The three most important realizations I’ve had all year
If you’re anything like me, you’ll tell yourself that the more you do, the more motivated you’ll get. The more you work, the faster you’ll climb. The more you take on, the better you’ll be.
You’ll tell yourself that you should always be doing more, creating more, implementing more.
You’ll tell yourself that staying up until 1am working is necessary. You’ll tell yourself that constantly feeling anxious about money is normal. You’ll tell yourself that once you’ve reached a certain point, you’ll be able to prioritize looking after yourself.
Turns out, I’ve been telling myself all wrong.
This last month, life’s been really full.
It’s been exciting and challenging and fresh and cool, but I’ve had a few realizations which I think are really important for me to take serious note of if the hustle is to continue. These realizations came to me so clearly after the fact that I now have no choice but to sit up and take note – or I think it’ll be really hard to progress any further.
They may seem simple, but for me at least, it’s all too easy to let the simple things slip through the cracks when you’re constantly stressing about the bigger picture.
So here they are.
- Don’t be afraid of silence
When I was in Wellington MC-ing that event, I realized that I need to learn to not just feel comfortable with silence – I need to embrace it.
Between speakers, I’d head back on stage and feel instantly anxious that there was a lag time between the speaker getting off stage, me getting on stage and gathering my notes in order to move the event forward.
But in fact, these little moments of silence were the best. Those brief moments of silence allowed me to have a presence without having to speak. They gave the audience time to anticipate what was next. They gave me a second to collect my thoughts and to make sure I was prepared for what I needed to do next.
I didn’t even really realize that this was happening until I got off stage, and someone asked me for my best tip on public speaking. Without thinking, my response was ‘don’t be afraid of the silence’.
And I think that statement is something I’ll take with me in a literal sense, as well as a metaphorical one.
See, when life feels are silent, it’s easy to think nothing is happening, that you’re going nowhere, that it’s a thing that needs to be filled.
But really, silences in life are totally necessary. The exist in order to give you a chance to reflect, to be fully present and to make sure that you’re prepared for whatever is coming at you next.
2) Prioritize health
For the last 6 months, my personal health has really taken a back seat.
Exercise has felt like a chore. Good meals have been few and far between. And my sleep quality has been extremely poor.
I know for sure about the sleep thing, ’cause I downloaded this app thing that tells me.. So up with it, amiright?
However, in the last few weeks, I’ve been pushing myself to get back on the consistent exercise train. Other things to do – well, they’ll have to wait. Tired muscles – yoga. Slightly hungover – I’m sorry, is that meant to be an excuse?!
This morning, I woke up. And without thinking about it or questioning it or pondering what else I could be doing, I left for a run. And that can only mean one thing. Exercise has become a habit again!
As a result of this, I’ve been sleeping better. Eating better. And generally feeling better, body and mind.
A reminder to prioritize doing the things that make you feel good. Because it’s amazing how one positive habit can have a flow on effect into other areas of your life.
3) Do more for you
Yesterday, it was the most beautiful day in Auckland city. A friend of a friend was visiting. There was talk of heading out to the beach, walking to a waterfall, sliding down sand dunes.. And my first question?
How long would we be out there for?
Now you’re probably sitting there being like WTF, that sounds so epic, why would you not want to do that, you must be craaaaaay!
But the brain is weird.
That was my first question, because the thought of spending a day away from my laptop made me instantly anxious. I had two videos I wanted to edit, a blog post I wanted to plan, emails I wanted to get on top of.. I was sure that if I stayed home, and just got it all done the week would be that much more straightforward.
You’ll be glad to hear that after a bit of pressure, I did go to the waterfall. It was epic. And I don’t feel any less accomplished as a result.
In fact, I feel awesome. I got out of the city. Spent quality time with friends. Got out of my own head. Escaped into nature. And as a result, I feel totally ready to tackle whatever this week throws at me.
Similarly, last Wednesday, I went to a play that my incredible friend Amber had produced.
The piece (Close City) was challenging, thought provoking, passionate and brilliant.
Again, I found myself getting out of my own head, losing myself in the play and becoming creatively inspired. It made me realize that while this year has been full to the brim with events, launches, movie previews and fashuuun.. It’s been full for Monday Hustle.. And not so much for Lucy O’Connor.
So with that in mind, I’ve made a decision. Of every pay-cheque I receive from here on in, 5% is going to be put aside for fun. That way, I’ll have a reason to book tickets to that concert, that movie, that play.. I’ll have a means to justify doing ‘extra curricular’ things for no other reason aside from the fact that I want to. I’ll have a measure in place to ensure that I’m able to occasionally just do things for myself.
Because at the end of the day.. Looking after the hustler in the hustle is the most important thing we have to do as we continue on this crazy journey!
So there you have it. Three simple realizations that I need to take note of from here on in.
Can you relate to any of the above?? Why do you think it’s so hard to step away from work? Where do you think the pressure come from? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!