Five Years Later

Sunday 30 September, 2018

When I began, there was no thought about making it beyond the first 100 days. However, the more I carried on, the more inevitable it became. Each milestone made it easier to continue, and each played its part in carrying me to where I am now, five years later. I have recorded my progress on two previous occasions. (See ‘300 Days’ and ‘One Thousand Days’.) What follows are my latest observations of what I have gained from doing a 25-minute exercise routine every day for 1,829 days.

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A Break In The Routine

Wednesday 16 May, 2018

Twelve days into creating the new early morning habit, a familiar obstacle came into view: a break in the routine. It can happen for a number of reasons (in my case it was a two-day trip to see friends) but when it comes it can be surprisingly disorienting. It’s almost unavoidable to begin with, so don’t be hard on yourself when it happens, take a deep breath, and get back into your routine as soon as you can. The longer the break, the more difficult it becomes to find your way back.

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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 7 – Don’t Get Cocky

Friday 27 May, 2016

Whilst there are clear benefits of a certain level of self-confidence because it empowers us to take on things without fear of failure, or because it allows us to push ourselves further than we would otherwise go, we should avoid getting cocky (over-confident). Cockiness leads to a loss of focus and we relax too much, thinking we’ve made it. Alternatively, we push ourselves too much, thinking we can do it all. When I was 18 I was playing football and having the game of my life. I felt like I could do anything. Then, 20 minutes before the end, I tried to do too much, tore my cruciate ligament and never played again. That experience, and the constant reminders I received during my training, all help me to remain grounded and not get cocky.

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It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee. That’s the procedure which one participant offered as an example of something he already does whenever he gets stuck or frustrated in his work. He explained that the process of making the coffee changes his focus, calms his mind, and allows him the space to gain enough distance from a particular problem to be able to solve it much quicker than if he were to remain at his desk. It was the ideal example of what this seminar was all about: look after yourself, discover what’s best for you, and use your discoveries to make life easier for yourself.

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Fresh Air & Focus

Thursday 3 March, 2016

I lay on the floor, my earphones leaking the new breathing exercises into my head. It’s week one of the programme and the emphasis is on relaxing and using the power of the mind to visualise. Having found its place between physical exercise and meditation, this is the easiest part of my routine: lie down, close your eyes, relax, breathe, and ease your mind into the realm of power and positivity.

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Journeys Within Journeys

Thursday 2 October, 2014

In the days before I set off to spend a month in the sunshine, there was reluctance. I had booked the trip primarily out of need, rather than desire. Desire alone would not have sufficed to make it happen, because I have come to value routine over adventure; repetition over novelty. These past weeks have re-awakened the adventurous side of my character in the most gentle way possible: within the secure friendship of good people, and in a beautiful, warm part of the world where everything was in place for me to create my normal routine, meet new people, indulge ever more effortlessly in new experiences, and see myself in sharper focus.

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Novelty & Repetition

Tuesday 23 September, 2014

I’m in Northern California for a few weeks, and last Friday a friend took me on a visit to her home town; an idyllic place where coat shops don’t exist because the sun always shines. We drove past the local cinema, outside which a long queue of people had formed. As I was wondering what movie could possibly cause such an extended line of eager people, my friend pointed out that there was a particular technology store a little further down the road. Renowned for their quality and design, and masters of expectation, on this particular day they happened to be selling their brand new phone.

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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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Patterns, Procedures & Routines

Friday 14 March, 2014

There are times when even the best intention to succeed is not enough because events or, more commonly, emotions conspire against us. When that happens, it is worth remembering that there is almost always something you can do about it. This post is a reminder of that, and offers ways to facilitate a more effective process away from those unwanted scenarios.

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Stay Grounded

Thursday 21 November, 2013

Two things are likely to happen as we progress with our personal development (actually, as we progress with anything). First we get excited, then we stop doing what worked for us in the first place. This post is about the excitement of progress, how important it is to enjoy it and celebrate as much as we can, but also keep our feet on the ground. It is written primarily for a friend, so I don’t have to keep reminding him to do what he knows he needs to do. But it’s also for the rest of us because when our excitement gives rise to complacency we begin to undo all our good work.

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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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