It’s been a while since I have written a self development / deeper thinking post. I spend a lot of my ‘thinking time’ contemplating about why things are the way they are and today I want to talk about life.
It is a fact that people are constantly trying to change things about themselves. These could be small things like learning to save a little bit more money each month, or these could be MAJOR things like plastic surgery! I want to summarise four main areas which you should think about now and again.
Everyone is dealt a different hand of cards
This one is paramount. Prince William was born a prince. I was not. There is no amount of work or effort that I could put in to become a prince. As Lady Gaga says – ‘I was born this way’.
OK this is blatantly obvious, so why am I saying this?
I am suggesting that while it is great to have goals and dreams, don’t compare yourself to others. Make your dreams based on yourself and not to be like someone else. They have a different hand of cards. Your hand may not look as good, but you can sure as hell still win. After all it is about how you play them right?
In plain and simple English. Play to your strengths. If you are gorgeous, use it; if you have a knack for learning languages, speak them – There are so many different routes to what you want to be. Find the one that suits you. Don’t ask anyone else how they got to where they are. Think about how you can do it with what you have.
For example: I am not the best writer in the world. I know this. I never will be. I read other blogs in awe at how well the author can engage the reader and create suspense, excitement, fear etc. I want to be able to engage people at this level too.
I know that I can’t do this by writing at the same standard – therefore I have to see what move I can play with my cards (loving the analogies here). Therefore I realise that because I am adrenaline junkie and I love speaking, personal development, IT, Tech, Fitness etc. I can play on my interests. I will write about what I am passionate about and what I know about. I know that I can write about the time I went scuba diving with sharks, jumped out a plane on a skydive, or learned to fly a light aircraft and no matter how badly it is written – the concept is still exciting! I can talk about rock climbing and the outdoors and about every technical detail of SharePoint. I write about what I love.
It’s About Who You Know
No matter how hard you work, or how much time you invest, life is not fair. Everyone has heard the saying ‘It’s not about what you know, It’s about who you know’ – Well never has a saying been more true. This is 100% spot on. It is Human nature to be subjective. The person with the contact/family friend in the managerial position will, more often than not, get the job. People also judge by the first impressions that you make. I have taken this point on board in my job and made sure that I speak to absolutely everybody that I can. Whether it be a cleaner or a senior manager, you never know the underlying connections. You never know what colleagues are friends (or even married)! I enjoy speaking to all these people. There is a lot of comfort in being surrounded by familiar faces. Speak to someone new tomorrow – just try it.
Let’s use the example of blogging here. If I had made certain moves then I would probably still be writing this blog to myself. Instead, I networked, contributed to other blogs, used Yakezie and have made some good friends. These friends have given me some great advice and have mentioned Savvy Scot on their blogs. This has brought traffic to my site and I now have a decent-sized base of readers. It wouldn’t matter how great my content was, if I didn’t network and make connections; then I would never grow my blog.
Don’t take things at face value. Consider extreme alternatives
When I say extreme – I mean extreme. Don’t just go with the status quo having failed to consider common sense. We see a girl who is a stripper and immediately think she is a slut. A guy applies for a job who has a criminal record and we instantly think he is evil. We didn’t stop to think that this might be a single mother with 5 starving kids, or a guy who was charged with assault protecting his wife. It is far too easy to judge.
By taking things at face value we can often rob ourselves of great riches. By judging someone negatively by first impressions, we can often prevent ourselves from finding the value that they could add to our lives. Equally, we prevent ourselves from being able to make a difference in their lives. Remember the guy at school with no friends. He was a bit different so we never spoke to him… You could have missed out on being friends with a certain founder of the biggest social media outlet in the world, or you could have passed up the opportunity to change somebody’s life. This is not an exaggeration: The smallest gestures can have the biggest impacts.
Don’t ever think you know better.
As we get older and see more of the world we know better right? We have learned lessons and have experience, so we know more than those that are younger or who haven’t done the things that we have right? – WRONG!!
Never dismiss others. Everyone has their voice and often it will surprise you. Make a point of giving everyone the time of day. If they are foreign, younger, or just different – it doesn’t matter. As the Desiderata says:
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant
they too have their story.
The Grass is always greener (I am a Cliche-machine tonight!!!) – but stop and look at your own patch. It’s not all that bad – is it :).
Self improvement is about making the best of your own situation; not longing to be in another. After all, Life is what you make of it; It is all based on perception.