Personal development requires action
Just reading, talking and thinking about it is not sufficient.
One of the core principles is that Body and Mind are linked. When the thoughts are acted upon, their impact is better imprinted in the mind. It is a fact that anyone is a lot more aware that a stove is a hot place after one single burn than after a hundred calls for caution.
Discoursing about things has its limitations and rarely passes the test of real-world situations. A bit like learning to swim online will not make much of a swimmer out of you. But discoursing, pondering, reasoning have their place in the Practice. And they are even stronger if written down.
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency
Every discipline has its drills and rituals because there is power in habits. Consistency and repetition are the allies of the practitioner.
So to reap the fruit of Personal Development, one must engage in actual doing. We call it the Personal Practice
The Personal Practice is just that, personal. Although it can include some elements involving other people, at its the core and principle is a solitary job.
It is also very personal in the fact it is custom made. What works for you may not be suitable for everyone.
You actually are going to tailor your own set of activities and make that a daily habit.
The Three Practices
I divided the Personal Practice into three equally important components.
— Your body carries your brain, being fit is essential.
— Being fit also opens possibilities and promote independence.
Ghost Chasing Practice
— Finding out what created so much confusion inside the said brain.
— and seeking to fix it.
— Connecting with the things inside and outside of you.
— This may seem vague but will be developed.
For the Physical Practice
— Yoga, stretching, 5 Tibetans, or any physical activity that builds strength and promotes flexibility.
For the Ghost Chasing Practice
— Morning Pages, Karma Healing exercises, keeping a journal, research about your past.
For the Connection Practice
— Meditation, contemplation, relaxation, listening to nature sounds, tending to plants, gardening.
All three parts are equal in value and weight and none of them can be neglected. You may be already acquainted with many exercises in all three of them.
You must create a set that will include all three components and is sustainable to be practiced every day.
Your daily Practice may be short and not too ambitious to ensure success at it. You may always add new elements or extend its reach and depth once accustomed to the rhythm.
Forage through your knowledge and come up with a list of practices fitting in any of the three above categories.
Enjoy what you do
Build a personal practice that you will enjoy doing.
Keep yourself going, maybe with a reward system.
Practice every day. Every day in real life means 5 to 7 times a week.
Create the habits, create time for it.
There is no blame for doing less as long as you are able to do it. Consistency is key yet flexibility is a necessity.
A recommendation as well, in addition to the regular Personal Practice, is to once in a while, do something long and solitary, so to train your mental endurance.
Practicing endurance will help you committing to and achieving your Personal Practice routine daily.
Endurance training can be long solitary morning slow runs, reading a 1700 page book, enrolling in weekly night classes for a year-long course, work on a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle.
At first, Personal Practice may be modest.
- A few minutes of stretching in the morning.
- 5 to 10 minutes of meditation at lunch break.
- 10 minutes keeping a journal at night.
My base for Personal Practice is
- Drink 1 quart of water first thing out of bed.
- then 15 to 45 minutes of meditation.
- then 5 to 15 minutes of tapping (EFT) or mental visualisation.
- 15-20 minutes of Tai Chi/Yoga/stretching.
- More meditation late afternoon or before bed.
For beginners, Personal Practice should be a daily goal for the next 3 months.
Be kind to yourself without being complacent.
Others will just continue for the rest of their lives once they found a pace and a practice that fits their needs.
- Did I just read for the rest of my life?
- Can't it be just a few weeks of hard work and then be happy merry ever after?
- I have to do that forever?
It may sounds daunting right now because you have been taught that what is important is to work a lot and then spend your leisure time in predefined activities such as watching movies, going out, drinking new beers, going to games and vacation spots, so it seems that anything not fitting in that heavy schedule is an interruption of life. But you certainly came to this blog because the topic attracted your attention. It is to bet that the above-described lifestyle is not so satisfying.
Create the Time - Adopt the Habit
You will discover after a while that the practices associated with personal development are actually very rewarding and they will take precedence on some of your current set of activities, not unlike that new show suddenly got you hooked and you found time to watch it, certainly at the expense of something else.
Your Practice will evolve over time, bitching about your childhood will eventually find its limits and you will move on to another topic, like making peace with god or something. The deeper you will explore the more you will want to know and practice.
So once you will have passed the stage of believing in a magic pill to solve it all in one shot, you will be less impatient with getting results and eager to practice more.
Practice the Art of Peace sincerely
and evil thoughts and deeds will naturally disappear.
All that should remain is the thirst for more and more training in the Way.
— O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba – The Art of Peace