mediocre.

Mediocre is defined as, of only moderate quality; not very good.

This is something I feel about myself more often than I’d like to admit when it comes to my ability to follow through with some projects. This project in particular is something I have felt the most mediocre about in a very long time. I kind of just put the project in park in my garage and haven’t taken it for a spin all summer. 

Is that something that I had intended to do? Not exactly, I started two podcasts this summer, interviewed a few dozen people, attended the eBay open, and read a few cookbooks all while spending time with my wife and dog. I thought I was keeping busy enough the thought of this project would fade away until life slowed down and I was ready to start writing a little bit more again. I was completely mistaken about the possibility to let this project slide. 

I had created an instagram page as a way to promote my project and each time I signed onto my personal instagram account I was met with a reminder of a personal promise I was failing to keep to myself. To put it simply just the social media account on it’s own could have driven me to feel guilty, but that wasn’t all I had created as a commitment to myself that I would write three hundred words a day. I had set reminders on my calendar to go off weekly as a reminder to see if my grammar was improving and to check the weekly analytics to see if people were reading my thoughts. It has been a constant reminder that I have been letting myself slip away from my goal, to become a better writer this year. 

I’ve said this before on this project and blog that I want to do better. For the rest of the year I want to be a little less mediocre in completing a simple task that should take me fifteen minutes or less to complete. 

So here’s to starting this project back up, and to being a little mess mediocre at following through on my promises to myself.

Perception of a hard day.

Each of us perceives the world slightly different from the other, this is what causes our realities to be different. The good things some see in the world could be seen as just okay or not noteworthy by others. Stressful situations for some might be someone else’s comfort zone and so on. The way each of us perceive the world is what makes life unknown in ways because we never know what someone might do or say when experiencing a situation.

We can all admit that there are days when we struggle to see the good in anything. When work sucks, our car sucks, our relationships are bad, or life just isn’t great at that moment. These days happen to everyone and can happen anytime. Sometimes life is just unpredictable. There are a few ways to combat these days when our perception of the world around us is abnormally harsh.

Take a little personal time and write down everything that is poisoning your day. Just write it down, get those terrible feelings out of you as quickly as you can. Writing these things down can be difficult because you may not agree with what you are writing, you might feel torn between how you feel in the moment and how you feel in general. Feeling this way okay, its the process of writing the rough moments on paper that help you think through the reality of life at the time and move forward. Give it a try.

Another great option to help adjust your perspective on a challenging day is to talk it out with a friend while doing some type of activity. Perhaps a walk around your office just to vent, working on a puzzle, playing laser tag, hiking, throwing axes, or boxing could be the best way to talk it out and work the challenges out. I have tried all of the ideas I wrote above and they’ve helped me personally, just tailor your activity to you and see how that works for you.

Realization.

What I was having a hard time admitting was that I was burned out. Nothing was making sense because I couldn’t grasp what was happening around me, I had fallen into a autopilot mode and was just doing the bare minimum to get by each day. Once I was able to come to the realization of what was happening to me it broke me down a little more than I already was and then allowed me to begin to pick myself up and retake control of myself and my surroundings.

Yesterday I talked about walking the dog and just listening to nature around me and taking a little time to read something every day. Those are two big parts of what has helped me regain some sense of control of my life. The following are two more things that helped me stand a little more confidently and are still helping me today; Eating less sugar, and exercising more gratitude.

I’m not here to tell you how to eat, I here to tell you about what I was eating too much of and too little of. I am the type of person who can pick up a group sized bag of chocolates and eat the whole thing by myself in one sitting. I have a sweet tooth that loves to be fed and all too often I just feed it without thought or care of how I will feel afterward. I have known this for a long time and it hasn’t bothered me because I feel that I live a fairly active life and don’t carry too much excess weight on my bones.

This past month I started using sweets and treats as they ought to be used as a way to treat one’s self once in a while. It was a struggle for me as I mentioned before because I am a sweet eater and indulge a little too often historically. I started taking better snacks with me to work like cheese, fruits and various nuts to snack on instead of sugary treats. I also limited my soda intake to one can a day and that can be after work when I made it home to relax. It made a huge difference in my daily attitude and helped me be a little less cloudy than I was before.

I believe I mentioned this before in a few different posts but this is one that really rings with me and has helped me see life in a better light, expressing gratitude more often. Yes, I have always tried to express gratitude each day but I wasn’t expressing gratitude to the right people nor seeing gratitude in the little things around me. I was grateful for having a place to work, owning a house, a car, and a family but I wasn’t able to express that gratitude directly to the little things that really mattered.

I started saying thank you to my spouse more often for the little things she did, I started looking more at the good things that I had worked toward in my life such as my car and home ownership. I started admitting that I was avoiding seeing the good things in my life and swelling on the holes and how much more I needed to be happy. I personally don’t think that I need material possessions to be happy, but I was starting to think those were the only things I needed to be so. You can be happy with very little should you choose to be grateful for the life you have and the opportunities that have come and are coming your way.

As I stated before I’m not saying the things I’ve mentioned above are guaranteed to make you happier than you already are or will pull you out of a funk or burned out stage of life. What I have mentioned above has helped me live with fewer clouds in my head each day. They were part of the tools I personally used to be a little happier than I was yesterday.

Escape.

Have you ever needed a little time to escape? To have peace and quiet, just to disconnect from the world around you and just hear nature? As I mentioned last night I needed that time and space just to reset and breathe. It’s never easy to admit that we might be experiencing a little burnout, that has led to us being a little down for a period of time. I took the past month to escape a little and these are a few things I used to escape.

Reading has always been something I have tried to enjoy and use as an escape. I used a little time each day last month to read a few books, my favorite being “How to Bullsh*t Your Way to Number 1: An Unorthodox Guide To 21st Century Success from the World’s #1 Fake Restaurateur and Paris Fashion Week’s #1 Fake Designer” by Oobah Butler. I have watched his videos online and felt I related to his style and sense of humor. His book was an easy read that helped me better understand how to stop bullsh*tting myself and to start being better at committing to ideas and finding success.

There are indeed times when I have thought that I have great ideas that are destined for success that have fallen flat on their faces because I let the doubts of others around me hold me back. That was something that had been grinding me down over the past months was the voices of others who didn’t see the whole vision I had and believed in. I let their doubts drown out my belief that things would go well on stormy seas.

Walking my dog without headphones in my ears sounds like a silly thing. I don’t really want to get to know my neighbors after all (wink, wink), nor do I want to hear the sounds of birds, horses, cows, and sheep. Just kidding, I love hearing all of those things along with the simple interactions with my neighbors. It’s just easy to plug in and be distant. This past month I just took my headphones out while e walked the dog and that changed things up, I was more connected to real life and all the goodness that is always surrounding me.

It really helped me out with feeling better about my day to day life, disconnect from the digital and live more in the physical. Living here and now can often be a great escape for some and indeed it has been a great escape for me. So take some time and read a book, any book will do. Take the chance on walking without your headphones in your ears and just listen to the present around you and soak up the big moments of today.

Month.

A month is a long time for some and a short time to others. Plenty can happen in a month, you could train and run a marathon in a month, you could write a book, improve your health, take a trip to a few new places, or focus on something with all of your focus. That is what I did last month, I spent some time focused on improving my mental health, I was in a rut and it was a challenge to get out of. I felt awful and uninspired, I felt weak in everything I did and withdrew myself from some of my greatest friendships.

It’s hard to struggle and not always understand why. It is a puzzle to me why I withdrew from my friends and felt the desire to keep to myself. I never know when this is going to happen either, the world suddenly feels heavy and I feel like Atlas holding the weight of the world on my shoulders. Is this something I want? No, but its something I must work through when it happens and move forward from those moments of deep doubt and weight.

Last month after mothers day I took a break from writing every day and decided to look inward and reflect to see how I was feeling, how I could find personal clarity, and how I could be in a better mental state. It was not easy to look inward as I did, writing down lists of negative self-thoughts and a few positive ones. It made me extremely sad to see how poorly I looked at myself when I know that I have heaps more to offer than I thought I did during those moments. I knew that I wasn’t feeling up to par with being my happier self, but that I could work my way through and out of the rut I had found myself in.

If you or anyone you know seems a little off from their usual self don’t be afraid to ask them how they are doing, see if they need an ear to vent to, or just need someone to sit with them in silence until they are ready to talk. Try and be there for them and make sure they know that you are willing to be there when they need. This seems like common sense friendship but it isn’t. It’s something that shows you are a friend with a deeper understanding of the feelings and needs of others.

To my friends who stood beside me through these challenging times, I say thank you. Thank you for listening when I needed, sending memes out of the blue that raised a smile on my face, and laughing with me when I needed a good laugh. Friendship is a beautiful thing isn’t it?

Doubt and putting in the work.

What does your inner voice say to you when you set off towards reaching a new goal. Is the voice you hear a cheerleader? A voice that is filled with belief and confidence in your ability to accomplish your goal? Does the voice enable you to push onward through challenges to reach your destination without a doubt on your quest?

Do you have a inner voice like mine that tends to distract you from your desired outcome? A voice that causes you to doubt your abilities and motivation? That provides you with endless excuses and alternative “opportunities” to test out as you go. I have a voice that does all of those things builds me up, tears me down, welcomes doubt into the conversation, then leaves me filled with questions and thoughts about all the potential outcomes that could happen. Unfortunately, this voice of mine usually focuses on the high probability of failure.

I spend too much time thinking about what might happen if I fail and not enough time working towards my goal. I recognize that sounds a lot easier than it really is to just not think about all the various “What if” scenarios playing through our minds. It is just as easy though to do the work, it takes just as much time and is much more productive than battling with your doubts.

This month I have pushed myself more than I have previously on my e-commerce store, I have worked to get more items online, better selections of items, and a greater reach to potential customers via smarter marketing tactics. It seems to be working so far this month but we are only eight days into the month.

I also have made great steps forward with my podcast. I’ve ordered the equipment, worked out the first five episodes with guests and have a excellent plan to market to as large of an audience as I can. I’m committing to making this project work no matter how rough the first episodes might be I’ll push through and make this project reach it fullest potential one episode at a time.

I can’t wait to show you all.

Leveling Up.

A quick follow up from yesterdays post, today I went on an spontaneous adventure with my friend to the desert three hours to the east. It was a great time searching out petroglyphs and walking through dry canyon washes looking at the sandstone features with our dogs. Just a follow up that saying yes a little more pays off, it made all the difference in how today turned out.

I listen to a number of podcasts that vary in topic from personal growth/development, business tactics/processes, food/restaurant development/managment and regular life stories that have a motivational tune to them. Most of them have a common theme about leveling up and doing better at what you do. The people sharing these messages are usually extremely dedicated to one or two things and have become world-class at using those skills to make money from them.

One of the most constant things you hear is taking the next step, leveling up in one way or another and using that momentum to maximize your opportunities to grow your business, brand, portfolio, or influence. After you level up once and you master your new level you seek out new opportunities to level up again. It’s a constant series of leveling up and extended growth so you can reach your ultimate level. The ultimate level might be wealth, successful businesses, or life balance.

For each of us, the end goal is different. We all want different things this is why our paths vary, the way we earn and spend money varies, and the way we look at life is slightly different from the people we spend the most time with. What I have deduced from each of these podcasts and their mentors and guests is that you need to deduce what you want to become and jump feet first into whatever you decide to pursue and become the best you can be at it.