Lessons from a Life in Transition ~ IsleofAtlas
“it takes faith to make room for what you’ve never experienced before”
Lessons from a Life in Transition
This week has been a rather interesting week. In the shadows of my productivity high from last week, I attempted to replicate the results. It wasn’t as successful as I’d hoped. I was even unsure if I would get this one out in time so if you’re reading this, then I must be doing something right.
This piece will be a little different to what I usually decide to share. But I feel it’s fair to share, for the sake of consistency and to give you some insight into my thought processes.
“Perfect practise makes perfect”
I believe I’m currently experiencing somewhat of a life in transition. Some processes I’ve relied on for support previously have fallen away. Yet it was only in the stripping back of processes in the last week I was able to appreciate a major lesson which hadn’t hit.
Tangible processes can’t be treated as coping mechanisms when your mind isn’t being taken care of.
I subconsciously relied on producing tangible value as a metric for success, whilst failing to consider how I was tending to the things which can’t be seen. But committing to tangible processes doesn’t forgo the importance of mental upkeep.
In this season, I’ve caught myself from living in a rush, eager to achieve as much as I can. But this has often left other processes undone; the ones which can’t be rushed. The processes which don’t bear fruit immediately. This has left me in a state of lethargy as I set new foundations for mental admin.
(There are many methods I’m currently trialling which I hope to update you all within the coming months.)
Life for me, has been the constant development of short- and long-term processes, which both carry importance in their seasons. Often, I’ve found myself adjusting. I still don’t have the perfect morning routine. My sleep schedule is tangoing into non-existence. But such blips are becoming less consistent, and I take pride in that.
Something that motivates me in times where I feel down is remembering Steve Harvey’s take on failure. He emphasises the importance of failure in solidifying the right habits to success. Because “they only remember when you make it”. I’m reminded that it doesn’t matter how often I ‘fail’, because ultimately, the successes I have achieved (or am yet to achieve) will be evidence itself of the importance of the lessons learned in the setbacks.
I’m always changing, I realise that now. And in that, the processes I choose to commit to must change to suit the lifestyle I develop in that season. I may not always win but I can focus on failing less. Because failure shouldn’t put me off from trying again. The metric I aim to live by now is if I can get 1% better at doing something less “terrible”, then I’m already a winner.
So, in this season, I’d advise don’t fight change. Adapt to it. It’s the only constant.
The person I am when I wake up early is different to the person I am when I wake up late. And having literally experienced life from both sides of the bed, trying to apply the same systems in these environments can be toxic to what I’m trying to achieve in a specific season. Morning routines are a strange concept to a person who rises in the afternoon.
And so, I must match the processes to who I am in that season because sometimes the processes themselves aren’t broken. But they need readjusting. You won’t get very far trying to be the same person your whole life – you will be required to change. This is the same for the practises and systems you adopt to achieving your goals.
“Gardens, not machines”
I tend to struggle with routine and repetition, so happening along one of my previous pieces really helped put things into perspective. I can’t expect the same efforts from myself every week. I can’t expect the same results every week. But that would make life a lot less exciting.
I often must make changes to keep myself interested and engaged, a challenge that I’m not always up for taking. But alas, one that I’m constantly exposed to.
Some weeks are better than others, but for the most part, the foundational processes that you use to cultivate your inner garden will be what will sustain you. I’ve been so concerned with the fruits that I haven’t been tending to the garden. But fruits are only a by-product of the state of the garden. If the garden is unkempt, then how can you expect to produce the best fruits? Eish.
That’s not to say you’ll always be in control of your mind, or your immediate environment. You can’t control the weather. But how you deal with the hand you’ve been dealt becomes your responsibility.
One such ideal I’ve been exposed in my readings which best explains is the Japanese term “kaizen” – the aim to strive for continuous improvement. Because improvement is often like the stock market – some weeks we’re down on our luck and some weeks, we’re in the green. Some weeks I’ll experience more growth and productivity than others. However, I can’t expect to produce a carbon copy of “last week”. That’s not how things get better. And while progress isn’t linear, it’s how we ensure we’re on the move.
You can’t expect the same fruit in different seasons. We were built to produce. But the results of what you produce won’t always be tangible.
For example, there’s a difference between thought and action. Some seasons you will spend more times planning and thinking than you will do producing tangible works.
I say this to encourage myself and others (who are feeling stuck) that we must be patient in bringing our visions to reality. If we want to achieve something we’ve never achieved before, we can’t judge our future successes against previous experiences.
Ultimately, it takes faith to make room for what you’ve never experienced before. And I believe that’s the best way to describe the season I’m in now.