What’s the best practice for 2024?
December 6, 2023 • Conversations on the Spiritual Path
If you are subscribed to my emails, then you’re most likely a person who wants to work on themselves and find ways to live a better life. Nothing like a new year to drive many to adopt a few new practices that can edge them closer to what they want to achieve.
So, what practice should we adopt? Focus? Meditation? Managing energy? A new diet? Exercise? The question should not be about what practice we should adopt; rather, it should be about what it is we want to achieve. The second question should be, “Where am I on the path to this goal, and what is the best practice to adopt at this stage of the journey?” The latter is particularly important.
We must avoid being impetuous when adopting a practice. Often we are inspired by what we see or read and feel the need that we should incorporate into our lives what we have been inspired by. Tim Ferriss journals; I think I should as well. I think I’ll do a Vipassana retreat this year. Or perhaps I should fast every Friday since I heard on that podcast how helpful fasting is.
The personal development buffet table is endlessly long with so many fascinating and often scientifically and data-backed tools and practices to incorporate into our lives. And many spend year after year grazing at this buffet table, just like a cow with its head down eating away and not knowing in what direction they are walking in.
We must avoid this and take a wiser, more strategic, and reasonable approach.
If I am building a gazebo that is made completely out of wood, then there is no need for me to bring cement bags, gravel, sand, and a cement mixer to the worksite. A saw, saw horses, clamps, chisels, planes are amongst the tools that are more supportive of what I want to create.
The next question is, “Where am I on the journey to achieving this?” If I am building a wooden gazebo and I am just starting the project with raw material, then a hand plane for fine woodworking is not the tool I need at the start of my journey. Maybe an electric benchtop plane is more suited to work with my rough lumber.
To summarize, two things are important when picking tools and practices to incorporate into your life to help you in your growth. First, define clearly and be specific as to what your goal is. Second, identify clearly where you are in your journey at present and pick the tools and practices relative to where you are. For example, if you are in Step 2, then pick tools and practices that will help you get from Step 2 to Step 3 and not tools and practices that are for someone who is in Step 8.
Some tools and practices are indispensable and are needed at every stage of the journey. Focus is one of them. If you can’t focus, then the one thing you can count on is getting distracted on the path to your goal. Which means it will only take you longer to get to where you want to get. An absolute waste of your time and energy. And focus has endless other benefits as well.
Understanding how awareness and the mind work is another thing to learn and practice mastery of throughout your entire life. This, more than anything else, should be at the very top of your list if you ask me. You can learn this in my Unwavering Focus course or book.
Be intentional. But know that you can only be intentional if you know what it is you want.
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