Are Your Disappointed with your Progress?
I think Pema Chodron has the best book titles:
When Things Fall Apart
The Wisdom of No Escape
One of my favorites is:
Start Where You Are
It’s just common sense, isn’t it? I mean, where else could you start from?
Are you disappointed with the progress you made so far this year?
I am. I would love to be further along. I’ve actually made good progress on recovering from my surgery. That’s been a big priority this past month. I’ve also made progress in the music arena — playing blues piano. But on my novel . . . well, not so much. That’s the area of greatest disappointment for me.
So now what?
Well, I could languish in that feeling of disappointment. For some of you it might be despair. For others, guilt.
Or I could respond to that feeling state by doing something. My feeling of disappointment isn’t an invitation to bathe in that feeling state for the rest of the day/week/year. It’s an invitation to do something. Think about it — the way I change or transform my feeling state isn’t through talk or analysis.
It’s through action.
So I have to Start Where I Am.
I haven’t done this. I haven’t done that. I did this, but it needs some more work. This is where I am. This is where I need to start. And START means to actually do something.
To take action
So if you’re not happy with where you’re at, get someplace else.
Do some constructive work on something that’s important to you.
“Where You Are” will be different from “Where You Are” today.
The problem is
When we’ve delayed taking action for a while we meet up with resistance. Resistance in the form of thoughts. Resistance in the form of feelings. Resistance in the form of . . . . doing anything else that needs to be done instead of the thing we are resisting doing.
So how do we overcome the RESISTANCE that feels like a huge pile of rocks that have to be moved.
The answer is
Make your next step the smallest step possible.
When I first returned home from knee surgery (a Total Knee Replacement) I could hardly move my right leg. And even a slight movement caused incredible pain. But I had to regain strength and mobility. So my first exercise was to slide my heel over the floor back towards my body. The first time I tried to do this I was able to slide it about one inch. So I did a one inch heel slide. That’s it. I’m done. It wasn’t pleasant. But I could do it.
And the next time I did it twice. Sigh of relief. Done.
Each day, as I did exercises, I was able to do a bit more and move my heel a bit further.
I was working in increments. In Japanese Psychology, this method is called KAIZEN.
It’s now 24 days since my surgery. I can walk with a cane. I can drive. I have ten times the flexibility with my leg than I did three weeks ago. I still have a long way to go (six months) to fully recover. And now, when it comes time to do my exercises . . . guess what? I still feel RESISTANCE.
But I have MOMENTUM. And it’s much easier to make progress when you have momentum than we you have been standing still for a long time.
So if you’re disappointed with your progress.
A. Start Where You Are
B. Take a Small Step (really small)
C. Repeat Tomorrow
And see what happens.
Gregg Krech has been teaching Japanese Psychology for 29 years and is the author of the Amazon best seller, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology
Starting March 1, 2019 he will be teaching the online course, Taking Action: Starting the Unstarted and Finishing the Unfinished. Register now.
Gregg Krech Author, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-reflection (2002)| Author, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness (2004, 2011)| Author, A Finger Pointing to the Moon (2000)| Editor, Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living (1993-Present)| Director, ToDo Institute (Vermont) (1992-Pr......