In praise of fulfilment (and flat whites).

Quite an exciting morning in the TG household. Rob’s been doing his first jury trial this week and is doing his closing speech today. And Jo flew up the M4 yesterday to crash overnight before she casually auditions for Les Miserables today (I KNOW!!)!

We were all up quite early and it was just really lovely thinking these two special people were off to do two very special, very different performances. Things that meant a huge amount to each of them, not necessarily because it would get them somewhere (Rob might not win the trial; Jo might not get the part) – it was the doing that meant the most, not the end goal.

I joked that I should really be doing something so exciting myself today – maybe I should crack out a bit of “One Day More” for my boss!? But really I was just so pleased that they were each ticking a big internal box for themselves. No matter what happens in the future, they’ve both done those things. Nobody can take that experience away from them.

I’ve been thinking a lot about fulfilment recently, about getting what you really want out of life (mostly inspired by this book – more on that later). It’s more than just identifying what you want to do – it’s about then going and doing it. It’s difficult… but when you do do it, it’s THRILLING! It’s the biggest buzz.

Inspired by my two houseguests, this morning I went to the café round the corner before work, ordered myself a skinny flat white (yum) and read the aforementioned book. The cafe opens at 8, and I’m lucky to live five minutes away from my office… so why not? What would I be doing otherwise?

My New Year’s Resolution this year was to “get out what I put in”; channel my energy and use my time to Actually Do Things. This was mostly to combat finding myself down an Instagram scroll-hole where I’d been for the last half an hour, when I could have spent that half an hour reading a book. Why not go and Do Something, while it’s sunny and I’m awake anyway and all I’d be doing otherwise is watching BBC Breakfast? So yes, it started with less scrolling, more reading, but now I’m gradually turning the volume up on that philosophy.

I didn’t just read the book, I finished it this morning. And I veritably bounced into the office afterwards. I have honestly never felt so inspired, or motivated – it may have been the strength of the aforementioned flat white (lol) but I felt like I was fizzing!

I often talk about things that make me feel the most “me” – the truest version of me. Doing those things makes me feel so connected to myself. It genuinely feels like I’m plugging into myself, completing a circuit, and letting the energy and creativity flow. And it feels great!

One of the biggest things I’ve taken away from the book is that nobody is going to give me permission to go out and do what I want to do. The author, Emma Gannon (who also has a bloody brilliant podcast, btw), said people so often come up to her for advice on an idea, or a career move, or a longed-for dream… but they’re not really asking her for advice, they’re asking her for permission. I TOTALLY get that. Think about it. What are you really waiting for?

I’m also allowing myself to start small. I don’t have to suddenly go straight to the top of the tree – I want to build it up, do it because I enjoy it and see if it goes somewhere. Everyone and everything and every great idea has to start somewhere, and surely if you are only doing something because you want it to explode, and not because you love doing it… then you’re doing it wrong?

My small steps so far, inspired by the book, having included:

  • seriously curating who I follow on Twitter (the hate-follow; it’s a thing)
  • emailing a contact I worked with previously to ask for advice
  • signing up to a 75p trial for a skills platform offering literally thousands of online courses
  • asking A Life Loved, who I wrote the feature about the wedding for, if they’d be interested in some content about NZ (if you don’t ask, you don’t get!)
  • bought a ticket for a networking event at a space for creatives in Cardiff
  • scribbling down feature / blog post ideas in a notebook I carry around with me… and then Actually Writing Some Of Them too

That last one, that’s the biggest deal: I’ve wanted to do this, to be this person, for such a long time. And I’ve realised I’m the only one holding myself back. It’s just about how you use your time, how you invest your energy.

Apology in advance: I am literally a big enough nerd to end this post with a Gandalf quote. (Hey, one of the things that makes me feel the most “me” is New Zealand…). But it’s so true.

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What are you going to do with yours?

 

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