There was a quote I once came upon and have been inspired by ever since. It goes, “If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get the same results you have always got.”
However, the question I kept asking myself from that point onwards was, “Am I happy with the results I have always got?” More often than not, the answer was always NO. It is this ‘no’ which gives me the push to grow and improve.
But, there is a catch to it (isn’t there always?)
Does thinking about results all the time make me result oriented? I guess so! And the more I think about it, the more I realize that these results (at least in past few years) have always been ‘professional’ in nature. I’m almost always only motivated about how to improve in the professional aspect of my life.
Busy in my focus on achievements, I have no time to think upon my limitations. Am I a better person? I don’t know. Have I resolved my anxiety issues? Most definitely not.
At least in my case, I have noticed that the more I focus on my work or the job at hand, the lesser I am able to focus on myself. I really cannot recall the last time I had no ‘work’ on my mind. Except maybe on Sundays, which gets over in the blink of an eye; what did I do last Sunday? Went shopping with the family and had a dinner out at a nice restaurant. This is how most holidays are spent. Did I learn or discover something new? Nope.
I used to love reading as a child, but I haven’t read a book in the past one year. I know for a fact that my mind and my body, both, love a good book. This self-discovery has already been made but I still don’t do it. What if there are others things I love and am never able to find out?
I know for a fact that a few books made me change the way I look at things and even the way I work. Why am I not doing it more often then? Because, there is just not that many hours in a day!
The important question we need to ask ourselves, is, “Is this the real me?”, “Is this making me happy?” or the most daunting of them all “Is this what I ‘want’ to do or ‘should’ do?”
The difference between the ‘want’ and the ‘should’ is where the self-discovery lies I believe.
We constantly keep ourselves caged thinking about whether what we do would be right or acceptable or not. And that’s how we block the route to self-discovery.
Meeting new people, visiting new places, trying out a new dish, learning something new, these are all experiences which lead to self-discovery. And, aren’t we motivated to work better after such experiences?
To understand this better, let us take the example of the movie Highway where despite being born and brought up in an affluent family, the protagonist comes into her own after an experience which in normal circumstances would be traumatic. She gets kidnapped, and in the process, discovers things about herself she never knew! By the end of the journey she is a completely different person and moves on from being a nobody to a somebody.
Her and ours journey to self-discovery thus, must be trudged upon, to move from being good to great; and thus leading to greatness.