“Be weary of all earnestness”-Mike Rowe
The instagram feed is filled with motivational MEME’s adorning Adonis level physiques. Words like “what’s your Drive” or “Get the results”. Messages fill the stratosphere that is the internet, screaming “this is the way!!”. The self help podcast tells you to do it!! Commit to change. Be your own boss. Change your life. Book upon book claiming to have the “secret” to success… “you could be me, if only “. If only? It’s a big variable in your path to improvement. If you jam the many concepts, plans, advice and theories down the paper towel tube that is your mind, your asking for disaster.
The masters of the realm will tell you the steps they take daily to improve. Many describe a morning ritual. Coffee is consumed, meditation follows. Than it’s “creative time”. A quick warm up and a gym session. Now, they are ready to face the day. Night time rituals follow suit. They push the importance of sleep for recovery and mental focus. 8-10 hours a night. Planned meals regimented throughout the day.
Well, shit. How am I to improve? Get stronger? Smarter? This advice describes something I can not obtain due to my commitments. I’ve got kids, a wife, and a job. You listen closely for the solution and you often find there isn’t one. Well, except for the “make time” antic driven down our throats.
I’ve made a discovery as of late. Many of people driving the self improvement information bus here are not fathers, and if they are, many do this for a living. Yes, now, the rituals make sense. When all you have to worry about in a day revolves around you, it’s easy to chip away at progress. Applying that to your “real” life becomes the true challenge.
We get an unrealistic idea of what self improvement is. The standard is raised high by people who don’t live your life. Reality is not a theory or a clean principle to follow. The idea that you as a father, husband, and full time employee can realistically have a “peaceful” morning to “start” the everyday out right is not reality. You have to be able to tackle all sorts of mini emergencies that arise the moment your 4 year old wakes you up and wants juice, work calls you in early, and your wife is sick with the flu. Dazed crusty eyed fathers stumble into their days and guess what we can still have a great day. We can adapt and own the day. This applies to evening rituals, planned gym sessions, meal prep and so many other full proof ideas that your life will chew up and spit in your face.
Many become discouraged. They are not able to stick to the plan. Life keeps punching them in the stomach. When you look at a theory as it applys to your own self improvement, consider the source. Has the source experienced your current challenges? Do these concepts allow me to maintain balance?
Our solution is to find solice in daily action squeezed into the madness of our day. Extreme focus for short periods of time. Time we find. Look beyond the self help market. It’s the reason for this site. To facilitate self improvement from the perspective of those who walk your path. Days don’t often go as planned, we must adapt.
Many of those in the self help arena bring very good information to the table. They are truly influential. I’ve taken much of this advice and have applied it to my daily actions. However, we need to take the information and fit it into our lives, not fit our lives into the information. Modify the concepts to fit your schedule or lack there of. Many want the program to be the ice tray we mold ourselves into, only to find the ice tray is riddled with holes and we seep out in the night to be discovered frozen to the bottom of the freezer.
No one path to self improvement is the same. Everyone will have their own path, only than can we be successful. We don’t often fit the mold of the success guru. Your success is based upon your daily action, hard work, and consistency. Those principles are a constant in growth. Everyday is a new way to apply your actions in whatever way possible. A two hour gym session may become a 15 minute foam rollling session as you watch cartoons with your kids. Your morning “zen” time maybe a chance for you to eat an early breakfast with your kid. Find value in every moment. Take advice and seek information but always consider the source.