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Y Samphy

I am a writer

I am a writer. I don’t have the resources or the physique or the connection that successful writers have. I may have them as I keep doing what I do, again, again and again, day in and day out. Or I may not.

But I do have the same keyboard.

“Here’s the thing: you may not have the resources or the physique or the connections that people who do other sorts of work have. But you do have precisely the same keyboard as everyone else. It’s the most level playing field we’ve got.”

I write because it matters. So I will never fail; I either write poorly or well. I can always work on my word.

[HT: Seth, Jeff]

Shift of focus

Yes, I’ve decided to shift the focus of this personal blog of mine to what it was intended to do originally, which is sharing quick thoughts and useful stuff for self-improvement. It involves sharing photos, videos and links that I find useful and I want to reflect on. I will also write quick posts on self-improvement here.

Why? Because it was meant to be like this from the beginning. More importantly and often I often have to take time to think which one I should publish my posts: here or my other blog Work/Life Pointers.

My invitation… is for you to head to Work/Life Pointers, take a look around and if you find it useful, subscribe to get my updates there.

Thank you for being my reader and allow me to share with you what I find useful for our self-improvement.

Don’t expect magic till you do this

Don't expect magic till you do this

photo credit: Express Monorail

We learn and learn and learn, but no magic happens as a result of our learning. Truth be told, no magic happens from learning.

No, magic doesn’t happen from learning, but from doing what we’ve learned.

So we can never expect magic until we put into practice what we’ve learned. If we do, we might succeed, or fail. But if you don’t, your chance will be none.

It’s easy to say this. We know it. You would agree with me. But it’s just so easy to not take action about what we’ve learned. Though I kept reminding myself very often, I still did little.

I could talk a lot about blogging, blogging as a career, driving traffic to blogs and websites, ways to build an email list because I’ve read about these topics almost every day for about 6 years! But I did very little. I found a hundred excuses for not putting into use what I’ve learned.

Why do we not practice what we’ve learned?

Because it’s scary. For my blogging example, it’s scary to approach the big guys and ask them to guest-post on their high traffic blogs. It’s scary because I’m not confident if my writing is good enough to get accepted.

Because it requires that we do the things we’ve never done. I’ve never done guest-posting. Some of the techniques requires that I acquire another skill in order to implement them. I don’t have the discipline to learn it.

Because we’re not confident we will succeed. It would be a waste of time and energy if I learned the skill and it didn’t pay off.

These are just three reasons why we tend to put off doing what we learn.

What can we do to pull up the courage to take action about what we’ve learned?

Accept that it’s scary but at the same time, keep in mind that courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to take action in the face of fear. We all have fear (fear of uncertainty, fear of failure, fear of death,…). Brave men are those who have the courage to act despite their fear.

Accept that we might fail if we take action but that if we don’t, we can never expect the magic that might follow. The only way to stand a chance of succeeding is to act.

Start small. If you’re like me, there are so many things you need to learn to blog for a living, from writing to setting up a blog, to choosing the right design, to building an email list, to driving traffic, to choosing how to monetize your blog, to converting readers into customers… Instead of getting overwhelmed, just get started with a small/ tiny action you can do now.

Keep the momentum going. Momentum accumulates what you do day in, day out. What you accumulate determines the outcome of your daily actions.

Be consistent. Consistency makes things easier to do. If you are consistent in not practicing what you’ve learned, you will have a 100% chance of failure. If you are consistent in actually practicing what you’ve learned, your chance of success is high.

Parting advice

Never, ever expect magic until you act on what you’ve learned! Period.

Be yourself

Be yourself

photo credit: chase_elliott via photopin cc

“Be yourself.” It’s incomplete advice. Why?

Most of us don’t know who we really are or are meant to be.

Being yourself sometimes doesn’t bring out the best in you. When you’re having a argument with your spouse, you will likely react out of emotions (anger, disappointment…) You hurt yourself even more and the one you love dearly. Does it mean if you’re hot tempered, you should react out of temper in every single argument?

Better advice is this: “Be the best possible version of yourself.”

Whether I’m in an argument or about to speak to a large audience, I always strive to be the best I can be.

The problem is that only a few of us actually define what “best” means. Some even compare themselves to others and believe the others’ best is their best. (The only person you must compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.)

Everyone has their own definition. But if we know what our personal values are, we know far better what being the best possible version of ourselves mean. Define yours now.

Yes, life is meant to be enjoyed, but…

Life is meant to be enjoyed, but...

Photo by eschipul

No doubt we must enjoy life. But it’s not meant to be wasted.

We enjoy spending time on social media like Facebook and Twitter, watching TV, playing games, shopping, and eating and drinking as much as we want to. This is how most of us enjoy life but at the same time waste it.

Time spent on Facebook, TV and other time suckers could be spent doing something meaningful and valuable. Shopping and spending too much could lead to debt. Eating and drinking mindlessly are unhealthy.

Of course, we must enjoy life but not waste it.

Life is meant to be enjoyed now and into the future. Mindless pleasures do not bring joy and often is destructive.

Life is a great balancing act, so never forget to be dexterous and deft.