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

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

 

 

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™‚

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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!

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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

Keeping it simple and going back to basics

My last post might have been a bit long-winded, I think…

So today I am doing something different. Basically putting out a checklist of what I am focusing now during these strange times. I like to write short lists to streamline my thoughts, especially after watching or reading something inspirational or motivational.

  1. What do I love most? How can I translate that into a digital business/product?
  2. What truly fulfils me?
  3. What I am most passionate about (work wise )
  4. Prioritise based on my answers to Question 1-3
  5. Stick with it
  6. Organise other things that I don’t like, things that sap my energy, things I am not particularly good at
  7. Cut out things that eat my time
  8. What takes me away from my priorities – based on my answers to Questions 6-8, cut them out or at least minimise them

Yep, so that’s it for today πŸ™‚

Β 

Working from home – because that is the only way now…

So…I have completed several weeks of work from home now. And just few months ago I thought that I will never work from home again….

This time round I found it quite hard. I was distracted by what was going on around me. I spent hours watching videos about the pandemic; what to prepare, how to survive and videos about what will happen next. Β As a result, my productivity dropped immensely not mentioning zero motivation to work. Anxiety and fear crippled me for hours. I am not ashamed to admit it. I believe that it is O.K. to be scared and worried. It is a normal reaction. It is good to admit to yourself and your loved once. If you do that, you will be more understanding towards yourself and others will be more understanding towards you. When I realised my feelings and failings, I moved to the next step. If you read my blog regularly, you already know that I love to follow steps πŸ™‚

I created a new routine for myself and decided to keep it. Morning routine stayed almost the same as on the “normal” work days. I created a little workspace that is shielded from my family and is fairly quiet. I have put up my board with a weekly timetable and deadlines. I left my phone in the bedroom and limited my time on the media. I have set a time for breaks (I have cut out my trips to the fridge). To make my work day more appealing, I have shorten my ‘actual’ work hours. I started my work with few silent minutes of ‘tuning’ into my work. This is an important little step for me as I need to sound friendly and enthusiastic when I talk to the clients. All of this, helped me to get into a certain tempo.

Once I moved on from feelings to action, I realised that I am actually still interested in what is going on. I even looked at new technologies that I can use and found some free courses I want to take. All of that helped me to settle into my ‘remote’ mode of working.

Did the worries disappear? No. I still have them. I don’t know what will the ‘world of work’ look like after the pandemic is over. Some people say that it will be better and some people say that it will be worse. I think – no one really knows πŸ™‚ All I know is, that I need to have a back up plan, in case I lose my job. I know that people often recommend to go deep and focus only on one thing. But I think, for me personally, this is not a good strategy. I am looking at my skills and thinking – what can I offer to this new world which is coming but I know nothing or very little about.

Here are my very crude notes:

1/ I know, that I have to diversify.

2/ What skills do I have, what can I offer.

3/ How can I enhance my skills in the shortest time possible.

4/Can I start providing this service now at least on a small scale, perhaps during that time I gained from working at home?

I will end up this post by some basic observations that might be good to share with you . I think that I am not wrong if I say that people will always – meaning even in our uncertain future – be interested in:

  1. Health
  2. Happiness
  3. Wealth

Are you able to provide service, advice, expertise in one of those areas? Can you solve some problems people have in achieving these? Can you teach them or help them?

Last time, when I was mentioning some hot jobs, I omitted completely the tech industry. Mainly because I am totally useless with anything technology related. But if you have those skills – you might go really up now. I can see around me a great demand for apps or educational software that are simple and useful. Β Or can you offer services geared up towards the industries that are under so much stress nowadays? That would be great too. Think about nurses, doctors, fire fighters , police force…Do you have something that will make their life easier, can you provide something that would be of a value to them? Or can you produce some cleaning or hygienic products? I can see a massive demand for those.

Or why not start with something small?Β I noticed that even now there is a demand for dog walking. Or you can offer to be a personal shopper and deliver the shopping to people who are not able to do the shopping themselves.

And one last note to end up this post with. But an important one. Never ever think that you can’t do anything. New opportunities are there already while some new once are slowly emerging. We need to notice them and decide which way we will go.

The feeling that we all are in this together is more obvious then ever. So I wish us all – sunny days ahead πŸ™‚

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