How to stop talking... and start acting!
This is going to be a little more on the personal note. But we have really been on and in a lot of panels and talks that had all the recipes and ready-made solutions to solve various problems. As much as we love listening to like-minded people, after a certain amount of talking and big words, there is a reflection that hits: if everything is so easy and clear to us, why is the change not happening? We thought of putting up a little bit of an action plan - a list of notes-to-self in order to talk less and do more.
Your truth is not the only truth in the room
This might come to you as a shocker, if it doesn’t - good job, but you are only right according to yourself. If something is true and clear to you, but you are in the room with 19 other people, there are exactly 19 people next to you who have their own, self-validated, point of view. It is actually an important and difficult realisation to make (hence - good job if it is already clear to you), but how valuable! First, it makes you humble and eager to learn - you acknowledge other people’s opinions and their sources, and not just in a “nodding politely and smiling” kind of way - that is just wanting to be likeable. Understanding and respect come from something else - humility. Secondly, it actually sets you free. Once you realise you are actually not the cleverest one and in need to prove everyone everything which according to (only) you is absolutely true, you just chill. You don’t need to explain anyone anything. You can dispute, converse, ask questions - but you don’t have to patronise and explain. For us, it is the first step to giving up on talking your way through stuff, and actually thinking of better, active, ways to change things that you are not the most comfortable with.
Small things matter
There is an amazing saying that one of us saw in Iceland in a piece of street art by Sara Riel, and as we learnt later, it comes from a poem. It goes like this:
How unbelievably beautiful and true this reference is - and we can see the relevance of it literally everywhere. How many times did it make more sense to just speak about something, but action seemed too small, trivial and unimportant to even take it? It is easy to talk about taking your reusables everywhere you go, not shopping in chain stores - but life always tends to catch up with us and we feel like a failure anyway - so why trying anyways? Well, because every good action we take up on us is like a grain of sand that eventually builds up the mountain (unless it’s an iceberg, then we need more of a water reference!). Think about every good, satisfying action as a one tiny step to contribute to the improvement of our collective karma, but also your own small life. We are all very insignificant after all, small grains of sand, so we might at least be meaningful about our existence. Because why the heck not?
Be open to learn
Another amazing motto that has been with us for quite a while now is “if you take someone to the other shore, you also get there yourself”. You need passion to transfer it to others, and you need to want to connect with them, you need to want to get into the boat. Judgement will not help, patronising will not help, superiority neither. Eagerness to learn from others - but really learn, with the awareness of improvement, with openness to being wrong, not only to get some cool ideas for your next life choice that will maybe look good on Instagram - is one of the greatest assets, because the sources of learning are endless. With this mindset, every single person on your way can be a teaching opportunity and every moment of happiness, anger, love, grief, can be an educational one.
Don’t be a chameleon
Don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against chameleons. They are beautiful, badass creatures and we would love to have some of their skills sometime (pro-climber, bendy and colour-shifter, uuuh yes please!). But being a chameleon, as a person, is very easy to spot and it is a very poor quality. If you often feel like you say things just because you are currently with people who might wanna hear them, if you switch stories depending on the crowd, if you casually take on interests just because you just met someone cool who does exactly the same thing and you’re impressed… you are either in high school or you are a chameleon. Mirroring other people’s interests is maybe useful as an ice-breaker when making new contacts, but not the best if you want to form your own truth by which you wish to act. Give reflection to what you do, don’t just follow trends and fads, be your own person, have your own colour. Seek further than this one obviously popular Zara dress, try to think outside the box. You are absolutely unique - act like it!
At the end of the day, talking is just talking - it does not change much. Especially if it’s judgmental and directed against something or someone, rather than in favour of an idea or a role model. Only talking will not solve our problems, but acting just might.