I need to start thinking of interesting titles…
I’ve just been spending the night taking in an influx of content from internet marketers Gary Vay-ner-chuk and James Altucher. In fact the two (who I knew of through my brother — joined forces to do a podcast and it was certainly the most high-energy podcast I’ve heard in a long time. Listen here: do it!
The whole thing was illuminating to me but in particular, there are a few different aspects that I wish to explore a little in this blog post.
Number one: “I like being doubted”.
I find Vaynerchuk’s approach to uncertainty kind of…for want of a better word….cool! (I recently found out whilst doing the CELTA that cool is a word that I often use….thankyou Pei if you ever read this! I also know that it is a word that I want to now reduce using. So, how many cools are uncool? Please get in touch with me if you know the answer).
And this thing called doubt. What is it and do we need it? I just read this quote: “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~ Pema Chodron And I suppose everyone’s ‘nest’ is different right but perhaps many of us have grown accustomed to being uncompletely awake and satisfied with what ever gets thrown our way.
Number two. “There is no such thing as wrong”.
Instead, the wrong choice is not making a choice at all! From past experiences this is something I can definitely relate to as most of the good things that have happened in my life so far have pretty much always been the result of making the phone-call or doing something constructive towards a certain goal — either directly or indirectly. And those are only the things that I know about!
So. Choices are good. Doubt is good. The former keeps us moving and the latter shakes us up a little and makes us grow. I certainly doubted that I would ever be able to maintain writing a blog and despite a slow start I actually feel as if it could be achievable as I’m writing this. Perhaps I’m still in ‘I just took in three hours of Gary Vaynerchuk’s stuff online’ ‘mode’ and come tomorrow will generate the same passive approach to generating content as I have been doing previously. Well, not if I can help it.
What choices, though, can I make out of the thousands of possible ones that are going to get me closer to my ideal life and lifestyle, have a positive impact and give me a sense of purpose? Should I spend more energy and time thinking about what I’m working on or can I simply create good content, play nice and hope for the best? Something tells me the former is where it’s at.
Number three and as Vaynerchuk’s podcast suggests: I think it’s incredibly important to ‘be yourself’ — something that was reminded to me by my boss while at work yesterday.
Though this is hard to define I think we all know when those times arise. (Csikszentmihalyi has a great TED talk on flow here, which is a state I imagine to find myself in when I’m acting ’myself’. I think I need to read some more psychology books).
Ok so doubt is good. Make choices. Think about what you’re doing and why. And be yourself! I’m glad we’re making some kind of progress with this.
Another quality that Vaynerchuk truly prizes is self-awareness. Despite the continuing chaos in the world, I think that if you have some kind of understanding of who you are then surely that’s a great thing. Often moods and negative thinking can crush your perception of what’s really happening (there’s that doubt again), so perhaps what we should be doing is reframing our daily experiences to help us see the progress that we’ve actually been making. (If at all).
One technique suggested by Altucher is to write down ten ideas a day to help build the ‘idea muscle’ that lives in our brains. This is a technique I have begun to do but need to become more persistent at in order for it to become a habit. When it comes to self-awareness I think that this ‘persistence’ and ‘determination’ to develop is truly the key to unlocking new doors though I’m convinced now that it’s all about execution. What good is a new habit if you do it once or twice a month? If you’re not going to take it seriously who else will?
I think that one thing that sometimes halts my progress is either the fact I think I’m spreading myself to thin or I am spreading myself too thin. But then in some sense that’s one aspect of my personality — I love new ideas and doing new things. Which should I focus on the most? Please let me know if you know as I don’t have the answer. Yet.