I have never been a subscriber to the notion of ‘Resolutions’. A binding blood pact I make with my future self, to be someone better? No thank you. But this year I had felt like challenging myself a little. So at the beginning of the year I wrote a short list of 'goals'. And its now time for a check up...
“I want to be happier with my creative process and it’s outcomes. I want to be more understanding and accommodating of others processes too. I want to be less afraid of people’s opinions, of expressing myself. I want to be bold and take creative risks. I want to create more for me, to enjoy it again, I miss it”.
This was number two on my 2017 resolutions list and I am afraid to admit that until yesterday, I had completely forgotten to honour it. I, like most people do, lived up to my own self-deprecating expectations and failed to uphold the plan. I very easily, all too quickly became distracted by schedules, meeting other people’s expectations, assessments, workloads, life. And I all too quickly forgot myself. I all too quickly forgot my passions. I all too quickly let creativity become a job. I all too quickly forgot to enjoy myself.
Isn’t that always the way? We grow up, we become too busy, we forget to have fun. And even the most creative of us stop doing what it is that made us once say, “it makes me feel more alive than anything else.” Funny…not. It’s all too real!
But today is as perfect as any other day to try again, right? And so, despite it being seven months into the year, today I make this pledge, this resolution, once more. But this time its even simpler. There’s no fancy words, no blood pact made with my future self, no promises. I am simply going to do more of what makes me happy.
But how do you do that? You ask.
Well, that’s a good question. I think we make it more complicated than it needs to be. I think we can put so much unnecessary pressure on our shoulders thinking we need to do something big to make a difference in our lives. I did, for sure. I worked my butt off thinking that to be happy I needed to accomplish something, do something well. Finish well. But all I was doing was pushing on a pull door. I was doing everything for the future. I was working towards the unreachable, blinded by the pressures I had put on myself; to become something, ‘someone’, which I didn’t even believe I could become.
If you ask me, the best thing you can do is give things a go. If there is ever a chance for me to talk to my younger self, I will tell her to simply try her hand at everything that comes her way.
Get out of your comfort zone, try something new. Meet new people. Take a risk. And if that’s not where you’re at, that’s okay. Do one thing today that will put a smile on your face. Do one thing today, or tomorrow even, that is fun.
For example, I went to an acting audition yesterday. And you know what, it was amazing. I had so much fun and it was all thanks to my having a positive mindset. I put on my best smile, I got talking to the other people auditioning out in the hall before hand, I embraced the moment and made the most of it. I took risks and tried new things. I forgot about impressing anyone or about how I may look doing it. And for the first time in what feels like forever, I enjoyed acting. This morning I meet up with the founder/creative director of the production and one of the girls that I had auditioned alongside. And not only have I re-kindled an old friendship and even made a new friend but I was offered a job within the company as her production assistant.
But that never would have happened if I hadn’t had a go.
I think its important to not think of being happy as something that is achievable, as something you need to work for. Happiness is an emotion. A feeling. It comes and goes. It’s not going to be an answer to anything. But it is possible to experience it. If you stop thinking of it as a problem solver. Being happy is all about being present, making the most of right now. I don’t believe it to be a choice because no one chooses depression. But I do think that there are things we can do on a daily basis that can make us feel better.
There are so many things that you can do to live a better, healthier, ‘happier’ life. Today.
- Bake/Cook if you like to do so. Make yourself your favourite meal or try a new recipe.
- Join a club – sport, dance, writing, acting. There are all kinds of communities that you can become a part of.
- Volunteer your time
- Visit/explore somewhere new
- Spend time with family/loved ones
- Change jobs – if where you work is really hard or unpleasant, maybe its time to look for a job that is more in your area of passions
- Study something you’re passionate about – its never too late to go to uni. Maybe there’s a career you would like to be part of.
- Do something today that could further you on your journey to reaching your goal – travelling, fitness, profession
Take it from someone who has had to restart more times there are fingers on her hands, its never too late to try. Never.
So forget about past failures, in fact learn from them.
Forget about the future for a while, apart from maybe planning a holiday or special event don’t think too much about it. There’s always time. Do more of what makes you – emphases on the word ‘you’ – happy; because everyone is different, everyone needs different things in their life. Everyone is on their own journey.
And remember, its not your excellence that makes you different but your differences that make you excellent.
Remember that my Difference Makers.