Where do you want to be in your life? Who do you want to be in your relationships? What are you doing to get there?
If I told you that on a specific evening 3 months from now you would be on a stage playing a musical instrument that, at this moment right now you could neither play nor could you read music for, what steps would you take to ensure that you were able to execute that task?
Maybe you’d panic a bit at the outset and do a 3 day workshop on the instrument, learn a lot in a short time… but if you’re going to acquire the skill, you’re going to need to practice every… single… day. On the days you don’t want to practice, I will remind you that the date of the performance is coming and you will magically “find” the time to practice.
Your life is that musical instrument. To play this life well we all need to practice, whether we think other things are more important or not. We need to practice patience, and listening, we need to practice empathy and understanding differing approaches and viewpoints. We need to practice practicing!
Steady, regular practice, patience with yourself in the pursuit of your best-version of you and persistence through plateaus and setbacks is the path to your mastery of your inner world.
Here are 5 steps to take, every day to practice patience and persistence… and most of all in the interest of alliteration: presence.
1: Sit quietly with your thoughts for 10m each morning
If you give yourself 10m to gather your thoughts, take deep breaths, clear your mind and heart of clutter, you will get back more than 10m of clear productive present time during each day.
2: Read for 15m every night (or lunch break)
Reading inspiring books, like Garry Ridge’s, Helping People Win at Work or watching videos like Simon Sinek’s TED talk, Why Good Leaders Make you Feel Safe, keeps your mind focused on your goals and your heart open to change and self-improvement.
3: Exercise your body doing something that gives you joy
If you love to dance, DANCE! If you live to ride your bike, spin! Exercise is a gift you give yourself (all practice is) your body is your vehicle and lucky you! It works. Your heart beats, your brain gets oxygen and your confidence and self assuredness are improved when you are taking care of yourself.
4: Participate in groups of conscious people.
Whether you do a workshop on Emotional Intelligence or participate in a facilitated peer advisory group, participating in groups is a great way to get feedback, learn from others and teach what you have to share.
Being your best self is a life-long practice, like any other skill it takes time, focus and dedication. This is your life, it's worth the effort.