"Without tracking progress, one would never know if one's moving forward"
Defining Progress / Improvement
There is the saying that practice makes perfect.
Yes it is true that if one continually practices one's art, one will gradually improve. But realize that there is always a way to make the improvement more efficient and ways to accelerate it and this is by Knowing what exactly creates improvement.
So let us look at this in more depth and see how improvement can be created in all areas of our lives.
Progress In Depth
*The key to improvement is the intention to grow."
For there to be growth, one first needs to have the intention to grow.
Without the intention to grow then there will be no growth.
That is why there is a section “Importance” In all of the articles on this website which is about developing the awareness of the importance of addressing each sufferings
Improving oneself is like attending to a seed. Perhaps this seed is a skill that one wishes to grow, for instance learning martial art, learning a particular language, learning how to compose music and so forth. But without giving it water and attending to its care every day, every month, every year, then the seed will not grow.
To speed up the progress, we also have to know what kind of learning method will suit us better because we all learn differently: some learn better visually, some learn better physically, some learn better aurally. To find the best learning method will thus require every individual to take the journey of better understanding themselves.
Usually the best method to improve upon a skill will be the practices which creates passion in the subject rather than extinguishing it. Realize that we cannot learn/grow when we are in a state of boredom much like a plant cannot grow if it’s given something it does not want.
And to find the best methods will always require us to try all different methods until we find the ones suitable for us. This is about opening ourselves to all kinds of practices and teachings until we can eventually find the right one for us. The wisdom here is to not judge before we have experienced the methods ourselves but rather to be open minded and learn from actual experience. This is how we can allow ourselves to open up to new methods of learning.
However, no matter how much you practice that skill, you can only grow as high as your roots can go. Thus your foundation must be strong.
How do we Strengthen our Foundation?
To create a strong foundation, we have to know our weaknesses.
Because it is by addressing our Weaknesses that we can naturally Strengthen ourselves from the core.
For instance, if we are learning martial arts and want to improve our kicking strength then we can practise kicking day after day. But one day we may reach a limit when we can no longer improve.
So how can we go beyond the threshhold?
In this case, if we wish to improve even more we will have to address the cause of the inability to improve further and this will always trace back to our weaknesses - It may be core muscles that are weak, it maybe a lack of flexibility around the joints and so forth. If these are the weaknesses, by working on strengthening them is how to break through your plateaus. Perhaps the practice of Yoga and Taichi would help one's kicking strength rather than the activity of practising kicking every day. Thus working on one's weaknesses will help to make the practice more efficient, and it may mean to work on something seemingly unrelated.
Let us use another example such as learning a foreign language. When one does not address their weaknesses then they won't improve. I.e. perhaps one has a fear of speaking a foreign language in front of native speakers in fear of embarrassment. If this is the case, no matter how much amount of memorizing words and studying the language, one will see little improvement unless they work on their fear of judgement.
Realize that nothing grand can be built on top of a weak foundation.
Thus improvement begins with Intention.
And we can only improve as much as our weaknesses allow us to.
Importance Of Knowing Progress
In whatever Path one takes in life one must know how to measure progress on such a Path.
Without Knowing the means to measure progress on a Path one may not know whether or not one's moving forward or simply stagnating. It is by knowing the means to measure progress one can then one can know whether or not this Path is a beneficial Path that will take to one's desired destination.
Also, in whatever Path one takes in life one must also be able to know how to create progress on such a Path. Without Knowing what exactly creates progress one may end up using their energy in an efficient way - creating wastes instead of progress.
So to follow a practice, a teaching, a relion, a school of thought, a method etc. without being aware of whether or not one is making progress will generally yield little progress.
Path Of Creator
Progress In Relation To The Path Of Creator
The journey begins first with understanding what creates improvement and what impedes improvement.
If one wishes to improve even more, then one will have to work on their weaknesses i.e. what is preventing improvement from happening. The cause will always be traced back to our physical, emotional and mental weaknesses.
In relation to developing greater happiness in life, our weaknesses will always be about addressing our suffering states of mind, i.e. to address our patterns of thinking which is creating unhappiness within.
Thus to improve our happiness even more, we will have to address the cause of our unhappiness i.e. - our limitations, our confusions, our fears, our negativities - Our Sufferings.
The destination is in developing the knowing of what practices can help one to best improve oneself and this is not knowledge gained from books but rather wisdom accumulated from one's experiences.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Ask youself everyday,
"Am I making progress in my life?"
"How can I make progress in my life?"
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
The progress of the Creator's Meditation is not defined by the quality of experience i.e. pleasure or pain that one experiences within the meditation. But rather it is by how quickly one can drag themselves back to the state of Stillness and maintain that State.
As one ventures into more Stillness one will discover more Unstillness so sometimes it is easy to believe that one has fallen backwards but realize that this is not the case.
Know and Transform The Self!
Try the 10 Day One-Self Catalyst to become happier than the day before through learning how to develop Self-Acceptance in every moment!