For a few years after joining medical school, I’ve been interested in the topic of self-improvement and self-development as a part of some of my lifetime goals. To get a better understanding the process, I started reading a lot of books of Prominent authors in these fields. Some big names like Anthony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie, Robin Sharma have penned down amazing books with several wonderful insights on the condition on the human mind, its ability, it’s genius and its ability to achieve the unthinkable. I also started watching videos and movies that were inspirational and motivational in nature and was pumped to do more and to be better at everything I do.
After a few months of gulping down information, I realised that i had really progressed much since I had started. Although I had this wealth of new knowledge for some reason I couldn’t make changes happen. This would then lead to a period of self-loathing and self-berating and thoughts of giving up any such quests of getting better altogether. After a lull period, I was attracted again to the world of motivation and self-improvement. This time i also was curious about the meaning of all of this. Why do we need to improve, What’s the point of achieving new goals? Am I just seeing life pass me by, while I constantly think about the Goals I MUST achieve in order to be happy again.
This lead me to the realm of spirituality and meditation. As was my nature, I immediately dived in to devour more books and videos on the topic , somehow feeling that it would take me closer to understanding what life was all about. Reading different opinions of people told me, that the understanding myself was of prime importance and everything else could be achieved/understood after that.
I started meditating for a while and enjoyed the experience of calm but found it difficult to maintain it, as my head was filled with ideas of others’ experiences while meditation. I was expecting to feel a certain way and it wasn’t happening, which lead to frustration. Along with that I also started working on my physical self and made time for exercise. I joined the gym and tried to give atleast 40 min for 4 days a week. I was successful initially but after a couple of weeks I became lax about my commitment and stopped going regularly. Along with this, my time for meditation also reduced and I once again got lost in the rut of routine life.
BACK TO THE START
There I was, back to square one, finishing at the same place I started off a couple of years ago, Unsatisfied with any progress. After some deep introspection about my past behaviour, I realised that I had a pattern.
The pattern was like this. I would get really excited about a new idea or project, get as much readymade information there was available, from different sources, make huge goals (which I now realise were unrealistic), start off with a bang and then fizzle off somewhere after some time elapsed.
This got me thinking. Why do I always fail at completing what I start off to do? Was it because I was taking on too much at one time? Was it because I expected too much from myself? Was it because I set unrealistic Goals? Or was it because I stopped DOING anything once the initial Enthusiasm faded away. To be honest, I think it was a bit of everything.
There was one revelation that I wanted to share with everyone who has reached till this paragraph. “KNOWING IS NOT ENOUGH, WE MUST DO”
We must DO what we’ve set out to do, even if it’s not fun anymore, even if it brings us discomfort or even pain. The ideas or thoughts in our head can only come to fruition if we DO something and translate that thought into reality. I realised that Nike probably understood this before I was born. Their slogan says it all “JUST DO IT”.
Don’t THINK that you should do it or wonder about why you’ve haven’t already done it or why you’ve failed at it a hundred times. If you want it, JUST DO IT. It seems to be an oversimplification, but it isn’t. Whatever needs to be achieved, needs to be achieved through ACTION. Whatever other excuses we give ourselves, is just our thoughts trying to rationalise why we can’t or shouldn’t do it.
Another important lesson I learnt, was to be grateful for what I already have and to enjoy the current moment and not to fret about the past and future always because for we can only experience anything in the present. There can be no other experience. Don’t waste your precious life thinking that yesterday should have been better or tomorrow may be bad. Take a day at a time and then a moment at a time. BE who you are and accept yourself with all the flaws and appreciate all the good qualities as well. Learn to LIVE life and not constantly just THINK about living it .
I’ve got a long way to go personally, but these past few years have given me meaningful insights, which I thought I must share with everyone. Hope this helps you in some way or the other.