“You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realise this and you will find strength” – Marcus Aurelius
Everything you seek, want and yearn for is within your grasp and control. Life is such that there are many joys to it, however external stresses can often catch us off guard. Take us away from the present moment and direct our power and energy to something external and useless to ourselves, not internally.
Growth is what takes us away from stagnation.
Here I will break down growth into learning, mindset and action and how that is implemented.
First you must accept where you are right now no matter how ugly the truth is, you cannot take a step forward if you are not completely aware of your current situation.
“The capacity to learn is a gift;the ability to learn is a skill;the willingness to learn is a choice” – Brian Herbert
We are the drivers of our own lives, unfortunately sometimes we don’t know which direction we’re headed and the idea of asking for help can seem troublesome. However remember this! There are so many students of knowledge out there and those who are ahead of us on the path, so look to them to visualise what growth looks like and the steps required for you to take.
Imagine you made the decision to learn a musical instrument. Which is the wiser option? Playing the instrument cluelessly and making mistakes with no awareness or learning from a teacher or an expert in who can lay out the path with guidance for you?
Learning requires you to have the will yourself for yourself, however the approach to learning doesn’t need to be alone and foolishly done. For example a black belt professor in ji jutsu was once a white belt student.
So before beginning something, whatever it may be. First accept where you are right now, think where do you want to be and then find who is going to help you get there.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein
Learning is what takes you from where you currently are to the next step.
However the mind is such a powerful tool, that quite often there is no external stress stopping us from growing but the mindset we currently possess. A mindset of growth is a constant balance between reflection and action. It requires the individual to be seeking ways to get out of their comfort zone in various aspects of their lives. Stagnation is what takes one away from living life to the fullest.
The comfort zone blinds an individual from seeing the next step required for their growth, especially when that person is comfortable with where they are and seek to not move forward. Hence Humility is required, so the individual can accept where they are, be grateful and then ask oneself “how can I be better?”.
So ask yourselves in every area of your life “How can I be better?”, “What can I do to improve?”. This can be implied to your Career, Health, Relationships or School.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Remember whatever you do consciously will impact you subconsciously. So it’s important that you make decisions for yourself habitually that delay your gratification and aid your growth.
Once you know and visualise what the next step looks like, TAKE IT! Then when you get there be grateful then think again “how can I be better?”.
Make daily decisions that then become habits. A habit will benefit you massively. Let’s say you want to learn the guitar, a task like that doesn’t happen overnight and it requires daily decision making dedicated to it. So you may dedicate 20 minutes to it daily, regardless of whatever happens in the day or how you feel you commit to those 20 minutes. When the habit is formed, playing the guitar will be a task also that allows you to be present in the moment. I mentioned how regardless of how you feel you commit to the decision, especially when it is a musical outlet because it can become a healthy outlet for expressing that emotion, thus a fruit that is grown from action of daily decision making. But this daily habit only gets better once you ask yourself “how can I be better?”, and by implementing the action that follows. So in this scenario it may be changing from 20 minutes to 25 minutes, or deciding to play 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. Regardless of whatever it is the next step is one that should aid the journey and growth.
The daily affirmation to the self I recommend “I am the King of my decisions, the Warrior of my action, the magician of my vision and the lover of my importance”.