Achieve your Goals with Dedication, Inspiration and Meditation
Taking a breather: one moment to stop and meditate
I took some time out of my day today, when feeling especially stressed and as if I was not productive enough, to meditate. The tape was Day 22 of Sam Harris's "Waking Up" course, and I found myself lost in all kinds of thoughts for most of the session.
Somewhere towards the end, I seemed to be attaining just micro-seconds of stillness and calm, but my thoughts still fired all around me. In all of that noise, and the slowly-quieting mind trying very hard to be still, a realization came forth: this focused effort requires periods of release.
To be so tightly-wound with a specific goal in mind all the time is like trying to grow or use a muscle by clenching it non-stop. To clench the muscle all the time is like being in a muscle spasm that tightens your muscle to its maximum abilities: it produces tremendous pain.
To wind yourself too tightly with desire is to cripple your capacity!
When in the throes of such pain, a muscle that is clenched so tightly in spasms cannot be made useful toward any purpose, and can further cripple the use of your whole body... you are too focused on this intense pain that you cannot manage to do anything else. This can be the same effect that any deep, driving desire has on the body and mind: it becomes a source of resistance to high attainment in life.
To wish desperately for fame, fortune, happiness or anything at all, with one's whole being, is a scarcity mindset, not of abundance. To create true abundance in life, one must live, breathe and believe in their own abundance: that you already have all of the most necessary ingredients for success, and you are already in the process of creating it!
Rather than thinking of the final destination of our dreams, instead we must ask, "How can I best flex and grow my abilities today?"
Daily Growth: Meditation, Dedication, and Inspiration
The three channels that one must engage with daily, listen to, and follow closely, are meditation, dedication, and inspiration.
It is through a regular, daily meditation practice that I am beginning to find peace, wisdom, insight and direction in my life. Some may find that prayer is also of value here. In search of a still heart and mind, many new doors and ideas will open to you.
Dedication means rigor of practice and direction. You must have a daily commitment, and re-commitment, to drive further than the previous day, to produce new value with a clear perspective of where you're headed, and move the needle in the direction you want it to go.
Inspiration fills you spiritually, driving you to create by striking you with an idea of such magnitude, so compelling, that it moves you to produce something of great worth by using all the very best of your abilities.
You must create and follow a daily routine to achieve greatness:
In those moments when you are not divinely inspired, you must endeavor to make maximum, pragmatic use of your time and prepare yourself. This means adopting dedication in a schedule and your habits.
Musicians must practice their instrument and do vocal exercises daily.
Aspiring athletes need to adopt a rigorous diet, get up at the same time every day and start with a workout that pushes their limits.
Visual artists should be aiming to draw or paint or sculpt something, or several somethings, every single day to grow their talents.
Learning and practicing your skill every day is critical for growth.
In point of fact, every aspiration requires daily service from the aspirant, in two forms: self-education, and disciplined practice. Self-education must entail instruction, usually by a person of greater skill and in a specific niche element, in a progressive format.
When learning maths, one must begin with basic addition and subtraction, progress to division and multiplication, and so on. It is not until you have mastered the concepts of geometry, then trigonometry, and algebra, before you attempt to learn calculus. Moreover, you had to be taught each of these concepts by a person and/or book that contained the knowledge of someone better at this.
It doesn't matter if you learn best with in-person instruction, or through books, or if you really like audio books or podcasts. You must be following a focused curriculum of study that teaches new, specific techniques on a regular and progressive basis.
These studies must involve you consuming media to learn the technique. Then, you MUST demonstrate, repeat and practice the technique. You have learned nothing until you can teach the technique in its entirety to others, that which you are attempting to study.
Whether learning a martial arts kata, how to make a wedding cake, how to solder... you must be able to teach the lesson before you truly know it.
In this way, one continues to follow a schedule with rigor and consistency, improving one's skills regularly until inspiration comes. When inspiration strikes, then, the conduit is best prepared to make use of the accumulated skills and produce true beauty.
Do not wish for fame, fortune, or anything at all.
You must be willing to detach from the outcome, and live in service to your art. It is most virtuous for one to aim to make the most of their craft, and not be too concerned with where one will arrive in greatness. Simply make daily use of the craft, training and honing it, and following inspiration whenever it should strike, abandoning all else.
One must not wish desperately for anything at all, or become too attached to its attainment. One may set realistic and ambitious goals. If your aim is to play Madison Square Garden, you should be concerned only with creating amazing content, improving its quality, and finding larger and larger forums to share your music.
Showcase your journey and your dedication to the world!
In the course of producing great content, share your journey with the world. Publish content in the form of videos of your progress. Make your entire life a shrine to determination, and then collect and share that immense effort with the world, and encourage their success.
In the course of committing to self-improvement and true service to your craft, it is impossible not to accrue a following in time. Your daily dedication to self-improvement and unflagging devotion to your art will produce true masterpieces deserving of attention.
Keep creating content every day, and refine your process each time.
Think only of how, in this very moment, you can be producing best for your legacy.
Always be creating something special. Never stop.
There are so many options available for producing something of value. You can produce music, or visual art, or delicious food and drink. You can build a business that creates jobs, or author self-help books and courses that improve the quality of people's lives.
You can learn to program apps, and enjoy the unique pleasure of taking a concept from your mind and building it from nothing into something. You can create videos and inspire others to take control of their own lives, limiting distractions and focusing on real development. You can even do several of these things at once!
Logging your Time: a Keystone Habit
For the last 10+ weeks, I've been logging 100% of my time! This has been instrumental in knowing how I'm using my time each day. This is an act of daily mindfulness. It's been helping me to acknowledge those areas where my actions are not fully-aligned with my goals in life, for my family and myself.
This has been a keystone habit for me, unlocking many other improvements and developments in my life that are opening new doors for me. My next keystone habit is to be attentive to those moments when I realize I am not making the most focused and best-quality use of my time.
In the moments when I am aware of this happening, I want to take that moment to meditate for another 10-15 minutes, and take stock. I'll continue to report back here with my impressions of what comes from those moments of meditation, and whether my course improves.
Thanks for taking this journey with me!
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