There are no wrong decisions

I was aware of the book I’ve just finished for a long time before I decided to read it. I guess I thought the title said it all, but it’s actually been a really positive and encouraging read, and it’s got me thinking more about whether I push myself outside of my comfort zone enough.

8. Just say yes – you can’t losefeelthefear

(Feel the fear and do it anyway, by Susan Cain)

Often I feel the fear, do it anyway (once) and then be done with it, feel good, but generally I don’t keep pushing the same boundary. It’s like I can superficially do the fear thing, but only for a limited amount of time (maybe that’s got something to do with my introverted energy levels).

A couple of things stood out to me while reading – the key one relating to my usual dilemma: decision-making. We often see choices as black and white, right and wrong, but each option will just lead to different opportunities, no better and no worse in the long run. I find this hard to accept. Being the maximising perfectionist that I am I feel that one path must have even a slightly better outcome than another. But I can’t think like that – the paths are different, there is no good or bad, just one set of future opportunities versus another, neither of which can be known at the time of making the decision.

The other key point that stood out to me was, and at first this does sound a bit mystic, ‘saying yes to your universe’. All this really means is being open to life and all it has to offer. It doesn’t mean literally saying yes to everything, just accepting what comes your way knowing that you can handle it and therefore you really have nothing to fear.

The book’s about being positive and not relying on external things to make you happy. Yes a lot of it could be described as common sense, but I know I need reminding. This is a great motivational read and it makes me want to go out there and take some risks. Because we’re capable of handling so much more than we think we are, and because If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got, and I want something new and different.

10 things I like about my job

chickenlovesjobI came across this post: Ten things I love about my job, a while ago and have kept meaning to write my own list. I think it’s something everyone should do. The list can include anything, even the small things, and it’s a great way to appreciate what you have.

I may not love my job but I certainly don’t hate it, in fact I’ve realised it’s actually a lot better than I give it credit for!

10 good things about my job:

  1. I get two computer screens (or is this pretty standard in modern offices?! Either way it’s great)
  2. I work in a nice building in a nice part of town
  3. It’s 5 minutes from the train station, making my commute pretty easy
  4. I get to hear about lots of interesting jobs from people who love what they do
  5. My work (hopefully) helps to inspire and encourage young people
  6. I often learn new things and interesting facts
  7. I now know more about WordPress (use it a lot at work)
  8. It’s more of an entrepreneurial rather than a corporate company
  9. My colleagues all like their jobs making it a positive place to work
  10. As my first proper job, it’s helping me to work out what I like and don’t like and what I want to do next

It’s easy to focus so much on ‘something better’ that you don’t appreciate what you currently have. I’m very guilty of this, and I’m realising that there has to be a balance between having long term goals and ambitions and working towards those, and living in the moment – allowing myself to fully appreciate my current job and situation as a good thing at this time.

Well, it pays the bills, doesn’t it

I hate that phrase. I hate what it stands for: giving up, letting go of dreams, accepting the general opinion in society that a job’s a job and who is anyone to look for something more meaningful.

Of course temporarily it can be true and necessary, but if you’ve been using that phrase for more than 6 months I’d say you need to seriously consider how you’re spending your time. Life IS short – it’s a total cliché but completely true. I understand that not everyone has the luxury of spending time and thought finding work that they enjoy, but I feel that those of us who do owe it everyone else to take advantage of this luxury.

I don’t hate my job. It does pay the bills but that’s not why I’m doing it (I realise I’m extremely lucky that I don’t have to worry too much about money at this point in my life, but I’m not a big spender and really do believe we could all live happily on a lot less money than we think we need). I’m doing it because it relates to my interests and because it’s really good experience. My colleagues are also far from hating their jobs and it’s really not a bad place to work. It’s nowhere near perfect but it does a heck of a lot more than just pay the bills.

Part of my work involves hearing from others who are passionate about what they do, and it’s really inspiring. It makes me want to work hard to find something that I really love. It shows that there are lots of people out there who genuinely have found work that they love to do – and these people aren’t doing extraordinary jobs. While one person’s perfect career may be as a doctor, someone else could be just as happy as a researcher in a lab, a teacher, engineer or hairdresser. One person’s dream job is another person’s nightmare, and it’s worth remembering that.

thethoughtstevejobs– – –

Because I love quotes, and because these are some great and important ones from a man who was both highly successful and also very happy in his career and life, I want to leave you with these from Steve Jobs:

Find what you love; don’t settle

Remember you are going to die

Follow your heart and intuition – they somehow know what you want to become

Stay hungry, stay foolish

– – –

I don’t want to do something that simply pays the bills, that’s ‘good enough’, that’s expected or respectable. I want to do something because I love it, and because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

That’s got to be worth searching for, however long it takes.

A thank you to fellow bloggers

blogonI’ve been blogging now for 4 months – it’s nice to get thoughts down somewhere and lovely to have people reading and commenting. I’m following some great blogs and I regularly enjoy reading thought-provoking and inspiring posts.

Rebecca Fraser of Career Avoidance 101 kindly nominated me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award, which I very much appreciate, especially as I’m such a big fan of her own blog. And I’ve just found out that Ryan Balboa of Erasing the Stripes has nominated me for a Liebster Award, and again I’m very flattered. I only recently discovered Ryan’s blog and I’m looking forward to reading more from him.  It’s nice to know that at least two fellow bloggers are enjoying reading my posts! Thanks Rebecca and Ryan :)

I’m not going to strictly follow the award instructions here, but, in no particular order, here are a few blogs I like (in addition, of course, to the above two which you should definitely check out!). Nowhere near a comprehensive list, but some interesting and well-written blogs to take a look at…

– – –

Farah Colette – I think this was one of the first blogs I started following; great writing style, amusing and honest.

Carolina Georgatou – some great photos and inspiring posts, I especially enjoy following her current portrait project.

Gen Y Girl – inspirational posts from someone who’s passionate about helping young professionals.

It’s a Man’s World – very readable, funny and honest.

Life on a Branch and stuffgradslike – tips from those who’ve survived the post-uni panic.

– – –

With all of these awards floating around I’m discovering even more great blogs by looking up other nominees and nominators, and I’m definitely looking forward to continuing to find new inspiring blogs in the future.

Thanks to everyone who reads and follows my blog – and thanks for all of the great posts you write too!

Should to could to want to would

nevertoolate

A post by Beautiful Nothingness got me thinking, this quote in particular stood out:

“The more time you spend thinking about where you should be, what you should be doing and who you should be doing it with, the more disappointed you will be with your life. When you finally start concentrating on what you WANT out of life, and the things that need to change for you to get what you want, the closer you get to true happiness and overcoming your quarterlife crisis.”

I’d like to add a couple more verbs to the equation.

The way I see it, should implies external expectations. Should is negative and disempowering. Should is about what other people expect of you and not what you want for yourself.

The first step forward is to change should to could. Could suggests possibilities, options and freedom. You could follow expectations but you could pick your own alternatives.

Would means starting to think realistically and solidly. But would comes up with excuses (would if…) and would can be vague and lack conviction (would like).

Then comes want – it can be selfish and demanding but it’s authentic and purposeful. Want signifies control. Want is as decisive as could is indecisive.

So when you next find yourself thinking I should make this particular choice, I should already have done this, I should be like this, first say I could make this choice, I could have done this, I could become like this (or I could choose otherwise). Let go of expectations and give yourself options. Then explore your reasoning and sound out your excuses, I would choose this if…, I would already have done this if…, I would become like this if…. But focus on solutions instead of problems. Then, most importantly, ask what do I want? And then you choose. I want to make this choice, I want to do this next time, I want to be like this in future.

Life’s not about shoulds or woulds; it’s about wants and coulds.