How often do you tell yourself, “I just don’t have the time…” Or perhaps it’s “I’m so busy, I just can’t find the time”
It’s something we all struggle with. It is a daily battle for most people trying to “fit” everything they want to in a day. And the struggle can get us caught up in a downward spiral of never “having enough time.” How many things have you put off because you can’t seem to find the time in your day? How many things are on that to-do list that keeps getting longer? Are you struggling with never having time to do the things you want to?
This is usually the part where some silly ad tells you how the “quick fix” to all your problems, but the fact is, there isn’t a quick fix. In fact, the “fix” you’re hoping for doesn’t really exist. At least not in the way you think it does. I struggle with finding the time for things every day, but I’m doing my best to change that…
One of the biggest double edged swords for us as human beings is our habits! We are habitual creatures, and we love it when we create habits. We don’t differentiate between good or bad habits, to our brains they just are. Habits wrap us up in a warm blanket and say “It’s ok, you’ve been doing this over and over, that’s nothing to be ashamed of…” But when you look back at your bad habits, the things you wish to change, it can seem daunting to adjust to something new. This is a challenge I am pushing at you. Perhaps don’t try to make too many adjustments at once, but do your best. Set reminders, write out what you want to do, then make an effort each day to stay true to yourself and that change.
I am spending time stepping out of my comfort zone, trying new things, making better habits, and learning new skills. And I started last week, making small adjustments so I can make time. The fact is, we like habits, good ones, bad ones, tall ones, short ones… etc. So its time to make new habits.
One of the biggest mistakes is planning to change later, you know that little thing called procrastination? You just need to sit down, make your plan, and implement it right then and there. Yes its difficult, whomever told you it was easy was lying, and probably never tried it themselves. But take it one day at time, hold yourself accountable, and you’ll find yourself changing the things you want. Like Making Time for the things you want to do! maybe that’s finishing old songs, or writing new ones? Maybe you want to get better at an instrument, or learn a new one? Whatever you’ve been trying to “find time” for, if you focus and push yourself, you will accomplish the goals you set forth.
There are so many things to distract us from our goals, funny cat videos, the best new TicTok dance, or that new binge-worthy show on Netflix… But guess what? Those distractions will be there later, when you “find time” for them. Focus on making time for the things you want to accomplish instead, and check those things off your to-do list. As my mother once asked me…
“How do you eat an elephant??? One bite at a time…”
Wow! It’s almost the end of February, and this is the first time since last year that I have started writing again. Of course, every excuse I can think of has run through my head... Oh I haven’t had time... It’s been so long since I’ve written anything... No one reads these anyway... and the list goes on and on. But the simple fact of the matter is, I just didn’t do it. No matter what excuse I can think up, it doesn’t negate the fact, I just wasn’t sitting down to write. This could be true for a lot of stuff in life. Pick anything you’d like in your life, writing, drawing, practicing, going out, exercise, etc... It’s easy to make the excuse of why you aren’t doing something for yourself. So we fall into this habit of not doing it. Well, I’m telling you NO. STOP. STOP YOUR EXCUSES. There is no reason you should be holing yourself back from doing something. As that famous brand says... “Just Do It”
But seriously, take the time to do things that make you happy. Take time to do things that make you better. Do things that scare you, that push your limits, that excite you. Trying new things is a great way to expand your horizons. You can learn so much, not only about what you are spending time on, but about yourself. Last year, I had started trying my hand at video and content creation. It something that has always fascinated me. The video shooting, the production, the telling of a story or passing on of knowledge. So I went out and spent what little money I had saved up to buy some neat tools for recording. I spent time researching, studying, and examining how to create videos. Not just any videos, but really well done videos. They all had common themes of gear, lighting, sound, etc. that I couldn’t afford. And while they all stated, “We didn’t start with this gear, we worked up to it.” I couldn’t help but feel that my videos should look just as good. But after experimenting and trying to get the quality I was searching for, I always came up short. This was a hard blow for me. I always strive to do the best I can in everything I do. I spend a meticulous amount of time learning everything I can before jumping in. (Its one of my best/worst traits) With video production, I had found something that was giving me trouble, and it was frustrating. So frustrating in fact, I decided to not release any videos I had shot. I hated the way I looked, the way I addressed the camera, the way I talked, everything about it was terrible. So none of the videos have ever seen the light of day. I even ended up shooting videos for others, who were stoked about their products. But for me, I was so disappointed in myself and my performances....
But I came to a realization, that I had struggled with something like this before. Music. Playing it, recording it, mixing it, The whole process. I found myself in a similar situation when I had started my mixing journey. When I decided to start recording and mixing, I was terrible. I hated that anything I did never sounded like what I was hearing in my head. It took years of trial and error to start to get decent results that I was happy with. But it was so satisfying when I did! I absolutely loved whatever I could create well. When things started to sound like I wanted them to, I was hooked for life. But I had to struggle, to learn, to make mistakes. Its part of growing and becoming better. So many people give up on things before they never get to that turnaround. Its like running up a hill, you focus on moving one foot in front of the other, until eventually you crest the top, and the accomplishment feels amazing.
So why have I droned on and on? Its for you as much as it is for me. Keep striving to do better. Keeping trying to do new things. Or pickup old things, and keep working on them. You’ll get better the more time you spend on them. We all will reach that tipping point when all our hard work and effort finally pays off. I’ll be getting in front of a camera real soon, don’t you worry. So take the time to do the same with something you have been putting off. Again, it doesn’t matter what it is. Just don’t let you hold you back....
Sitting here, debating on how to start a blog post for the first time...
The human mind amazes me sometimes. At least my mind amazes me... Here I sit, looking at the computer screen, thoughts rushing through my head...
"Why are you writing a blog?" "Do you think this is worth it?" What if you suck at this?" "What if you don't suck?" "Will this be worth your time?"
The simple answer is... I don't know what I'm doing, but that is ok! As humans, we get caught up in our routines, our patterns of everyday life. Our habits become our "Safe Zone". Somewhere we can retreat to, knowing everything will be alright, if we can get back to our routine. Being the amazing and wonderful creatures we are, our double-edged sword, are our habits. Habitual creatures do not care whether the habit is good or bad, as long as we continue the habit. This can be our saving grace and our demise.
Continuing bad habits is something we all get stuck into. It's easy, it's our home, our safe place. But I urge to break these bad habits. Maybe not all of them at once, mind you. Instead pick one. Focus on it, and spend time changing it to something better. For those un-aware, I have started teaching here in the studio. It has been a giant undertaking, and a realization of how much I still don't know. This pushes my comfort zone out of a 10 story building. Falling, spinning, wondering when the ground will finally meet me, face to face. Only to realize, the ground hasn't reared its ugly head. Instead, a soft pillow of excitement and wonder in the faces and comments from those willing to partake in my incessant ramblings.
Some say the best way to learn, is to teach. In these past 2 weeks this is coming true as I continue to build lesson plans and plan my short lectures. All in all, I am slowly becoming accustomed to delivering my knowledge to others, passing on what I have found to be "useful information". Some may agree with what I have to say, while others have a differing of opinions on the matter. Either way, I can only strive to do the best I can, with the knowledge I have acquired over the years.
So I implore all of you, to do the best you can. In whatever you are doing, whether you feel confident or not. To paraphrase a quote from a favorite book of mine, "Practice makes perfect? No, there is no such thing as perfect. Instead practice makes a master." So, I tell you to practice. Even the things that scare you, the habits you wish to change. Break them, practice being better. In your life, job, health, and hobbies. Step outside the comfort zone you have accustomed yourself with, and take a step into the unknown.
You might just find it isn't as scary as you thought. And, you may also find the risk is worth the reward.