Read on to find how to tackle our limiting factors and work towards reaching the best version of ourselves…
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever!”
If we were to assimilate what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said this, we could transport ourselves into throes of a great revolution- a revolution entirely within ourselves!
All human beings yearn to grow. What differs from person to person are the direction, definition, depth of aspiration as well as scale, sphere and perspective of what growth is. The struggle through the entire length of our lives is focused on overcoming the challenges we face in the path of growth. From the moment of birth to the last conscious moment of life we are in the pursuit of growth of some kind by removing the hurdles to achieve the aspired levels of it. There are many factors that impede us from growing. They could be internal or external.
Discerning the nature of our limitations
Limitations we face could be either something influenced by the outside environment or something internal. A person’s socio –cultural, political and economical situation, heredity, environment, societal laws and regulations can be considered the external factors. The important characteristic of the external factors is that none of them are in the person’s capacity to change. Yet, ironically, most of our lives we are in an attempt to change what has been proven time and again as unchangeable except very marginally.
It is a completely different case when it comes to the internal factors. Internal limitations are what refer to something specific to an individual where the outside world has no bearing. It is entirely in the hands of the individual to deal with the internal factors affecting growth. There is a whole world of possibilities that open up when a person decides to deal with the internal limiting factors of body, mind, soul and spirit.
Going with the 80-20 principle that we discussed in the previous article , it will be interesting to note that 80% of our limiting factors are internal and just 20 % are external. Curiously, even the impact of the external limiting factors can be significantly mitigated by addressing the internal factors. When internal challenges get sorted and perceptions change many external challenges appear less daunting. Any amount of effort to change the external factors is almost always pointless. Focusing on that and ignoring things which are in our capacity to change can only bring in repeated disappointments.
Paving the course to self development
Our internal limiting factors could be related to lack of development in any of the 3 realms of our existence. It could be all or a combination of a few too. They are:
Physical: Most of us complain about not being able to carry on a comfortable life due to various lifestyle related diseases. Even people without any serious ailment, are not able to take up any outdoor activities or enjoy the many wonderful opportunities to enjoy life to the fullest because of other physical limitations. While no effort to change can produce immediate results, consistent and systematic habit formation can make a big difference in this area
Some of the key focus points for physical development are:
· Physical exercise
· Adoption of mindful eating patterns
· Eating nutritionally dense fiber –rich food
· Avoiding junk food except occasionally
· Clocking 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day
· Drinking enough water
· Integrating non exercise movement of any kind that you enjoy into daily life
Mental: Development of the mind and soul is of paramount importance to handle the myriad challenges that we face in everyday life. They could be related to decision making, maintaining equilibrium, handling dilemmas, doubts and stress. We face both simple and complex challenges and the impact is different on different people. There are however some standard approaches to weather the crises of mind and soul.
Some of the few general techniques to enhance mental faculties are:
· Studies of relevant literature,
· Visualization exercises related to the aspired goals
· Engaging with life coaches or business coaches
· Engaging in creative pursuits
Spiritual - Development of spirit is closely associated with the sense of purpose we need to feel in our lives. It is spiritual growth that can influence a person’s emotions and thoughts too. The sense of purpose and meaning of existence is found with development of one’s spirit.
Some of the ways by which this can be achieved are:
· Devoting time to one’s social responsibilities,
· Practice of charity to worthy causes,
· Religious practices for people who follow a certain faith
· Contributing time, money or efforts to community projects.
· Practicing gratitude
· Spending time in nature
Growth requires commitment and it is a responsibility that cannot be avoided, shirked or delegated. The attention should be on adopting a more evolved, self aware and mindful way to approach it. A conscious decision towards the upliftment of your soul is very important.
There is no secret to success in any transformations. It is the openness to embrace the ‘boring’ that experts consider the most effective way to create sustainable habits. Passion and motivation are the overvalued and abstract qualities expected to result in and contribute to one’s growth. Experience of most successful people however shows that its consistency that eventually pays off. The ability to put in the same amount of effort in a frequent predictable way is what matters. Impatience and adoption of extreme stances are sure fire ways to failure. Aiming for moderation and working patiently towards your goals would pay dividends in the long run!
Harish Rao is a Curacao based Entrepreneur, Investor and coach. He is the CEO of Abaque group. Finsight global, Seguros Muskus (representative of New India Assurance in Curacao, Bonaire and the Windward islands), Partem education are some of the key ventures of the Abaque group.
Harish lives by his vision of “Empowering people to master themselves through education”. That perhaps, translates into his success as a business coach.