Our first post for a while, this is a guest blog from the wonderful Liana Skewes, who combines studying for a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing, with working as the co-ordinator for Student Futures Online at FedUni AND being a fantastic fashion blogger! Liana has kindly allowed us to repost the following from her blog, which you can find here: http://findingfemme.blogspot.com.au
One of the most common misconceptions people have about me is that I’m an extrovert. This probably stems from the notion that extroversion involves being outgoing and introversion refers to reclusive behaviour. In fact, introversion and extroversion are about social energy, specifically where the energy from social activity comes from. Its no wonder when I’m confident, or energetic, or willing to have a go that people think I’m outgoing. Especially when I am often in positions of visibility, such as performing. Continue reading →
To “pay it forward” is to respond to someone’s kindness by then being kind to someone else. Ultimately the idea of this is to create a wave of kindness amongst humanity. Imagine a tsunami, but instead of water and destruction there is kindness and happiness. That’s pretty cool.
Yesterday in Australia it was Pay It Forward Day, where you are encouraged to act with generosity towards others and set off the kindness motion. It is a day dedicated to doing something without expecting anything in return, which is awesome. But why are we only expected to notably act with such kindness on one day of the year? Why not pay it forward on 365 days of the year? Yes, it is important to actively recognise a powerful phenomenon such as this, but if we all practiced it as part of our everyday lives would it really be necessary to dedicate a single day to it?
Is it just an excuse for your kindness to be noticed?
There’s no extrinsic reward for paying it forward, you don’t get a lollipop or trophy for being kind, which is possibly why there is not a lot of kindness in the world. People are motivated by materials and receiving, they won’t pay it forward because there is nothing in it for them. Don’t feel bad, we all do it, it’s the truth of today. But don’t be fooled, there is something in it for you. It’s that wonderful feeling of internally knowing thatyou did something great and made a permanently positive impact on someone’s life. That’s the power you have as a human, you can change people’s lives. And you can do this by simply being kind, acting with generosity, being considerate, seeing a need and acting on it.
When you reflect later on in life, imagine the feeling of knowing that you contributed some goodness to this world, that you made someone’s life that bit better.
That feeling should be enough to not only pay it forward today, but every day. You should never underestimate the magnitude of your actions, so why fit all of your kindness into one day? And sometimes, kindness is kind to you. You might choose to help someone carry their groceries, and one day, someone might just help you. It’s like a kindness boomerang.
So I hope you did something nice for someone yesterday, that you received a kindness too and that you pay it forward today, not because that’s what were told to do, but because you are human and you can.
And then do it again tomorrow, then the next day, then the next and so on. Make ordinary lives extraordinary.
Let’s be honest, it would suck to be a Vampire (pun intended). You can’t eat garlic, you sleep in a coffin, and going to the beach is a massive no-no. Also, how are you going to do your hair in the morning if you can’t see yourself in a mirror? Not being able to see yourself as others see you is a big issue, whether at work, at Uni, in your life or fighting werewolves.
Which brings me smoothly on to Self-Reflection. I’m going to deal with it in two parts – the first bit is about knowing yourself (Self Awareness), the second about doing something about it (Self-Improvement).
Self-awareness is crucial to success in any field – if you know how you work best, what you’re good at, what you’re not so good at, you can create a work/study/social environment to maximise your strengths and support you in developing your weaknesses. Consider a personality-type questionnaire like Myers Briggs or DISC (free versions are available if you search!), but be careful not to be limited by what it says about you – just because you have a preference for introversion, it doesn’t mean that you ‘are’ an introvert – use this as a tool to see what you could work on.
Ask other people what they think – honest feedback from colleagues, bosses, families and friends is invaluable – they probably see different things in you than you may realise…Again, challenge yourself to break free of the image other people have of you.
The self-improvement aspect is again all about challenging yourself to be better. It is not the same as self-assessment – it should not be judgemental. It is not just a description of what you have done during a day – it needs to be analytical. It is definitely not what I call ‘social introspection’ – a Facebook status telling everyone how awesome/awful your life is. Effective self-reflection goes in a cycle: (click to enlarge)
The format is unimportant – write it, draw it, video it – whatever works best for you.
The most important bits are also the bits that everyone misses out:
1) Identifying sources of support – whatever the challenge is, you don’t have to do it alone. Approach other people who may have been in/currently are in a similar situation, and ask them how they got on – you can always repay the favour down the line. If it’s course-related, ask your coursemates, teaching staff or support staff. If it’s in your job, your colleagues/supervisors should be able to help. In other areas of your life, friends/families/contacts will be happy to help out – another reason to keep your networks as broad as possible.
2) The follow-up – After you have worked out how to overcome the issue, make sure you try it out as soon as possible – actively seek out tasks and situations which challenge you and approach them in different ways. After a few months, look back at your reflections and see if you’ve made any progress, if not, have another go at coming up with a different solution.
Vampires are stuck in a constant cycle of sucking blood, avoiding sunlight and dodging stakes through the heart – they can never stop being what they are, unless they die.
Don’t let the same be said of you…
Got any top tips for self-reflection? Anything that works particularly well for you? Please share below…