Today is Sunday and the last day of my spiritual retreat. I woke up and you guessed it – meditated and did my astral work. I then read another chapter out of the meditation and astral books. Jenn and I walked Charlie around the subdivision and I did walking meditation. You focus on the bottom of your feet instead of your breath. I did chores around the house in the morning and then mediated for another hour in the afternoon.
All in all, this “spiritual retreat” challenge was productive but not Earth shattering. And I’m fine with that because I know growth happens slowly, overtime. The more I talk to people about their lives, the more I see how confused people are on how to improve themselves or to get what they want in life.
The biggest thing I see is that people underestimate how much work it takes. It’s not usually hard work, but it’s work that you have to do every day. I hear it over and over. Someone will go to the gym a couple times and then stop. Someone will start jogging and then stop. Someone will focus on improving their finances and then stop. Someone talks up a new hobby and then drops it a week later. And that’s all OK. Starting and stopping things is a part of learning and evolving (God knows I’ve done it a lot!) But so is giving it your all for a long time and seeing where that gets you. And I rarely (never?) hear anyone do that.
Do they know how amazed they’d be at the progress and results if they jogged or worked out every other day for thirty days no matter what? No matter if they didn’t “feel like it”, “didn’t have the time” or any other excuses? Do they know how wonderful they would feel if they were laser focused on improving their finances for thirty days no matter what? No matter if they wanted to buy that expensive thing (that they probably don’t need anyway!). How far they’d get with their new hobby if they practiced for an hour every day?
All that is stopping most people from absolutely transforming their lives is to give their goals their all for thirty days. Most things take that long to see progress and results. Most people give up too soon because they don’t see results and get discouraged. Give things enough time and you’ll see progress you want and if you don’t, then stop the activity and know that at least you know you truly gave it your all and it just didn’t work out or just isn’t for you.
Give your goal thirty days. Get fired up! Get psyched! Get mad! Go crazy! Make people think you’ve flipped your lid! Be the weird one! Put signs up around your house saying “don’t quit!” and “Thirty days or die!” Smack yourself in the face while looking in the mirror, saying “You got this!” Push yourself so hard when working out, you puke. Push yourself so hard jogging you almost pass out. This is level of determination you need. I’m not being dramatic or exaggerating. Have you ever given anything your all for thirty days?
This concept of giving it your all for a sustained period of time structures my entire life. I embrace and trust the process so much because it’s proven it’s worth to me. Some examples, I:
- have projects at work that are assigned to me at work at the beginning of the month that I need to get done by the end of that month. At the beginning of the month, I’m sitting on a big pile of work but I know every day I’ll chip away at them and they slowly but surely get done throughout the month. It’s a wonderful feeling.
- work out three days a week, no matter what, because I know in the long-term it will help me stay healthy and strong as I get older.
- stretch daily, starting when I rise, because I know staying limber is important, especially as I get older.
- am laser focused on managing my family’s personal finances and we’re on track to reach our short- and long-term goals: nearly debt free, on target to pay cash for our kids’ cars and colleges, and on target to be vested for retirement so that we’ll live off of the proceeds and the initial nest egg will never die, leaving it to our children when we pass, setting them and our future generations up for a great financial situation. This has taken nearly two decades of work and patience to see to fruition.
- mediate daily. Amazing for my mental, emotional and spiritual health.
- lean into socializing daily. I’m naturally a quiet person but force myself to open up. Making that human connection is important to mental health and I hope I am a positive influence to others.
All of this takes daily work but it becomes simply who you are once you do it enough. And there really aren’t any downsides. “Man, you’re a bore, where’s the fun!” really isn’t a thing. You get to do whatever you want really when you learn to control what you can and forget about the rest!
Hell, even writing a blog post every day to document this “retreat” has been work. And I’ve found that I hate writing daily! But… I did it. I can’t stress how important that is. For anyone looking to improve themselves or reach a goal, but don’t know where to start. Literally, just start. Even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing yet (that’s the point – learn as you go), just start and don’t stop – give it at least thirty days! I’m not saying you’ll reach every goal in thirty days but you’ll have so much progress after thirty days that that will spur you on to continue and you’ll eventually reach your goal. You can do it!
Day 7, and the retreat, is finished.