Life is accumulative. Who we are today is a result of all the little choices we have made up until this date. Thankfully, life is fluid. Chances are you are not the same person today that you were 5 years ago. Sometimes change is subtle and almost invisibly incremental. Sometimes change is fast and thrust upon us by circumstance. Other times it is deliberate and painstaking.
So, what happens when we survey our life, lay out our dreams and realise where we want to be does not line up with where we are? It calls for deliberate change. But knowledge, skills, and habits are accumulative. So, the question stands, where do we go from here?
This week, as I was driving to college, I passed an overweight girl running. She was clearly giving 150% of herself. I felt like cheering her on from my window.
Fitness is a natural part of my life now, and requires very little effort because it is something I love. I miss it terribly if too much time passes without a good workout. However, there are other areas of my life that I am trying to reshape. Areas where I am investing a lot of myself, and it can feel like a slow and uphill battle. Which got me thinking. Starting is the hard part.
Whenever we start any new venture in life, it requires more effort initially. It feels like we are giving 150% and perhaps not seeing many results for our efforts. This girl is clearly making a choice to change her life for the better. If she sticks with it, little by little, the choices that require mammoth effort now, will become habit and instinctual. They will require less discipline but with a more noticeable result. Though I love to workout, and eat healthfully for the most part, I also have an addiction to sweets; I love liquorice, chocolate and wine. These don’t have a huge affect on my overall fitness or physique because they are balanced out by the accumulation of habits.
But the same is true in every aspect of life. If we are seeking to accrue wealth, it requires much greater effort in the early days to save and invest. But once those savings start to build and accrue interest, a snowball effect kicks in. The same is true if we are seeking to change our career. The training, networking, learning, and upskilling require tremendous effort initially. But little by little those skills and knowledge start to accrue and build on each other, becoming second nature.
Anytime we deliberately set out to set our life on a new course, be it a new career path or a fit and healthy lifestyle, the initial investment of time, heart and dedication is more at the beginning. It’s hard work. But keep at it, and the knowledge, skills and experience, the choices and actions we take today, begin to accumulate, and change the DNA of who we are.