WILTW

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 52

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The year’s end has come around so quickly that it terrifies me.

Each year speeds by faster than the previous one and there is no reason to believe that time will slow down anytime soon.

Now that I’m in my 40’s, I am questioning what I have achieved so far and if it’s enough. If I’ve learnt anything from writing these posts over the last few years, it’s that we can always do more than we think we can.

We can write more + create more + love more + dance more + care more + look after ourselves better + engage with our community more + be better.

Every second our life is ticking by… tick tick tick tick tick… it’s equal parts terrifying and equal parts liberating. Every second we have spent so far is gone and we cannot get it back. It doesn’t matter what we have or haven’t done in our past up to now… NOW, from this SECOND onwards it’s UP TO YOU to make the most of your life, your skills, your loved ones and your time.

Make every second count.

Minutes or hours lying on the couch relaxing counts for something… I’m not saying we have to be at action stations all the time. But finding the right balance and making sure that at the end of each day we have achieved something to be proud of, helped one other person, done one kindness and have done our best to look after ourselves, then it’s a day well spent.

Listen to the ticking clock counting down the rest of your days and don’t see it as a terrifying tick of impending doom… instead choose to see it as counting up to great things, counting up to your best self. Make the seconds count… your time starts NOW!

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 51

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Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek fame famously says, “Make it so”. He does not command his crew to wish it so.

Just like the crew of the USS Enterprise-D you need to get shit done. Wishing for things to happen or to come to you will NOT make it so.

Sitting on the couch watching Netflix is fun (in appropriate doses) but it’s not going to get you to where you want to be in life. If you want a career then work hard to get it. If you want a lover then go out and find it. If you want a different life make steps every day to get that different life.

Sitting around and waiting for life to happen to you will get you nowhere fast. Sitting around and being sad about what you don’t have will only lead to sadness and depression.

Do shit.

Get up.

Work hard.

Stop wishing and strat doing.

Figure out what you want in life.

Go out and get what you want in life.

Don’t wait for life to come to you… go out and meet life head-on.

Listen to Captain Jean-Luc Picard and make it so.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 50

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Life is too short to kiss arse.

According to Wikitionary kiss arse = To flatter or perform favours excessively, especially to receive preferential treatment from a boss or other superior.

There is a huge difference between being kind and polite and kissing arse. Some people want to get ahead by sucking up to the rich and powerful people in their circle. This is sad to watch and it seldom works.

Most people who are truly powerful don’t respect kiss arses. They want to be treated the same as everyone else. If someone does respond to kiss arserery they are probably a massive douche and you shouldn’t want their approval.

Instead of investing all of your energy into sucking up to the “right people” why not put that same energy into being freaking awesome. Send your time and energy kicking arse. Be the best you can be. Strive harder. Run further. Work harder. Be the best you possible.

The right people will notice at the right time and you will get ahead if you keep working hard enough. Think of how satisfying it would be to get to where you want on your own merits instead of by sucking up to some smarmy git.

This does not mean that you can’t get help or favours from friends and influencers along the way, but they should want to help you because of your hard work + tenacity + mad skills + desire to succeed + abilities rather than because you kissed their arse.

So, the next time you find yourself pursuing your lips ready for a good arse kissing… question your own skills and choose to work hard on yourself and your projects instead of sucking up for preferential treatment. The win will be so much sweeter.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 49

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Regardless of whether you’re doing something for yourself, for someone you care about, for a stranger or for your community… do something every day that makes a difference.

When we have a crisis of conscience and wonder why are we here… the answer to that question doesn’t really make much of a difference in our lives. What makes a difference to our lives, our hearts and our minds is to know that we are making a difference.

We can feel overwhelmed with what we should be doing and what kind of legacy we will leave behind, but freaking out about it won’t actually make a difference. Action will make a difference.

You may not have a grand plan. You may not know what change you want to effect in the world. We are not all going to leave a mark like Elon Musk. We can’t all change the world on a grand scale. You can, however, make a small and accumulative difference.

Your difference does not have to be huge. Small gestures can change the world.

Bring in a neighbour’s rubbish. Help someone into a store. Pay for the next persons coffee. Send a cake to a lovely old couple sitting in a cafe. Deliver a takeaway meal to a friend who is having a hard time. Call someone who you know is lonely.

You don’t have to be a huge hero. Just be a little hero… every day. Take action. This will add up over a lifetime and make a real difference. Maybe no one will even notice… but you will 🙂

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 48

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Some people try to be as normal as possible and will do anything to fit in. I recently saw a lovely video of Pink (the singer) talking about her daughter and her motherly advice was that normal was boring and to always choose weird.

While I don’t think you have intentionally manufacture weirdness, just being yourself and comfortable in your own skin can be weird enough for most.

A lot of people are spending so much energy trying to fit in, trying not to stand out and trying to be “normal”. What the hell is “normal” anyway? No one is going to give you a gold medal for being “normal”. You’re not going to get to the end of your life and be proud of not rocking the boat and for being the most “normal” person ever.

You have a choice. Be normal or be yourself. You might not be normal. Why not just be you? Imagine the energy you would save not trying to be something that you’re not.

So, make a conscious decision to be a fluro pen in a world full of boring blue byros. Imagine how bright you could be!

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 47

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I’m not sure if it’s just an Australian thing but tall poppy syndrome really affects people’s ability to shine.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel is an old proverb taken from the Sermon on the Mount. While I am not at all religious, Jesus had some wise words to share and by saying this, he was telling his believers not to hide their faith.

I use this saying to encourage you to not conceal your talents or abilities. If you have a mad skill… use it… share it… don’t be afraid to be FUCKING GREAT!

According to popular music, you’re supposed to shine bright like a diamond but as soon as you start shinning in Australia you get pulled back down and put in your place. We can’t have any tall poppies rocking the boat. It can be so extreme that some people don’t ever strive for greatness for fear of being called out.

I cop a bit of tall poppy bashing from time to time as I am not shy about sharing my talents or acknowledge that I’m good at certain things. We are all great at something. It’s as if we are supposed to be so ‘modest’ about our skills that we have to pretend that we’re really crap at everything to be accepted in society. Well, I say, FUCK THAT!

If you are really great at something… shine brightly. If people can’t handle that, then shine brighter. Don’t hide your light under a bushel.

Why are we so concerned with fitting in? We need to get out from under our own private bushel and shine bright! All of us.

Rhianna has it right… shine bright like a diamond!

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 46

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The older I get, the less room I have in my life for high drama.

I am not talking about real life drama like accidents and illness… we all have to accommodate real shit like that. I am talking about the attention seeking high drama of the emotionally inept.

You know what I’m talking about… those seemingly from nowhere tantrums that some grown-ups will have. They misinterpret your words or intentions, they make up stories for attention and stir up all kinds of trouble for anyone within hands reach.

They exist (although there are not too many of them left in my world) and they are dangerous to your emotional and mental wellbeing. There is so much real shit going on in the world and in your life that you don’t need any manufactured drama to pile on.

How much drama is too much drama? For me, fake drama is too much drama. I won’t put up with it anymore. I have reached peak high drama!

From now on, people who bring this kind of shit to the table will not be invited back. I really don’t have the mental or emotional room to accommodate these toxic and energy zapping people. I have to save some energy for my own real-life drama, the good things in life and time for cuddling puppies. I can think of a million things I’d rather be doing with my life and or time than putting up with anyone’s high drama.

Take a look around and see if you can identify the high drama individuals in your life. If they are easy to eliminate from your life then go for it. Life is too short to give up perfectly good Netflix and chill time to try to talk a sense into a fake drama addict.

THIS IS A HIGH DRAMA FREE ZONE BABY!

 

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 45

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A good girlfriend of mine says this and I love it. She abbreviates it to CUTO!

It’s so spot on. We all need to start saying this to ourselves… like all the time!

You’re always going to have tough times. We all are. No one is going to have a smooth ride through life. Ups and downs are in your future… they’re going to happen no matter what measures you take to avoid them. So, what’s a girl to do?

Well, you’re going to put your chin up, pop your tits out and get on with your day. It’s the smart thing to do. All the cool kids are doing it!

I often say, “put your big girl pants on and get on with it” but that can sound a bit mean… but maybe it’s my abrupt in my delivery. Whatever it takes to keep you moving forward is a good thing.

There are other benefits of CUTO… putting your chin up makes you look thinner as you are eliminating most of your double chin (s) 😛 and putting your tits out can also make you thinner… it’s always good to lead from one of your best assets.

So the next time you’re feeling a bit flat, down or unmotivated… put your chin up, stick your tits out and face the world full frontal… fake it till you make it… you’d be surprised how far this philosophy can take you.

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 44

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It’s important to make things. It’s a fundamental human trait. We make all sorts of things… we cook, draw, write, paint, sew and create things almost every day and while for most of us it’s just a hobby some of us also try to make a living out of it.

I sometimes want to stop making something or using a particular style if it isn’t popular, doesn’t get any love or sales but why should that matter? If my intention is to make work that I love, does it really matter if it’s “successful”? I think not.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the capitalistic philosophy that rules all of our lives, but there has to be room for love activities, things we do just for us and passion projects. If some of them take off and make some money or garner some online love then great, but don’t let that be your driving force.

Only making things for profit or popularity will change the way you make. It will prostitute your ideas. It will make your work insincere and soulless. Often, it’s the soulful secret ingredient in a book, recipe, piece of writing or hand sewn gem that makes it super special.

We need to make from a place of passion. Keep making, keep challenging and keep trying new things… maybe one might take off and become a success but what the fuck is success anyway. Success is in the making. You actually got out of bed and made something. That is the prize. That is your gold medal.

GO OUT AND MAKE SOMETHING… NOW!

WHAT I LEARNT THIS WEEK 2017 :: WEEK 42

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A friend of mine recently shared an amazing piece of writing by Pema Chodron on Hopelessness and Death. This sounds as if it would be something depressing but it’s actually very uplifting.

Hope can be a barrier to success. Think about it… if you spend all of your time hoping, then you’re not getting on with shit. It’s easier (in the short term) to sit back and hope for a different future, to hope that one day you will be a different you, hope for a knight in shining armour to swoop in and rescue you from your shit life or to hope for your luck to completely changing resulting in a different life than the one you currently have. This just doesn’t happen. Sitting back and waiting for great things in life to find you will not get you where you want to be.

Hope and fear come from feeling that we lack something; they come from a sense of poverty… We feel that someone else knows what’s going on, but that there’s something missing in us, and therefore something is lacking in our world.
– Pema Chodron

If you are relying on hope to get you through then you’re not likely to be a success. Hope is not enough. Instead of hoping, why not look at yourself and figure out where you’re lacking. What is it that you need to learn or do to get ahead. What feelings of inferiority or worthlessness do you need to confront so that you can actually get on and get shit done? Stop hiding in hope and face your fears. Face your hurdles. Face your own limitations.

Hope can lead to misery as you’re sitting back waiting for life to happen to you rather than going out and making your own dreams come true.

Hopelessness or a lack of hope means you have faced your own reality and are no longer lying to yourself… you know exactly who you are and what you want to be. Only then can you be free to create, soar and succeed. Hopelessness is the ultimate freedom and we all need more of it.

If you want to read more of Pema Chodron’s ideas you can read When Things Fall Apart:  Heartfelt Advice for Difficult Times.