I spent a bit of time on Twitter last night with an old colleague who’s moved out of town. Things haven’t gone great form her perspective; her work situation is less than ideal (particularly the ferocious daily commute) and she’s starting to wonder what the hell she really wants to do with her life. She’s not even sure whether there’s been anything she really wants to do that she’s done before; she can’t remember anything previous that particularly inspired her.
I made a few suggestions, linked to a couple of articles that helped me. This morning, though, I found myself asking:
Just how do I think that my advice to her could be particularly helpful?
That’s been one of my greatest problems I’ve had with writing this blog. I’ve been reading all kinds of advice columns on how to become an Internet Business Success and Monetise My Blog and Take Control Of My Life, and they all centre around finding how you can be of value to others.
I mean, while I’ve made some damned good choices in life I’m still a way to go from achieving my personal goals. The Novel I’ve Been Meaning To Write For A Decade is still unwritten. I’m still in the nine-to-five. It’s not as though I can hold myself up as some kind of shining example – “You too can have this!”
Do any of us know enough about each other or even ourselves to give other people any kind of meaningful directions through the countryside of life?
Well, maybe, yes.
It’s hard to read a whole life story into just a few tweets, but when I read my friend’s messages, I felt like I knew what she was gong through. They read like the kind of things I’d say or write when I feel like things are taking a turn for the worse and I Need To Do Something To Fix It Quickly.
I also feel that I’m doing enough about my situation, one deep breath at a time, to be able to suggest how she could feel a bit better about herself and get into a better frame of mind for examining her life and where she wants to go.
Take this web log. From those couple of re-brandings I did, I’ve learned that not every decision is a Critical One, that if you guess wrong it’s not the end of the world, even if you’re trying to help someone else and not (just) yourself; you can try things, even giving advice, and both you and your advisee will survive if you’re wrong (the exceptional circumstances will be glaringly obvious anyway).
You’ll always have the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to something else.
So, friend, if you’re reading this, I hope you’ll be able to sort out everything for yourself soon. It might take a while – like I wrote above, my novel isn’t even written yet – but just relax, and it’ll be fine.
(If relaxing is a problem, try meditating. It’s working for me.)
And even if you can’t trust me – hell, I’m no expert in this living business – trust yourself. That’s the biggest gift you can give yourself in times like ours. It’s one I’m still leartning how to accept, too.
What else can I do to help my friend, if anything?
What else can I do to help myself?
Are You Curious?
Have you ever found yourself unsure or out of your depth when someone asked you for help or told you about their situation? How did you handle it?