One of my favourite things to do is people watch.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, lost, off-kilter in any way, I take myself out of it by people watching.
I like to sit in a coffee shop by the window (if you can get upstairs even better!) grab a big cup of coffee and just sit.
Watch the people passing you by, from the child skipping alongside her mum or dad, the little boy pretending he’s an aeroplane, The ‘exec’ rushing by in his mid-priced suit using his briefcase as a battering ram to usher people out of the way signalling his (self) importance.
The mum juggling a baby in a pram and the tantruming toddler.
The college kids enjoying their freedom as they’re not tied to a desk.
The angry guy who’s on a mission.
The woman in her own world, smiling to herself as she practically dances down the street.
What are their stories?
How important are they?
To you, probably not much, to them, everything!
In their stories, they are the most important people in that moment, wrapped up in their own worlds, doing their thing. Whether that’s taking it easy, or rushing full steam ahead.
What part do they play to the bigger picture?
What part do you play?
We’re all here, living our own lives, doing our own thing. Wrapped up in our own lives.
People don’t like to be disrupted from that.
The people who are wrapped up spending their lives doing everyone’s else’s bidding? Maybe they hate it. I did, but it was a cage of my own making.
The odd favour here or there, one ‘yes’ too many and it became an expectation… that became an obligation… the cage of your own making.
Feeling completely useless, like you don’t matter to anyone because they’re all busy wrapped up in their own thing? You’re probably right… but why can’t you do the same? Get wrapped up in yourself. Find what’s most important to you and focus on it.
Where do you want to be?
What do you want to be doing?
How do you want to impact the world around you?
Get so wrapped up in making yourself the most important and most positively impactful person in your world, and it won’t matter anymore.
Want to be the person who helps? Do it.
Find someone who needs help with something in your skillset. Help them. But not at the detriment to yourself.
Maybe you spend all your time helping others and want to do something for yourself?
Fine. Set time aside. Decide what you want to do, and when you’re going to do it. Make yourself unavailable to anything/anyone else and make sure you have that time to do your own thing. It doesn’t even have to be big. It could simply be half an hour walking around the local park on your own getting some fresh air (or like the old Kenco advert where the mum gets a babysitter in so she can enjoy a cup of coffee)
Perhaps you want to focus on the thing that’s getting you down that you’ve kept putting off for all your other commitments, like the little jobs around the house, finally sorting out the kids’ toys, redecorating your bedroom… just little things that probably wouldn’t take long, but you keep putting off because you find a million other things that are taking up your time, or convince yourself are more important. It could be something as simple as reading that book that’s been on the shelf for months.
When you start to realise that the rest of the world will carry on without you trying to do everything for everyone, you’ll start to enjoy that time for yourself a little more.
And when you start to work on those little things you want for yourself, you’ll realise that actually, your significance is wholly dependant on you doing what’s best for you.
Because you once you start to do that, you are able to give more to those around you. Not just in your time, but in the quality of the time that you give.