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Lots of people claim to have ‘made it’ in this life. People claim to have ‘made it’ when they get a new high power job, a new car, a new house etc. etc. But to me the people who have truly ‘made it’ are those people that are happy.
Some great skills to master in life are – judging your happiness by your own standards and not pretending to be happy when you think you should be happy. When you get somewhere in life, that you think will make you happy, it is also ok if it doesn’t make you feel as happy as you thought it would. If that happens, it just means to you need to keep looking and trying until you find something that does.
Don’t let the world tell you
Don’t let the world tell you what should make you happy and what ‘making it’ is. ‘Making it’ can be whatever you want it to be. Everyone is different so everyone should have their own version, of what ‘making it’ is. Don’t be jealous when other people have achieved things, as you don’t know whether they have truly ‘made it’ or not. Just because you think someone has ‘made it’ or you think you would have ‘made it’ if you had achieved what they had achieved, it doesn’t mean they have.
To me ‘making it’ is always about the next thing I want to achieve and not about I have just achieved. It’s like when I was coaching and the team I was coaching was playing – when they were playing ‘making it’ was about winning but then as soon as the final whistle had gone ‘making it’ would have changed to winning the next game in my eyes.
Whatever it is and whatever I am doing in life I always want the goal to be happiness. I might not always find it and sometimes I might not find it where I expect to find it but I know I love being happy more than anything in the world, so I am always going to be on the hunt for as much happiness as I can find.
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This week I have learnt the valuable lesson of learning your craft first, before starting on something you want to do. This week I have been reading a book on blogging and although nothing I have read has been groundbreaking stuff, I keep on having moments of saying to myself “why didn’t I do that” or “that makes sense.”
Writing a blog can seem like such an easy thing. You just sit in front of a computer, write what you are thinking about and then publish it for the world to see. The problem is that just because a blog post is on the Internet for the world to see, it doesn’t mean the world is seeing it. The two most important things with a blog have nothing to do with the words you type, the two most important things are being easy to find and making sure when people come, that they will want to stay and read other posts.
What do people come to your blog for?
I liked the example that was used in the book I was reading. It went something like this – Say you were searching for a recipe on the Internet and you stumbled upon one on a blog, you click the link, you like the recipe but you see other posts and the blog seems to be about the life of the family… lets call them the Smith’s. You don’t know them so you don’t care about their last holiday and at the moment you are in a recipe finding mood, not a mood for finding out about a family you don’t know or care about.
I wish I had taken time before I started this blog all those years ago to think why people would come and what would make them say. I think in life many of us are so eager to just get going with things that we rush in to things. The problem is with something like a blog, everything about it is your image, your brand and you can’t take it back. So if you go wrong to start with, you can’t take it back.
Don’t rush in
So over the next few weeks I am going to be trying to teach myself not to rush in to things, to learn from this experience and make every new start the best it can be. There are already blogs about everything on the internet, putting off launching for a few months isn’t going to affect you but not starting it right might have a huge impact.
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I am one of these people that have lost of dreams and aspirations. The problem is, I want to achieve them all at the same time and I struggle to decide in my head what I want to accomplish the most. In my head what I want the most, seems to change on a daily if not hourly basis.
I work in media and I love media but media is such a huge industry with thousands upon thousands of job types and sectors. So just having something I love hasn’t made it any easier. There are so many cool jobs in media and so many would be fun to do. Creating TV, Radio, Films, videos etc is just great fun and it takes so many different skills, talents and people to create all these things, each as vital as the other.
The journey tests the passion
Some times to get to your passion, you have to do things you aren’t as passionate about. A lot of the times there are no short cuts to the top and there are paths you need to go down first. These journeys really test how passionate you are about the end goal.
To get to your passion you have to be prepared to let things go and remove the stuff in your life, that is taking your time but not getting you closer to whatever you are passionate about. A difficult balance to find is helping others whilst not slowing down your journey towards your passion. So many people in life will want your time, your thoughts and your energy and it is only fair to give it to them but at times it can also be draining.
I am always in awe of people who have found what their number 1 passion is and have made it a reality. Some people have made incredible things a reality, some people haven’t made it but know where they want to go. Life has so many people that have made it, some that haven’t made it and some that don’t know they have made it. I want to be someone in life that did the thing that made them the happiest and someone that has no regrets to look back on later in life. I can’t wait until the day I can come on here and share with you all that I found my biggest passion and I achieved the thing in my career that was my biggest passion.
Prioritising things is something I struggle with a lot. I’m one of these people that always have a few things on the go at once and I want everything I am working on to be done as soon as possible. It makes it so hard to cope sometimes, as I so desperately want to see these tasks completed and it frustrates me so much when they aren’t.
If I prioritise something over another, I just find myself worrying about the thing I am not prioritising. As much as I tell myself that worrying doesn’t get anything done quicker, I still can’t help but worry about things that aren’t being done.
Part of the problem comes from when I set deadlines to complete tasks. A lot of the time these are just deadlines I have made to make sure I do things and don’t put them off, most of the time it doesn’t actually matter to anyone else if I miss my deadline, as it doesn’t affect anyone and no one else knows I was working to a deadline.
It’s like my wife and I have a list of things we want to get done this summer and for each thing we have put a date next to when we want to get it done by. The reason for putting dates next to things was to spread the tasks up evenly throughout the summer and to make sure they get done.
On the list this week have been a lot of gardening tasks to get done but because of the poor weather I haven’t been able to get anywhere near close to finishing them. No one else cares about the garden and it doesn’t affect anyone else, I am just bummed that I won’t complete it in the time I thought I originally would.
I think to prioritise well you have to know that some things are going to have to be put on the back burner for a bit and you have to be comfortable with this. It is impossible to do everything all the time. I have a lot to learn in this area but it is a skill I hope I can master, as I think it will relieve stress and make my life better.
If you set yourself big targets and want to achieve lots of things, then life will always be busy and life will always be about prioritising.
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This old adage is the phrase for my week. Outside my house there is a hedge that runs down the side of the path, which each year I have to spend many hours maintaining. This year I have decided I have had enough of it and am now in the middle of cutting the hedge down completely.
A better life
This is a long process that will take me many nights to do, much longer than just doing a bit of maintenance. I am hopeful however that over the years we live here, that when we come to move, that it will have resulted in a time saving. With everything in life at the moment I am trying to think long term and not short term, as I really believe this will lead to benefits and a better live overall.
Another way that this task is short term pain for me, is that I am doing it all myself and doing it with one old trusty saw. I am not investing any money in hiring or purchasing any equipment and not paying anyone to help me. I am doing what I think is an improvement to the house by opening up the path and the front garden and not losing any money on it. Not only is it an improvement to the house, I think it will also be an improvement to my life. I love putting in the work, as doing it myself means I will be much better off financially, no matter how hard the work is, it always makes me happy to know that I am saving money.
Time to get in the mood
I think too often we put things off or don’t try that hard today because we are not in the mood or because whatever needs doing seems hard. We need to start looking at the bigger picture and think about what doing something today will mean long term. We all have things we keep putting off, which we may feel ok about but we need to get out of the mindset of short term gain and be willing to embrace the short term pain.
Let’s not just do the minimum, lets not just paper over cracks, lets get our hands dirty and really deal with issues. Lets find ways in which we can make long term efficiency savings. Remember hard work today makes a better tomorrow.
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Due to the many plates that my wife and I balance; a lot of things recently have been put on the backburner. The last few months of our lives have called us to focus on certain areas of our life, but this week we have transitioned in to a new season. With this new season our aim is to catch up on a lot of things that need doing.
Instead of just saying we are going to do this and that over the summer, my wife and I have formalized a list of what needs doing and when we are going to do it by. We then printed the list out and put it up to remind us of what we are doing when.
Get that happy feeling
A lot of things on the list aren’t life changing or imperative to be done (this is why they have been on the backburner) but they are things we want to do and things that once they are done will make us feel happy to know they are done. Like one of the things I want to do is completely remove a hedge from the side of our property, because I have wanted to do this and had the idea to do this for so long I now can’t wait to get started on it. Also by removing it, it is going to save me a lot of time in future years of not having to maintain it.
Finally now my wife and I have time back on our side but just because we do, we don’t want to waste it. It is our aim to keep to our intentional way of living and spend our time intentionally. As a family we love being productive, so having plans and lists really help us live our life, as we want to live it.
Don’t carry it around with you
It is surprising how much putting something off can get to you on the inside. The knowledge that you have so many things you think need doing or want to do can weigh you down so much. Although you may not be thinking about it all the time, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t carrying it around with you.
You may not enjoy actually doing a specific task and that is why you have been putting it off, but to me it is worth doing something you don’t like if the result makes you happy and it lightens your load. So today I implore everyone to do something they have been putting off, trust me it will make you feel so good.
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Life can move at a pretty fast pace at times, if you couple this with the throwaway nature of todays society, it means that many amazing moments in life are too quickly forgotten and lost.
Yesterday I had a moment I want to treasure and hold on to. Yesterday in the mail I received a copy of ‘the Journal of Dementia Care’ one of the leading publications for dementia care professionals in the UK. In said journal there was an article by me that they had published. To get that recognition, to know that they valued my voice and my words to put me in it, was an incredible feeling and to be in a publication featuring articles from many professionals and big organisations in the field of dementia, was just mind blowing.
It got me thinking about the moments in my life recently that I want to treasure forever, like my daughter learning to pull herself up to her feet, or listening to my wife sing. I am so fortunate in my life to have so many moments I want to treasure, that I don’t want to forget them or take them for granted, as I know it is not the same for everyone.
Moments that are big to you
It is also important to not just treasure the big moments but the moments that are big to you. The moments that put a smile on your face and really bring joy to your heart, regardless of what they are, we need to live in a world where we have no shame in being proud of what we are proud of, not a world where we are made to feel little or less amazing than the next person because we choose to treasure different things.
A moment to treasure can get you through a tough day, tough week or tough year. The power of a moment to treasure is something, which we need to value and appreciate. These special moments can motivate you on to even bigger and better things in your life if you to choose to use them.
The good moments in life are the ones that give you hope in the bad times and make this life worthwhile. I am already excited for my next one and to when I can start looking back at all of them in later life, remembering the rich life experience I have had.