Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Your Ultimate Self, Just Around the Corner

One thing that shocks me about making personal progress is that oftentimes it's possible to make an astonishing amount of progress in just a scant few weeks, less than a week, or even less than a few days. (Or hey, even in a few hours.) Granted, it takes months and years for changes to truly solidify into your core habits, to integrate into your being, but nonetheless it's amazing what kind of blazing pace is possible.

Good concentration, for instance, is possible to nurture in three days or less in its fundamental form. I've been mentioning these past few weeks just how obsessed with concentration I am, noting its important effect on mental health, and for the immense value it bestows upon you a very decent start can be had within a few hours. When I started at my autodidact studies it was a struggle to concentrate for even twenty minutes, and even that small effort exhausted me and gave me a headache. The next day I was able to go for over thirty minutes, and then the next day perhaps an hour, and then still some more after that. All the years I've spent besieged by uncontrollable daydreaming seem so odd when it can be controlled so quickly!

For years I seemed incapable of stopping daydreams . . . and took a big bite out of that habit with just twenty minutes of effort on my first day . . .

The point I'm getting at is that no matter how huge the struggle is at the beginning, starter progress can often be very rapid and onset quickly, and, really, the hardest part of any endeavor is just the first few steps.

That, in a way, makes the people I've known to waste their lives much sadder in this light. It's sad to know that of the particular problems that haunted them for decades, destroying them bit by bit until their last breath of life, could have been meaningfully addressed beginning with just an hour or less the first day, but they were so weak to even try they simply let their problems take them over.

Concentration is such a thing, which can either move your life massively forward or massively backward. To the negative, poor concentration can contribute to poor listening (damaging/destroying relationships), a faulty memory (negating one's power to meaningfully grow), damage the ability to learn (keeping one static in ability), and more. Concentration isn't the explain-all factor in success or failure in these areas, but it can have such a huge multifaceted effect.

And doesn't it seem preposterous for someone to let something so silly as poor concentration to go unaddressed for five, seven, or eight decades and let it do its incredible damage, when twenty minutes of meditation really could have given them a preventative boost?

Of course, this doesn't account for how difficult it can be to sustain particular practices over the long-term, especially if they're strenuous, but that still doesn't change the fact of how much beginner's progress you can make nearly instantaneously, or how much easier things get once it turns into an actual habit.

Whenever you're bouncing some self-improvement venture or another around in your head, don't let the consequences of not doing it accumulate when just a few minutes could change the direction of your life. Just a few minutes, and you could be miles close to your ideal self.

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