Introspection

While I was organizing files on my computer yesterday, I found a set of documents I used to write a few years ago. They were sort of like my diary. Even though I was blogging, I felt that my blog got to the point where I couldn’t be as personal as I wanted so I started these “diaries” as a supplement. Sometimes I’d write in them daily. Sometimes a week would go by but there was always something in it.

Each doc covered a different time period in my life and as I read through them, I immediately went back to that time. One doc was from about 10 years ago. The other, more recent,  like 2-3 years ago. 

I think the thing that stood out the most after re-reading these was the tone of my writing. They were COMPLETELY different to the point where someone reading it might think it was two different people. As you can guess, I was just in a different place in life during each time so I’m sure I can chalk up some it to that but I know me and I’m having a hard time convincing myself of that. And as I sit here and type this blog post out, I’m now realizing one of the differences. 

CONVICTION.

In both “diaries”, I wrote out my goals. In the one from 10 years ago, well, I crushed all of those goals. In the one from 2-3 years ago, I only met a few and the difference between the two was the level of conviction I had. In the one from 10 years ago, my words and statements were strong. “I WILL….buy a house, pay off student loans, etc”. In the one from 2-3 years ago, my words and statements were soft. “I’D LIKE TO…..”

My “like” essentially a “lack” and I put no hard timelines on accomplishing them. Looking back through the rest of the entries, my mind was “weak”. I would push then stop. Push then stop and then never start back up again. I would get distracted and that was it. It was over. I was frustrated and I know for sure, I didn’t learn from the experience (because I still have a tendency to repeat some of those same actions!)

When my mind was strong, my convictions were strong. My confidence rode high. I’m sure I faced distractions but I dealt with them, head on, and got back on track. I was DISCIPLINED. I was FOCUSED. I nourished my spirit and in turn, it nourished me.

Let me tell you, looking back on myself through these “diaries” have been eye opening. It’s been like looking in a mirror only it took me back a few years. I’ve challenged myself to re-invest and rebuild myself (six million dollar man style – only the older heads will get that). 

At some point, you have to reflect. At some point, you’ve got to understand that where you are today is a direct result was decisions and actions you’ve taken in the past. BUT – you can’t let any of those get you down or in a rut. You’ve got to keep on keepin’ on. 

Challenge Yourself

A few weeks ago, I was on a business trip with a co-worker of mine that I’ve never traveled with before. In fact he doesn’t travel much for the company because it’s not a function of his job. He’s a software developers so you know, it’s rare that he’s customer facing at times. I know how these guys are sometimes. Not of all of them but some of them cringe at the thought of even interacting with a customer. They may even cringe at the thought of interacting with other co-workers! During this trip, we had quite a fair share of interactions and in the beginning, he was a little apprehensive. But he asked me questions, listened to what I said and soon he found his groove. It was fun to watch.

I was talking to him yesterday and somehow we got into exchanging stories about growing up. I found out he used to weigh over 300 lbs (he’s significantly less now). I found out he ran marathons. I found out he is trying to overcome his fear of public speaking . So I asked him how he does/did it. He said he challenges himself.

It wasn’t really the answer I was expecting but honestly, it was an answer I understood. Clearly. We tend to get comfortable. We tend to shy away from the things that require effort, hard work. We want it now not later. We don’t want to be pushed. We have our comfort zone and anything outside of it, well, can stay outside.  We don’t want to start something, run into issues and then feel like we’ve failed.

I immediately did some reflection. For some reason, his story just resonated with me because for one thing, I had no idea and I also just start asking myself the same question.

Do I challenge myself? Am I being challenged? 

I’m not saying I’m lazy. Far from it. But I know for sure that lately I don’t push like I used to. Giving up sweets for Lent was a challenge albeit a small one but it was successful. I want more. So I’m going to take some time to identify areas of my life where I’m too comfortable and make some challenges which will result in changes. I’ll document them on this here blog thingy to hold myself accountable and so that you all can hold me accountable too.

Maybe what I do will inspire some of you to do the same.