Blog #6: ‘Do More’:Why you are the problem to achieving your goals

Blog #6: ‘Do More’:Why you are the problem to achieving your goals

Sometimes in life there are moments where you feel down. You feel out of luck and think the world is against you. You have a goal but you don’t seem to be getting there. The problem isn’t the world or others – it’s you!

Here’s why it might be you who getting in the way of achieving your goals.

Criticism

When I was younger I hated criticism. It used to make me feel like I was incapable of doing anything. I took criticism personally and never acted on it. I just assumed I was not able in the task and left it there. I then would go to the next thing and continue doing as before and the same result would happen. I never progressed.

I have a rule: ignore praise and embrace criticism. I never seek a compliment, it’s generally a dead end – Casey Neistat

Criticism is more valuable then praise, and it should be embraced. Criticism is telling you what you are not doing. It will also tell you how to get to the finish line.

If you want to do something and you want to do it badly, you need to concentrate on getting the bad good and the good even better. Criticism and critique will help that. Next time someone gives you some criticism, see it as a positive.

Everything you do will not be perfect and even if it is, it can be critiqued. Everyone has a opinion on how something can be perfected. It is up to you to decide if it is good advice or not. Now, this maybe contradictory but some criticism is not useful. If you are doing an essay for example and your teacher who is an expert in the field criticises your essay- their critique can be trusted. It can be trusted because it is given in a constructive capacity. They want you to succeed and they are only trying to advance you. If someone with no expertise critiques your essay but has no experience in the field criticises you, or if you write something online and a person who comments on it is a troll, ignore it! It is all about moving forward and listening to negative opinions and opinions with no knowledge to back them up will keep you back.

Comfort

Having talked in more detail about this in a previous blog post (The Void or Montony) I will only summarise on why comfort will keep you from your goals.

Comfort in some sense is playing it safe. You know what you are doing, you know what tomorrow holds and the next week and possibly the next year. When you the actually step back to look, you realise that your life is 10 or 20 years down the line and you are not where you imagine yourself to be. Just because you are comfortable.

To combat this you need to take risk. Take steps to achieve what you want to do. Ask yourself every week: ‘Am I close to where I want to be?’ If it is no, then change it. With one life, it is the time you use that is important.

Keep Looking Forward

If life is a road- albeit a non-linear road but a road nonetheless- then we are faced with three options: stay still, go back or keep moving forward.

Will it be difficult? Of course. Will you want to quit sometimes? Yes. It is up to you. If you look back and you hold on to past success at some point, you will wonder where the magic went. If you stay still you risk the possibility of not developing yourself. But, if you move forward only glancing at the past, using it to help you along the road and move forward, you can succeed. 

The Little Steps

Having a goal or ambition is amazing. If you are at a point in your life where you need change and you are going to be pro-active about it – good for you!

You know the finish line and you have to take the first step. The first step is to plan and instead of planning the whole journey, it needs to be broken up into smaller achieveable goals. Then, if posssible, make those small goals into even smaller goals. This takes planning and time but is crucial. 

The first step should be going from the end backwards. If you wanted to be a blogger for example begin by writing in the middle of a paper ‘ I want to be a blogger’.

Around that should be things like: What should I write about? Who is my audience? How will I reach out to my audience? What is my style? Can I use pictures of the Internet? Do I need to do research on a topic? Can I earn from this? Looking at these things and setting a path will help.

Next is to set a time limit for these tasks. This also means that you will have to look at your steps and distinguish the big tasks from the small ones. A time limit for these will help complete them and discipline yourself to finish them.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

The theory of Growth and Fixed Mindset by Caroline Dweck sums up perfectly some of our attitudes in life.

Fixed Mindset: Is the mindset where a person accepts who they are. There talents, traits, intelligence are fixed. They see themselves as being at a level that they cannot extend. They are fixed there and that is where they remain. If they see a wall and believe they cannot get over it because they’re small, they will not attempt to get over it because they see themselves as fixed.

Growth Mindset: Is the opposite of fixed mindset. It is where a person will not see themselves a certain way. They see their abilities, talents and intelligence as sonething that can be changed. If they are given an obstacle they will have the mindset that they can control it. If these people see a wall that they can’t get over because they are small, they will find a way to help them get over the wall and succeed. 

We all are arguably guilty of having a fixed mindset especially when it comes to work. Growth mindset is a mindset that can be arguably achieved by everyone if they want something. If you feel at some point that you have a fixed mindset when are striving for your goal, then maybe it’s not for you. If it is something you want to achieve then sticking with a growth mindset in the tough times will help you strive.

 Do More

The attitude you have is a defining feature in the successes of your life as well as the failures. When it gets hard, pushing past the fixed mindset attitude and embracing criticism to guide you will help you to get closer to your goals. It doesn’t matter who you are, you are the person to blame if you don’t get to where you are going. Now, others can factor into this but how much you allow them will be down to you. The first step is yours to take. Will you take it?

 (Featured image of Casey Neistat taken from LinkedIn)

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Blog#5: What Grinds My Gears: people

Blog#5: What Grinds My Gears: people

Welcome to one of a few segments that I am introducing to my blog ‘what grinds my gears’. This will be a mini-blog where I rant about everyday life and hopefully you the reader will feel my frustrations as well.

People in their entirety really annoy me sometimes – like really frustrate me. What annoys me is people in everyday life.

Picture the scene. It is a lovely day and you are with a friend, girlfriend, partner etc. You feel hungry and you pick a nice place to eat. You go to this restaurant and there are people in front of you also walking to go into this restaurant. Now, let’s assume that this restaurant is a place where you can walk in, sit down and order your food. The people in front of you walk through the door and just as the smell of the food, the sizzle from the kitchen excites your ears and your mouth waters for that nice cold refreshing beer – stop! The people in front of you just stop a few short feet from the door and then, just stay there.

Why do people do this? Do they expect no one to be behind them or to come through the door. If you are unsure about a place don’t stop at the door. Go in, prentend to be interested (away from the door) and then walk out.  Everything will be much better that way. If you’re also British like me then you won’t say anything to these people you will just wait for them to push past you and then complain about it later. This also works for other places and not just restaurants. The biggest place people do this that grinds my gears is small doorways.

So, my message to people who walk through a door and stop right in front of the door: don’t do it!

Please!

(Image: Wallpaperup)

Blog #4: 4Things that displease me about working in retail

Blog #4: 4Things that displease me about working in retail

(Image: Dentons via Google)

Have you ever worked in retail? Do some customers arrogance make your day harder? Does a possible 24/7 day corrupt your sleep pattern? Here are four things that displease me about working in retail after spending a considerable amount of time working in a supermarket.

  1. The Hours

Some days are a bliss working in retail especially the hours. Not working during weekdays are often the best part of the job. Not many cinemas are full, shopping centres are empty and their are next to no children in my favourite coffee spots because they are in school. On some days, I would often go to my barbers on a Monday afternoon and go straight to the chair.  On the weekend this would be different; it is full of weekday workers and children jumping all over the place. Not a bliss! With the perks come the downsides. Some days you could be waiting until 7pm to do a 7pm – 11pm. All day is spent counting the hours until you have to go. You even will occasionally get a text from a friend ‘fancy a drink after I’ve finished work?’ To which you would reply, “Sorry I can’t I have work”. The hours can be range from early morning to well into the night. It can mess with your body clock especially if you agree to do an extra few hours until 5 am with a possible shift that night (7pm). What is it all for? Well it’s all for….

2. The Money

 The money in some sense of the word (well for students at least) is good, but for someone where retail work is their main source of income. It can be soul destroying. You can work many days, work your hardest, and in sometimes a sales assistant will have to do more than one persons job in a day. At the end of the month, after all this, you see that your wage is not that much as thought. Or worst of all – find you have been underpaid! To then wait a month or more to get the money you are owed. The money is not for those who want to live a lavish lifestyle but is enough for students and possible parents who work part time to help supplement their household earnings.

3. The Management
   

Retail managers come in my experience in two types: 

  •      The Good

 These are the people who will motivate you to do your best, give you feedback that will help you do your job better, and will not expect you to do more then you can do -even when pushed to your limit.  These managers will be professional yet friendly to you.  They will also be there to help give you advice to help you develop in the hierarchy of the company and aid you in your pursuit. These managers will also look to keep people happy in the work place to avoid losing valuable members of staff.

  •      The Bad 

These managers are the exact opposite of the above. These people see their position as a privilege, but see it in a way in which they are better then their staff. These are the managers who lead a team by force and snobbery. They will often be in the back doing little work, especially if their team is struggling – either with a late delivery or maybe understaffed due to illness – then blaming the members of staff present for their lack of progress. They will in some instances show little compassion to some staff with bereavement and possible childcare. They will be all about ‘playing the game’ to get ahead. Staff with these managers will often have little motivation, want to leave the company they work for and have a negative attitude towards their work. Senior managers should do their best to train these managers to do better, but often don’t.

4. The Customers

 Some customers can be very nice and for a short time, or even the whole day, can make your shift that more enjoyable. It is even better when these customers are regular. Some are just rude, they come in and expect to be given the best treatment even when their first words to you are ‘ oi you’. Now, to expect execellent service with this will never happen. With me I gave these customers the bare minimum of good service and often directed them to a product they wanted in the store. This was instead of my customary take them to their product and wishing them a good day.

Now, because of 24/7 trading hours an assistant can work late at night and very early mornings. This can bring in one type of brilliant customer: the drunk/s. These people can either be good or bad. The good can be the regular drunk who comes in  and on some occasion cause amusement to the staff as they sing and dance around the shop. These people don’t often get the extra alcohol they want because they are already intoxicated and it would be dangerous. They are a good distraction and are often harmless.  The other side to this is the bad. The bad customers are the drunks that are aggressive and often shout abuse at staff. In one instance I have seen people come into my place of work and be aggressive and start a confrontation with other people, resulting in the police needing to be there. There are also the type of drunk customer that will come in and shout verbal abuse at the workers.

Retail can be a great place to work and earn money and work less days – if you don’t mind doing 12 hour days. When it is great, it is great, but when it is bad it can be a place that can motivate you to find somewhere else to work or it can drive you to a profession you truly care about. It can be a place to make possible friends for life and skills that can help you in later life. The upsides do outweigh the negatives that I have noted but every job has bad qualities. If I were to tell someone where to get a first job I would recommend a job in retail.

Blog #3: The Social Media Blackout

Blog #3: The Social Media Blackout

Have you ever been in a room full of people and looked up only to realise that everyone is on their phone?

                                                    (Image: Huffington Post)

These images are all to frequent in 21st Century society. Children, teenagers and adults have their head buried in a electronic device on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube, sometimes unaware of the people around them. I often wonder how long in a week or in a lifetime people will spend browsing social media as we cannot go anywhere without people talking about it. I have even seen on chat shows the impact social media has on everyday life e.g. ending relationships.

Now, I’m not negative towards social media because I myself am attached to my phone like it is another body part. I sometimes worry extensively about losing my phone, to find it in my hand. Social media has become a haven with me checking it nearly every hour. I wonder what my favourite celebrities are up to; or my friends and family. Am I missing something?  What’s happening in the world?

When used properly social media can be wonderful. It can connect people who are far away. It can allow friends who may not see each other in a long time, to connect much more frequently then before. Events and intimate moments are shared with others instantly. Social media is pretty amazing, in theory.

But with the positives come the negatives. With one big negative I have observed: addiction. Boy is social media addictive. I myself like possibly many others look at one social media and go straight to the over and the next. I sometimes will check all of my social media’s e.g. Twitter (shameless plug alert – add me on Twitter @Theblogster1), Facebook and Instagram – then go straight back to them 10 minutes later.

I often wonder about the effects that social media has indoctrinated on me. I long to remember the days before it all began and wonder without the technology we have now or without social media, what would society be like now?

The Challenge

I am going on a social media ban or blackout to see the effects it has on me and the subconscious behaviours I may have adopted as a result of using social media for nearly ten years from the popular days of MySpace – yes, I am old. I am giving myself a break from all social media for 72 hours. That means no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. The only contact with humans I am allowing myself electronically is text messaging or phone calls – as well as 1-to-1 verbal discourse.

My Initial Thoughts 

I believe that this will be a breathe of fresh air and despite some resistance, I can think that I can last 72 hours. I am eager to see the results either good or bad and beleive it may lead to some change. It’ll be interesting to also see if I have developed any subconscious traits towards social media.

The Blackout

Day 1 

The first day was a breathe of fresh air. I did not have any urge to check any social media platforms. I actually was quite productive and felt liberated. 

I started the day early and instead of checking Facebook, Twitter etc. I read a chapter of a book, I looked at potential employment opportunities and listed down ideas I had for future blog posts. Though I wasn’t connected with the people in my life as much as I was before, this led me to communicate using other methods. Communicating this way, felt liberating and it was good to have an actual conversation with someone rather than reading about how they were on Social Media.

Day 2 & Day 3 

These days were the same, but I got itchy-finger-syndrome in the afternoon on the second day and throughout day three. I would often go on the Internet and type in the browser to go on Facebook without knowing. Obviously, throughout the years my subconscious has adapted itself to to go on Facebook as a default when going on the Internet. This would  again happen to me throughout the day. I would glance at people and see they were on Facebook. I would get jealous of others who were on Facebook and felt like I was missing out on what was going on in the world. In hindsight any newsworthy story on social media would be available on any news app or website. This actually enlightened me to the fact that I get my news from social media instead of watching or looking at the news (arguably both can be biased or untrustworthy when it comes to the news). 

It was interesting to see the effect on myself from participating in social media for the better part of a decade. It has become ingrained in our 21st Century society and with its pros their are cons. One con of using social media is the constant desire to look at it, though maybe it is not a desire. It could be out of boredom and social media fills this boredom. The biggest pro is the intention that social media is used for: for sharing. If used to share moments in our lives that others can’t see or share with us, it has great potential. If we step back from looking for likes and views, if we move away from superficial reasons like looking at celebrities bodies or envious about others lives – it will have more of an immense impact on out society. We need to look away from our screens and find away we can share that limits our time in front of a screen.

With its advantages and disadvantages social media is not going away anytime soon and if anything, it will only evolve. The question to ask though is, will it evolve to be greater than of will we be forever wandering what the Kardashians are up to?

Blog #2: The Void Of Monotony

 

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(Image: Pinterest)

 

Have you ever been stuck in a rut?  Do some days just feel the same?  Are other days more monotonous that others?  Ever stare out of a window and imagine you were somewhere else that isn’t where you are?

To some of us, that is life in a nutshell:

6am: wake up

6.30am: make coffee

7 am – 9am: sigh on the way to work – standstill traffic again!

9am – 6pm: look at the clock/ computer screen counting down the hours until time to go and brave the afternoon rush hour.

7pm: Dinner

10pm: Bed

…..and repeat!*

*Now everyone’s day is not like this. I myself go to bed sometimes at 3am after binge- watching a series. I often then regret the decision (because one more episode won’t hurt right?) and then I hate myself when my phone tells me ‘Alarm set for 4 hours 57 minutes’ – Eurgh!

This is what I call ‘The Void of Monotony’ – or Void for short.  The Void is when life gets repetitive and comfortable. The urge to want to venture out of your comfort zone gets overwritten by comfort in everyday life.

You may even find yourself staring out of the window probably thinking of the places you want to go, the things you want to do and the kind of people you want to meet; or maybe the job you actually want to do. You convince yourself that you will get out of this rut, you will tick the to-do list in your head. You then google and plan out your new found adventure, for then it all to change. Comfort then settles in, the fear of the unknown settles these desires to the back of your head.

You then tell yourself that it’s actually not too bad and then convince yourself that you love your life, that it could be worse. The cycle continues and then before you know it the daily routine begins and you are staring out of the window.

The cycle of the void can be ended but it takes work. There can be some anxiety that comes with change and as the saying goes ‘the journey of 1000 miles begins with one step’. But taking the first step towards change is the hardest. I spent many months employed in a job after university on a minimum hours contract hoping to be given more. I asked and asked and waited and waited, but that isn’t how life works. I procrastinated and danced around the idea of leaving, but was scared of what to do next. I took the leap, left the job and the experiences and people I met changed and shaped me.

Trepidation filled me when I made the decision to dwell into blogging and to walk away from that job – that cycle had ended. To end the cycle you have to be willing. You have to look at why you are anxious about moving on and take a wider view of your life. Once the first step is taken the rest come with ease.

The fear of the unknown can make comfort more attractive but take the leap, go from staring out of the window to go outside achieving what you want to do.  All it needs is some get go. Fight past the fear and actually that thing you were dreaming about could be the thing you become comfortable in.

Blog #1: #52WeekBlogChallenge and new beginnings!

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Happy New Year!

Well, 2016 is finally over and what a brutal year it was. Either one of you’re favourite childhood (or even adulthood!) celebrities have passed on or the World itself has gone to pot. This year doesn’t look promising either – but it is early days. Trump will soon be sworn in as President of the US and Britain will hopefully begin its divorce from the European Union.

But minus all of that 2017 is looking promising. Now, I don’t have anything planned nor do I have anything to say about how it is going to be a good year; I just have a feeling.

Now, one thing I used to love doing in my university days was to write. Though I sometimes loathed essays and my grammar was not the best (please feel free to correct any grammatical errors as I’m always keen to better my writing but please do in a professional manner) I enjoyed writing and the creativity of writing. It was partially one of the reasons I started this blog: to rejuvenate a love for writing and to also explore myself, my views and opinions in an environment with no restrictions. I will admit though, I have become lazy.

That’s when I came up with the idea for the #52WeeklyBlogChallenge on Twitter. The challenge seems like the kick that I need to push me in the write (pun intended) direction, to write every week for the next year.

I am doing this for 4 reasons:

1. I want to challenge myself creativity by forcing myself to come up with something to write on a weekly basis.

2. I want to develop myself as a writer by being able to write concisely and coherently.

3. I want to better my grammar and punctuation.

4. I want to use this as a catalyst to help motivate me and possibly others to be more pro-active in life.

Motivation is the factor here! I feel like I am at a stand still in my live. I am doing the same things everyday, of every week and this is one of the first steps to get me out of the rut I am in. Just by writing and setting myself this challenge I feel invigorated with ideas and aspirations compared to how I felt yesterday. I feel a new motivation and I hope this will last and continue as I write this blog in the coming months.

So there it is, the first blog of 52 – only 51 to go.

 

What advice would I give myself a year ago?

Can much change within a year?

 

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(Image: free-printablecalenders.com)

A friend recently asked me a question: what advice would I give to myself a year ago? At first I thought it was joke.  The time frame of a year seemed to little and insufficient to me, and I didn’t think much had happened to be completely honest.

I reflected on the the last 365 days and I came up with four snippets of advice for myself:

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(Image: Pets for Homes)

  1. You are about to enter a period of your life that will push you physically, emotionally and mentally. Do not run from this, you will want to and you will fail. Get on the horse and ride it!
  2.  You will pass your driving test (finally!). You will feel more liberated because of it. The hour long journeys that you take now will be seriously reduced and hour long journeys now will take you to more exciting places. Also, watch out for white van drivers.
  3. In a few months you will begin to set your alarm for 4am, sleeping on the bus with contact lenses in is not fun.
  4. Stand your ground: fight your corner if someone is throwing punches your way. Muhammad Ali wouldn’t just stand in a boxing ring taking hits, neither should you. Fight immediately and don’t let them wear-you-down.

A year in the grand scheme of things may not seem like a long time. In fact, it may seem like no time has passed at all.  It does make you wonder about the future, even in a years time.

I think what I will take from the question: What advice would I give myself a year from now ? Is the message it tells me. It tells me that life will pass at fast pace, enjoy the moments now even if they seem insignificant – they may not later.