Why is it so important to stay on a path?
Each and every one of us is trying to accomplish something. It could be trying to improve at school, at work, wanting to change habits, or even just adding novelty into your life, but we are all on some sort of path. This path, is simply the course we chose to take over time to reach this destination. Everyone's path is going to look different, but the motivation to achieve something is the same.
The issue for so many of us, myself included, is staying on this path. Maintaining that motivation to keep on the course. Why is this?
I find that in my own effort to change my habits and learn new ones, I lack discipline. Simply put, I don't do what I say I am going to do. For a while now it has been an issue that I struggle with, and I have only been able to overcome it after long periods of internal conflict and and forcing myself to ignore that voice in the back of my head. In the end it is the same for all of us, listening to a voice that tells us to stop, when we should be pushing ourselves to keep going.
I want to talk to you about how we can overcome this, using the people around us, carefully placed motivation, and the skill of ignorance.
For my own struggle, it greatly helps to have another person who is there with you on your journey. If there is someone who you can essentially team up with to endure the change together, take advantage of this. Use each other to push one another further each day that you are together. Listen to what they have been struggling with through their process, chances are you both have been feeling the same way. So use this knowledge to your benefit and remember that you aren't on this journey alone. Having someone to share the time and experiences with, can be more valuable than trying to tough it out on your own.
Now, we know that many of us have goals that are primarily personal. I myself for example have been trying to improve upon my sleep and the quality of my sleep. This is an issue that only I can tackle myself for obvious reasons, but that doesn't mean I should just keep banging my head against a wall if I am having trouble making progress. Instead I have to tell myself that there is a reason I am trying to get better sleep. I want to be more energized during the day, and also be more engaged in the interactions I have with the people around me. Are these physical rewards? No, but they will certainly make my quality of live increase greatly. Knowing this, I have to turn that reality into a motivator. If not for a physical reward, then for the reward of having better personal interactions or being able to get more done in a day. These are the realities I have to remind myself so that I can stay on the path. Turning myself into my own coach allows me to block out that voice that tells me to stay up or watch TV, and really stay focused on what is important.
Motivation is key and can come from yourself, a training partner, mentor, friend, or family member, but is sometimes not enough to get ourselves back on the path. Ignorance is something that continues to baffle me in how it works and where it is present. I have found that some people are ignorant to themselves when doing certain activities. Not that they don't care, but that they have a way to bypass that feeling of quitting or slowing down. In practice I have not been able to fully remove myself from the activity that I am engaged in. I have always found it hard to remove my emotion from doing something uncomfortable or tedious. Most times I have to talk myself through the whole process every step of the way. thinking, "Don't stop, just keep going.". Each time I try to remove myself from the equation and just focus on what's right in front of me. I have only been able to do it a handful of times, but have greatly enjoyed the benefits. This ignorance, is not of the activity that is being performed or the lack of knowledge around its benefits, but more of an embrace to something that we usually avoid. The power to just DO, and not try, is greater than any I have seen. Whether it is learned or inherited, it is a skill that I will strive for.
The idea is that everyone, at one point or another, has struggled in keeping motivated and staying on the path. I try every day to improve my will power, and channel my motivation, but I know it will be a while before it is second nature. Until then, I will continue to strive for a better self and will take my time to make sure that I get there. For anyone who is struggling as I am to be the better self, remember that we can't always be what we want to be. Sometimes it takes a while to get where we want to go, even if we could get there the whole time.