Find your purpose…

I hear this so often, yet until recently I would not give you a clear answer. Of course, I could always make something up. I could can say something to my parents and something different to my kids. I could blurt something out without thinking about it too much. Especially when I wanted to sound deep and philosophical.

My purpose has changed over the years. I went through different stages and each seemed to have fairly clear purpose. But I never thought about it that much. I took what was there in front of me – what was told to me by my parents, friends, classmates, coworkers, bosses, media. I think, you know where I am getting with is.

Staying at home because of Covid brought this fundamental question back to my mind. I have more time to think about it and I am happy to say that ‘something’ is emerging. It is deeply personal and maybe slightly unexpected for people around me. I hope you will not mind that I will keep it private. I did not write this post to share it anyway. The reason why I am writing about is that I feel lot more calmer, balanced, joyful – maybe I should liken it to the feeling of ‘coming home.’

I often write about things that worked for me. And this is one of them. So all I wanted to say with this post is: “Find your purpose and you will be happier…”

Have a good day dear friends πŸ™‚

Fantastic photo by Photo by Nicolas Loboson Unsplash

Provide value and you will be rewarded (eventually)…

I have been working quite hard on my online businesses and feeling bit deflated. The returns are very low and discouraging. I have done this before so I know it takes time. At least a year to get traction and 2 years to build a solid client list. In current conditions it might take even 3 looong years. There are many schemes that promise quick returns and I have tried far too many to know that instant success is highly unlikely. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a pessimist πŸ™‚

I think if you say to someone that they will see results after 2 years – well that is a very unattractive premise. I would also add to this another point. It will take at least 2 years and you do have to do your best. That means – no sloppy jobs, no fluff and no diluted content. I am thinking that many things are diluted nowadays. Just fluffy, inflated with empty words. I rejoice when I find a genuine person who is “not a brand” but an ordinary person. Doing something simply because they like it and they are good at it. Of course these people are still out there and I watch a number of small Youtubers who provide enormous value.

I think there is a huge opportunity if you are able to provide a genuine advice or product with a deep knowledge and expertise. You will reap success for sure but you need to provide ‘real value’ and not just an ‘appearance of a value’. I am trying to do this right know in my shop.

Will the customers recognise the value? I certainly hope so. I am giving it time and will report back in 2 years πŸ™‚ Until then I still believe that real value will get rewarded sooner or later…

Have a great day dear friends, stay safe and healthy πŸ™‚

Find your local role…

Just one experience from last week. I feel that local community is more important than ever. I know hat most of us are online for many hours and connecting with the ‘global village’. I have realised that internet always takes me mile away to different continents which is lovely but I do have less and less time for people around me. Now, when I am at home more than usual – I am thinking more about my immediate surroundings.

There are enough opportunities here under my nose for little odd jobs Β that can help to boost my income. For me in particular, it is teaching and tutoring. Parents are tired of homeschooling and are happy to have a break from it. Another example is my cleaning of my extensive library. There is a lovely 15 year old girl who is collecting old book and redistributing them further. To see something like that makes me very happy and I am delighted if I can contribute. What I am trying to say is – try to look around in your community. What problems people living nearby face? Can you help somehow? Can you save them time with providing your services? You have understanding of the locale more then someone from faraway and you are more vested in than big business. You can offer the fact that the customers will know you in person and you literally live behind the corner. Moreover, you can balance the time you spend on the computer with some physical activity and something completely different…

You don’t have to stick to the usual ‘gardening or car pool’. Be inventive. Offer good price to the first customers. Ask for referrals. Team up with someone. People are often worried that they don’t have the right skills. Think about what you are good at. What are your hobbies? What you can share or teach? Can you provide delivery service? Can you do shopping for some people who can’t do it or do not have the time? Can you bake? Can you teach music – even at beginner level is fine. There are always beginners there πŸ™‚ Can you prepare ‘prep’ packs, can you clean up places, organise room and wardrobes, can you transform someones garden into more sustainable one, can you help with composting, can you give advice on more sustainable living, can you teach makeup or styling? You don’t have to be a massive Youtuber or a big name on the market. In your local community YOU have the advantage because:

  1. You are you. You live in the same conditions and have a greater understanding than some big companies.
  2. You can offer better price.
  3. Local people are more forgiving if they know you are one from the community – they will not expect an extensive portfolio and a good word from a neighbour is enough.

I am sure there are more advantages. I hope I have motivated you to get going. Be confident! Now is the best time ever to go out there and make it πŸ™‚

Building stronger community
Your community – your cornerstone

 

 

Getting ready…

I was totally unprepared. I admit that quite openly. I did not have any face masks at home. Did not have food supplies. My Wifi was not able to handle long online sessions.

Now it is different. I am usually so organised and equipped with my lists right? So I have decided to mention a little bit about my ‘prepping’ although myΒ blog is not about prepping (and I never thought I will be making list like this ever). There are plenty of sites and very useful ones. I am not specialised in this but I do want to be prepared for next time as the governments act very very slowly and local networks including supermarkets as well.

So just very briefly – I am building basics at home. Without anxiety and using as much common sense as I am able to. I look at what I really need in a week and based on that I shop certain items and tuck them away into my cupboard.

  1. Essential medicines and First-aid kits
  2. Masks, gloves, goggles, possible a plastic face shield (did not get those, yet)
  3. Water for several days /2l per adult a day/
  4. Basic food supply
  5. Certain ‘luxury items’ like coffee, tea bags, chocolate
  6. Small alternative source cooker and supplies
  7. Radio and batteries, candles, matches

I probably forgot something but if I am able to keep these at home – I will feel calmer and more prepared than I was “last” time.

I am also looking at more long-term planning of other things like my financials, growing my own food and teaming up with people that I know I can trust.

Anyway dear friends, take care and stay healthy and calm πŸ™‚

Mushroom hunting season
Nature as a source

 

 

Self-care as a part of routine

One thing that I have noticed around me is an increase in tension. Many people seem to be under a lot of stress. They seem more stressed and more sensitive. I am not saying everyone but definitely a large number of people. And I am one of them for sure.

Staying at home uncovered lots of things to me. Although it is great to have extra time at home, it brings other unexpected side effects. We are forced to face ourselves and we are forced to see things we did not see before – simply because there was no time for it. Some of it might be surprising, revealing and yes – stressful.

So staying at home actually means going back home – literally and metaphorically speaking. We are uncovering layers that have not been touched maybe for years. While all of this is going on – the outside world is not the most welcoming or kind.

I am not writing this to make us feel sorry for ourselves. Rather to point out that self-care is more important the ever. It is a must. Here are some things I have added to my list to be more mindful of:

  1. peaceful and quiet environment with lots of light, plants and fresh air
  2. time off the media, watching news just once a day, scrolling through ups no longer than 2o minutes
  3. listening to soothing music or meditating at least 10 minutes
  4. physical exercises – adding variety
  5. eating fresh foods and limiting unhealthy choices
  6. reaching out to friends
  7. more screen breaks and resting my eyes more often
  8. learning something new (craft, skill, language and so on)

Take a good care dear friends and put yourself first πŸ™‚

Calm and peace motif
Self-care is a key component for survival

Going back to what I know…

Well, in times of crises I have always done it. Went home, talked to my grandma, met up with dear friends, looked at old photos, played old song…So this time I am going back to something I thought I have experienced and shelved. I even wrote a post about it and thought to myself: “Done that, been there – tick it off!”

I usually don’t go back but this time I am trying something else. Different perspective, angle, strategy and product. I don’t like going back to old thing that much as they lack the excitement but if they work, they have proven to withstand the test of time. I am trying again to open an online shop and everything from scratch. I know it worked four years ago and I know it took me about 2 years to get decent amount of customers, reviews and experience. Nothing fancy, very simple and straight forward. I will make an update in few months time. No, don’t worry, I am not going to promote it here πŸ™‚

The main reason I sat down I wrote this post is that I think you should not feel ashamed or embarrassed to go back to old things. And especially if you know they worked. The social media promote ‘recency’ as something of a great value. It does have its value. Don’t get me wrong. But the old has its value as well and often it gets buried under the big hill of new shiny things…something to think about, I suppose πŸ™‚

Also one side note: I was really looking for different way to open an online shop and basically there were only 2 ways; my own website or being on one of the big platforms. What I would like there to be – is something like virtual farmers market of sorts. Few shops bundled together. That are perhaps nearby and I can get to know the people bit more. A platform where can I build my own email without feeling like I am doing something wrong. A platform that allows me be me. A platform that is not massive with automated Contact us section. A smaller platform of few where your product does not get buried in a day and where you don’t have to spend on ads to keep it barely visible…

Do I want too much? Am I naive? Is there anything like that already? Anyway, there are many little shops like me who feel the same. Maybe there are already creative people working on some app for a mini-platforms that don’t have the ambition to be sold and grow bigger but rather to serve its primary premise – to connect people and stay humane at the same time.

Have a great day and wishing you all the success in your ventures πŸ™‚

flower-913832
Dreaming about lavender fieldsΒ 

Toxic people will always be there…

Long time ago I wrote about toxic people – so do I meet them now when I work remotely?

And to keep the long story short – yes, I do. They are still there. Sometimes even more toxic than during the ‘face to face’ contact. But, and this is a big BUT, I moved away significantly. There impact on my life is minimal. I am not saying that I totally don’t care. I do Β – but only for about several minutes. Once I get over the initial ‘shock’, I remind myself quickly – I know why they are like this, why they are doing it and I know that I don’t want to give them my energy – literally.

Getting to this point, took me a while. Had to go through several cycles but each cycle was shorter and shorter. And now – I don’t care ( apart those first 5 minutes which I was not able to eliminate, yet). I realised that overcoming the effect of toxic people does not happen quickly – at least for me. I do have a tendency overanalyse things and replaying thing in my head.

What is my takeaway from all this? I cannot influence the toxic people – I cannot make them to be less toxic but I can stop or significantly reduce their influence. It can be done. Hurray!

Mural with a love symbol
Focus on the love and don’t give your energy to to anything toxic.

Making wrong choices and admitting to myself…

I have been sifting through a number of online courses. I do suffer from an shiny object syndrome Β – and that does not help when I am choosing which way to go.

Before I knew, I had to sign up for a ‘free course’ offered by my employer. So the choice for made for me! I did think about it and at the end I gave in. To be honest, I regret it now. Mainly because of all the hours I need to put into it and at the end of each module there is a big fat Quiz waiting for me.

It is not a bad course. I am learning some new stuff and I will get a certificate when I complete it. But in my head I had many questions: Why I am doing this if I want to work in a different field in the future? Am I doing it more for my boss than for myself? Do I do it because everybody on my team has signed up?

Next time I need to remember my own advice which is as follows:

Save your energy and direct it where it should be. Your energy is not limitless. Look at your energy as a valuable source. There are only so many hours in a day. Don’t get yourself manipulated into things you have no interest in…even if they sound tempting at first.

Have a great week dear friends and use your energy wisely πŸ™‚

How to nurture self-growth
Choosing the right thing is not easy. There are millions of e-courses, yet I chose the wrong one. Admitting it to myself is the first step to remedy that, I suppose πŸ™‚

 

Thinking about the next step…

There are lots of prediction how the world will look. It is clear to me that I will have to be more versatile and juggle lots of moving parts. I will have to learn few more things, too. From all of this I gather that the future is going to be about activity, flexibility and self-improvement.

All of which I don’t particularly like or excel in…I love things to be the way they are – change often scares me. I don’t welcome it…having said that, I know it is something that needs to be done. I have streamlined my direction as follows:

  1. What am I good at? Maybe look back into my past and rediscover old talent.
  2. How can I help others or solve their problem while earning bit on the side. Tutoring? Dog walking? Selling things I don’t need anymore?
  3. I need to go deeper in my skills, what makes be different from the crowd? (I need to work on this point and I know it will take me at least a year to do that – I know that sucks but it is better to be honest with myself)

So yes, this is a marathon that feels like a very long sprint πŸ™‚

Let’s get it done!

fleshy-in-this-2571789

Mini-blocks and mini-burnouts

This might be useful for someone who works at home with a great intensity. That is what I have been doing during the lockdown and it occurred to me – that instead of having a big creative block or a big burnout, I experience a series of small ones. Not sure why it is, but this is how I deal with them.

Usually, when I put 100% into something or all my creative focus into one thing, I get very excited and almost nervous. I want to get straight to it. Bring it to this world so to speak – and usually I do. Sometimes, during that process, I start feeling like I am just pulled into some desert plains. I start asking about my motives, if someone is going to care, will it serve someone, am I wasting my time and so on. This is disappointing for me, simply because after a great high becomes a great low. And I think that is where many people stop creating and abandon their original idea/intention.

Now, when I am at home and I do need to find other strategies, I react differently. When I start feeling like this – I stop. I don’t push through anymore and I take time from it. I can do this just because I am at home. What works best for me is when I sleep on it. The next morning, I look at it with fresh eyes. And I am sure my brain worked on it as well while I slept. Then I continue and I finish the task no matter what where my initial feelings – euphoria or subsequent feelings – negativity. I finish it from a more balanced and neutral place.

I am writing this because you might be feeling the same, starting something with a great enthusiasm and then stopping it with negative feelings. I think, the best way through this is to embrace it and realise, yes, this is the process, this is how I work. There will be these ups and downs – and so what? Why it should stop me? This is how I work. This is how I get things done – and there is nothing wrong with it.

So keep on going my friends, no matter how hard it seems πŸ™‚milky-way-1023340