I recently had dinner with a friend. Among our many topics of conversation were our respective blogs. I shared with her my goals and plans for my proofreading blog (proofthatblog.com) and how I saw it all coming together. She said something to the effect that if I did one piece first (the piece I was planning to do last because it is the biggest and scariest), then I have all the other pieces basically done. Seriously. Mind. Blown.
Sometimes, no matter how many times we play any scenario in our heads and feel like it makes total and complete sense, talking to someone else about it helps put things into alignment. It felt like my brain is a pinball machine and I keep hitting the paddles to move things around in there adding goals, dropping tasks, trying to keep everything moving. And all it took was one sentence to make those balls all roll into alignment. One sentence by someone with a totally different perspective than I have!
We both have blogs that end up with similar topics. I have this one and she has one titled “Even Better Today” (https://evenbettertoday.wordpress.com/). We were discussing some blog post ideas we had each written down. Some were the same, some were very similar, and some were very different. Did I feel threatened about the topics that were the similar or the same? Heck no! We each have a different perspective on those topics so I’m pretty sure they will be entirely different posts.
I think we will spend much more time on our new “blog mastermind” that I’ve set up in my head (and I really need to share that with her). I always knew the value of her perspective, but I don’t think I had ever shared my real “plan.” Once I did, the BHAG (big hairy audacious goals) that I was putting off because they were scary seemed not quite so scary. It was a plan. A workable plan. Something I can start on TODAY!
Perspective is different for every person based on their life experiences, education, tribe, goals, and dreams. Whatever you do, don’t automatically dismiss someone else’s perspective on your goals and dreams. It reminds me of dealing with my mother-in-law when I was first married and having children. She was full of advice. Some of it was good and some of it not so much (like seriously, putting the pacifier in sugar or liquor before giving it back to the baby??). I listened to it all and then used it (or not) as I was making my way through new territories. If you are lucky enough to have people in your life who want to see you reach your goals and dreams and are smart enough to help you, take advantage of it. Listen to all of their thoughts. Take what you need from that and use it and leave the rest. Because this is our life, not theirs. It needs to have your spin on it, not theirs. But I’m a firm believer in gathering all the facts you can to make a good decision (but don’t get so mired in the fact-finding that you keep delaying a decision!). So find someone who is interested and knowledgeable in what you’re struggling with and LISTEN to them. And then have another conversation with them and LISTEN again. And keep listening and taking pieces that you need to make yourself better. Listening is a skill. You don’t have to act on every single piece of information you hear, but take what you need, morph other stuff into something you need, and either dismiss the rest or store it in case you need it later.
In other words, be open to another person’s perspective. You don’t have to adopt all of their ideas or try to live their life, but our lives are a conglomeration of experiences with all kinds of different people and situations. Just be open to more of these experiences and perspectives. That’s my plan!