Learn to forgive, learn to let go

I don’t talk about it much on my blog but I love music. One of my current favourites is ‘Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself’ by Jess Glynne.

I have a real passion for quotes and lyrics. This song features a line that really got me thinking this week. The line was “learn to forgive, learn to let go.” I think this is simple advice that a lot of people need to follow, me included or should I stay especially me!

Things you don’t agree with

I think a lot of people do things that you don’t agree with, think things you don’t agree with, say things you don’t agree with or have views that you don’t agree with. Sometimes you can’t change what people do or think, sometimes the only thing you can control is how you react and the only good thing to do is to forgive.

Learning that you can’t always change someone’s views or opinions is an important thing to learn. Just because you know that you can’t always change someone’s views, you don’t need to give up hope that one day they will change. The way I want to be judged in life is how I treat others and I know in the past I have treated people badly, so I don’t want to fall in to that trap again. You can’t control how people treat you but you can control how you treat them and how you let them affect you.

We are not constant

As people we are not constant, one moment, one thought, does not define who we are. People are changing entities, some people change at a rapid pace whilst some are slower. Having the ability to recognize that and not let one thing define how you think about someone is a great strength to have.

When someone does something that annoys you or frustrates you, try and think of two things that are good about them or two things that they have done well. Don’t let yourself be blinded to the good in people. Try and remain balanced in your thoughts and how you view people.

If you forgive, you stop getting frustrated by others and hating others. Forgiving people frees you and stops people hurting you. Learning to let go lets you handle life, people and situations a lot better. All I want to do in life is handle it as best as I can and I hope that’s what others want as well.

To finish with and to steal another line from Jess Glynne “everyone trips, everyone falls.” I think we would be wise to remember this at times.

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Getting your name out there

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If you want to be noticed and recognised for something you do, you have to be prepared to put the work in. Unless you are out there telling the world about what it is you are doing, people aren’t going to know what you are doing and how good you are at something.

Taking notice

You could have created the best product, the best piece of art, the best company, the best charity, the best sports team etc. but just because something is good, it doesn’t mean people are going to take notice.

It’s like with my book at the moment. Unless I get out there and promote it – no one is going to know about it. With my book, the more people that know about it, the more lives it has the chance to impact. Something being great isn’t going to change and impact lives, it’s people knowing about it that is going to change lives.

Being the best self-promoter

Once you have a great reputation, people will get to know about you and your work through word of mouth but until you have that platform you have to be brave and be the biggest self-promoter on the planet. If you want something to take off you can’t be shy. You have to be prepared for people to laugh in your face, to criticize and to not want to listen. You can’t have too much pride, you have to keep moving, keep smiling and above everything believe in yourself.

I am constantly emailing people, ringing people and tweeting people to try and get the word out there. I am trying to make connections with influencers in the marketplace and get them on board. I am trying to get endorsements, features in publications and opportunities to speak at events. These are the key ways I have to drive this book forward. I’m not going to get that good review or endorsement that propels the book forward without going out there and finding it.

Right audience

Your life can change just by getting yourself in front of the right audience; so don’t stop until you find it. To get yourself ahead of the competition you have to be prepared to work harder, do more and think in different ways to your competition. The marketplace is very crowded so getting yourself noticed is harder than ever these days, so you have to be prepared to work harder than ever.

Set yourself goals and targets for the work you want to have done to promote yourself this week and stick to it. Remember being good at something or having something good is only one part of the battle. It’s time to start thinking of self-promotion as a positive thing and to stop letting it be the thing that stops us from getting to where we want to be.

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.

Promotion

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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

When I think about my blog and my current book project, that old philosophical question above always comes to my mind.

I started this blog and my book because I wanted to create and share high quality content with the world, which would impact and influence it in some way. The further I get in to these projects, the more I feel that creating the content is only a very small part of the battle. In a world, which is over-saturated with content, getting people to view your content, over others is a very hard battle.

Wishing content was king

When you start off on projects like this, you have no reputation and it is only by sticking at it that you can build a reputation. Reputation is what leads many people to your work and without it convincing people to view your content is very hard. You can have the greatest content, a great life-changing message but that has no bearing on how many views it will get, which I find sad. I wish people searched out blogs, articles and books based on the content, not on who has written them or who recommends them.

I believe there are millions of gems hidden all over the internet but just haven’t be viewed yet. I don’t think quality of content should be judged on the amount of views it has had, but if you goal is to impact the world then the number of views is hugely important.

Writing in hope

When you create content for the Internet you can normally see how many people have viewed it but you will never know how many people it actually impacted. Some people may read your content and forget about it in a heartbeat, but some will have a reaction to it and it may change their way of thinking. I think as a writer online you keep writing in the continual hope that you are affecting someone somewhere with the words you write.

Knowing that writing the content for my blog and book was only part of the battle, I have been working hard in recent months to promote both. It is important to remember that if you don’t promote your work then who will? I wish the world was more organic and I hate self-promoting with a passion, but if I want to keep to the reasons why I started both projects in the first place, I have to do it.

A snowball

I see self-promotion as a snowball. I tweet, email and post about things in my blog and book, in the hope that the people I connect with will be impacted by it and then promote it to their friends. I’m the one gathering the first few snowflakes in my hand but come a few months, I hope there will be a group of us pushing a gigantic snowball down a hill.

Writing something online and expecting people to read it is the equivalent of just talking at someone and not having a conversation. When we promote our work we can help build that conversation and it is that conversation that helps give our content meaning and attention.

Words are my Weapons

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I truly believe that some of the most important things I have are my words. In my opinion words have the potential to change the world and through your own words you can change the world around you.

Words have the power to inspire, excite, encourage, depress, comfort, sadden, anger and a million other things as well.

Nothing happens without words

If it weren’t for words written in a contract or spoken at a meeting nothing would ever get done in this world. Without using words not much happens. This is why I believe words are one of our mightiest weapons.

I am very passionate about doing something to help those affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia. I don’t have bags of money and I don’t have the aptitude for science and medical related subjects, so at first I didn’t know what I could do to help. These conditions need a lot more money and research plowed in to them, as I would one day love to live in a world where we knew what caused it and what would actually work as a prevention and cure.

Experiences

All I have to play my part in the fight on Alzheimer’s and Dementia are my words and I want to make sure I use them in the best way I possibly can. With this in mind, I got to work writing a book to share with others about my experiences and thoughts. The book was published last month and I am now using all forms of social media to promote it. Again I am using words to promote my book that is full of my words, which just goes to show that words are involved in everything.

Through my promotion of the book I was asked a few weeks ago to write a guest blog for a leading Alzheimer’s website which was amazing, as now my words are in front of a new audience who may not come to this blog:

http://www.alzheimers.net/4-3-15-unbreakable-bond/

I love this modern age where we can sit down, type words in to a keyboard and then post them online for the world to see and to be stored forever. Every experience can be shared and we can all learn something from each other. My wish through my writing is that I encourage others to share their thoughts and experiences too. There will never be too many thoughts and experiences to share and each one that we do share could literally change someone’s life in a real and meaningful way.

Decisions

The decisions I have made over the year, which have changed my directions in life and got me to the amazing place I am today have mainly been based on words I have read or heard. That is why I think words are so important, as they can change someone’s directions, someone’s thoughts and someone’s opinions, which could help them on the most amazing journey in life.

Finding Information

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Regular readers of my blog will know that I released a book titled “Unbreakable Bond” last week, the story of caring for my mum with Early Onset Dementia. Now that it is out there and available for people to get a copy I have to make it is as findable as I possibly can. If you write something and nobody knows about it, nobody will read it.

I wrote the book with the aim of it being a support and comfort to those facing similar issues and I wholeheartedly believe that there are many people in this world who are facing those same issues. If this book doesn’t reach these people then it has failed in it’s objective. My words alone won’t help anyone; it takes people reading them for them to become helpful.

The good thing is that in this day and age of the Internet and social media you no longer need a huge marketing budget to get the word out, you don’t even need any money at all. To get the word out you just need hard work and a slice of luck. You need to find where you audience is and go to them, instead of waiting for them to come to you. You can piggyback off the popularity of websites and social media feeds and use their popularity to get the word out by posting on forums and contacting sites with big audiences.

Join the Conversation

In an online world it is so easy to start a conversation or jump in to a conversation and this is a great way to promote something. It is the old-fashioned word of mouth technique in a 21st century setting. Instead of having to talk to people face to face and one by one about something now you can have a conversation with multiple people at once that has a worldwide audience.

When promoting something the only thing that you have to make sure is constant is your hard work. You can put in the same amount of time each day promoting something, but some days you will get much better response than others. Sometimes you can post links online to a product you are trying to sell and nobody clicks through or makes a purchase then some days lots of people click through and make purchases.

Get People Talking

The best way to help people find your work is for other people to start talking about it. If people have an audience and an audience, which listens to them, you can tap in to it. When someone who is not connected with a project directly talks about it that carries much more weight than you talking about it yourself.

I think people are information hungry but that doesn’t mean we can take them for granted. If you don’t make your information easy to find people may not put in the hard work to find it, especially if you aren’t a recognised name.

If like me you have written a book on a subject that there is already a flood of information on already on the Internet, you have to work that much harder. If your project is niche or linked to a niche subject then it will be easier for people to find, but that is still no excuse for not working hard to promote it.

Getting Attention

I think it is important not to get too hung up on the number of purchases or downloads you have had for your book if you aren’t an established author. When you write something and you are promoting it you should only focus on getting attention for your book. If you set targets you will only be disappointed, it is so hard to tell sometimes which book is going to take off and it is not always the best book that does take off.

So in conclusion if you want people to find information you have written, make sure you go to your audience with that information and get their support. Don’t wait for them to find you. If you can get people passionate about your information, people will find it more easily.

To help you find my book more easily here is a link to it J

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Unbreakable-Bond-Adam-Sibley-ebook/dp/B00UM6ATBW

Are you listening?

The older I get the more I notice that we live in a world where there are more people that want to talk than want to listen. The art of listening has been lost for many I believe, with people fighting to make sure theirs is the opinion voiced and that no one else can get a word in edge ways. Talking a lot and talking about what you want to talk about seem to be some badge of success in professional and social realms.

I am a listener and I believe without listeners this world and the people in it wont be as successful as all of them could be. I also think there is much to applaud in those people that actually think before they talk and that are able to say the right things at the right time. Quality and quantity are two very different things and if you have a lot of quantity in what you say, the quality will be lost.

We’ve all been in those meetings when people are just talking for the sake of talking, because they need to be seen to be leading the conversation or having opinions on things to justify their involvement. In meetings I think it is always important to ask the opinions of the quieter ones because normally they are the ones listening and the ones that will have interesting insight in to the issues at hand.

We’ve all been at those parties and social gatherings where people are trying to dominate conversations to try and be the ‘cool’ one, trying to show off or just trying to make sure they get to talk about what they want to talk about. Sadly I think its these people that struggle to notice when people aren’t listening, so they might as well be talking to a brick wall. In many cases the more you talk the more people around you are switching off.

Some people think that by talking a lot you can hide an inadequacy, a lack of knowledge and that it impresses. I personally think it just highlights these things and doesn’t impress.

So remember, just by talking it doesn’t mean people are listening. Communication is a two way street, the more you show that you can listen the more people will want to listen to you. The art of talking should be about people listening. Don’t forget its not just about the words coming out of your lips its about your relationship with the people you are talking to and how they perceive you. I would work on these things first before opening my mouth to speak as if you do, the words coming out of your mouth are going to mean so much more.

Ask yourself this question – did you learn more by listening or by talking today? To improve as a person I always think it is more important to learn about more things than you could ever get round to talking about in your lifetime.