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I think I'm figuring my niche out. Niche, yes: Who I've become, what I love to talk about on a blog, what I am good with.

I find myself wanting to talk about things that can be found in motivational texts.

I am aiming for a constantly positive attitude even in the face of difficulties and hardship. I have those, too, but letting my shoulders drop for days on end has never even once solved my problems.
The problems got solved once I took heart, started breathing again, and found ways to brainstorm possible solutions, to ask for help, to find counsel, and to start hoping again despite all odds and despite whatever came against me.

In German (my native language), and face to face, I actually am great at motivating other people. It seems to be a gift of mine; I just never knew it. Maybe I've also never really calmed down enough before to be able to notice and grow that talent.
Now I do. Now I find the words. Now I learn to listen, and in listening I find ideas, memories, concepts and advice that I can offer, and that after a while even begins to make a difference.

It is amazing to me to really see people go from hopelessness to lightness and joy within the span of an hour or two. I experienced it again just this week. Not every week, but once in a while, sometimes often, sometimes not at all.

But I see that this gift doesn't translate well to blogging and to online life yet, and I think this is because the face-to-face real-time contact is missing, and because social life works a lot differently online.

Here, online, I write a long text, and can't see the reactions, the misunderstandings between us, and might not catch where I misphrase things and explain something badly. (And, when I'm entirely wrong no one stops me in time, either.)
Real Life is more forgiving when that happens. Not if - but when that happens, because we all still are human. I've never claimed to be perfect.

So, I guess I have to learn to translate the gift I am now successfully using in my Real Life; to translate it into the virtual world. It works differently here, and I don't yet know how.

My niche, then, is motivational speaking. I need to learn how to change it into motivational writing to use it on this blog, too, which I had tried to do already without really becoming aware of that.

Sure, I could open other blogs, have a clean start somewhere. But what would I then be writing here? This is who I am now, and it has been who I were since a long time even when I did not understand it.
(Why was I for years going so public in trying to learn and teach how to write well? Because I love to help, and to motivate.)

That recent quarrel at my blog was pretty painful for me, and very unexpected, because I am used to my gift, that talent, working well. I didn't realise yet the differences in the mediums (verbal, interactive, instantly vs. written down).

But I hadn't taken enough time to edit and figure out all the places where I hadn't said things well enough, where my writing hadn't been clear enough. (The headline. I never meant to say that no one actually has depression; I meant to say that what these feelings suggest is a lie: No one is worthless, no one must fail, no one should ever give up.
Rather, absolutely, the opposite: You are worthy, you have so much potential, you can do anything you put your mind towards, you will succeed; please don't ever give up hope!
When put into perspective any current problems will start to look smaller, sometimes much smaller. - What perspective? How little I am actually suffering compared to starving children in Somalia? - No. But in regards to who you really are and how many ways to survive well and to succeed are still open. — Yes, even to you!)

To underline that I'd like to offer a link, too: The Badass Project.
This might not be for the faint of heart, but it definetely is a wake up call, and intended as such by the creators of that site.
You don't have to use such strong examples of prevailing and conquering despite strong obstacles. (Hey, being blind and training yourself to see through echolocation? Wow! I saw that in a movie once. Maybe it was actually based on that guy?)
There are enough other, less hardcore examples and encouraging information out there. But no matter what, there always is a way to fulfill one's dreams and become happy. (Yes, really!)

I think a lot depends on the mood you allow, and on the mood someone else can share with you.
Mood is created by ideas you share, by voice, by facial expressions and by body language, and then you could go metaphysical - buildings seem to have different atmospheres, cities seem to have different feels to them, people feel different to me … but how much of that is just my interpretation of outside facts and how much is actual intuitive/empathic perception I do not know.

So, about my niche? I want to write about anything and everything that fascinates me, but what fascinates me most is what I could call 'my niche', or my gift: Being encouraging, bringing actual help (just sounding hopeful without concrete facts is … not worth much because it lacks the ground, so to speak, something real to stand on), bringing excitement and fun and weirdness — yes, that's me.
And that's what I look for online. That's what I look for when I am reading new blogs, new websites: People that I can learn from to then pass on what I've learned from them to help, encourage, motivate and share with, others. (Who ever would need it.)

So now I finally know a bit better why I continue hanging onto this blog, and why my posts go into that one specific direction.
I just read from Signal vs. Noise an observation that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had shared with them:
"[…] the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary."

I have been wondering why in this time of learning and trying to find my place online again - why I was and am constantly adapting and changing my perceptions and opinions.
I'm glad that Jeff Bezos kind of says this is good thing. I was starting to become ashamed of it. But in fact in a world that changes so much no one can afford rigid opinions. One has to stay open for new facts, for dialog, for the chance to learn and understand more.

The cutting edge is constantly shifting and changing. Every day brings new life, new ideas. The conversation continues, we make new discoveries and develop new technologies. No one can afford to stand still, because the world doesn't.

To not get intimidated by these changes but instead be able to start seeing the opportunities and chances and concrete possibiblities that we could take, explore and run with, that is what motivational speaking, writing and filming … often is about:

Seeing the glass half full or half empty (an example that never managed to properly impress me), seeing (and focusing on) the opportunities and the wonderful new beginnings instead of what dies and falls away and is becoming outdated, that difference is created by such a small shift in attitude it seems, but it is increadibly life changing. It also is a learnable habit.

I might have never really learned it before now, but I also never really lost that hopeful outlook on life itself, and on my life, and that really helped me to get through some rough times.

I do not know whether I'll ever be able to translate my offline talents into the complementary online talents. I wish for it, but whatever I am doing here can just be an experiment for now.

Yet this is what I am doing, online and offline, and I can't help myself.

I will not get everything right to my own or to your satisfaction, but I will try to stay open and learn and adapt. I do this because this is me and this is what I've always been about; and I do what I do out of love for people, any people, and out of love for life itself.

This can be a wonderful world. Really! I want to experience what I can already imagine in my mind, I want to see this whole world realise its potential. Wouldn't that be great? But how could that happen?

Well, it all starts with a first step of courage and of hope, every day anew.
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taleanea: Talea's default user icon. (Default)
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