30 Insights from 30 Days of Blogging - Part 2
Writing for 30 days taught me more than I ever thought I would learn before I tried it. This is the second post of a two part series, explaining the insights I gathered from each day of blogging, and how it's improved my life - in everything from writing, to goalsetting, reflection, and so much more.
16: Focus on what matters.
The internet at this point is so packed with information, articles, books, videos and a whole host of other media, that it would take lifetimes to sift through it all. The best thinkers today know how to synthesise information - not just absorb it - and compile it into something that helps them achieve their goals.
You're bound to get distracted and tempted away from your priorities, whether that be through a funny cat video or a work strategy that actually isn't as effective as you thought. The best thing you can do for yourself is to narrow down your goals and your focus, and dedicate the majority of your time to working on them consistently.
17: Nobody is a robot (except the robots).
Everybody needs downtime. If you're feeling like the pressure of work and the momentum you've built up has you running yourself out until you're exhausted - realise that it's okay to take a step back sometimes. Often the best moments in life are the ones where we're fully present, and not focused on any long term goal or past memory.
A lot of the time, workload problems can also be solved by automation and tools, rather than the simple 'put your back into it' mindset, that a lot of us grew up with as the basis for getting anywhere in life. Working hard matters, but working smart helps it so much.
18: Follow the people three steps ahead of you.
Although the internet is a complete mess of information, if you pick the right bits out, you can make wonders from it. Start gathering names, books, tools, and anything else that will help you on your journey. Just like in a videogame, if you want to win, finding the right gear and being with the right people will help a lot.
19: Work for your freedom.
Doing something you love is great. Doing something you love as a career is even better. But the best use of your time is to do something you love, to the point where you can free yourself from the need to constantly be treating it like work.
Put in the hours now to secure your freedom, and finally stop trading your time for money. It takes a lot of effort, but if you can find a way to do that, the rest of your life will be largely free from the 9-5 slog, and the worry that you need to work to fulfil another goal, like providing or paying the bills.
20: Don't be afraid to put yourself out there.
Whether that's on YouTube, Tiktok, or another non-video based form of social media - don't be afraid to use your voice. You don't have to act like an authority on anything, all you have to do is share your story, and what you know. Nobody knows everything, so part of the process is to get the confidence to just share what you already have.
21: If you don't feel ready, you're ready.
Many of my regrets in life come from not having started things sooner. And the only reason I didn't, was that I didn't feel like I had the skills or the abilities to jump in and get started on that thing. The irony of it is, even when I did eventually start, I still didn't have the skills. That's because you can only get them when you actually begin.
Make the jump, regardless of how you feel, and you'll learn something regardless of what happens. What do you have to lose?
22: Forget perfectionism: do the bare minimum for once.
If you grew up in an academic context like most people, going to school, getting assignments to write the perfect essay and having your worth as a student being based on giving the perfect responses to questions - you're likely very perfectionistic.
But what hurts is, when you're following any sort of entrepreneurial pursuit - that's the worst mindset to have. You want to be curious, not perfectionistic. You want to explore everything, try everything out a little bit and see what works.
For once, just write something that you know is terrible, and post it. Make a video that you aren't completely happy with, and share it. Do something that you're not satisfied with, and let it go. You'll start to realise it really doesn't matter that much.
23: Don't chase success. Chase the journey.
A lot of people only feel motivated after success. After their teacher tells them they did a good job on the essay - after their boss tells them their presentation went down really well. Not many people feel motivated after failure. But the truth is, life gives you both. At any given time, you could have one, or the other.
Treating it like the average statistic, chasing success effectively means you'll be your productive self only half the time. It's pointless to chase success and rely on those highs to keep you going, because they won't always be there.
Accept that failure is a part of the journey, and embrace it when it comes to you. Treat it like a learning experience and use it to form another success. In that way, you'll get into the mindset of turning every loss into a win. And who doesn't want to be a winner everyday?
24: Provide value to others, and they'll do the same.
A lot of people (especially young people) get caught up in the mindset of starting a side hustle, making a ton of money, becoming rich and famous and living their dream life. And I'll put my hands up and say without a doubt, that's a great life to be living, if you can manage it.
But from everything I've learned so far, you don't get there by focusing on making the money. You get there by identifying problems that people have, and solving them. Any profession you can think of is based around solving a problem for someone. That's what society values, and that's what you'll get paid for.
If you can give something, whether that's knowledge, skills, a service, or your time, to solve a problem that someone has - they will reward you. The next big choices to make after that are, what problem do you want to solve, and how many people do you want to solve it for.
25: Networking is just talking to people who have jobs like yours.
A lot of people tend to recoil at the word, remembering awkward silences and conversations at professional events or careers fairs - but networking isn't as scary as it's made out to be, if you come at it from a perspective of curiosity.
Lowering your bar to the very minimum, and just asking people to talk to you in simple terms and tell you what they do in their jobs, is almost always a good start; it gets people talking about the things they enjoy, and in a way you can understand. You learn something new, and you get an idea of the people that you'd like to talk to more. As long as you go into it with an open mind, it can actually be quite interesting to see so many people with values and goals similar to yours.
26: Value your gut instinct.
Often times in life, you can get the feeling that something might not be right for you, even without having concrete evidence. While rational thinking and facts do help, I think there's a case to be made for trusting your own intuition as well.
Usually, past experience and memory can be a much more subconscious signal that we attune to, and use to make judgements - and that's not always something that our rational minds can make sense of. Intuition isn't always right, but depending on the person it can still be pretty useful.
27: Look back at how far you've come to find the will to keep going.
Often times, our victories can be overshadowed by the next obstacle that's put in our paths. It's easy to ignore the effort that went into finding that first success, when there are so many other challenges ahead, but looking back at what you've achieved over the years is a really easy way to refresh in your mind the belief that you are capable of succeeding.
28: Shoot for the stars and you'll land on the moon.
It can be really easy to restrict yourself to wanting the small things in life when you feel locked in by the world around you. But having the long term vision and picturing your ideal life, it can often be vastly different from what you're experiencing right now.
Giving yourself the chance to want great things, without being limited by inherent beliefs, helps you break out of the mindsets that keep you held down. If you believe that anything is possible, you'll end up achieving so much more than the person who believed that nothing was possible.
29: If you haven't failed at it, you don't know it well enough.
This is an interesting one, and quite counterintuitive. To get the full depth of experience that comes with any pursuit - you need to fail at least once. You need to be told that what you're doing isn't enough, so you can find the specific things that will help you improve. Very rarely do people manage things perfectly the first time, and when they do, there's still almost always room for growth. Treat the failures as learning points, and use them as indications that you're getting towards your goal.
30: Your story is worth telling, and your people will listen.
Your story deserves to be shared the way that you've experienced it. Without editing anything away or hiding parts of yourself. Humans love relatable experiences, and sharing yours, in whatever sense seems relevant to you, will have an effect on people.
When I say 'your people' I don't mean any group in particular. Your people could be the ones who do the same things you do, believe the same things you believe, or simply care about you enough that they'll consider what you have to say. You can find them anywhere if you look hard enough, and to them, your work will feel like play. Once you find your people, you'll have the chance to skyrocket your growth.
I feel like a broken record writing this - but I honestly could not have imagined I'd gain this much just by committing to write for 30 days. I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about themselves, and take a step forwards towards documenting their achievements, or their work.
I'm hoping to continue blogging long after the end of this challenge, and see where the journey takes me!
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