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.

Embracing temporary things

Wake up, wake up! The world is changing.

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve noticed a big change in the way that people work. Self-employment is on the rise along with jobs in the gig economy.

Perhaps as a society we believe in ourselves more or we’ve opened up to the idea that we don’t have to commit to a single career.

Maybe work can just be something you do to fund the life you want rather than being where you gain your sense of self and something you want to grow and develop in.

You might have a career or means of income in mind that you have yet to actualise, so on your journey to bringing that to life you do temporary, flexible or short-term jobs like hospitality and Uber driving.

You could be that person in your late 20s or early 30s and to some what you’re doing may seem risky or not the sensible choice. But it’s actually pretty amazing to be able to trust your vision of what you want in life enough that you’re not willing to settle because so many of us settle.

The world is changing and you have to find a way to evolve and adapt.

…endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

The difference between helping and fixing

It’s easy to find yourself stuck between helping someone and fixing things for them.

When you help you teach and offer tools giving the other person a chance to grow, develop and learn to do things for themselves. When you fix things for people they’re likely to become reliant on others to do things for them because that is all they know.

Often when we see people we care about face challenging situations we lend a hand. You think you’re helping but what you’re really doing is fixing the problem for them. And so as time passes and the person faces more challenges they don’t know how to do things for themselves because they haven’t learnt how to overcome.

We do it because we care and we don’t want to see the people we care for suffer. But in doing so we forget that these people have strengths within themselves and that they are also capable of overcoming their own challenges.

And so the lesson lies in finding the balance between helping and fixing. I’ve learnt that support plays a significant and often overlooked role. To look the person you love in the eye and simply say ‘I’m here for you and I’ll support you through this’ may be more powerful and have longer lasting effects than fixing things for them.

‘Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’

 

Scary but worth it

Don’t apply this to horror movies.

It can be difficult to get past the thing that scares you. The longer you put it off the more your reasons not to do it grow.

You come up with excuses like:

I won’t be good at it.

People will laugh.

Someone else would be better suited.

I’ll do it next time.

I didn’t have enough time.

And sometimes those excuses are totally valid but sometimes they’re just easy ways for you to hide away and tell yourself that it’s not possible for you.

If you think you won’t be good at it that’s normal when you’re doing something new and ‘anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well’ so give yourself time.

If you think people will laugh, let them laugh. The only reason it doesn’t feel good is because you’re paying attention to it, so stop.

If you think someone else would be better, ask yourself why. It’s easy to believe that others are more talented or more capable than you are when the truth could be that you’re just more consumed by fear.

Don’t be so reliant on next time as that time might never come. Plus to quote a song from Cheetah Girls 2 ‘why wait, now is the right time’.

Lastly, not to make you wanna through up by being cliche but we all have 24 hours in a day. Granted you might have kids, a full-time job, be in education and also be a carer to a family member so things might seem impossible but life is as life does.

You have to make the best of your circumstances and find a way to make them work for you.

If not let the dream go.

And so there’s no denying that overcoming your fears can be scary but it’s also worth it.

If that’s not a reason to try, I don’t know what is.

 

Going outside your comfort zone

You can always go back.

One of the things that I don’t think is often considered is that when you leave your comfort zone you can always go back if things don’t work out.

For example if you make music and usually just keep it to yourself, try putting it out there for people to hear. Sure you might be nervous and it’ll take a bit of courage but if it doesn’t go well you haven’t lost out on anything.

And if you lose that feeling of courage you can always go back to keeping your stuff to yourself again, you can always go back to your comfort zone.

However, on the flip-side you can keep trying because good things take time and it’s like Ziglar once said ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can learn to do it well‘.

Going through it or getting over it

There’s a story I’ve heard countless times as a kid called we’re going on a bear hunt.

The story follows a family going on a bear hunt and on their way they encounter grass, water and mud etc. All followed by the famous lines:

We can’t go under it
We can’t go over it
Oh no we’ll have to go through it

I don’t remember how the story ended but I can’t help but feel as though the story was a metaphor for life.

And so the moral is that you can’t bypass stuff. You have to go through it to get past it, even when it’s difficult.

Life changing habits: Practice gratitude

I’m grateful for so many things in my life.

One thing in particular is my right hand because I use it to write and writing is something that I attribute to so much of who I am as a person, like that’s how deep it goes.

I usually do a morning gratitude when I’m still in bed, when I’m brushing my teeth or when I’m walking to the bus stop.

I even do it when I’m in a bad mood. It never fails to lift my spirit because it reminds me that I have so much goodness that I can focus on and so much that I easily forget or look past because it’s always around.

I never thought something as simple as being grateful could actually have that much of an impact.

When it comes to things that are life changing we often fall into thinking it has to be big and dramatic “just like they do on the tv” but more often than not that’s not the case.

I’m grateful for my hope, curiosity, resilience, laughter, my job, my friends, my right hand, the park by my house, my grandparents…

The list goes on because my life is overflowing with things to be grateful for.

When I truly learned how to take that in, it changed my life.

Life changing habits: Transmute your feelings

Whenever I felt sad, jealous angry etc. my first instinct used to be to sit in it and wallow. I’d maybe play The Smiths, The Stone Roses or some other type of moody music and fall into some deep dark depression with thoughts like ‘there’s nothing in this life for me’.

This might sound dramatic or like an over exaggeration but it’s how I truly felt and it became this habit that I’d grown to almost find comfort in.

I’d also write as I was keen to document the woes in my life because sometimes it felt like nobody else saw what I was going through.

However, these days if I’m feeling jealous for example, I’m also aware of the fact that I often want things simply because I don’t have them and often once I get them, I get bored pretty quick.

I think it’s also important to remember that just because someone has things that you don’t have it doesn’t make your life any less good.

In my experience, most of the time if I start to feel jealous it’s because I’m focusing too much on other people instead of myself. It’s the perfect time to practice gratitude and once I do that my feelings change to joy, curiosity and excitement at the possibilities of life.

When I get sad or angry I turn it into a growth point and figure out what the takeaway is. I let myself know that it is okay to feel whatever I’m feeling, whilst reminding myself that I don’t need to sit in the feelings and wallow but I also remain patient with myself.

Most of the sadness or anger I’ve felt comes from not setting boundaries, not being open, trying to please others and sometimes it’s things that I have no control over.

In moments like these I transmute my feelings into joy by practising gratitude, remembering the joys of life and what it feels like to be me and love myself. But also just being present which is something I learnt from reading The Power of Now.

I’m learning to not wallow in my feelings but to feel them and move on. It’s fine to feel angry about something but you don’t have to hold onto it.

One of my favourite quotes I’m not sure who it’s by but it’s something like ‘Don’t let life make you hard’ and it has so much meaning to me because sometimes I fall into that.

But on the other hand, life can also be beautiful, wonderful and so full of joy.

Life changing habits: Daily mantras

A tool I use to sort of re-calibrate so that my intentions are focused on a specific thing.

When I was looking for a job in the past I did daily mantras for at least a month then I ended up getting 3 job offers within the space of a few weeks.

I get that some people don’t believe in the power of mantras but I’m not saying it’s a magic fix. It’s more a case of what you focus on grows, it sort of becomes in sociological terms a self fulfilling prophecy. I’m a big believer that if you don’t think it’ll work then it probably won’t.

And if you don’t trust me trust Henry Ford who said ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.’

It’s been life changing for me because the things I’ve declared have come to pass. I try and focusing on bringing more of the good stuff in and letting the stuff no longer serving me fall away and mantras help with that.

Getting to know you

How exactly does one discover themselves?

Through exploration, experimentation and being open to the unknown.

If you live your life in the box of what you know, you may think that you know yourself. But actually, there is so much more of you to explore outside of that box.

As much as there is ‘the me I know’ inside of the box, there is also ‘the me I don’t know’ outside of it.

Granted you can’t experience every single thing in life but you can try things that are outside of your usual routine.

It can be big or it can be small.

Things like:

  • Journaling
  • Visiting a new city
  • Joining a group or class
  • Doing the thing you’ve always thought about doing but kept putting off
  • Volunteering
  • Meditation
  • Going for a walk

You might think you know yourself or that you’re content with your life. But when you do a journal prompt like ‘Describe your dream life’ you might find you’re nowhere near where you want to be. Maybe you settled for an unfulfilling ‘stable’ job and you never even took the time to figure out what you truly wanted to do for a living.

“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?”

– Rumi