Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thursday's Thoughts: The Push and Pull of Progress

Thursday's Thoughts: a taste of what I'm thinking

I find myself going through stages, or rather cycles.  The same theme repeats in a slightly different context or application.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever learn.  Life has its ups and downs, highs and lows.  There is a natural flow and rhythm that progresses from a balance of extremes.  I've been thinking about times where I've pushed myself to grow and learn, to step out of my comfort zone, to become a better person.  It takes a lot of work and conscious effort, but it's always worth it.  These times of progress are often followed by times of complacency.   When things are going smoothly I let down my guard, thinking I'll continue to glide on through without pedaling.  But when I stop paying attention things easily go askew.  Old habits and patterns can creep back in and make you feel like you've lost what you worked so hard to change.  Certain accomplishments can not be thought of as end goals, but continual processes.

Sorry, I should have warned you that this is really vague and scattered, but I'm just starting to unravel this thought.  It's always easier to see things in hindsight.  Sometimes I look back and think, man I really had a good thing going there, what happened?  Where did I get off course, what happened that changed my pattern?  I don't always have the answer, and the circumstances may be beyond my control.  One thing I can control is my attitude and perspective. It's always helpful to approach life with curiosity, a hunger for more, a desire to learn and become, a thirst to stretch my mind to the next limit.  Being complacent, or worse yet, focusing on the negative, doesn't lead to progress.  I must look ahead with wonder to push beyond what I think or feel possible.

If one year from now I were to look back at my life right now, would I see a time of growth or complacency?  Progress or pitfall?  What can I be doing right now to make sure I look back on this time as a time well spent, time full of meaning and purpose?  I'm not sure I know the answer to that at this exact second, but I have an idea to start with.  I've been meaning to start this for a week or so, but still haven't moved from idea to action.  My plan is to ask myself two questions each at the end of each day; What did you learn today?, and What is one thing from today that you are thankful for?  Each night I'm going to physically write down one thing I learned that day and (at least) one thing I'm thankful for.  Will this help in relation to my thoughts in the above paragraphs?  Maybe, maybe not.  I can only give it a shot and see what happens.  It certainly can't hurt.

Food for Thought: "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." -Eleanor Roosevelt

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