It was Plato who said: “Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”, and given the events of the last few days, those words seem to ring true. Now more than ever we expect progress to be quick, gains to be easy and results to be instant.
Now about this time you’re probably thinking I’m going to ramble on about the Australian Federal Election, but you’d be wrong. I really couldn’t give a toss, their all Muppets… and not the good type of Muppets!
No, I’m talking about my own progress. Something that is probably more complicated than any federal election. But contrary to how this year’s campaigns were run, the fault of my complicated progress has been my own. Over the last several years I’ve been trying to progress in all aspects of my life. Or so I thought. The ugly truth is, my “progress” has been a lie, a coverup, a deception. Now, I haven’t been deceiving anyone else over this period, just to be clear. My deception has been to myself. I’ve filled my head with lie after lie and called it progress. “I’ll go for a walk today”, that progress; “I’ll have one less beer today”, that’s progress; “I’ll allow my career to shift sideways for a bit”, that’s progress. All pointless nonsense, but for the longest time I believed it. I stayed in the comfort zone and made any excuse I could to convince myself to stay there.
But, over the past year, I’ve started to make genuine progress and it all started with accepting I didn’t have all the answers and needed guidance, much of which can from listening to podcasts, reading books and starting to fill my life with people of value.
I’ve never looked back at my past self and felt like scorpion kicking myself in the head, that would be pointless and impossible in my current state of flexibility. Because, the progress, while slow and weak, was progress. Why? Because it led me here. We can never pick our path from day one and we can never go back and change our heading. As we become more learned, aware, assertive and vigilant; then we start to forge our own path. But our past is the past and that’s just an end of it.
Last week I started 75 HARD, a rigorous challenge designed to build mental fortitude and push us to do the hard things over a long period to push ourselves into a new space. Its progress rolled up into an ass load of water, exercise and reading (not to mention the diet). The change to mindset has been profound and addictive, so much so, that I’m now pushing even harder and working more that I have in years in all areas of my life.
Slow steps become faster steps, small weights become big weights, a short distance becomes a marathon, its all in the mind and this challenge gets into your mind. Granted, I’ve also been listening to the best audio book on earth: “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins; if you listen to that book and don’t immediately feel like going for a run, there’s something wrong with you.
Progress is not only possible, its achievable, just get your mindset right, drop the ego and excuses and get to it. Much like Federal Politics, making the choice to force change and bring about progress is in our hands, if only most people knew that before numbering the boxes.
‘til next time….. Cheers!