How to overcome the ruts we get in:

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I’ve been in a reading rut, for two years, honestly. It might not seem that way to people who don’t read much, because I’m still choking my way through a few books, but up till a few weeks ago it’s been taking me months to get through one. I didn’t know what was wrong. I used to love to read, I still did, but for some reason it wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting sucked in like I used to and I didn’t think it was the books I was reading. They were good enough, I was just grossly uninspired. Unmotivated. Unmoved.

I was stuck in a nice big rut and didn’t know how to get out of it. I did get out of it, in the last month I’ve read five books. I’ve officially overcome whatever beast I was struggling with. I was moved forward, so lets talk about ways that you can un-stick yourself from the ruts you get stuck in, no matter what that rut is.

  • Talk to a friend who is excelling where you are stuck. Inspiration is contagious. When we hang out with someone who is currently in love with what we can’t seem to deal with it helps open our eyes. It makes us feel like we are missing out and starts to move us back into motion. We remember why we loved what we loved, but more importantly we remember what it is like to be excited about our projects or hobbies. That reminder goes a long way.

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The risk of falling too hard into a niche:

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We love our niches. We’ve been told to seek them out since we were kids. Find your people and everything else will fall together! And I’m not saying that our people aren’t important, in fact, they are one of the most important things in our lives. All I’m saying is that we don’t want all our people to be exactly the same, just like we don’t want all our creative work to be the same, or all our habits to stay exactly the same.

We’re human beings, we don’t make progress or grow if we just do the same things over and over again.

If you find people who are too much like you, or only enjoy work that is exactly like the work you create, you’re not going to change any. You’re not going to be pushed to grow, you’ve never going to need to step outside of your comfort zone. You’ll create a beautiful little bubble around you and you’ll never be challenged. It might sound nice in a lot of ways, but without being challenged we will never achieve more than we are now. Without being pushed outside our comfort zone we’ll never learn that we do better work there. We’ll never learn that our people weren’t helping us but holding us back. We’ll never know that we can be more.

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Most of us aren’t doing our best, but we’re still worthy

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Most the time we aren’t trying our best, let me go ahead and say that. I know that this is a unpopular opinion by the amount of vague posts I see telling people that they are. I know it’s a unpopular opinion based on the amount of times I’ve heard people sigh it under their breath when we both know they aren’t.

I know this, because I do it too. I claim that I’m trying as hard as I can, but I’m not. Perhaps I’m still trying- Perhaps I’m not for real reasons like lack of sleep and stress. Most of the time if I said the reason I’ve been failing instead of a lie about the amount of effort I was putting in people would be just as understanding, because they know as well as I do that life gets busy and messy, and sometimes we’re just downright lazy.

But let’s admit it, we’re not always trying our best. It’s a disappointing thing to hear ourselves say, whether or not our reasons are valid, because we know how much farther along we would be if we were. We know that we’d be five steps ahead of where we are if we gave it our all everyday, which is why we lie. It’s why we pretend that we couldn’t be any farther along.

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Who taught you that? Asking where your ideas came from.

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I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and the good kind, not the kind where I get really caught up in my own anxieties. I’ve been listening to a lot of smart people, but they haven’t been telling me what to think, which I’ve grown accustom to through years of schooling. No, these people I’ve found through varies outlets on my laptop, where asking me questions. They wanted me to produce the answers for myself.

In a debate I heard someone ask “who taught you that?” to someone who was presenting one of their most dramatic viewpoints, something that they saw completely as fact.

Who taught me my dramatic viewpoints? The answer isn’t one person, it hardly ever is. We tend to take notes from hundreds of people and then write our essays. That’s how we should do it anyways, if your answer is easily a single person than you should probably go take some more notes, even if it’s just to compare and contrast.

But the question got me thinking about how sometimes when we learn things we don’t question it. We just take someone’s (or a group of people’s) ideas and adapt them, they simply become our own. This happens a lot when we are surrounded by one kind of idea. When our notes are one sided.

It’s also why we can see such dramatic phases in our lives when we look back. Who were you around when you went into that stage. Who taught you that way of life?

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Why you shouldn’t do things just to inspire others:

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When you say that people shouldn’t do things to impress others everyone agrees without hesitation, but when you say that you shouldn’t aspire to inspire, you get a little push back. People like being inspirational. Especially who live in modern times because we live in a world where everyone has a window to your life, even complete strangers (this blog, your Instagram- you know what I mean).

I got a little cocky the other day when one of my friends told me that they found my winning fight with something as inspirational. I let it go to my head a little, I was like, hell yes. I am inspirational. And I am, and honestly you are too, we are all inspirational, that’s not in question, it’s about doing things for the purpose of inspiring. It gets a little shady.

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Magazine of the Moment: Success

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It’s been a while since I have done a Magazine of the Moment post (you can check out the past ones here) but I felt like this was a good time to do this particular magazine.

Success Magazine is marketed towards entrepreneurs, but it’s really a great read for any professional. The magazine covers self improvement, leadership, and ways to find happiness and (wait for it) success.

I say it’s a good time to spotlight this magazine because now that I’m healthy I’m starting to look back at going into the workforce. I’m borderline well, which means it’s time to get a proper plan in place. I prefer magazines like this for inspiration than those like Inc. because I find the articles more digestible and the topics more suited for people of different walks of life. We can’t all be CEO’s.

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Some Advice:

hhhhhWe can’t only do the stuff we enjoy for the rest of our lives- but we can do more of it than we do. Our culture is very into the “do what you love” movement, and man is it amazing, but realistically not everyone can do what they love. We have to get money, we have to do the house work. It’s not an option to get rid of all of these things. But it is an option to make them less time consuming. House work? Clean as you go to save time for the things you love. Set aside blocks of time for hobbies. Make time for people.

Remember that it’s not just huge time consuming things that make you happy. It’s also little beautiful moments in life. So why this advice might seem to be reaching for the stars on what you’re able to do… it’s not. Make the lists and look over it. It might be as simple as reading for thirty minutes before bed or premaking homemade waffles on the weekend so you can eat them every work morning.

**I do not own this image**