On the 3rd weekend of January 2017, I had a life-changing experience. I will never forget the date. I was the first time I had ever experienced a motivational coach. I attended as part of an advertising conference for my day job. The entire company was booked in for a team training session to start the year off on a high, a blank slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. But I was in no way prepared for what I was about to experience that weekend.

I have blogged consistently for 2 years about productivity, positivity, professionalism, being open to change, and adopting the mindset of an expert. I have written about these topics through personal experiences, through best practices in the industry, reading and learning about theories and principals to live by and how these all work in conjunction to make you a better, more effective and productive person in both your professional life and in your personal life. I would consume books, articles, reports, blogs, podcasts, courses, and various other mediums in order to best help people who are willing to learn and become a better person through implementing and applying the topics I write about.

This conference personified everything I had every written, read, talked about, and seen regarding positivity, health and professionalism.

It reinforced my understanding of community and being around people who want to see you grow, and want to help you grow. These are the people who will pull you up and not drag you down. You need to find the type of person who is happy for your success, not people who are jealous of it. Success breeds success. It generates momentum that can carry you forward. In a way that’s contagious. It snowballs your productivity and rubs off others. Something shared is something gained.

Something shared is something gained. There is no point in hoarding knowledge. What benefit do you receive? If you know something that someone else doesn;t. You may think that by knowing something that someone else doesn’t, makes your expertise appear high. But imagine you were to teach that information, share it with others so that they can mould it to their own. Create their own style and become a success from it. All it takes to teach is to know just one thing that someone else doesn’t. All you need is to reach one person with your message and that person will attribute you as their inspiration and hold you as the person who they learned their skill from. This has happened me on a few occasions, from this, I consider those people to be my heroes. No one is going to copy you, you’re not going to lose work and as a result, lose money. Your teachings will exist only to skyrocket your expertise and professionalism to a place where you’re considered the most expert at what you do. How high in demand do you think you will be in then?

Actively seek criticism

That’s one of the hardest things you can change about yourself. To go out of your comfort zone so much that you seek to look for imperfects. In a world where we hide our most sensitive imperfections, and with so much social pressure to conform to a certain look. This is the same with a creative passion. Your work will be judged against others. but those that do the judging aren’t the ones you need to care about because they don’t care about you. They don’t care about your artwork, being in your audience, helping you become better. They have their own insecurities that they mask in the form of judgement or anger.

The great artists and creatives are the ones who are comfortable with their work, they have carved a style for themselves after years of practising and applying their work to real life situations. In the beginning, you’re going to feel like you’re not good enough, and that’s a feeling even the greatest artists go through, but you will feel it because your work hasn;t stood the test of time. You haven’t got that big of an audience, that great of a network, or as much of a knowledge about your craft to form a confidence that you need to as for criticism of your work. you will be protective because this is something you have dedicated time to. Your work will speak for itself over time. And in that time, you will carve out a style for yourself, meet and grow an audience and network of like-minded people. Which lends itself to a quote from Dale Carnegie

Never critisise. Never condemn. Never complain.

Make a conscious decision to change something that you don’t like about yourself. If something is making you unhappy about your hobbies, or your life, or you think your career is going in the wrong direction. Maybe this thin that you thought is your passion is actually not, or maybe your haven’t found your passion yet. Change it. In all of these scenarios, you have control. You hold the keys to do whatever you wish. Give yourself time and space to explore new hobbies and find a passion. Take up a night course, and actively work towards changing your career.

Change starts with you.

Your professional life starts with your personal life. Not the other way around. If you’re unhappy with your work life, then it’s your personal life that needs changing. Take up something new, say yes to more things that are new, put yourself in new experiences and actively seek out new places to travel to, new friends to make, new places to eat food, walk a difference way to work, drive a different route, say hi to a stranger. Share your work with more people. Maybe you’re too shy to share your work. This is a problem I struggle with. Tell people about it, especially if it’s sole aim is to help others with their struggles, like this blog. It’s not shameful, and it’s not sleazy because you’re not selling, and you’re not gloating. Simply bring it up in conversation. Ease it in. Chances are, people will be impressed by your work.

A healthy body is a healthy mind. Start with your fitness. Choose to be a healthier person. Exercise more. Eat better. Start a routine, mark it on the calendar to build up momentum. Make a small change today that has a big impact on your life.

You’re not going to convince someone who doesn’t want to be convinced. They need to open to learning and change. But before you start with other people, make a change yourself.

Think of the one thing about you right now that you would like to change. And no matter the situation or circumstance, promise yourself that when you wake up tomorrow, you will actively seek out a way to change it.