Something I feel I don’t do enough of on my blog is to just write about everyday little things I’m struggling with or lessons I’m learning.
My most recent lesson came from my Dad after I expressed an interest in a business course that helps you to attract more clients. The message (but not stated as bluntly as this) — find your own solutions to problems, rather than jumping on something that claims to have all the answers.
Love to learn
It’s something I never really thought about before, but in practice, I’m probably the worst person at trying to independently problem solve. My solution is to often buy a book or do a short course where I will then religiously implement everything the book or course tells me to do, without really questioning whether it’s right for me or not. I’ve done this for pretty much all areas of my life, from relationships to even decluttering my belongings.
I’m able to absorb and get to the heart of what the author or course is about so well, part of my income is now made from doing courses because I love doing them so much. Just like reading fiction allows you to lose yourself in the mind of the author, a good course or practical non fiction book allows me to do the same — accessing the mind of someone who thinks completely differently to me. I find it fascinating, and I love applying the knowledge.
I love books and maybe on some level, I know what’s written isn’t hard fact, but maybe that’s the point — when things are uncertain, I’m afraid of owning it and finding my own solutions, fearful that I’ll be way off the mark or take some unnecessary scenic route with a dead end. Instead I’ll hide behind someone else’s promise of a straight road from A to B.
I take the position of the trusting eager student who knows nothing and put the book or course on a huge pedestal where the author is this other worldly expert who will solve all my problems. Yet in everyday life, I will always question rules, set ways of doing things and social norms. It’s a contradiction in my character that I’m eager to solve!
I will never stop wanting to learn from books and courses because quite often these people are experts and I enjoy learning from them a lot, but maybe they’re not always right, and it’s important to know the difference. My philosophy teacher on my yoga teacher training once said to put everything in your ‘pending confirmation’ file until you’ve personally experienced it — so never reject or blindly accept anything until it becomes first hand knowledge.
Also, if I’m continuously following all the advice that books and courses give me, I’m not even allowing myself the chance to explore my own approach to solving problems which on the surface never seem to be straightforward.
Intuition and infinite possibilities
When faced with it, I see infinite (often totally impractical) possibilities for everything! Life isn’t black and white for me — it’s filled with so many variations, my head sometimes hurts and I often don’t know where to start. But maybe I need to start seeing this as more of an asset which can be used to my advantage.
The reality is that right now, I’m happy with my work in a way that I never was when I worked for other people and implemented other people’s ideas. I’m self employed and in three months I’ve managed to make slightly more money now teaching yoga and working on ThoughtBrick than I did in a full time 9-5 job. Part of my income is also made passively through my website.
Yet because for my yoga teaching, I haven’t implemented someone else’s tried and tested business formula, I feel in the back of my head that there’s so much more I could be doing or I worry that I’ve ventured off the map. I don’t want to jinx anything, but part of me is shocked that everything is just happening naturally without doing a specific business course.
Maybe the best approach is your intuition which I feel I use pretty well — and rather than finding some ‘one size fits all’ business course or book, I need to take it one step at a time, and trust that I will find answers from multiple sources, including myself.
My approach to the work I’ve been trying to problem solve
My approach to my work is that I just want to provide a really exceptional service for people, love what I do and write about, and do my best for each person that I teach. I also really care. Thoughts about closing sales etc have not occurred to me because I don’t want what I do to be reduced to a business transaction. I want money to be a byproduct of doing what I love.
Maybe this approach sounds wishy washy to a lot of people, but in a world where many people distrust others, or just want to make money for the sake of it, I believe this gentle approach is more important than ever. If you’re honest and operating from the heart, why do you need to learn about closing sales etc — people will or should naturally want to work with you anyway.
Similarly with the courses I write about, there are no copywriting, general writing or sales techniques used — they’re just my raw thoughts after fully immersing myself in the course for a long time, and so far, right now, this simple approach works, but I’m always looking for ways to improve.
It feels so blatantly obvious now I’m writing it, but my final conclusion to all of this is to mix intuition with the knowledge I’m trying to absorb, and not to lose myself in the process. I will never be arrogant enough to assume I know more than I do and that I don’t need any help or advice.
Similarly, when we listen to our intuition, and ask questions to problems as they arise, solutions should come organically from many sources, when we’re open to learning from everyone and everything, including ourselves.