What are you doing this weekend?

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This must be the most popular question asked in offices around the world today. Normally the answers are “not much” or something big and exciting. It seems that if you aren’t doing one or the other, it isn’t worth mentioning. I personally think it is a shame that we seem to only be able to answer in one extreme or the other.

My favourite answer to that question used to be “spending time with my wife” now it is “spending time with the family.” When did people start deeming these things not exciting enough to talk about? When did people think they weren’t worth mentioning? When did people get embarrassed to say these things?

I live for and love the weekends. My weekends are usually the best part of my week. Because I enjoy time with my family so much, I have started scaling back what I do outside of work to make sure I get as much time with them as I possibly can.

What we are doing isn’t important to me. It’s the spending the time together away from other things and distractions, which is the most important thing to me. Just spending time with my family is doing something. When you are asked if you are doing something, you don’t have to be doing an event or going somewhere in order to be doing something.

Don’t get me wrong I do like going out and doing things, but they are always more special if I am doing them with my family. Sharing an experience and having a joint memory is so much better than sharing a story later with someone who wasn’t there to experience it with you.

I hope I can encourage other people to be loud and proud about just enjoying spending time with friends and family over weekends. Don’t feel the rush to have to show off about what you are doing on a weekend, don’t feel like you have to. The truth in many situations is that the ones showing off would rather have the situation you have.

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Promoting Good News

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There is so much bad news in this world that I think it is important to promote, make and share good news wherever we can. Thanks to rolling news, social media and the like we are bombarded with peoples thoughts and opinions that we never asked for or wanted at every turn. Sadly in the most the majority of these thoughts, opinions and news are negative.

I read and hear so much everyday that I don’t agree with and a lot that is just flat out wrong. We now seem to know peoples views in a way that we never did before, thanks to over sharing. Some of these views make me sad and it makes me sad when you see people have views that you never thought they had.

Don’t despair

To try and stop from despairing I now try to post as much positive and good news as I can online. As part of what I talked about last week about showing love instead of arguing, (https://adamsibley.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/love-wins-any-argument/) I am also where I can trying to actively post good and positive news, thoughts and opinions where I can, in the hope that people will be impacted by them.

I don’t believe that when you see something you don’t like on social media that unfollowing, unfriending etc. etc, is the way. I think it is important to stay in the conversation and in the connections & relationships you have built up. Never forget the reason you connected with them on social media in the first place, if it was because you care for them then what they share / say shouldn’t matter as you should still care for them.

Keeping relationships

The only way you can help, inspire or give hope is by keeping these relationships and to keep on sharing positively. Sometimes it is so hard not to react emotionally about what we read, hear or see and to react in a kneejerk way but we need to fight this as much as we can. People may not agree with what I say, my views or what I post online but as long as they read it, one day it might affect them when they least expect it.

When the world seems a sad, bad or miserable place try not to get down, just keep doing your bit and keep spreading positivity as that is all you can do and all you can do is good enough.

Putting things off

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One thing I am trying to get better at this year is not putting things off. In the past I have been terrible at not putting things in the diary, not passing on information as soon as I got it and not doing things I knew needed doing.

One of our family things this year, in our year of being intentional, is “to not delay and act today.” I have taken this to heart and ran with it. Everything I can get done today, I try to. When things crop up I try to immediately put them in the diary or act upon them depending on what is needed.

Never a perfect time

I don’t know why I behaved like I did before but I know it is a way many people behave. For some reason people like just keeping things in their head and not sharing information with others. Some times people think it is best to hold on to information and break the news at a time they think is best, when in reality for bad news there never is a perfect time.

Putting things off is illogical and irrational. Putting things off gets nothing achieved, adds to your workload and adds to your stress. Putting things off may make you feel like you are in control but in actuality it is a sign of someone who isn’t in control or someone who will become out of control very quickly. People who succeed and get things done are people that don’t put things off.

Removing things from your to do list

Sometimes another good way to avoid putting things off is to not add to your list of things to do unnecessarily. Just look at the things you are putting off, are they necessary things to do or do they matter to you? If not throw them away, scratch them off your mental list and free yourself from them. Don’t add to your stress and imprison yourself with things that don’t matter. Take a step back and just look at what matters and what doesn’t.

Don’t put off sorting your life out. Your life, your happiness and your health should be what is most important to you and I know these are things that I want the most days of in my life, everyday you don’t get it sorted is a day you are robbing yourself of having the best day. Everyone will try and clutter your life so its time you started uncluttering it yourself.

Proud

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One thing I am is very proud about the way my family do life. I always want to shout it to the hilltops. I want to do this not because I think I am better than anyone else but because what we do brings me joy. From the way we organise our time to the practical and emotional support we give each other, there isn’t any area that I am not proud of. Yes we are always looking to do things better and ways to improve but it’s that want to look after each other in the best way possible, which makes me so happy.

The sad thing I find in today’s world, that it is so hard to be proud. When you act proud for some reason it feels like you are rubbing other peoples faces in it and saying that you are better than other people, that your life choices are better than there’s. It seems to be hard to have a good day and celebrate that good day when others around you are having bad days. I hate that we live in a world where someone’s success can make another person feel inadequate or a failure. I don’t want to celebrate something good to make others feel worse, all I want to do is share good news.

Not better than anyone else

When I celebrate achievement I’m not trying to say I’m the best or say that I am doing things in the right way and that everyone should be doing this. I am simply saying – this is working for me and I am happy it is working for me. Yes I want happiness for other people and would love them to get success from doing things that have worked for me but I’m not saying it’s the only way or better than anyone else’s.

It feels like I am constantly having to censor myself, which I don’t like doing. It’s like when you have a conversation and someone says something negative like ‘sometimes I feel like strangling my kids’ you feel compelled for some reason to go along with it and agree even if you don’t feel this way.

When did it get this hard?

I just don’t know when it got this hard to be proud. I think in the modern age we are too busy trying not to upset anyone that we stop being happy ourselves, which in the long run just makes everyone unhappy. I hope that in years to come it becomes easier to be proud, as I never want to be anything other than proud.

Quotes

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A few years back I was very much in to reading powerful and motivational quotes. I was so much of a fan of them that I would regularly share them on my social media feeds. Everyday I would be on the lookout for more quotes to get more inspiration. When I found good ones I then took great pride in sharing them and impressing other people with them.

Catching our attention

I think quotes are great at catching our attention. I think I suffered quote overload though. Instead of getting the most out of each quote I stumbled upon, I would be on this race to find another one straight after finding a good one. I was reading lots of quotes but I wasn’t achieving any more with my life than I was before. Inspiring others by sharing them was more important than taking them in. I wanted to be seen as somebody who was great for knowing and sharing these quotes, rather than living by them or doing something with them.

I woke up a few years ago and stopped sharing quotes I found on social media. There are so many automated social media feeds out there pumping out quotes every minute to try and get more likes, shares and follows. It seems quotes have just become a currency on social media to engage people with.

Sharing originality

Now I regularly share quotes I have come up with myself. I now want to add something to the world and to get people to think. I don’t share as regularly as I used to though and I share the quotes to get myself thinking as much as the people who view them.

The one thing I dislike is when people share thoughts and quotes on social media that they have found from somewhere else but don’t live by what they share. Sharing something is pointless if it is just to get a few likes, when you share something you are associating it with yourself and if you don’t live by the quotes you share you just damage yourself and make yourself look fake.

Start of the journey

Remember the quote should be the start of the journey not the end of it. The more you use a quote the more you get out of it. Remember not everyone is going to agree with the quotes you like and share. What is most important is what you get out of it. Don’t overload yourself with quotes. Pick a few which mean the most to you and refer to them often.

Think before you share

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One thing I have noticed a lot recently online and in social media, is how quickly and easily people share things, without giving it much thought. People will stumble across a post, photo or video, then quickly decide they like it and hit the share button. Without much knowledge of where the post came from or who was behind it, they are happy to associate it with their name and their feed, showing friends that they either like or support it.

A not very discerning audience

This isn’t a revelation by any means and this means that many organisations are cashing in on it. People and companies know the social media audience isn’t very discerning, so with a well thought out idea they can promote themselves easily to millions by people sharing it on their feeds. People my have compelling and interesting arguments to promote, but if you don’t research it you won’t know how true, how real or how valid what you are sharing actually is.

The way social media seems to work these days is that someone posts something, people start sharing it, the news starts reacting to it and then a day later people report on social media and the news on how fake or invalid it is. Myself personally I would prefer to wait before sharing something I liked, to let this timeline play out and to do my own research.

Popularity doesn’t equal quality

Just because millions of others have shared or liked something it doesn’t mean the item is quality, it might just mean that millions of people have fallen in to the trap of not checking the back story.

One thing I don’t like is when companies or organisations with a bad reputation or that do horrendous things, then post images that they know people will share, like patriotic things for instance, which in themselves are harmless just to get people to share. They know that when people share, people don’t first click on their page to find out what they are about and when you have already hit the share button it’s too late.

An instant world

Social media is an instant medium but it doesn’t mean we have to turn in to instant and impulsive people. There are many people out there who prey on the fact that the audience is sadly like that and take advantage of it, so the only way not to be taken advantage of online is to take your time and think things through.

By sharing things you run the risk of promoting something you would never promote in real life and promoting something at the expense of your reputation and standing. Social media also has such an impact on the way we think about the world around us and view the stories we read about in the news, so by sharing something you could be influencing the way people think about something, so use that power wisely.

How Clickbait has made the world focus more on headlines than quality content

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It seems we are a generation that are a sucker for a headline and will click links based merely on what they say. We get overexcited about what we are about to click through to and then 9 times out of 10 are left disappointed.

Viewing statistics are King

In today’s world no one seems to care about content and brand, all people care for is views so that they have impressive figures to boast to potential advertisers and sponsors. If I were running an organisation that created content I would want my brand to be known by what it provided, rather than how they sell what they do.

If something is being heavily promoted it is usually because the company behind it isn’t confident enough in the product. As a world we need to become a more discerning audience. I hope that one day that instead of being guided towards things by well-worded links that instead we go directly to the content providers that we value and that we think provide great content.

Sharing content has never been easier

I think because sharing content is so easy these days, there is so much out there and everyone is fighting to get noticed. This isn’t the only problem, one thing I notice on my social media feeds is that someone has been duped in to watching something through clickbait and then it then shows up in all their friends newsfeeds, so they in turn have a look and not before long the video, article or media has spread like wildfire. Hitting a share, retweet or like button I think at times has made it too easy for people to share things and has contributed to the clickbait world we live in.

The biggest and most successful companies in the world are the ones that provide the best service or product. If you are a growing company that wants to be big then you need to act like a successful company in the way you deliver your product, brand or service.

Engaging an audience

As a company you surely don’t want an audience that clicks through once and then never again, you surely want to be a company where your audience continues to engage with you. If you have to hide your brand to get people to clickthrough because you are regularly clickbaiting, then what is the value of clickbait?

You know you are a successful company when people are talking about your organisation without you having to use clickbait. There is more value in your audience posting things online off their own back, than there is in you posting things talking about how great your own company is.