The Arena Of Transformation

Monday 17 December, 2018

The previous five posts show how it is possible to transform a difficult experience into a burgeoning source of learning and development. They also provide insight into the idea of punctuated equilibrium: how it can feel as though one is not moving (or even going backwards), before suddenly being thrust forwards onto a new level. This post is the last in this series, and takes a general look at what happened, placing it in the context of a number of different areas:

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Remember Your Starting Point

Thursday 29 November, 2018

During the whole episode, I was not the only one to question whether it is even possible to change oneself. It’s an obvious and natural question to ask when we fall back so heavily into the habits we say we wish to change. The question feels loaded, as if there is only one conclusion: No, it isn’t possible. No wonder I had such a strong urge to walk away during those two weeks. But there is another perspective: This is a lifelong process, there is always work to be done, and (believe it or not) you are progressing every day. Seen in that way, it helps enormously to remember where you started.

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When The Novelty Wears Off

Friday 15 June, 2018

The novelty has well and truly worn off my latest attempt to create a new habit. Six weeks ago it began with the intention to get up very early every day and exercise, meditate and write. As I wrote in the previous post, that intention transformed itself a few times, finally becoming a desire to improve my sleeping habits by training my mind more. (My mind has been an issue for me for years. But my perseverance each time is a demonstration of the habit forming process – repetition over time – because although I did not know it when I wrote this piece, at the end of the year I would finally have a major breakthrough with my mind.)

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The List

Wednesday 16 August, 2017

What follows is a list of many of the most important pieces from this blog. The list makes it easy for you to understand at a glance what is necessary in this work. It takes you through the process of self-development and self-realisation – from awareness, observation and reflection, and back to awareness – offering you guidance on what to expect along the way and what you can do to help yourself.

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Give Yourself Two Years

Friday 26 August, 2016

First comes the relief. Then, as the emotional fog begins to lift and calmness descends, there is clarity. With the clarity comes a renewed sense of purpose, and in the background – feint but nevertheless present – the possibility of success. That’s what happens whenever you give yourself sufficient time and space to achieve whatever it is you want to work on. Two years is usually a good place to start.

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One Thousand Days

Thursday 23 June, 2016

Every movement is a sign of the progress I’ve made. With every step I take, I can feel the difference. There is greater balance, greater control, and greater harmony than before. Not to mention the alleviation of pain. And all because of a short, easily achievable programme of exercises, repeated daily for the last 1000 days. My success is rooted not so much in the workout itself, but in its persistent, long-term execution because, beautifully, the more often and focused we exercise, the more the subtleties of our physical form reveal themselves.

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TS 6 – The Foundations Of Success

Thursday 19 May, 2016

This is an important concept because once you get it, it’s easier to relax: It’s the foundations themselves which are the foundations of success; and any structures you build on top simply become part of the foundations for whatever you do next. We make life difficult for ourselves by focusing too much on the goal and trying to predict how and whether it will all work out, each time giving life to our expectations. Instead, we would be better served by focusing on the foundations and appreciating each step we take, no matter how small.

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Reaching For The Sky

Friday 1 April, 2016

I hardly ever look forward to going, but I’m always glad I went. My weekly yoga class awaits me every Tuesday with its store of frustration and disbelief. How is it that the easiest of positions are so childishly difficult to attain, let alone hold for any meaningful length of time, whilst also maintaining a smoothness of breath? Furthermore, for two days afterwards, those sessions have also been known to haunt me with an incredulous amount of muscle pain. Why does everything hurt so much for those 48 hours? (The pain, I must point out, is the satisfying discomfort of having worked muscles in a way which they usually don’t get, but clearly need, and are obviously built for.)

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Make Sure You’re Okay

Wednesday 30 July, 2014

The inspiration for this post comes from the very beginning of my training, almost 15 years ago. It was the first men’s group I attended, a few weeks before I began writing my journal. As the newest member of the group and the youngest by a number of years, it was a new experience for me and I was unsure of the format and my place in the evening’s events. So I sought solace and security in my default behaviour: say nothing and watch what happens, all the while looking for clues on how to behave and how best to fit in. I have two main memories of the occasion. The first relates to the goals I had been asked to write down prior to the group. The other is of an answer to a question, the simplicity and power of which has stayed with me ever since.

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300 Days

Thursday 24 July, 2014

Every day for the last 300 days I have followed a 25-minute exercise routine. It has been a goal of mine for some time to establish such a habit. There have been numerous attempts over the years with plenty of tinkering along the way to get it right. Early routines were dotted with painful episodes because I overdid things. I pushed myself too hard, in too much of a hurry to make progress. Back problems have littered all previous attempts, enticing me each time to throw in the towel. And I did give up. But I came back to it again and again. This current run is my most successful ever.

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Relax, Your Future’s On Its Way

Thursday 15 May, 2014

Inspired by two communications with former clients this week, this post follows on from the previous two and is the logical next step: Once you know you create your future, you can relax, it’s on its way. And if you relax, you will see it coming over the horizon. However, if you are too busy with your thoughts and concerns, it will pass you by. Whatever our desired future, the temptation is to force it into existence because we want it so much, or we want to know if it works out, or even just because we desperately want to get out of our current situation. We serve ourselves best, however, by relaxing.

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The Exponential Curve

Thursday 9 January, 2014

It’s tough to begin with. It always is. But without a beginning there can be no progress, no achievement, no change. We procrastinate, hoping for motivation or inspiration to get us going, but are more often prompted by desperation, in the form of a deadline or a personal crisis. So what makes it so difficult to start something? And why is it that, well after we have begun, it still feels as though we’re getting nowhere? It’s partly a lack of awareness of the process itself. But mostly it has to do with one aspect in particular: the exponential curve.

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See Your Progress

Tuesday 26 November, 2013

In the previous post I wrote about how the excitement of progress can lead to a loss of focus, undermining our achievement. This post examines the other side of that coin: that we overlook our progress altogether, failing to recognise the small steps we take because we are too busy looking for the fireworks of transformation. Major change only occurs when you work hard to lay the foundations and build momentum (see: Punctuated Equilibrium), so it’s important to acknowledge the work you are doing and see the progress you are making.

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It All Comes Down To This

Monday 14 October, 2013

When we forget the simplicity of it all, or we’re convinced there must be another way; when we are stuck, or frustrated by the lack of novelty, this is the post to read. It’s a reminder of the value of repetition and practise. Every day, every minute, every breath. In the end, it all comes down to this:

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