Breaking Free from Procrastination

Dictionary.com defines procrastination as delaying or putting off doing something important. Do you ever do that? I do. It’s a bit paradoxical because if something is important, our instincts should be to take care of it first, right? Unless, the important things that we need to take care of are not actually important to us…

If we only did things that are important to us, things that we are truly interested in and are passionate about, we would act with urgency all the time. We wouldn’t watch the clock for when home-time is, we wouldn’t feel as if any task is a great effort to carry out. We wouldn’t mind doing these things on weekends, public holidays, late at night or early in the morning – are you following? If we only did tasks that we enjoy, we’d lose track of time while doing it, and possibly be great at doing it.

This is what I love doing – writing. I could write all-day, every day. I’m a little obsessed. I work as a Copywriter and I think that I do an okay job, if modesty allows it. This is something I could do for free; I mean I do that a lot already. I go to work, and next thing you know, it’s the end of the day. I write so much that I don’t take lunch and lose track of time. I’ve never had a day where I woke up and said, “I don’t feel like going to work”, or “I hate what I do”. I’m late for work sometimes, but that’s just because of traffic – in case my boss is reading this. The point is, I don’t procrastinate writing because I love it; if I’m delaying writing something, it’s just because it’s not a top priority to me.

Right now, I’m taking a 30 Day blog challenge, launched by Sarah Arrow; I had been quite focused on work and my new kickboxing classes that I didn’t prioritize the blog challenge. This post was meant to be published for Day 5, so here I am, 16 days after of the intended publishing date but here nonetheless.

If you would only focus on doing things that you enjoy doing – granted we all have to do the odd tasks that we’re not fond of carrying out, but if you made your career out of something that you were passionate about, you would excel at your work and live a stress-free, PROCRASTINATION FREE life.

How do you avoid procrastination? I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

From Zero to Adult: How to be taken seriously in life

5 things adults do that earns them respect:

Not that I’m an expert at 24. A friend, nearly twice my age once joked that she had shoes older than I am. So what could I possibly know about being a ‘grown-up’?

I’ve befriended people from all walks of life, and different ages. I’d never have guessed that I’d be mixing with 30 and 40-somethings one night and then be heading off to a 21st birthday the next. I’m lucky to know a diverse group of people; they teach me more than I would have learnt, had I only hung out with people of my age group.

I’ve met enough people to realize that age doesn’t come with maturity, you mature with age because of experiences and if you haven’t exposed yourself to the wonders of the world, you won’t be equipped to survive on your own. Some people in their 50’s are still finding their ‘path’, while others in their tweens are already hard pressed on pursuing their 5-year plans. The only way to be taken seriously in life is to develop some rituals:

Show up

When you’re an adult, you’re expected to stand by your commitments. Being flaky is the easiest way to be marked as unreliable. Those kinds of people aren’t ever taken seriously. If one day you weren’t in the mood to go to work, you call your boss with an excuse and he/she approves, they’re either letting your work load pile up or looking for a replacement because the show must go on. So unless you’re working on your own or for yourself, you are dispensable.

Own up

Everyone loves a person who can take responsibility for their own actions and improve upon it.

Love sparingly

Focus on what you love and you will live a prosperous lie. Don’t give much attention to negative things that are harmful to you. Gossiping and constant complaining for example, can really exhaust you – you also lose time to work on what’s actually bothering you. Mature adults discuss ideas, rather than people.

Hustle

The first time I heard the word hustle, I was listening to a rap song. I honestly thought that it was slang for “do what you need  to do” ( don’t ask me how old I was). Later, I saw a quote by Abraham Lincoln with the word hustle in it, and thought, “Woah! Lincoln was dope“. He said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” Adults are way more competitive than kids on the playground, they just behave differently and don’t nag about it. If there are things that you want to do in your lifetime, do it, or someone else will beat you to it.

Speak up

On to the best part, you’re the boss of you. You choose your clothes, you buy your food, and you pay for your own petrol. Some people are naturally withdrawn and shy anyway from being heard by those around them, and by that I mean saying what they feel, agreeing, disagreeing, offering new ideas or simply making new friends. If you represent yourself with a confident voice, you’re literally branding yourself as someone who should be listened to, admired, or respected.

Do you have more more points  to add to the list? Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, or email me to robyn@bewhole.co.za. I’d love to hear from you.

 

How to be Yourself at Any Time

I find that a lot of people struggle to be themselves, especially when they’re surrounded by others who seem to be more confident, assertive, and even more beautiful.

Most of the time it’s because you don’t even know who you are yet, I mean, that’s me – still finding my groove; I’ve cut the cords with trying create this perfect vision of how my life is meant to pan out. But it’s like drugs – this sense of wanting to be a certain way, one day you’re high – loving the skin that you’re in, and the next, you’re wishing you could be Michelle Lewin, SA style.  It’s easy to get lost in ‘want’ of other people’s lives when you’re scrolling through social media and following feeds,  and you forget that you have just as much chance of achieving the goals of the person you’re following because they’ve done it and that’s proof that it’s possible.

A friend of mine is a primary school teacher and she was telling me about the poor public speaking skills of her grade seven girls. She said that their biggest problem was not their performance while speaking, it was that they weren’t really thinking about what they were saying. One of the learners spoke about her perfect day. She said that her perfect day was when she went to the shopping mall with friends, grabbed a bite to eat, and then went home. And that was it. It may have seemed perfect to her, but it sure as hell didn’t seem like a perfect day to me.  No punch line? How was that bland explanation of events supposed to relay perfection?

My friend went on to say that she wished her students would ask more questions because in this day and age students are only taught their required curriculum, they appear to memorize it well, and then leave at the end of the day, still uneducated because they bother to ask questions. She said that if the student had just spoken earnestly about her perfect day, it would have changed everything. She could have spoken about what they ate at the mall, what time they’d arrived, whether something weird or funny happened, even if it didn’t seem important, it would have been a less boring speech. Instead she recited answers to the brief exercise. And there was no personality. Anyone in the world could have said what she’d said and that’s not the goal of public speaking; “you need to present an element of yourself that no one else can offer – and it’s those simple details like “we left for the mall at 5pm, or I was running late after a piano lesson” that says something about you without boasting. Even those minor details would have shaped a better speech.”

Our discussion had me thinking, all you have in life is you. You have what you know, what you’ve learned and your unique characteristics – that’s what sets you apart from the rest of the human race. And if that is all you have to distinguish yourself from billions of people in the world, why are we not embracing the details, the stretch marks, the dark times, and the memories? No one else has them, at least not of the same vision. We can’t spend the rest of our lives learning to be certain types of people and have our potential harnessed to the back of our minds. It’s so limiting. It makes us look permanently nervous.

Your personality – that’s all you. The minute you suppress your ideas, feelings, goals and desire, you give yourself a chance to adapt to someone else’s traits, and at the end of the say, you’re no more than a statistic. That’s not why you’re here, that cannot be your goal in life. Aspire, inspire, and live well.

Feature photo/ Pixabay

 

6 Things We Do to Ourselves That’s Just Not Worth It.

This so-true list of things we do, often without realizing, usually holds us back from becoming the next-level individuals that we aspire to be:

Hanging onto fading relationships

Like those long-time friends who know everything about you – those relationships are the worst to let go of. People become friends when they discover similar interests, and friendships fade when interests change. It’s neither good nor bad when relationships fade, but it can become stressful and awkward when your lives have changed so much that you cannot relate to each other.

Thinking that we are our own people and our surroundings don’t change us

From the time you were born, people have been influencing you – what you eat, what you wear, which language to speak, and so on… Every living being that you’ve spent time with has the capacity to shape you. In a scene from one of my favourite films, Cloud Atlas (which was based on the book with the same name), Sonmi the protagonist, says: “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” Basically, you develop similar traits or interests as those you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.

Avoiding closure

When there are too many maybe’s floating in one situation – when you don’t know what’s going on but “let’s just drop it”. Or when you pass up on the chance to go to what could be an awesome event because you don’t want to see someone who may also attend. Yep, that’s a definite no-closure situation. Sometimes, self-assurance is the only closure you need.

Neglecting your schedule to suit someone else’s

This often happens if you’re the kind of person who hates missing out. You love spontaneous adventures but have conflicting long terms goals. Strike a balance when making plans and more importantly, decide what would be worth sacrificing for the long run.

Being afraid or too proud to ask for help.

South Africans can probably relate. We’re the ones who mostly say, “if I don’t have, I will go without”. We don’t like to be the ones asking for help, even if we’re not asking for ourselves. It’s good to be independent but opportunities won’t fall into your lap. It’s only in asking that we unpack all the universe has to offer us.

Passing negative comments about ourselves or others.

According to ScientificAmerican.com, your brain responds more strongly to negative words than positive ones. The theory by postdoctoral researcher, David Carmel, is that when you are speaking negatively (even about others) your brain will process these thoughts quicker than positive thoughts. And as you know, positive thinking equals a positive life. All remarks made, impacts your frame of thinking.

Have something to add to the list? Post your comments below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

Feature Photo/ Carey Chanquin

 

12 Things that Constitute Real Riches By Napoleon Hill

I’ve begun reading a book called Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

Lately, I’ve been jumping books, where I’d be reading a book and then become so distracted that I don’t finish it; so my new plan is to write about. That way the words get entrenched in my mind, and I am able to simplify my understanding of it.

I’ve always wanted to read this book. I’ve heard people talk about how helpful the guidelines have been to them, so I’m eager to test Napoleon Hill’s theories.

Who was Napoleon Hill?

One of the world’s earliest self-help gurus. He’d researched hundreds of successful people over decades, to create these brilliant manuals for personal development. Some of Hill’s books are: The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, The Master-Key to Riches, and You Can Work Your Own Miracles, to name a few.

Think and Grow Rich was published in 1937 (nearly 80 years ago), but the book still sells for over R100. Talk about a best-seller! You can order a paperback from Takealot.com right now for R134. Or you can continue to read the summaries as I post them here Be Whole. I’ve also downloaded a FREE Think and Grow Rich App for Android on Playstore, to listen to the audio version of the book when I feel inclined.

According to Hill’s research for this particular book, which spanned 20 years, the 12 things that make (wo)men rich were discovered in hundreds of successful people, from all walks of life, who each appeared to share the following 12 qualities:

1. Positive mental attitude

2. Sound physical health

3. Harmony in human relations

4. Freedom from fear

5. The hope of future achievement

6. The capacity for applied faith

7. Willingness to share one’s blessings with others

8. To be engaged in the labour of love

9. An open mind towards all subjects for all people

10. Complete self-discipline

11. Wisdom with which to understand people

12. Financial security

He then emphasizes that financial security was intentionally listed as the final point to obtaining riches, because money is merely a component of wealth, not the purpose of it. Are your ducks in a row people? I can think of at least five that I seriously need to work on.

More notes on this book to follow! Do you or someone you know possess each of the 12 components mentioned? I’d love to feature you! Email me directly to robyn@bewholesome.co.za or leave a comment in the space below.

Featured Image by Tara Courtené

Why I’m Dropping the ‘Some’ from Be Wholesome

Rather late than never hey.

You may have read a previous post mentioning constant changes to my blog until it becomes what I envision it could be. I’ve thought long and hard about this but finally decided to drop the ‘some’ from Be Wholesome – so my title will now read, ‘Be Whole’.

Once my new domain name has been approved, the URL link will change too. And luckily, all your favourite posts will be kept in one place as the existing content will be migrated to the new website, with the help of Creative Coalition, who currently manages my domain.

I’m renaming the site because I want to be absolutely clear on the message I’m sending.

When I started this blog, I said that it would highlight all that embodies me – my interest in media and marketing, personal development, travel, health and beauty, and of course, my love for writing. But more than having a personal blog, I want to share things that I’ve learned, both simple and profound, and talk about people who inspire me daily – there are so many.

I don’t feel satisfied talking about myself only, I want to share your stories too. I want you to comment and share posts that interest you, to spark debate, develop meaningful discussions, and connect with those who share your interests.

It would be great if we could all be wholesome – in good health and moral standing. But in terms of the vision for my blog, to be whole is better – not wounded, uninspired, or unhappy about your life.

A simple word can change an idea, which in turn results in projecting a different meaning – as you can see from the difference in meaning between wholesomeness and wholeness. So I hope that you will appreciate the reasoning behind my decision to rename my blog. Feel free to share your thoughts about it in the comment section below.

I haven’t framed a specific identity to speak to; you must live how you need to, and be you. I only want to offer you insight and clarity – to things that you may or may not have known. And of course, to share stories that could potentially inspire you.

Yesterday a friend and I sat through two beautiful hours of a seminar held by Deepak Chopra, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. To say that he is phenomenal, is an understatement. He walked us through his studies for obtaining ‘higher health’ and basically highlighted tools for experiencing higher consciousness, transformation, and healing. This was followed by a meditation where he’s asked us to ask ourselves, “who am I and what do I desire?” The meditation gave me such a refreshing calm. I’m not accustomed to it and now realize how good it can be for me to just break away from the hustle of my day. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes. I honestly felt as though I’d been resting for days. And I think that it’s probably instigated my action to change the site name. I also went for drinks and danced to some Hip Hop, so it could be that. Nevertheless, I’m happy to be doing it.

I’m looking for a quirky but crisp logo to be the cherry on top of this exciting change. If you could design logos in your sleep, please send me an email to robyn@bewhole.co.za; let’s talk business! Thanks!

Feature photo by Carey Chanquin (creative commons)

5 Questions for Anyone Aspiring to be a Content Producer.

Things to consider before choosing this career path.

I thought that it may be a good idea to share a post on what I do for a living. As a Content Producer, my job is to write, compile and aggregate web content, ranging from news articles, feature articles, blog posts, reviews, product descriptions and social media updates.

Other job titles with similar roles refer to copywriters, content managers, online journalists, and digital editors. But essentially we all share a common goal, which is to tell a story.

Everyone wants to feel that their job is important but as a content producer, you literally bear the responsibility of maintaining your company’s brand. Using a few words out of context could cost the company it’s reputation and followers.

While this may be a rewarding job for anyone who loves writing and working online, here are 5 things to consider before taking the plunge:

Are you prepared to accept a position below your qualification if you aren’t successful?

I don’t know anyone in the media or marketing industry who hadn’t started out as an intern. In some cases, your internship will be as good as voluntary because you won’t get paid. The more reputable the company, the lower your intern salary. Simply because the industry is highly competitive and employers know that their reputation will count in your favour – to establishing your career. Whether you feel that you deserve to be paid more, or that you’re selling yourself short, remember that every well established journalist has been down this road.

The key is to keep trying; never stop writing. This was something a former editor had told me upon my first rejection letter to her publication. I was looking for a summer internship during varsity and had applied to their 6 week program. After being rejected, I continued to apply to every program that they’d advertised and was eventually offered a 6 month internship, instead of the 6 week job shadow that  I was pining for.

Do you strive for financial freedom?

That’s just a euphemised way of asking if you want to be rich. Because if you do, your salary will not accommodate it. Bugattis and Atlantic Seaboard homes will have to wait until you’re the owner of the company that you write for. You must love your job so much that your passion for it is all that matters.

What is your niche?

A good writer is versatile. This means that you are able write to different target markets, in a way that appeals to them specifically. But as the saying goes, jack of all trades, master of nothing – every writer must establish a point of interest and develop it. For example, imagine writers as the guardians of language; as cultures evolve, there are always new things to learn and more stories to tell. Once you establish a niche, you develop direction and long term career goals.

How well do you handle criticism?

Journalists have it hard. A large portion of society have a warped idea of journalistic ethics, thinking that the media report stories they simply want you to know. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that journalists report on the status quo – current affairs, which directly affects society.

Published news stories are monitored via analytics and the most popular ones usually create a trend for relative stories follow. So the media simply appeal to your interests.

What is your source of inspiration?

Nurture, whatever spurts your creativity. An editor once told me that all her best ideas came to mind while she was near water. And that may seen strange, but if something similar gets you creative juices flowing, give it a shot.

Would you like me to share more posts about content producing and its processes? Leave a comment in the space below, or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za.

The 5 Rules for Growth.

Let this be a guide to refining the best of you.

My journey through Blogging 101 has been quite rewarding – I’ve connected with a diverse blogging community and learned so much in the interim. One thing that I’d discovered was that successful people always write and speak in simple terms, and stick to the key components of any development process, which I’ve jotted down for you below:

#2: Don’t Be Pretentious

It’s really annoying. But more importantly, it does more harm than good for what you’re trying to accomplish. My favourite bloggers are the ones who write truthfully, and simply, for example, Alice, author of Are you Better Yet? writes about her life as a 23-year-old woman suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. Her stories are heartfelt because she is just so brutally honest. And then there’s Janet Sunderland, who simply recalls moments of her life in the most exquisite way – you’ll imagine that you’d shared those moments with her, that’s how great her writing is.

Everyone won’t find you appealing but at the end of the day, your goal should be to surrounded yourself with like-minded people.

#3: Start small

Whether you have big dreams or small goals, it only ever becomes reality once you do something about it. One of my colleagues runs for exercise on a weekly basis, and she says that the hardest part of running is getting your shoes on. Once that’s out of the way, you’re hyped up and ready for action. And I could absolutely relate. Small changes make a big difference.

#4: Be consistent

And be patient. I’m the type of person who’ll get home after a workout and stand in front of the mirror to spot bodily changes. I know that the results won’t show immediately but before I hop into the shower, I’ll turn another 360° in the mirror, just to be sure. Try your best not to do that with your goals. You’ll notice the results of your small changes in a big way, if you are consistent and patient.

#5: Learn from the experts

How deep is that line by Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) in The Answer Man (d/ John Hindman, 2009) when she says to Arlen Faber: “I only have three rules: don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with, try not to do something you can’t take back, and something is what it is and it’s not something else.” Can I get an amen?! There is something to learn from everyone but you should ensure that you’re collecting tips from the right people. Look to the ones with (successful) experience in your field for guidance.

Can you think of any more rules of development to add to the list? Post a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za. I’d love to hear from you!