Monday, September 19, 2005

Progress As Not Going Backwards

These days, as long as things are not getting worse, I would say they’re improving. As long as I’m not going backwards, I’m going forwards. Staying in the same place is moving ahead.

In my yoga practice, if I can still do today what I could do yesterday, then I take that as a step forward. If I’m as limber this week as I was last week, then I congratulate myself on how far I have come.

As far as my finances are concerned, if I’m not poorer than I was a day ago, then I’m richer. As long as my investments aren’t declining, they’re increasing.

In my personal relationships, all I ask is that people aren’t getting sicker of me. If the love isn’t turning to hate, if the annoyance isn’t morphing into disgust, if former friends are not enemies, then I’m on the upswing.

Am I getting fitter, healthier, hardier? Well, as long as I’m not becoming fatter, sicker, and weaker, I take that as a “yes.”

What fascinating new facts have I learned? The way I look at it, to the extent I haven’t forgotten more and more, then I’m gaining knew knowledge. If I can remember today what I knew yesterday, I call that education.

I think back to the concepts that have motivated me over time: continuous improvement, lifelong learning, grow or die. Nowadays, I’m satisfied just to run in place; that’s what progress means to me.

Had I tried to explain this a few days ago, would I have done a better job? If I try to do so a few days from now will I do worse? To me, as long as the graph of my performance is not going down, it’s going up.

For most of my life, every new day represented an opportunity to reach new heights. As I look at things now, every day at this level represents ascent. As long as I’m not sinking, I’m rising.


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