Personal gains…

How do we move forward in life without getting lost, or loosing sight or what’s important to us?

I have have been thinking a lot recently as I come to a full year in my new job, about where things are going. What do I want to be doing next? What’s new and interesting for me to get stuck into? I’ve always been the type of person who likes to move forward regardless of what it is I’m doing. I like to make progress no matter how small or big that progress is. I recently had a meeting about where my next steps are heading and it is all very exciting and promising. I spoke about where my interests and skills lie, and the areas I wanted to develop further. So, in a professional sense I am happily moving forward in a positive direction. I have felt that over the past year I have found a profession that gives me joy and  a sense of reward on a daily basis. And that is a rarity.

However, as I progress forward professionally where does this leave my personal journey? Where do I turn next? What do I want to improve, no correction, nourish and nurture in my life? Have I through focusing on making positives steps in my professional life lost sight of my personal development? I recently purchased a journal, which maybe familiar to some, called the Daily Greatness Journal (found on Amazon). Whilst flicking briefly through its pages, it looks like a delightful and creative tool to help me see areas in my life I want to focus on and dedicate my time to. To me ‘personal gains’ is all about creating a life of balance and meaning. Not for others but a life that has meaning and value to you. Ultimately it is ourselves that have the final say on whether we have succeeded in life. I am slowly becoming more secure in myself and my skills, my passions and interests, that needing approval from others is not as important to me anymore.

It seems to be round this time of the year I begin to question things and reflect on life decisions. Big concept there. However, I’ve always been starting something new this time of year. Autumn has always been a new beginning whether it’s a job or returning to school for further education. I recently attended a conference for qualified teachers, and attended a workshop on early career research. It struck me how much I enjoy discussing and taking apart key themes and ideas, not always with an end result, purely for the joy and interest I have in a subject. One piece of advice the professor gave us, was to go away and really think about something that excited us. Something that does not necessarily relate to our profession, but something that ignites a passion of interest. It may just be me but I’ve always had this niggling feeling I can always be doing more, not in an ambitious driven way but that I’m capable of developing myself further. Whether it’s through new skills, or undertaking a research project. It could be anything as long it benefits us personally. As long as it’s a decision that sparks joy and energy.

I think there comes a point in time where if we do something because we feel we have too, then the sole purpose of moving forward is for someone else. Moving forward should be for ourselves, for our own personal growth. This post has been thought about a lot over the past month. With trying to figure out the idea of personal gains and how it can measured. For me, I suppose, it’s about doing something that will better my life. Will enrich my life and give it more meaning. And it could be as simple as taking up a more advance yoga class, or finding the time once a week to read a piece of research in a field of interest (as the lead professor of the workshop I attended suggested).

So here’s my list of commitments:

  • read one article a week on a subject of interest – whether its early years education, philosophical ideals, or eastern practices
  • continue to develop my physical asana practice

Two very simple commitments that I hope will bring a bit of clarity. That will hopefully open up some deep rooted passions. Following different accounts that spark inspiration I find is big help. One account, such as the Elephant Journal on instagram is where I find most of my inspiration. The stuff they post and link are little moments of joy. If I need a little nudge in the right direction then this is the place I go to spark ideas. Go take a look and see what you find. For me I find that immersing myself in creative environments encourages me to question things that are important to me and opens up different avenues of interest.

That’s what it comes down to. Finding something that interests you and using that interest to enrich and deepen your life. Personal gains is about finding a way of life that is whole and rich and full of joy. Now let’s go out there and commit ourselves to discovering the things that matter to us most with an open mind and a nurturing heart.



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