What if there ISN’T a path? (And other lessons)

I was on a beautiful walk in rural Devon the other week and I was listening to some podcasts and several things stood out to me.

Doing is better than telling!

Taylor Orwell – the creator of Laravel – is currently using his “Laravel Snippet” podcast to share lessons he’s learned while developing software products.

Episode 17 on “Motivation and Discipline” had a lot of good take-aways.

The background to this is that I have several side products that could become paid products in one way or another, and I’m constantly trying to push them forward and test the water to see which to run with the most.

But Taylor said (paraphrased): “Don’t announce that you are going to do something – just do it!”

Apparently there is some research that shows that, to your brain, announcing something gives the same sense of completion as actually doing it, and so removes your motivation.

I’ve been really guilty of this with side projects of late. I was really going to get going with Press Ups again, but that’s fallen by the wayside because of illness and having to prioritise paid work. But I also wonder how much of that me procrastinating because my brain thinks I’ve already done it.

Save you announcements for when you are DONE!

How much of my work is tied to my self worth?

Episode 50 of Paul Jarvis and Kaleigh Moor’s Creative Class podcast was good too – they talked about mental health, and it was really valuable.

I think a lot of freelancers could learn from the paragraph:

How much of my work is tied to my self worth? It’s normal to want validation, but don’t have yourself on it entirely.

What if there isn’t a path?

In the same episode, Paul talked about being asked for long term goals and how sometimes – especially when he’s struggling – he isn’t focussed on the long term goals he’s focussed on doing what he has to do today, in the moment. Sometimes he knows what he has to do in the present, right now, and the focus is on doing that and not worrying about the bigger goals and the future.

I’ve had some difficult weeks of late, and this idea that “doing the stuff of today is enough” has really helped me.

I know there are some bigger goals, and they are good, but they also seem unattainable at times. So sometimes, doing what I have to do today is enough.

I’ve been ill. My kids have been ill and I’ve had to look after them. It’s been a month of not getting much done. But I’ve had to accept that. I’ve had to accept that I didn’t walk much along The Path today, but what I did today was enough.

What have you learned?

I’m grateful for all the podcasts and videos and articles. There is a lot of good knowledge being passed around in the world. These things have helped me.

I wonder what has helped you lately? Leave your own wisdom learned in the comments.

2 thoughts on “What if there ISN’T a path? (And other lessons)

  1. I sometimes feel it’s just me going through those up and down things and general frustrations in life but when I talk to others and read what others write about or say on podcasts, I realise more and more we’re all pretty much the same people going through the same motions. I think you do amazing things, the things you create, your spirit and commitment to help others in the community is admirable and I know your family appreciate what you do to! What you do IS more than enough 🙂
    It’s important to achieve things and easy to put pressure on ourselves to achieve those things but it’s equally as important to enjoy them as well. I’ve learnt not to get so frustrated when things don’t go the way I want them to go, I try to accepted that things change and adapt accordingly, even down to the those really frustrating Mac updates! I accept it, look at the garden and think, hmm…. those leaves could do with raking up and inevitably get that job done in the interim, in the end I generally become more productive somehow ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ – when I finally get back to what I was doing in the first place my head space is generally in a much better condition 🙂

  2. Something I learnt comes in two parts.

    The first, told to me by my father when I was still a student, was there’s no point worrying about things you can’t do anything about.

    The second, which I don’t recall its origin, is that there’s no point worrying about things you can’t be bothered to do anything about. (And for those you can be bothered to do something about, get on with doing that something instead of worrying.)

    Both are easier said than done, but when I remember them help to keep life calm.

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