instagram

We already have Instagram, it can’t be replaced.

It’s more likely that other apps will copy it and it will die out or become less popular, like snapchat.

When it comes to the growth and longevity of Clubhouse, there is a lot to be considered.

Firstly, there is likely to be a period of rapid growth once it becomes available for android. However, when it comes to longevity in the next 3 months, 6 months or even a year I think that things are much less certain.

Once the app becomes more easily available the amount of users will increase for a period of time as people that didn’t previously get access can now join and see what the hype was about. There is likely to then be a decline in users as some will lose interest in the app after a few weeks.

In terms of how long the app will last, unless we all become addicted like how we are with Instagram I think it will be a question of ‘Is what I gain from this going to be worth more than the time that ends up being wasted?’ or ‘Is what I can gain from this different from what I already have access to through youtube, podcasts, IGTV, books, articles etc? and lastly ‘Is what I can gain for this better than the alternatives on apps I’m already familiar with?’

I think there is something to be said about being on the cusp, on showing up in the early stages because you’re interested, not just because something is trendy or popular.

The reason why I think clubhouse is such a big deal is because it’s very rare for a new social media app to show up and gain such traction in such a short space of time, especially because it has resulted in 2 of the biggest social media apps to add a similar features so that they can compete.

I also think it’s great that there are so much options for what you could do with the app: read a play, discuss pop culture, live podcast, talk show, etc that it can appeal to a range of age groups.

I’m looking forward to see how the app grows and develops in the future. Will it last, will Twitter/Instagram/Discord alternatives force it to die out as people already have followings on those platforms? But also what new features will it have and once things go back to ‘normal’ will we still be interested?

Minimising uncertainty

One of the triggers for anxiety is uncertainty.

It’s fair to say that uncertainty is a part of life. However, there are plenty of times in life where you can seek clarity to help fill in the gaps.

This can be done by asking more questions.

Questions like:

When would you like me to complete this?

What time do you want to meet?

How do you feel about this situation?

You don’t have to play the guessing game, you don’t have to wait for someone else to initiate the conversation and you don’t have to live life on someone else’s terms.

Asking questions might also make you feel anxious but maybe that bit of discomfort is worth it now if it means you won’t feel anxious later.