Break Free From Your Silo For A Better Life
how to become a happy positive person

How to become a happy positive person

Though it may seem condescending or cold-hearted to talk about increasing personal happiness at a time when it feels as though the world is burning, hear me out.

Have you got one of those friends who cheer you up the moment you hear from them? One whose energetic and hopeful words on an email can’t help but affect you for the better. One that gives you hope in your future and makes you turn the radio off just for a day so you can gather your strength once again.

Maybe the compound and cumulative results of this could be as effective as other, more physical attempts to heal a small piece of the world, and it all starts with inner peace or happiness.

In the words of the Dalai Lama,

Happiness Is Not Something Ready Made. It Comes From Your Own Actions.

Siloed thinking refers to an organisational issue; a breakdown of communication, an ego out of control, a loss of purpose and eventual redundancy. Fracture and implosion is the fate of these organisations if they cannot stop this flow. It’s when a team or department close its doors to sharing and cooperation and operate with only their individual needs; it breaks away from the mother ship which also means that it loses touch with the values and mission of the corporation. 

In the same way, siloed thinking can manifest in individuals or communities. When it does a wall springs up; sometimes it is internal, and it’s a division between the person that you are and the person you want to be. From a freelance viewpoint, this might mean spending a month chasing work that doesn’t fit in with your core mission. I’ve allowed an internal wall to grow; probably just due to a distraction, so it’s an easy one to take down.

It can be a wall between people in a community, a country, health service, and it’s people. It’s as bad for an organisation as it is for us as individuals, and it means living a walled experience with no fresh air, no sunlight and no growth.

We can’t grow in a silo without those essential elements of life. Phrases like ‘it is what it is’ and ‘ignorance is bliss’ come from siloed thinking.

While taking the concerns of the whole world, or even one country into consideration every time we act will probably send us crazy small moments of connectivity as we go along will free us from the silo.

Stepping out of a silo means releasing your mind from its constraints, it means viewing your actions in the context of others, it means a step towards freedom, it means inspiring others to do the same.

We can only ultimately control our own actions, but if you’re like me, there’s a lot of work to be done in that space.

Any one of these things could be indicative of being stuck in a silo.

  • You are not moving forward in life
  • You’ve misplaced your business purpose
  • You’re writing the same stuff all of the time
  • You’re getting networking déjà vu
  • You’re bored
  • All of your projects remain unfinished
  • You are living in a future that doesn’t seem to get any closer
  • You’re plagued by doubt.

Only you can tell if you’re stuck in a silo and you have to be the one to set you free but here are some of my favourite tactics for at least opening a window when I’m spending too much time in a state of disconnect. 

1. Break A Rule Of Yours

Break a rule that confines you and a quick reminder to open your mind, not close it, so the law needs to be something that you’ve put in place that frames an assumption about what you know.

Try doing something that you traditionally don’t do. For example,

You don’t read romance

You don’t use Pinterest

You don’t do ____________ because it’s hard

You don’t do Pilates

You don’t do Game of Thrones of the fantasy genre.

I did this years ago with Twitter. I said countless times ‘I don’t do Twitter’ — wind of three years, multiple screenwriting awards, myriad friends, infinite inspiration and collaborations — I knocked down one little wall.

2. Take Time Out From The Usual

I know, I know, I just said that being in a silo was a state of disconnect — it is, but it doesn’t mean it’s happening all on its own. Try a week away from your usual social media channels, turn your regular news channel off for a week, try a new one. 

Can you take even a day or two from your usual routine? Maybe there’s something in that’s holding you back.

Maybe it’s a networking group where you’ve experienced a sense of deja-vu — different day, some old pitches. Skip a session. The goal is breaking out of the former to see what’s on the other side.

3. Endorse New

Education was and still is a breaker of walls for me. Short courses often provide a fresh way of looking at things. I sign up to free webinars on super complicated situations, and no-one can even see me there to tell me I don’t below.

Embrace someone from a culture you’ve never experienced before. Once again, this digital life of us allows opportunities for communication with anyone.

Last year on a hunch I went along to the Service Design Fringe Festival. I’m not a designer, and it has changed the way I think and work.

Now has never been a better time to jump online and learn. Do something completely different; you’re a writer, spend a day learning about marine biology.

You’re a marine biologist, spend a day writing a short story.

Knockdown a wall and replace it with a window.

4. Make a New Connection

One new connection can change your point of view; a stranger can flash you a smile that reminds you there is some good stuff going on in the world. You can reach people now via their websites, Linked In, Twitter, FB — so many places but they’re not going to come to you. You need to stick your head out and go to them,

One new connection in my life has just landed me another fantastic job that I would not have otherwise had found. It has given me confidence and access to a new world, definitely outside of the silo.

A new person has a unique story and outlook to share. You want someone open-minded to help you knock down a wall; not someone to build a tighter one closer to you.

5. Be Someone Else For The Day

Suggest doing this one in private rather than setting up a whole new life but seize control of your imagination and sit in another identity for a day.

I create characters and spend a lot of time in my imagination, and I love it. Daydreaming can cut through so many things, especially silo dwelling.

6. Challenge One Of Your Thinking Conventions

I think that we often form early opinions about ourselves and they stick because we’re so busy charging off in one direction that something we used to do or hold. We accept that we’re not good at this or that.

Try it, try rewriting your thinking convention and sticking with it for a day.

Instead of believing you are shy, think you are boisterous.

Instead of thinking that your neighbour hates you; switch it and decide they don’t.

You may not change the whole world in one day, but if you stick your head out of the silo, you can change your entire world in one day and make it a better place than yesterday.

Go on; I challenge you to do one of the above and see what’s going on outside of your silo and take a new look at life. 

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