news, life, and learning from it 🗞
5 questions to make today count
Hello dear reader,
It’s been quite a heavy news week. And although it feels like nearly every week is quite a heavy news week, some weeks hit home harder than others.
And when it’s one of those weeks, I often wonder what to write about. Should I just stop emailing as it’s all a bit frivolous in the light of the big things of life? Should I write as if nothing has happened?
Well, neither of those things feel right to me. I promised to send encouragements and thoughts each Wednesday, and that I will do. You can ignore it if it doesn’t sit well with you.
So, as I have been pondering this week, a few musings, mainly, but not entirely inspired by the news, nestled in my head. Here they are for your reflection.
1. Life can change quickly
Life is not as settled and set as we may think. Life as we know it can turn on a pin. Does this mean we should live in fear of the inevitable heartache and pain that we will experience? I don’t think so. But perhaps learning to remember each and every day what really matters, what needs our time and attention, what can’t ever be replaced is a good way to order our daily priorities.
Question: What matters most today?
2. Remember David and Goliath
I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s book of the same name, inspired by the biblical story of the young shepherd-boy David defeating the odds-on favourite Goliath. Although I have some reservations over some of the theory in the book, I must admit that it got me thinking again about how we can often fail to see the merit and courage in doing things the way we were meant to do them. Not playing the expected game, standing strong upon your convictions, leaning into your own strengths (and not someone else’s) time and time again can win the day. As Malcolm Gladwell puts it, ‘when you’re an underdog, you’re forced to try things you never otherwise would have attempted’
Question: What interesting option can you find the courage to attempt, simply because you’re not the favourite to succeed?
3. First impressions aren’t always accurate: keep an open mind
Just because it’s what you first thought about someone, it doesn’t make it true. Sometimes our inital hunches turn out to be spot on. Other times, we are so off kilter with our perceptions. People can surprise us: both by being more incredible than we thought they would be, or, by being found to be ‘all mouth and no trousers’. Now I trust my gut a great deal of the time, and I can testify to it serving me well. But it’s not failsafe, and I need to let things play out with an open mind to being both right, or wrong.
Question: About whom do I have a fixed mindset? About whom do I need to keep an open mind?
4. Your contribution matters
When we all do something, when each of our small contributions are added together, we can find ourselves achieving incredible things. Don’t pass up the opportunity to do your small bit, because your small bit, added to my small bit, added to their small bit, makes a real difference in the lives of others. Speak up, make a choice, write the letter, make the call, do something differently. Because if we all make a one-degree change, we’ll soon achieve a full one-eighty.
Question: What one small thing can you do today that will contribute to the bigger picture?
5. Lift your head
The news is everywhere. Information is unending. Data is consuming. Opinion is overwhelming. Yes, look down, learn, dig in and educate yourself. Then lift your head. Turn it off, look up and disconnect. It is all too much sometimes, and I am a terror for twitter refresh in times of uncertainty. There’s no certainty to be found in my twitter feed. Switch it off.
Question: What replenishes your soul, and enables you to find some peace in the panic? How can you do that today?
Thanks for reading everyone. I hope that today you can be reminded of what really matters, that you will know just what you can do, that you will keep your mind open to the potential in those around you, that you will play your part, and that you will protect your peace.
P.S. This is a helpful news article outlining a few ways to support the people of Ukraine right now 🇺🇦(To that end, the sidekick foundation will be supporting charities working in this region with this quarter’s giving).
P.P.S. In other news, it’s March! Glory be. What are you giving up for lent? How about these for a few ideas . . .