Results should be measurable. This is always useful but not always easy. How do you quantify certain things? Wealth, possessions and number of friends are easily-measured units of success. But what about other things like contentment, satisfaction or happiness? Or personal development?
They are not so easy to define, summarise or capture. But this is where we see the value of writing things down; keeping a record of how we feel or where we are at any given point in our lives. In the journal post from this day, 11 years ago (‘Where Am I?’), I wrote down a snapshot of my physical, mental and emotional state. The idea at the time was to have a reference point which would help me to see my progress.
Here, in this post, I give the current situation for the same three criteria. When compared, it is clear how far I have come.
I am in the best shape I have been for over 20 years. I have a healthy diet, train twice a week and also have a daily exercise routine which I do at home and which has been in place for some time now. I don’t follow it every day and I have a number of aches and pains, but compared to where I was in 2000, not to mention the pain I suffered before and after that time (which included two major surgeries), I am doing very well indeed. And the improvement continues.
I have more clarity about my life than I have ever had. Life (and the world) gets me down from time to time but I know what I need to do to reduce the impact those periods have on me. When I look back on the entry from this day in 2000 I can see the difference. At that time I was taking on board a wealth of information and it all seemed a little too much. Not just the amount of information but also assimilating it was a challenge. In the 11 years since, both the information and the understanding have become an integral part of me.
It’s like learning a language. In the beginning, it’s all rather overwhelming: grammar, vocabulary, new patterns, new constructions, new challenges. Eventually, if we stick at it, we become fluent. Thereafter, there is no longer the laborious translation process with every communication. We simply speak and listen, and the understanding occurs automatically.
I recently worked together with another trainer. At the end of the two days he commented that I had written nothing down, yet I was able to recall accurately what people had said and what the important points were which needed addressing. That was because of the fluency I achieved during the four years of intensive training I went through. That’s what I was aiming for when I wrote the entry 11 years ago.
I am still an emotional person. That will not change. And I still get emotional with people and find it difficult to resist the urge to tell them what I think of them, but that is changing. I am calmer and I become less involved in the kinds of inflammatory conversations and situations which cause such reactions in me. Whether metaphorically or physically, I just walk away.
The two elements mentioned in the post from my journal have seen big improvements. I am in the best relationship I have ever known. All the time I was working on myself I thought there would be someone with whom I could be myself fully and completely and unconditionally. I lost sight of that over the years and I began to think it wasn’t to be. Then, three years ago, it happened and now, on a daily basis, I experience love beyond anything I have ever known.
The other point from that entry was the Parent ego state. Mine is now stronger than it was. People think I am a very serious person (which I am) but that is just my Parent ego state, getting on with the things which need doing. My Child ego state has not suffered as a result, though. In fact, I am having more fun, being more creative and feeling freer than ever. It is the case that we need all three ego states (Parent, Adult, Child) for a healthy existence. In a similar way, I am leading a healthy existence physically, mentally and emotionally.
It took time and a lot of patience, discipline and application, not to mention the support I received from those around me. Reading back over where I was then and writing down where I am now, I am able to measure the results and assert, once again, that it has all been worthwhile.