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Continuous improvement

You won't achieve anything unless there is change now, no matter how small

By Noah DouglasPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Continuous improvement
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I think I have this idea in my head that one day I will reach the pinnacle of my work, hobbies and all areas in my life. I will be an expert.

Yet, it is only recently that I believe my idea on that has changed.

I can’t be aiming for an illusive version of myself that I prefer to the version of me now. This leads to a lack of gratitude for the present and I’ve personally found that I shrug off doing things because I always believe the future version of myself will always be more motivated and excited to do the hard stuff when that is never the case.

The future self won’t achieve any of that unless there is change now, no matter how small.

But that’s hard.

One thing I always used to complain about, and occasionally still do, is that nothing big is happening in my life. But that’s problematic because it’s leaving a condition to an action or behaviour based on external things happening.

Essentially you allow other things/ people to be in control of your life (don’t worry if you feel this way sometimes though we have all been there).

I was saying to myself ‘Oh I’m waiting for this big change to happen in my life to validate my happiness’

How backwards is that?

Yet, it can often make sense. As small tasks don’t seem to make a difference nor even seem to have a point at all.

One of my favourite quotes is by Soren Kierkegaard and it goes like this:

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards".

Taking this into my every day I’m now working on trying to shift my perspective to celebrate when I stay consistent with things and work for continuous improvement. I then realise upon reflection that these moments of sticking with things was a big deal, especially in tough emotional life situations, yet when presently living out those moments I didn’t recognise it for what it is.

I believe it is in the continuous improvement I’ve found myself being more content. I am focussing more on my process, not having as much anxiety about the future and just keeping my head down towards the goals I have set before me.

It also just simplifies things. You know you have to do and you just do them.

Saying this the idea of continuous improvement vs massive mind-blowing changes isn’t sexy.

Most days you don’t recognise a difference, you don’t see the point, you’re relying on discipline.

Additionally, it usually comes at the sacrifice of something else.

So a key mantra of sorts I drill into myself in times of doubt is:

“Why am I actually doing this?”

The response to this should not be a simple: “oh it’s fun”, “oh I feel like it”, “oh others are doing it”.

Well, maybe it is; but if you reading this you're probably like me and you care a lot more about your true callings than other people’s opinions.

But we all slip up and that’s okay.

The answer is to really get into that ‘Why’ question in a really in-depth way that excites you and fuels you, that is all the motivation you need to counter any anxieties or worries you inevitably will face.

For me, I have this posted up around me on my walls in a very tangible way.

With all of this there is a balance though. Having the ability to recognise the ability to push yourself and that be what you need and also when it is too much.

I personally tread this line quite precariously most of the time.

This is when confiding in people who have similar values and work ethics as you is helpful.

Along the way I've realised the routine of the constant pursuit for gradual slow growth is the fun part and it's less about where you are going.

I just need to stop comparing myself to others and their journeys, it is here the big things happen.

People say that time is the greatest resource, it's actually attention... are you using it well?


About the Creator

Noah Douglas

Perpetually curious.

Journeyman of faith†

Runner, writer, marketer.

Some of my other work ↓

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