One of the most important things you can ever do is look behind you and see how far you’ve come. Otherwise, you’ll never appreciate that you currently hold in your hands something you’ve always wanted. Also, it's something that winds me up like mad, because people don't do it and then get all maudlin over their percieved "lack of results". I can see their results. I bet I can see yours too.
I want you to see it, dagnammit!
Shopenhauer hit the nail on the head with this one. Schopenhauer was a philosopher I studied at Uni, during my phase of being an angst-ridden student wafting about Birmingham being profound (because I studied Philosophy, there was much room for self-indulgent, 18yr-old profundity. Once I even thought I disproved one of Hume’s theories. Yes, I was that delusional. But I was also a baby, in relative terms, so lets just let it slide). Shopenhauer’s thing was that believing that we never found happiness due to being in a constant state of striving for that which we do not have. Once achieved, we move straight on to the next thing we want, never taking the time to appreciate the thing we have just completed/achieved.
And you know what? The guy had a point.
The amount of times I find myself pressing pause on a client’s woes about how they’re still a million miles from their goal, in order to draw a big ol’ metaphorical picture frame around all of the superb steps they’ve already taken. Or to highlight with a metaphoric marker pen the workout they are currently performing which would not have been even attemptable a couple of months before. Or to punctuate with a giant metaphorical “AWWOOOOGA! AWOOOGA!’ klaxon the weight they have lost, before they get disheartened or disillusioned by the weight they have still to lose.
Ok. You’re not there yet. I get it. But you’re no longer on the starting line either. You’re moving.
You might not have made the progress you thought you would. Or that you think you should. I don’t care. You have made the progress you have made. That is enough, because you can’t predict the progress you will make because you don’t know what you’re dealing with. This is life, remember. The best laid plans NEVER go to plan.
It’s important, this. We all know that one of the best ways of staying motivated on your path is getting results. If you are standing there with your fingers in your ears, screwing your eyes shut and resolutely refusing to see those results because they don’t look like you think they should or they’re not enough and you should be further along, then you’re stuffing your own motivation. Why would you do that to yourself? Pack it in!
Wherever you are along your path, stop for a minute. Look behind you and write a list of all the things you have achieved, even if you think it’s:
a) not enough
b) nothing special
3) nothing compared to other people who have achieved more in the same space of time
d) any other gremlin-infused thing that causes you to demean and undermine your own achievement.
I have seen a lot of people in my gym this week, and I cannot point to one single person who has not made progress. Whether they found it harder than normal, didn’t feel like they did much or were fuming because they only lost one pound, with the benefit of my objectivity, my unwavering belief in them and my understanding of how this health and fitness thing works, I see progress EVERYWHERE.
I bet you are no exception. Have a look and see. Told you! You are no longer on the starting line. Notice that. And never stop noticing it again.