Increase Your Awareness To Blog More From Your Heart

increase your awarenessCall it noodling an idea around, thinking something through or contemplation and if you’re an introvert, you are likely on board!

This time my inspiration comes from the pastor’s wife, at the church I most often am at on Sundays.

It was on her part an innocent observation to one of the church’s outreaches. She was thanking the members for all their time, energy and money, which helped get clothing to the people who need it in our community. The Andy Stanley quote she used that caught my attention is:

“Curb discontentment by becoming more aware of what people don’t have and less aware of what you think you need.”

Initially, hearing this made me a little sad. I didn’t make time to participate in the particular event. Then as I continued to think on it, other thoughts started to percolate for me.

I realized how maybe on my blog, I might be more aware of what I need and less aware of what others don’t have.

I wonder if you can relate that to your writing or blogging?

Increase Your Awareness Because Your Blogging Depends On It

Let’s break this down.

Curb discontentment A Stanley “Curb discontentment …”

My guess is most of us who blog want more comments, more visitors, more social shares, more more more results.

We’re not happy with what we have. Am I right?

Sometimes I know I am impatient for more. Maybe you can relate?

For sure I’m impatient and this week it’s showing up in so much for me. My husband and I are required to update our estate plan and it involves property. I had no idea how much time, energy and money it would mean because a salesperson back 2 years ago, didn’t ask us – whose name should this property be in? By her omission, it’s waiting for call backs, clarifications and lining up all the right sequence of actions that have to happen to correct this.

Then when I started laughing about it with each person as I called, the insane discontent started to dissolve.

They were laughing right there with me.

Maybe our overarching desire for all kinds of results needs to be curbed. What if we took a different approach? Could there be a shift?

“…by becoming more aware of what people don’t have … “

What do your blog readers and followers not have that you can help them get?

There are likely some things we know without asking. But without asking, we just cannot know everything the reader would want to have.

This is the central idea that caused me to focus on this shared quote.

I wondered if other bloggers asked themselves how aware am I of what people coming to my blog don’t have? And how often do you do a head check-up to know, or do you blog away without either asking or referring back to possible questions received on LinkedIn, or in email, or in conversation? Just lots of questions.

Know-it-alls showed up for several of us in my recent blog post about pet peeves. My friend and blogger Jeannette Paladino said, the topic seemed to have struck a chord. Maybe it was in some way about what most people didn’t have – a peace with pet peeves.

To become aware of what people don’t have we must observe, ask questions, pay attention, listen.

Questions more than answers James ThurberIf we don’t ask, if we don’t pay attention, then we won’t know what people don’t have that we likely can help with.

That can fuel our discontentment, can’t it?

It’s time to break that possible endless loop.

“…and less aware of what you think you need.”

This is part of the solution then.

What this might mean is what I call being other focused. Let’s get the attention off of what I want and shift it to what others want. But, when I heard it in a different way, it kicked my butt.

When we think, what do I need from my blogging ( this is not a revolutionary idea) the better stance to take is become less aware of that me-focus.

Instead, ask what people don’t have and how you can provide it.

Be curious what it is readers are lacking.

Then fill your blog with those ideas.

Because the ending of the quote is where we find results.

Now if you don’t believe in God, or higher power, just take that phrase out. You’ll still know the meaning.

“When there’s a collision of that kind of awareness, God changes your heart.”

On the face of the quote as I read the email from my pastor’s wife, I mentioned to you early in this post I felt saddened for not participating in this particular community event.

I do contribute to the community I live in. As all of us there is only so much time. It’s just that in the full context of my situation, there was a collision. By not switching from something on my agenda for what was on the might of many people who needed something, I missed an awareness of the heart.

There was a shift in focus needed and for that particular event, I wasn’t able to help fill the void with what some other people needed.

I decided to ask where else and how else can I apply this wisdom? I didn’t want to lesson to be totally lost.

My take away in thinking is that my real focus needs to be a knowing of what my readers and potential customer don’t have. Then if I can deliver it, do it from my heart.

Can you relate to what might be a dilemma in our blogging focus?

How much are you focused on what others don’t have versus what you think you need?

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  1. What your pastor’s wife said fits perfect with blogging. I love the comparisons you made. You nailed it!

  2. Focusing on other people’s needs and not only your own is crucial in life. How can you get an agreement of any kind if you don’t try to figure out what your counterpart wants?

    It’s definitely important when it comes to blogging. And the results are plain to see from the number of people who clicked. Any post that has the word leader or leadership in the headline is always popular. Always pick a subject that I believe my readers will be interested in. But sometimes I’m wrong. Recently a post about fear and horror movies has gone viral on Stumbleupon. Would never have guessed that:-)
    Catarina recently posted…Negotiations Part II – Do you have a successful strategy?My Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      What a success story THAT is Catarina. Thanks for telling about it. It goes to the heart of the message here. Over time you likely intuitively had that hunch that said, “this blog post is coming from my heart,” and that is what your readers heard. My guess is with it going on Stumbleupon, you also had one of your own goals fulfilled for more eyeballs on your blog.

  3. Pat, I love this quote “Curb discontentment by becoming more aware of what people don’t have and less aware of what you think you need.” What a world we would have if we only remembered that more often. On top of my laptop I have pasted a quote – understand your audience and tell them something they don’t know. I don’t always remember that but I do try.
    Lenie recently posted…BIG Savings with DIY #K-CupsMy Profile

  4. Donna Janke

    Thought-provoking post and a reminder of where priorities should be in life. You’ve got me thinking about what other people need from me and I know that I will mulling over that in the forefront and background of my mind for the next several days.

  5. Hi Patricia,
    Your post reminds me of a gem that was uttered many years ago by Stephen Covey: “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” The wisdom in this is profound. It is human nature, generally speaking, to put #1 first just about always. When we “put the other first,” a shift often happens fast. It is a pleasant and refreshing experience to be put before another person’s ego. “What? Somebody cares how I feel? What I think?” The possibility of harmonious interaction, in the present and in the future, is greatly enhanced. “I might not agree with that person, but he/she took the time to find out about me. Hmm, I want to get to know him/her better now.”
    Thank you for your thoughtful sharing.
    Ramona McKean recently posted…Charlie Hebdo, What Will it Take? Part IIMy Profile

  6. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)

    Wonderful quote, and I think you did a masterful job of weaving it into the subject of blogging. It really does depend on delivering to the reader, something they can take away. Next time they might bring some folks along with them:) It’s a great life lesson, period. Thanks for the reminder!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently posted…Ma’am… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

  7. Cheryl Therrien

    As with everyone else here I agree that you make a great correlation. This has been a struggle for me. I began blogging so that I would have my own personal space to write. I was not trying to get readers, and in fact knew absolutely nothing about blogging. Here I am years down the blogging path and still struggle with this very subject. Should I write for me, the reason I started blogging? Or should I write for those who read my blog? Trying to find that space that satisfies both is the struggle for me.
    Cheryl Therrien recently posted…#FlashAir Card vs #plugable Multi-Card ReaderMy Profile

    • Yes Cheryl my guess is we all ask the questions you are asking at some point in our blogging, if not continually as our blogs evolve and change. It helps us to close that gap between the space between our writing and the reader. Not that I think the gap will even be close so I guess it’s more like a path being created.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…Pet Peeves Are as Bad as You ThinkMy Profile

  8. Profound advice. A more eloquent way of saying don’t be so self-absorbed that you fail to recognize what really matters.
    Ken Dowell recently posted…Descendants of the Silk Strike: Two Book ReviewsMy Profile

  9. I relate to the idea of wanting more. And I think you make an excellent point that the focus should be on what your reader’s need. It is easy to get caught up in what you think the world owes you and forget to question the contribution you are making back to the world.
    Erica recently posted…Breakfast in Bed Valentines Yogurt ParfaitMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      I think it is easy to think of ourselves Erica because after all, we are here being in a human experience. It takes effort to shift our awareness to other’s needs. At least for me it doesn.

  10. Hi Patricia, that is a great quote, one I hadn’t heard before. But really stops in your tracks and makes you think. I like your comparison between that and blogging and yes, it can apply to so many things in life. If we stop focusing on self and focus on others, I believe everything we desire will fall into place.
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Sean Minor Wines Pinot Noir: #WineMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Glad you like the quote Susan. So often I hear a quote and think, “Oh yeah, I get it.” But this one made me quickly move to think about how it applied to my/our blogging for some reason. Thanks.

  11. Safariontheblog

    Good advice! A reminder that we shouldn’t be self absorbed that you fail to recognise what matters. Thank you Patricia for this x
    Safariontheblog recently posted…Book Review : The Sexy Part of The Bible By Kola Boof | Review By Ronke LawalMy Profile

  12. Well said Patricia and I certainly agree with others here about the excellent analogy. Still, it can be a challenge getting that all important feedback and surveys are notoriously unreliable. One thing that has helped me get a better handle on what my readers need is to ask the same questions in a variety of ways. I learned to use this strategy when I used to work in other countries, especially Japan where a businessman will sit right in front of you nodding his head in apparent agreement with everything you say and then answer “no thank you” because all they’re really doing is letting you know they are hearing what you are saying. The principle applies in surveys where people respond based on their mood at the moment so at least if we ask a few times we have a better chance of coming up with a consensus. Thanks for the inspiration!
    Marquita Herald recently posted…How to See People For Who They Truly AreMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Totally agree Marquita about the need to ask your readers (even customers) a few times for what they need. You know, I think because we acknowledge we know they ARE responsible for many other things and we ask again, that is also being, other focused. Thanks.

  13. That is a very wise quote Patricia, as almost everyone before me has said. But never let it be said that over-praise is a bad idea 🙂 It does apply to blogging and everything we do in life.
    Tim recently posted…Bottle Tree Ranch Route 66My Profile

  14. Krystyna Lagowski

    I love your posts! They’re always thought provoking, and this one is no exception. It’s a well-known fact that personal blogs often carry more authority than company websites. I suspect readers want to read unbiased opinions that aren’t tainted by compensation from a manufacturer or other party. It’s less about what I need to get off my chest, than what I think would be valuable information to people reading my blog. Does that make sense?!?!
    Krystyna Lagowski recently posted…Nissan Rogue proves devilishly bootyliciousMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Thanks Krystyna. I did NOT know that fact you shared about personal blogs vs corporate blogs. But it makes perfect sense to me! Thanks!

  15. Kire Sdyor

    Patricia, I just read an article yesterday about needing to be selfish as a writer while you are writing. I think the solitary exercise of writing allows for that. Then we share what we have created for own own purposes. I began to see what others needed last year when I had taken a hiatus from writing. A reader reached out to me and asked me to begin again because she was laid up in bed recovering from cancer surgery. My little stories cheered her up and she had read all that I had on my blog. I got her email and sent her two years worth of back stories that I had removed from the blog. As my father always quoted “there but for the grace of God go I.”
    Kire Sdyor recently posted…The Late, Late, Late Movie Review – The Quiet ManMy Profile

    • Patricia Weber

      Valuable about how the exercise of writing by it’s very nature allows us to be selfish for that moment in time. And what a testimony of awareness to blog more from your heart evidenced by one of your readers who inspired YOU into action Sire.

  16. Patricia- What I thought was interesting was the quote. I have always felt that you focus on others more than yourself so you are already applying what your heard in life and to your blogs. My blogs relate to my business but I try to come up with ideas that help others that are able to apply them in their lives. Paying forward, is just a kind act of being unselfish. My blogs will not help everyone, but I think it is important to see others ideas from different perspectives.
    Arleen recently posted…How to Make People Fall in Love with Your BrandMy Profile

  17. Interesting post. I have begun to focus on my readers a little more. I can see that my views are getting better. Also the engagement is better as well.
    Jason B recently posted…Little Known Black History FactsMy Profile

  18. You are right, everyone is trying for more and more… there is no limit. Very thought provoking and the way you continue the post and weave the post and the quotes is amazing in a comparative way. Very nice advice.

    It is necessary to tell reader something they need and do not know. If we can not do so, no one will come to us. Sometimes we have high expectations for something and it do not work and at times we are amazed by things that click. Life is full of uncertainties.
    Asking is very important as it can help in many ways.
    andleeb recently posted…Motivation: #LifeMy Profile

  19. You are right here. Everything does relate to blogging. And as a blogger there is a lesson to learn from this post. Thanks so much Pat.

  20. Beth Niebuhr

    I love to write blog posts that have been requested by readers. What do your blog readers and followers not have that you can help them get? Great question and we can’t always know – maybe not even close to always – if we don’t ask them.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Can Facebook Really Boost My Business?My Profile

  21. Like Cheryl above, I am not an outward-focused blogger. From the get-go my (main) blog has been a personal journal of sorts in which I discuss what I learn as I work through blocks of JavaScript/HTML/CSS code; it’s pretty technical and I would never expect it to appeal to a large audience.

    That said, I always try to set an example of craftsmanship when I write, for my blog and everywhere else for that matter (including BHB comment threads, of course) – that’s the least I can do, right? I know that there are people looking at my blog, and I suspect that most of those visitors couldn’t care less about the coding stuff and are really just interested in the writing part of what I do, which would be fair enough, because at the end of the day I am a writer first and a coder second.

    • Andy I suppose if a blog is more of a personal journal, it makes sense that your focus in inward. I did take a look at your blog and for sure – you would have a most technical audience!

      Then that brings up a question: if you are still blogging for the personal journal reason, yet are attracting readers, when or what would be the impetus to focus more on the reader? I’m just curious.
      Patricia Weber recently posted…When Will You Dump Your Significant Jerk?My Profile

      • Imagine a musical artist who says, “I’m going to make such-and-such type of music, and if there’s a market for it, then great, and if there isn’t, then that’s cool too” – this is very much how I am. If someone were to ask me to write about a specific block of code, would I do it? Maybe, maybe not. In the absence of visitor input, however, I am content to set an example, as noted above.

  22. Hello Patrica,

    I second you in this matter. Unless we have a clear picture of our audience’s mind and their needs, it will be wrong to expect success.

    People visit our blog in search of something or the other. The more we can read their needs, the better we can provide them with the service they are looking for!

    Thanks for sharing


  1. […] because it’s a first date, keep it as you prefer, be other focused. Listen (or read as is often the situation), pay attention to details and then comfortably make the […]

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