We all have dreams of where we could be or want to be. Dreaming isn't the challenge as everyone hopes and longs for a better life, a promotion or an adventure. The biggest problem with dreaming is figuring out the steps you need to take to actualise those dreams. When we have those steps mapped out, other life challenges come into the picture.
Sometimes the things that do hinder you walk towards your dream aren't all bad or negative. Most times, they are valid excuses like your favourite TV series, being finished work, social media etc.
I have several interests and career goals and prepping myself up for them can be a challenge. After a day at work, once I am home, I am really not in the mood to do anything. I just hope to slouch in the couch and catch up on my favourite TV series or see what is trending on youtube. I did say to myself that weekends, especially Saturdays, are my personal development days. In reality, something comes up. Some weekends you have to visit a friend, do the house chores, cook, entertain guest, and by the end of the day, we tired and have the exact same feeling from work.
Reading the last paragraph, you may be sympathetic to my blight and agree that it is tough. But you see, I had to step back and look through things and asked myself a few questions:
- Where are you?
- Where do you want to be?
- What is holding you back?
- What current adjustments need to be made?
How did I get to this point? My father-in-law's birthday is coming up next months, and I was scouring the internet for a gift. I settled on some personalised mug but contracted an artist to make a caricature picture of him on it. I stumbled on this artist who had a personal website. The website wasn't the most flashy, it wasn't the most sophisticated, but it did showcase his work. You got the picture straight on that he can deliver what you are looking for. So I went through the order process, and you will be surprised the checkout process was very basic. It was a case of placing an order, get an order number, and he contacts you, and you do a simple bank transfer. The artist responded in hours and by day two, my mug was being shipped with a tracking email sent. This I found amazing.
I have a tendency to be a perfectionist, I would have expected a full fledge working E-commerce site, but the artist didn't have all that. He just made a simple site, he posted his pictures and you could hire him for your event or get him to create something custom. In this scenario, he made use of what he had which is the reason I am writing this article.
I realised if I were to keep learning, improving my skills, I had to make time out to do something. Nothing has really changed and my tiredness and other responsibilities remained the same, I just made a promise to commit at least an hour a day to do some reading or coding. When I don't feel like it, I watch a youtube conference video which is my form of passive learning. I don't always have the hour a day as I do get involved with other activities like Church, visiting friends and spending time with my wife but, by the end of the week, I would have put in 4+ hours to say the least.
I started by taking a piece of paper and kept away from the computer, answered some of the questions for myself (I didn't get around to ponder through the entire list). Writing it down in pen and paper meant I was thinking through it. And a key part of this experience is the fact that my goal isn't solely on career but also covers other aspects of my life. Something my mother said when I was younger and I still remember till this day:
You always have to cater for the four aspects of your life each week - Spiritual, Physical, Relational and Personal.
So each week, I do try to tick off those boxes. I don't always nail each of them every week but surely it is better than none. As I continue to make one hour a week to work towards my career goals, personal goals etc, there is a sense of accomplishment. You may not see it right away but you can sense you are moving in the right direction. I live with a certain quote in my head, I can't remember where I heard it first but it goes thus:
As long as there is motion in a direction, no matter how small the movement is, it is better than standing still.
In life, you may not always make big leaps of progress but no matter how small it may be, it is better than remaining still. This is why I do look out for life lessons in every aspect of my life. Even when I feel stuck and maybe I don't feel like I am growing, I am able to see myself gaining experience. The lesson I learn sometimes are just life lessons like - Patience, communication or reflecting on how things around me can be improved.
Writing a blog post is also one of my goals and I just did by sharing my thoughts and I do hope I can be a little more regular with my updates. I plan to also start adding technical articles but we will see. Till the next post, have a good rest of your day.