How to turn the trap into a tool

 “If you are feeling helpless, help someone else. If you are afraid, be brave for someone else. Things feel more doable if they are not about you. “

Shonda Rimes

I can relate to this.

Can you?

When I wrote my latest book Thank you mum, a book for those who miss someone, I wrote it to handle my grief. But mostly I wrote it for my dad. A dad who misses my mum endlessly.

Since I wrote it for him, it was easy to move other things away from my agenda.

Most likely you also prioritize what you do for others.

You might prioritize writing the article in time for the deadline of your newspaper.

You might prioritize preparing a meeting with a client.

You might prioritize an assignment your boss asked you to do.

Doing something for someone else is a great tool to get things done.

It can also turn into a trap.

The trap of only focusing on what others need and ask of you and  ignoring what you need or want to do “just for you”.

How can you get out of the trap and still use the power of the tool?

By thinking about how doing what you want to do will help others.

Want to write?

Think about the readers who will love what you write. Get going. Don’t keep them waiting!

Want to learn to play the piano?

Think about how happy your teacher will be. Thanks to you and other pupils (s)he can make a living doing what (s)he loves. Think about how the people around you will be inspired by you learning something new. Not to mention how lovely it will be for everone around you when you sit down at that piano and let wonderful music come from your fingers.

What if you are thinking:

“Honestly Annika, all I want to do is watch Netflix and eat chocolate. I don’t think that benefits anyone.”

Think again.

First of all, that Netflix watching and chocolate eating will sooner or later bore you and you will choose to do something else.

Secondly, if watching Netflix and eating chocolate makes you feel good, it does benefit people around you.


By turning you into a happier person.

It is not what we do, but who we are that matters.

Who do you want to be around, someone in charge of her life who is happy and calm or a people-pleaser who is stressed out and exhausted?

You know the answer.

Whenever you want to do something, think about who it will benefit.

And most of all, remember that anything that benefits you, benefits those who love you too.

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