I’ve been on a rollercoaster of self improvement for years and years now. I remember the first time I actually paid for a program; 300 odd quid for Anthony Robbin’s Personal Power II back when I was about 27. Since then I’ve been on a long journey and have tried (and failed at) many, many self improvement initiatives. It’s a journey that I am by no means remotely close to finishing… The self improvement (or Kaizen) journey is one that never really ends.
However even though I’ve got more on my plate than I ever have before (including two young children under the age of three) I feel more, let’s call it balanced, than I ever have in my life. I’ve got an amazing family around me. I’m feeling good physically because I’m consistently doing WODs. I’m feeling great about my career because I’ve worked myself into a position where I have autonomy and a certain level of influence. Life is good, and it doesn’t even feel like too much of an effort like it has done in the past.
Trial and error is important
Firstly, I think how I feel is a result of a lot of trial and error. I’ve tried several different types of diet (Paleo included), waking at 5am, exercising 7 days a week, writing everyday, detoxes, books, courses, Getting Things Done, meditation, Your Money is Your Life, yoga… The list goes on. Let’s just say I’ve tried a lot of different things in my quest of feeling better, getting more out of myself, success, contribution, value.
But despite the numerous failures and non-completions (and some successes), I’ve realised that all the trial and error is essential to growth. Although a lot of the things I mention above haven’t stuck, I’ve learnt from them all. Little bits of each and every failure that have helped me grow, and develop certain aspects of myself that have helped me realise the level of balance and fulfillment I have in my life right now.
There’s no silver bullet (like I used to think). You’d be extremely lucky to strike upon something that works for first time. And nothing is likely to work for you for the rest of your life. We all change, and the world around us changes. But one of my key takeaways after the years of experimentation is to keep experimenting. Keep tweaking your routine slightly (or significantly) if something isn’t working. And when you learn of something new that you think might be of value, work out how to integrate it into your life, and see how it goes.
Just turn up
But the most important thing you’ve just got to keep doing is to turn up. Put your workout kit on. Sit down at your computer and turn the internet off and start writing. Just turn up. This is so important. If you turn up, chances are you’ll go through with whatever it is you’ve turned up for (but didn’t feel like doing). And that will be another day down. And when you keep turning up, the results will naturally follow.
Find a way. Just turn up.