Personal growth is one of those “soft” topics.
There’s a lot of BS out there, praising wish-washy thinking mixed with shortcuts and fluff.
And it pisses me off. Because we lose sight of ancient wisdom.
Self improvement is ultimately about serving a mission larger than yourself.
But that thinking does not sit well with our current Internet culture, which favours polished images and quick results.
We hide all the struggles and hard work we do. We want to make everything look so easy when it’s not. This creates a false illusion of perfection, and it hurts our growth.
Effective growth takes time, patience, and effort. It’s not sexy, but it’s rewarding. Why not share it with the rest of us?
Focus on process over outcomes
It’s tempting to focus on the end result, and not the process that will get us there. This is a mistake.
To become more effective, we must do the work. In other words: less talk, and more action.
Want to write a book? Start writing.
Want to get more fit? Exercise more.
Want to be more mindful? Practice meditation.
You get the idea. Focus on the process (which you can control) over the outcome (which you cannot).
Build tiny habits
I strongly believe in the power of small steps. Tiny habits help us gain momentum, and that’s exactly what we want.
Break down the process into smaller actionable steps.
Want to write a book? Write one sentence a day. Then write a paragraph. Then write a page… [tiny writing habit]
Want to get more fit? Take the stairs. Walk to the train station. Do three push ups a day. Then five… [tiny exercise habit]
Want to be more mindful? Take three deep breaths right now. Sit down for one minute and focus on your breathing. Sit down for two minutes… [tiny meditation habit].
You get the idea. By changing your habits, you grow one step at a time.
That’s what effective growth really looks like. In case you were wondering.
Enjoy the process
The world isn’t perfect, and neither is the people who pose in the photos. Behind every polished image lies a struggle. We just don’t see it.
Do yourself a favour and fall in love with the process. Trust it will take you where you need to go. And let the rest take care of itself.