Progress Means Never Getting There

Tuesday 22 January, 2013

A disheartening title perhaps, but the point I’m making is that whenever we reach a goal in our development, it’s time to decide where to go next. If we don’t, we stagnate. Top athletes across all sports can be heard saying of their achievements: “There will be plenty of time to enjoy my successes (after I retire). Right now I have to train for my next match.” It’s important to reflect on our progress as we go, but it is equally important to keep going.

And so it was this week that a conversation I was having ended with a familiar thought: it never stops. I was speaking with another coach about the doubt I sometimes have (which inspired the previous entry) and how it prevents me from moving forward. We discussed what I could do to help myself, and the conclusion was for me to have the courage to take the next step – no matter how daunting it may be – in the direction I want to go. Be courageous enough to take the initiative rather than wait. We also talked about the need to be firm; challenge not just others but also myself; and to know, unequivocally, that my actions can contribute to people’s lives.

I thought about four journal entries I posted recently and about how noticeable my progress was at the time. And yet, here I am having to push myself further. It’s like getting out of bed every morning: it never seems to get any easier and we lie there thinking, ‘Why is this so difficult again?‘, but we still succeed. Day after day we get up. That’s the nature of progress: success reveals the next level to be conquered and the whole process is repeated: feeling daunted, initial success, failure, resolve, determination, achievement.

Those journal entries (summarised below) typify the work I did during my training. They highlight the nature of the group under the guidance of our teacher, Karaj. Each of the days I describe extended well into the early hours of the following morning as we all worked together to move ourselves forward.

They are dotted with comments about how I was starting to exhibit the kinds of behaviours I was learning from Karaj: listening to my body, giving credence to my own insights instead of allowing my mind to dismiss them, and challenging other group members in a way which contributed to their lives. I learnt so much during those times and incorporated it into my behaviour and my interactions with others. Now I am facing the same challenges but on a different level.

1. My Life Is On Track
Feedback
Challenge firmly
Be straight & clear; no games
2. Challenge Fully
Dealing with negativity
Trusting your instincts and insights
The inner journey
3. Becoming Stronger & Stronger
Remaining calm
Seeing my learning
Self-respect
What is normal communication?
4. Live By Your Principles
Challenges
The mind
The importance of principles
Seeing my progress

The events described in those posts mark the beginning of Phase II of my training. For the first two years, I learnt the ropes of personal development through my close relationship with Karaj; working with him each day, asking questions, taking instructions and being shown the nature of human behaviour. Gradually, during that time, the core group began to form, to the point where, at the beginning of 2002, it suddenly coalesced as if thrust forward by its own curiosity and desire, not to mention Karaj’s unremitting drive.

There was a commitment and an eagerness to our work, and the new period was perhaps the most instructive, revealing and fulfilling of my whole training. Having built the foundations over the previous two years, it was as if none of us had a choice but to move together to a level where we would challenge each other intensely, provide feedback instantly, and support each other fully. Now I’m looking to do the same again, on another level. That’s the way it is. Every morning we wake, we rise, we smile to ourselves, and we move forward.

Related post: Time To Live My Appraisals

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