A musing on pumping brakes, gas and most importantly – pumping up the jam. Even as a kid, I either demanded the center of attention and refused to talk if anyone so much as looked at my birthday candle. Or … Continue reading
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.
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
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.
“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 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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
Like Killer Pythons and The Lion King, it seems that a broken arm, leg, finger or something, is an essential part of growing up.
Even I, the girl whose idea of a ‘daredevilish’ time is a round on the Ferris Wheel, have endured the torment of broken a bone – admittedly I was one year of age, and it wasn’t my fault.
But Mum has sweetly kept the miniature cast of my thunder thing toddler leg, proving that I’m a fully fledged survivor and the truth that falling down and getting hurt is part of life.
We stumble, often really hard, so hard that the pain is not just a temporary scratch able to be remedied by a cool Wiggles band-aid, but one whose ache lingers for at least 6 weeks, and leaves a great looking scar forever.
But I recently learned something interesting about this: a bone that is broken will heal to be stronger than it was before.
So it seems Yeezy was onto something when he said “Na-na-na that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger”. Interesting.
It seems that no matter how much Milo smothered milk you drink and how much spinach you eat to keep your bones ‘strong and healthy’, the best thing you can do is to break them, and force their strengthening the hard way – obviously more painful but hey, if it gets the job done right?
Now I’m not suggesting you start attempting backflips and trapeze swinging as a method of toughening up – if you do, at least get a go pro and share the footage around – but I am asking that you see the value in being broken.
I know at the time, a broken bone, crushed heart, shattered dream and battered ego is a brutal sentence, but trust in Mr. Kanye West and rest easy in the knowledge that such tremors “makes us harder, better, faster, stronger”.
We learn far more from our mistakes than our successes, and a huge part of living in this day and age, is our responsibility to abuse the opportunities we are given. No doubt you’ll fall, oh honey, you’re going to crash and burn.
Your world will fall apart, and fall apart again. You’ll stop having fun with your ‘best friend’ and be forced to find a new one, you will stop enjoying your job, mangoes will go out of season and your favourite show will release its finale. Your dream job won’t want you, neither will Ryan Gosling, and you are going to make wrong decisions again and again.
It’s all part of it, and that’s okay. Just know that there is value in getting it wrong, and most of the time it’s so wrong it’s right.
So jump higher than you think you can, and don’t be too afraid of coming back down, because:
Work it harder.
Make it better.
Do it faster.
Makes us stronger.
More than ever.
There’s a lot of noise surrounding this whole ‘Just Do It’, ‘Never Give Up’ mentality, and I’m about to put my foot down.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Nike ‘tick’ as much as the next person, but I’m thinking that there’s something quite profound in failure, or as I like to call it, ‘strategic quitting’.
Sounds like an oxymoron and a half I know, but considering the lack of hours in a day, days in a week, weeks in a year and years in a lifetime, I’m going to be a selective snob, and say that quitting and ‘failing’ is kind of really great!
Personally, I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve stopped reading a new book after just not ‘feeling it’ within the first 5 pages, how many restaurants my friends and I have ditched after being ‘not totally in love’ with the menu options, or how many movies I’ve only watched 20 minutes of.
Am I Picky? Yes.
A possessor of obscenely high expections? Definitely.
A changeling? Most likely.
But I’m going to own these nuances, and pretend that I’m onto something, something good.
Because, in the past week, a lot of events are really leading me to believe that we only make plans to change them, and that we seek to follow rules only to be a badass and break them anyway.
Unfortunately, the ‘choice’ to discontinue a fad diet, long-term relationship or ‘dream’ career is often labeled as failure with a capital ‘F’, but in my opinion, life is way too short for bad vibes, and if being a failure is what it comes down to, I’ll claim that badge proudly.
Because there HAS to be some profound beauty in walking away – in making new tracks, singing new songs and completely turning your back on something that just doesn’t fit anymore.
I mean, why bother wasting your time drinking bad coffee, finishing an ugly seagull puzzle, or pouring energy into a relationship that doesn’t make you laugh until your cheeks hurt?
So throw the coffee down the sink and make a new one with cinnamon on top and extra sugar, throw away that puzzle and stop making an effort with those who don’t appreciate it.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself, embrace and be the change. There’s no excuse but you don’t need one.
It’s called failing to win.
There’s nothing like some down time to make you contemplate the things you really love, and on a recent bus ride from Ollantaytambo to Cusco, Peru – which was just that little bit too long – I had just that sort of ‘me’ time.
Prepared for a three-hour journey through the Peruvian countryside, I prayed to my iPod to prepare the best, chilled playlist, turned up my earphones, lifted my legs onto the back of the seat in front of me (smelly feet alert!), and spaced out to the view from my window seat.
There’s something special about some old school tunes that really make me smile from the eardrums out, and as I bumped along to the beat – and potholes – I started thinking about the other, teeny tiny little details, which really make me happy.
I’m not talking big-ticket items like “winning the lottery”, “falling in love” or “landing a dream job”, because these are pretty far and few between. If I thought these big things were the only way to be a happy-go-lucky person, then happiness would always seem another Power Ball ticket, lover and promotion away.
So why not focus on the little things.
It sounds cliché I know, but think about these merry makers. Think of how simple yet totally rewarding they are (hopefully you can relate):
- When Coconut water is on sale for no particular reason.
- When a waiter brings a big, cold, jug of water to your table without being asked.
- Big coffee mugs.
- Hearing children speak in another language.
- Perfectly made cordial.
- Waking up to a sunny day.
- Sand between your toes.
- Smelling good.
- Fresh bed sheets.
- Hotel bathrobes.
- Hot showers.
- Telling a bad joke that gets laughs anyway.
- Perfectly ripened avocadoes.
- Finishing a book.
These are just a few of my favorite things, and with them, I am the happiest little vegemite in the world.
Sure, the big things are important too, but at least I can experience the bliss from any of the above daily, of my own accord, without relying on some outside source to bestow upon me a $2m prize pool, attention, or a new job.
So what little things ‘float your boat’?
Find a pretty place to sit, grab a pen and paper, and brainstorm the heck out of everything that reveals the cute dimples in your cheeks!
Conjure, remember, reminisce and revive every thing you love, every incy-wincy-teeny-weeny detail, use them and abuse them everyday.
I’d love to hear what you come up with!
Being available at the drop of a hat is something that I genuinely pride myself on, and I’d like to think that being “down” for anything is a trait that most people would aspire to.
Because in my books, it’s totally okay to text someone at 3pm requesting chai latte accompaniment in half an hour; and my own replies to invitational texts read something like this: “So. There. It’s. Insane.”
Basically, I’ve deduced this erratic tendency of always being available, to nothing other than FOMO.
I’ve heard acceptance is the first step of any form of recovery, so here it is:
I, Sheona Bello, solemnly admit that I am a full-time, hardcore sufferer of FOMO – more extensively known as the “Fear Of Missing Out”.
But to be honest, I never want to lose this ‘fear’. Here’s why.
On the one hand, it could be argued that such a condition leaves one forever in anticipation of the “next big thing” and never truly enjoying the present. But I prefer the contrary, FOMO is the best thing ever!
Think about it: if you have FOMO, it means that you have identified something you want to experience, and in an effort to reduce FOMO, you go ahead and do it! It’s a simple equation, really:
FOMO averted = experience attained = happy days!
And seriously, who doesn’t want happy days, for dayyyssss? It’s not a trick question, we all do!
Now I am fully anticipating you, my beloved reader, to at this point deduce what I’ve written as a ludicrous indication of naïveté, idealism and outrageous optimism, but please stick with me here.
I mean sure, it may be some form of psychological conditioning, too many olives when I was a toddler or maybe even a recent overdose on coconut water which has conceived these ideas, but I definitely say all this from experience.
Because, once again I am humbly reminded that plans are made to be changed, and there are greater things available than I could have ever imagined myself – only if you are willing to avoid your FOMO, and embrace them!
As such, it is with huge excitement that I write this post, less than 24 hours before boarding a flight to Shanghai – a place I didn’t plan on seeing for another 5 years, and a trip I am not nearly prepared for given the 48 hour proximity of a separate, 2 month trip through South America.
But the opportunity was there, I have FOMO, I wanted to relieve my FOMO, so I POUNCED.
Don’t blame me, blame it on the boogie.
100 days ago I committed myself to the longest relationship I have ever had in my life to a hashtag. My delirious suitor being, #100happydays. 100 days ago, it seemed like a logical thing to do, I mean, I had … Continue reading