If you’re serious about improving yourself, then you have to have dedication to your decision to be better and a true desire to change. Without desire and dedication to self- improvement or with too little dedication and desire, you will fail on your journey.
They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. What is often forgotten is that you have to also be willing to take all the other steps in between the first one and the last one. You have to want it. You have to be all in or all out. You have to be dedicated.
My self- improvement journey has been a wild one, full of twists and turns, rises and falls. I know that the reason that my journey has taken so long is in part because I want to be better, but I also wanted to keep doing things that held me back from making progress.
My desire was going two different ways and I finally found the common sense to realize that you cannot play for both teams. Whichever desire is stronger and is fed more of your energy will win in the end.
It was as if I were starting out on my journey and every time I’d set out to strike gold, I’d get distracted by all the shiny rocks along the way and convince myself that those were what I wanted.
My dedication to the end goal was lost as soon as I visualized myself indulging in things and activities that put me on the downward spiral. I wasn’t being disciplined.
The first step on your journey is the desire to be better then who you are now. The important part of this step is to have a clear mental picture of what you want. That clear mental picture you create is important because other mental pictures are going to try and detour you from your goal.
Say you want to improve yourself by becoming physically fit. You have to be able to picture yourself in your mind as fit and also be able to hold that image in your mind.
Then when you have moments of weakness and visualize yourself going home to pig out and Netflix and chill, you can concentrate instead on your visualization of you being physically fit and remind yourself that being healthy and fit is what you want more. You give that give your attention to the mental image that you want to win.
You would be surprised how easily we can be pulled out of focus from our goals by the mental images we form during the day.
Are you imagining yourself as being better and imagining yourself doing the things you need to do, or are you visualizing yourself gratifying your lower desires? The mental images you give the most attention to are the ones that win.
The second step is to decide to be dedicated to that new mental picture you formed of a better you. If you form the image but aren’t committed to seeing its manifestation, then other images will find their way in and take you down a different road. Be dedicated and refuse to give your energy to distractions.
The third step is discipline. You have to force yourself to take all of those steps no matter how difficult they are. The reason most people fail to better themselves is because they are unwilling to take the steps necessary or lack the discipline to keep taking steps forward when the path gets rough. Being disciplined means delaying your gratification in pursuit of a higher goal.
The cover photo is me on my way up a mountain in my hometown. First, I have to want to get to the top and make a mental picture of myself getting there. Then, I have to dedicate my energy to getting to the top. Nobody is going to carry me up the mountain and if I get distracted by everything that I come across then I’ll never reach the top. I have to be disciplined and keep on the path to reach my destination.
Do you have a genuine desire to be better, or do you just tell yourself that but really what you want is to give in to your lower desires? Are you willing to be dedicated and disciplined? All of these things are needed on the journey of a thousand miles. Do you want to reach your destination, or are you satisfied on the side of the road?