Stumbling and falling – A reality check

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Do you remember those moments of inspiration, when you feel this sense of empowerment flowing through you especially after you have seen a movie or read a quote that really hits you in the center.

I often scavenge for quotes like a junk collector pores through piles of stuff to gather all the shiny bits that seem valuable. So I imbibe on content like – images, quotes, and wise-bits – in a very precise and organized manner. I dive in, I pick, pull it out, organize it and store it carefully in my backpack (which is my computer hard drive or a notebook).

But as time passes and I revisit the many quotes I have procured over the years, I realize that I have forgotten most of them. Forgotten, not just in the sense that they are gone from my memory but in a way that I did not apply them in my life even though I connected so deeply with them the first time.

The problem, I realize now, is it is challenging to really see yourselves as you are. And even though you aspire for more – to reach higher, be better, grow stronger – often you don’t strive hard enough to bridge the gap between who you are and who you want to be. At times you are under the misunderstanding that you already are there, you have fully become that. This assumption falls apart as soon as you are confronted with a situation that shakes you up and breaks down that illusion.

I am someone who maintains a continuous learning and self-improvement attitude. And this is what my experience is whenever I have tried to reach higher and aspired to keep growing – something or the other pops up that gives you a reality check. This is good in a way as you have a marker to see where you stand and how much more work is needed. But some hits if not taken in stride can make you completely abandon a path after getting hit hard along the way.

Another side to this is – when you aspire to learn from the wise and great – there is a tendency to assume that you have naturally moved a step ahead just because you have acquainted yourself with them. You start reading a lot of their books, you spend hours watching their videos, you end picking up a lot of tips, tricks, and ways from them.

You end up internalizing (only partially) their ways, their thoughts, which in turn becomes your newly developed perspective to look at the world. And the bad part of it – you begin to think that everyone around you is not on par with that level which you assume you have attained. But you have not.

I think the main reason is that you spend plenty of time thinking, less time on acting, you focus more on others, on outside conditions and you give very little attention to yourself. All of which leads to you remaining stuck, covered in the blanket of assumptions, and distorted perception of yourself and the world.

So to extract some conclusion out of this, I would say that, it is always helpful to challenge your assumptions, and monitor and rework your ways. A more effective way I feel would be to get coached or evaluated by someone else who is already where you want to be and who can assess objectively and find strategic ways to move ahead.

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