Thinking in Yesterday’s.

Image via Hair Silver

Amongst a new found adoration for The Weeknd’s album, and a (definitely not new) love for the actual weekend, there’s a new tune on repeat in my little head at the moment.

It goes something like this: min. effort, max. effect.

I’m convinced there’s a sort of profound escrow, like an upside down u-shape of effort vs output. We think that more time, more reflection, more effort and energy will result in something better, bigger, grander – something to be ‘more prouder’ of. (That is terrible English, and I’m not sure prouder is even a word, but you get me.)

It’s a joke, because this incessant perjury of ‘perfectionism’ is really quite paralysing.

How many things are put off, delayed, revisited, re-discussed, redone or still left untouched because it’s still not 4000% perfect?

While I always thought a messy bun looked better than a structured ballerina one anyway, I’m learning real quick, that done, is more often than not, better than perfect.

I’m also learning with this finite schedule, that shit needs to get done. Yesterday.

Today my food for thought is this delicious nugget: don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.

We’re done now.

Imperfect, but done.

ily.

SB.

A Million Bad Habits to Break.

Image via French Voguettes

Jay walk, but look before you do it.

Risk it for the biscuit.

Go crazy, wild out, werk it.

Ugh.

I sometimes wonder when the consequences of moving fast will catch up, when my flinging hands will reach and smash the chandelier, when the bell will finally call the end to recess or when something finally, has to give.

Because living on the edge implies there’s an edge, and a deep, deep exponential drop down – to where though, it seems no one really knows. Or is there no such thing as an edge, does the valley keep on keeping on, and if so where does it lead?

Everything ends – except circles, they go right back to the start. Maybe that’s what this whole life thing is.

Is this actually an elusive, spherical world type of set up? Will we just keep exploring, pushing the boundaries and shuffling ever closer to a peripheral cliff edge that doesn’t really exist?

If so, when do you realise the glistening flicker beat is just a mirage that sparkles only because you’re looking in it’s direction? Is jumping over the fence worth it, only to find out the grass actually isn’t as green as it looked from the sideline?

For me, I think it’s time to re-read the Alchemist. Because I’m feeling like Lorde, I’ve got a million bad habits to break, not sleeping is one.

Raise a glass, because I’m not done saying it.

But I love it.

SB x

Coco Made Me Do It.

Image via I’d Throw Glitter in The Air, Tumblr.

It’s funny; I’d like to think of myself as someone who thrives on learning new things.

I really want to learn how to play guitar, to speak Spanish, and to master the art of cooking rice without totally ruining another good ScanPan. I also want to learn SEO and how to use chopsticks like a pro and be able to snap from raw story-telling to intensely formal corporate email writing in a second. Can I also learn how to use MailChimp, and change a spare tyre, and bake the perfect chocolate soufflé? Please and thank you.

A lot like you, there’s a lot I’ll get to, one day.

Keywords: one day.

What I’m finding though, that learning doesn’t happen from a place of ‘really wanting to’, there’s no motivation, scorecard, satanic trainer, or authoritative accountability associated with such an aloof desire. Not for me anyway.

The day dream of playing chords like Taylor Swift for the pleasure of campfire banter and impression of a Matt Corby-esque, man-bun is just not strong enough. And learning how to make an app just because it could be useful one day, doesn’t have a rich enough timeline to meet.

I still haven’t learnt any of these things, and I probably won’t. Why would I? I don’t need to.

Herein lies the catch: necessity equals results.

I’ll have you know, I’m becoming an expert in Google Adwords because my job demands it, I’m learning how to cook the perfect Spanish dinners because I now live out of home, and I discovered how to pump up my tyre because Dad wasn’t with me when a dose of air was vital if I wanted to roll any closer towards Yoga class.

Only out of desperation I skilled up.

The lesson is blatantly clear then, that nothing will happen unless it’s forced, demanded and required. End of.

Now I think of one of my favourite proverbs, Parkinson’s Law, which states that, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

As a student, I know this to be supremely legit: you can either smash out an assignment in two weeks, or go from zero to hero in a record 4 hours with the company of a significant amount of caffeine if required.

Using old friend Parkinson to our advantage, there’s just one thing to do: get accountable.

And most of all, uncomfortable to the point where everything is new. Because by jumping over the edge the body has no choice but to follow, and live on. We hope.

So much No it’s a Yes.

Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.

Yesterday, for the first time in forever, I said no.

I said no to something I so insanely wanted to scream yes to.

An awesome opportunity fell into my lap, an internship offer that came unsolicited from one of my favourite brands.

True to my acute suffering of shiny object syndrome, FOMO and really any condition that implies I’m going to have to forego a new experience, I was THAT close to taking it and turning away from everything else I’m currently working on.

I was adamant that I would somehow carve out an additional 48 hours into my already back to back schedule, find more energy to invest into a new project, and somehow maintain the enthusiasm and passion required for success.

But for the first time, reality struck and I was humbly reminded that no matter how colour coordinated my Kikki. K diary is, and no matter how early my morning alarm is – I cannot do everything.

At that moment I remembered that I have goals which reach further beyond the three months immediately ahead of me. I remembered that persistence is the ultimate key, that even Drake ‘started at the bottom’, and the really, really good things take time.

Now, usually I let go of things really quickly. My friends think I have commitment issues, Mum thinks it’s a mild case of ADHD and I justify it simply, as boredom.

But truthfully I’m kind of scared of comfort, and stay super clear of that moment when I start to feel familiar.

At that point, I usually run away, find somewhere foreign to unpack my bags and a new group of people who I get to introduce myself to, for the first time.

But this time was different. I saw beyond the exciting invitation and decided to stay.

Not because I was scared of chasing the sun, but because I realised that the stars are just as beautiful and it’s okay to use the telescope once in a while.

But most importantly, I realized that I haven’t yet exhausted and chased down what’s in front of me right now. And i’m feeling pretty empowered by it.

I hope you’ll do the same –  don’t turn away so quickly.

Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you’re done.

Unplanning the plan.

Image via Pinterest.

Image via Pinterest.

I have a plan.

Not that I’ve put a deadline on things, but yeah look, if I haven’t gradated by 2017, someone intervene. And if I haven’t been to Scandinavia before I’m 25, somebody needs to steal me away. I have plans, or maybe they are goals I’m not sure – but I am sure that I want them to happen, and I have a rough outline of a sketched timeline in my head of where everything fits. It’s perfect and I’d show it to you, but it’s in my head.

Maybe it’s another social norm I’m trying to comply by – I think I need to have a plan because that’s what you’re supposed to do, right? Everybody has plans, and it’s duly noted (especially by the Personal Trainer fraternity, you know who you are) ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. I’ve taken it for this long, but I’m turning the tables – just a little bit anyway. Ready to hear me out?

What about the plans I didn’t know I wanted to plan?

There’s no denying that one of the most cheekiest aspects of life is the tendency for things to just, literally fall into one’s lap. A chance meeting of someone who shares your mutual love for Matcha leading to great chats and endless, future Matcha dates. This person soon becomes a close friend who inspires you to take up Bikram – you didn’t plan for this. What about a sudden realization that studying abroad is an option? In Sweden. You planned on finishing your degree in a flat three years, but you didn’t plan to crave travel, and you weren’t even aware that exchange was even a thing. Good luck fitting that into your concrete, life schedule.

So in that moment, when outside forces start to poke fun at our plans, do we turn a blind eye to everything we didn’t know we didn’t know about (read it again, it makes sense),  simply because it wasn’t featured in the original blueprint? I hope not.

In some respects, I feel like a ‘go with the flow’ mindset is a much more fruitful approach to life opposed to the schoolteacher curriculum, ‘planning’ method. Can we live a little?

Be spontaneous, cheeky, playful and willing to let go of the plan.

Someone great once told me ‘If someone asks you to jump in the car, don’t ask where its going, just jump in’. Now obviously, don’t jump in the car if it’s a white ute and the bearded driver is offering lollies to succumb you to join the ride – in that case call 000.

Be aware, but also be aware that there are possibilities you couldn’t even imagine.

Now believe me, I’m no Avril Lavigne, f*$% the system kind of gal, I’m all for playing the game, but I know that the trick is to know the rules so you can break them effectively. It’s a Dalai Lama tactic (no kidding, look it up), so is completely justified, moral and somewhat enlightened – try it sometime.

Because as Harriet Wakelam, a superstar #girlboss I met recently perfectly explained, ‘if you’d asked me five years ago, if I’d be here today, I’d say no’.

We can never totally predict what is going to happen, how it’s going to evolve or even if we will still care about the things we do now, in the future. Trying to figure out the world and its crazy ways is impossible, so why try. Choose your battles.

Just embrace the unpredictability like a Melbourne day. Pack a raincoat, some sunnies and your bathers. You’ll either be jumping in puddles or splashing in a pool – either way, its going to be a good time.

Unplan the plan. The end.

Love, S.

P.S Inspiration for this piece came at 7.45am when I was offered a dream internship at one of my favourite brands. I’m trying really hard to take my own advice, deny my previous ‘plans’ for where I thought I was going, and start chasing something I didn’t think of yet. Writing is my way of coping with WHAT TO DO! #halp

Step Back: An Ode to the Small Things.

Image via Miss Moss

Image via Miss Moss

Now I don’t usually listen to morning radio. Firstly because I refuse to deal with the reality of the current traffic status, and secondly, as much as I love Taylor Swift, she’s definitely going “out of style” at the rate of three songs per half hour.

But one specific, chilly morning the good old talk show hosts on the FM spectrum taught me something that changed my world with one question: they asked the entire, invisible cohort of listeners what was their ‘NOW’.

Like what was happening right now – urging people to share their current journey, goal, project, opening, closing, launch or completion of something…anything.

It was an enlightened morning commute because it really got me thinking how totally stuck in our mini worlds we can be, and how neglectful we are, of the cheeky achievements we make on a daily basis.

This ‘small thing’ goodness is a theme I’ve been toying with on Incogo.com (Check out my journeys here!) and ties in pretty perfectly with the whole foundational perspective of the positive, mindset fraternity: be present.

Sure, recognise you’re playing a big game with big boys, but don’t forget to actually stop and give yourself a gold star for the small goals reached.

Realistically, these things you pie off as unimportant could be major achievements in the eyes of someone else, and you’re doing yourself a disservice by regarding it as anything less. ‘Treat yo-self’.

Believe me I’m guilty of disregard constantly. It’s only when I’m chatting to a long lost friend about recent movements that I actually reflect on the last week in my diary and head, and realize that hey, finishing that essay was the best feeling ever, perfecting quinoa was a huge deal and I didn’t go on Facebook for a whole two hours straight yesterday! These are just basic examples, but going a little deeper, there is so much opportunity for us to turn up the pride.

Think of planning events, working in a team, writing your first blog post, helping someone spell ‘professional’ (seriously, is it one or two ‘f’s?), winning a competition, eating clean for the whole week, getting up earlier, having one less coffee a day, not swearing as much, remembering to feed the dog, telling Mum you appreciate the Roast she made last night or making someone laugh.

It’s all so damn good! Can you remember that please?

These are the little things, but they are all we’ve got. Let’s love them a little.

That may or may not have been a pun, but you get the picture.

Stop being so damn egotistical and thinking you need to do something major, get 367 likes on your Instagram post, win a medal, or be recognized a guest on Jimmy Fallon to feel accomplished.

Sure those would be nice (and don’t for a second, stop setting the most outrageous goals!), but don’t forget that before the Jimmy action, is the recognition and gratification of mini achievements. If you’re not grateful for that, there’s no way you’ll be motivated to work even harder.

It always has, and always will be, just you. And if no one else cares, make sure at least you do.

Here’s to the small things.

Love, S.

Baby steps.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

Tippi Degré via Pinterest.

“Whoever said small things don’t matter has never seen a match start a wildfire”. – Beau Taplin

It’s an interesting concept, the idea of ‘little things’ being big things.

I for one, am a huge advocate. Being small (in height), I’m pretty adamant on turning such a presumable defeat into something magic.

I’m a certified pocket-rocket, a proprietor of ‘fun-size’, and a 50 cent reminiscent ‘Shawtay’.

It’s fine, after 22 years in this bod, I’ve accepted my Latino induced height challenge. But that hasn’t stopped me from coining #bigthings as my motto for this year.

BIG everything.

BIG moves, BIG events, BIG meets and BIG goals that – if all goes to plan – become BIG successes.

Because as my favourite Beau Taplin has beautifully affirmed: small things can be wildfire huge.

Re: Change

In a recent article I’ve been poring over for days for Lot’s Wife Magazine, the true impact of small=big has kind of engrained itself in my head. I’ve been covering a story on ‘Live Below the Line’, an initiative run by the Oaktree Foundation to realize the end of extreme poverty.

Now I don’t know about you, but for me, I believe changing the world is a task that should be reserved for Superman, Obama or Angelina Jolie. The concept of little ol’ me actually having an ability to make a real difference is pretty jovial. It’s impossible right?

Apparently not.

Something as ‘small’ as me raising $50, can put some cute little boy in school for a year.

Small for me? Sure, I mean, $50 is hardly a new Kookai top.

HUGE for said cute little kid? Abso-freakin-lutely, it’s life changing.

See, #BigThings

Re: Goals

The good thing about goals is they are huge. The bad thing about goals is they are huge.

My Dad has always said to my sisters and I, ‘to reach for the stars because even if you fail, at least you’ll fall on the moon’.

The cool part about this is that our goals are inevitably set sky high, almost unattainably high.

It’s like we are gearing up for failure – at least without a plan for getting there anyway.

It’s all scarily reminiscent of the Year 12 teachers’ chime: ‘failing to plan means planning to fail’. So what if we broke BIG goals in baby steps. Small ones?

I read something recently that was like, ‘see yourself achieving a goal, and backtrack to what you would have done immediately before that moment, then before that one, and the one before it etc. etc., until you are sitting where you sit right now.’ I like this a lot!

As you can imagine, any #bigthing is a series of small, little things that accrue together for the final result. I guess it’s nothing new, but I’m learning it all over again.

Re: The World

Even on a global scale, little things may be pretty major.

I recently entered a competition answering the question: “How would you change the world”. Without even realizing the trend that I would be experiencing together with the ‘Live below the line article’, and my own need to break my goals down – my 30 second video was all about the importance of little things.

As you can imagine, I’m convinced the ‘little’ mindset can change the world.

See the video here.

Think about it, it’s 100% where change begins. With a little giggle to lighten a tense mood, a cheeky smile to convince someone you’re a fun human being, or even just a pat on the back to show someone their efforts are appreciated.

Take-away

So what’s the moral of the story S.?

Well Bae, I’m proposing we bring it back a notch.

That we remember the little people, and the baby steps we took before we could walk, run and jump.

This is where it starts, that is where real progress is made, and unfortunately, its what we seem to forget.

So break down the big, and make them small enough to eat in one bite.

I wonder if this was the motivation behind the creation of macaroons: So small, but totally inclusive of a world of deliciousness – I’m looking at you Adriano Zumbo!

So think you can do it?

Be small for the sake of being BIG. I dare you.

Love, S.

Can you ever just be, whelmed?

Image via Free People.

Image via Free People.

I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be, whelmed?

It’s an auspicious question I first came across in my pre-teen, cousin accompanied viewing of ‘10 things I hate about you’ many moons ago, and I have to thank those 90’s screenwriters for posing such a thought provoking interrogation.

Because for many situations, circumstances and presented opportunities, there may many, suitably descriptive words: exciting, nerve-racking, inspiring, motivating, challenging or just really damn cool.

For others though, the term speechless is the only thing I can muster.

It’s not that I’m indifferent, undecided or perplexed – I’m simply, factually, downright speechless.

I’m just, whelmed.

You know that adage, which goes something like: “it’s my party and ill dance/cry/eat cold sausage rolls if I want to”?

It’s a thing. This life and everything in it is basically your party, do with it what you will. No one cares.

And in this daily rollercoaster, that I’m probably a tad too short for continues to creep up to the highest peak, I’m not sure how I actually feel about it.

I’m whelmed, and all I can really do is throw my hands up in the air like I just don’t care. All there is to do is enjoy the thrill.

Because on the way down a mega drop, there’s no stopping, pulling out or bailing, all there is to do, is embrace the butterflies, hold the regurgitation of your most recent hot dog and try make a semi-decent face for the inevitable mid-flight camera shot.

You are asked nothing more, than to enjoy the ride.

So do it. Do it well and do it every damn day. Enjoy, race to the end of the line to do it all again and run far from the Ferris Wheel whose circulating view you know far too well.

This life is hec-tos (Elwood housemate slang for hectic), but that doesn’t have to equate to it being overwhelming.

In the face of endless meetings, mountainous weekly readings, demanding assignments, uncooked dinners, treadmill laps, unpacked weekend bags and invitations, reject the need to want to slump in your chair, order another soy latte and complain about being busy.

For me the choice was and continues to be easy.

You can bite off more than you can chew and risk choking on greatness, or nibble on mediocrity.

The choice is now yours, are you ready for the drop?

Inspired Struggle Town.

Image via Salty Mist @Tumblr

Image via Salty Mist @Tumblr

It’s a funny thing, inspiration.

Like, where does it live and where does it hang out?

Because whenever I try to look for it, it must be determined to remain clear of my fast grasp. But when I’m not ready for it, a.k.a running late and spilling my chamomile tea all over my diary as I rush out on the way to work, in the shower halfway through my shampoo –conditioner procedure, or eating cold pizza after a night on the boogie – THAT is when the inspiration comes.

I swear it watches me – kind of like the secret admirer I never had – waiting to pounce and present itself in the precise moment when I’m un-equipped to handle it.

Because mid-shower-song belt out, burnt tongue tea drinking in a hurry or cold pizza hoarding, I am in no state to whip out my favourite ball-point pen and Kikki K journal to start giving the voice inside my head the opportunity to speak louder. Although being the recipient of a slice of inspiration is pretty damn cool, it’s incessantly inconvenient.

Because in my pen and bookless state, an inspired thought realizes it is not invited to my party, and quickly rushes off, saying as it does, ‘laters babe, you had your chance’.

There’s always a little cat fight between us, I mean it could have come on Tuesday afternoon when I was sitting on the train with nothing better to do than ponder life – but no insight was found then, nope. Just the annoying sound of an Asian child who clearly wanted the lollipop from his Mum. With that, the inspiration wanders off, slightly sulkily and I feel bad for like a millisecond. Then I get over it – I guess I’ll never really know what I missed.

What’s a scary thought though, is the fact that the nature of terrible timing isn’t going to stop any time soon, if ever. There’s never going to be a perfect moment, sunset or picnic spot at which to write. There’s always going to be a phone that rings, a relentless craving for dark chocolate and a supremely distracting new song to keep me from doing the stuff I know I should –specifically, I mean milking the inspiration that comes to poke me whenever it feels like it.

So what will I do then? Because I’m never going to stop being busy, catchy songs are never going to stop pouring from my tone-deaf self, and I will probably always get distracted by an invitation to go for a bike ride to the market on my new Papillionaire bike.

And that’s life.

Life is bursting with sparkly, flashy things, and for those of us with shiny-object syndrome, it’s a little overwhelming to live in a world where everything is just so damn cool, interesting and exciting.

Surely living each day in such, utter awe shouldn’t be something to apologise for – I’m almost certain that this sort of sunshine perspective is something 90% of the world crave and try to attain.

But as I’ve found, it comes at a cost.

There’s a consequence for wanderlust. There’s a trade off between chasing the sun and halting to watch the sunset.

Which one is better you ask? Whichever one you choose.

Just like the inspired thought, the aha moment and fleeting smile that slides unpresumptiously across your face for no particular reason on a lazy, sunny Sunday – these amazing moments of true inspiration are endless.

Endlessly fascinating, and impossible to capture entirely.

So write when you can even though everyday you’re learning something cool, capture moments in your mind even though you’ll only post to Instagram once per week, and continue to have the ‘best night ever’ every weekend.

You’ll write in your diary when you can, and you’ll print off those pictures at K-Mart next time Mum goes in to buy washing powder on special.

You’re in no hurry to do anything – just chill out, roll with it and go with the flow.

Things will happen when they happen, in the meantime just enjoy it and know that one day you’ll know what you need to do with the inspiration, memories and pictures of this beautiful life.

The Doorman.

Image via Sunshine in the Fog, Pinterest.

Image via Sunshine in the Fog, Pinterest.

As much as it might appear that I’m this little pocket rocket whose on fire, never stopping to breathe, sleep properly, take a look outside or step my bare-feet on the grass: truth be known it’s those darn little things that keep me sane.

But, like most of this generation of beautifully spoilt, young, wild and free things: I have been forever seeking to postpone the day when my crazy youth is no longer only as close as a crawl through the Narnia cupboard away.

I think for me, it was this idea that adulthood implies a sense of being ‘done and dusted’– forever to be held in the stuffy under-the-stairs crevice of Harry Potter fame, living in the denial of a better and bright yesterday.

What I never considered though, was that inside the man-hole, could exist yet another door, one I never knew about. A door to some new, magical world I would have never found, had I maintained my defiance of never setting foot in Harry’s place.

I know you’ve heard it before, ‘when one door closes, another opens’, but do you believe it, or just nod ignorantly to the elder that claims to share their wisdom?

Have you ever even really considered its truthfulness?

Because yesterday, on a walk along a beach I never once thought was really ‘that’ nice, I found an incredible sunset, some rocks to sit on and a jelly fish to touch.

In that instant, I finally acknowledged that in every second there’s an opportunity for discovery, an ‘aha’ moment or just a simple appreciation that what you never thought you wanted, might actually be the best outcome.

It’s so easy for us to rest on laurels, stop sprinting when it hurts rather than push for an extra 15 seconds until we’re truly out of breath, and to get complacent in the comfort and happiness of what we know we can handle with ease.

It’s so easy to get comfortable and forget about the big dreams and ambitions we hold.

But haven’t you realized that once children can walk they want to run, and once they learn how to clap or talk they do it endlessly, and faster, and more often, urging anyone around them to teach them more.

When did we get so self-righteous, so doom-oriented, boring, and eager to remain the same old place? Where did that hunger for novelty, and excitement for the unknown go?

That, I don’t know, but I do know it’s creeping back.

Because the truth is kid, enough will never be enough, and you are growing, changing and evolving with every passing second.

Are you hungry yet?

Love, S.