Learning and Growth is not Linear or Binary

I have heard this saying frequently: “Learning is not linear.” It has been shown to be true in my life. I have found learning to be like a big puzzle. You start getting the outline of an image, then you slowly add piece by piece. Each story, each experience in your life plays a part in the big picture. There are monumental moments where the picture comes together and it becomes clear what you are to gain and learn.

Growth and progress is the same for me. I have been working hard on my fitness for the last 3 years. I started at 26% body fat, now I am down to 16%. In the beginning I had these stories in my head that if I went out to run 2 miles, that I had to be at a 8 minute mile pace or faster, or it wasn’t worth it, and it wasn’t doing anything for me. Growth is incremental. A lot of us believe that growth is all or nothing. Growth and progress is not Binary. It is not a zero sum game.

We all are where we are. Remove the emotion. Remove the negative stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. Many times we stress and complain about where we are. I love the saying : “Comparison is the death to Progression.” The only thing we should be comparing is where we were from yesterday. If we measure our progress in micro doses, we can see large improvements over a longer period.

Over the last 4 months, I have taken my son Theo for a run during my lunch break for 3 miles. Somedays, I run the whole 3 miles without stopping. Other days I stop and walk quite a few times to catch my breath. The important part is that I stick to my routine and I continue to go on the runs. Maintaining a routine and a work ethic can sometimes be really difficult. We should give ourselves credit for the work we are doing to maintain our current state.

Only when we are content and happy in our current state, can we have the energy and the courage to move to the next level. Leveling up is challenging.

I said in my blog post a couple of weeks ago this: Remember, we can’t challenge our kids everyday if we are not willing to challenge ourselves. 

Yet we can’t always push ourselves all of the time. We have to show ourselves some kindness. We have to give ourselves credit and celebrate the little victories.

Today I am celebrating that Theo slept through the night. That he is eating more. That he is using sign language more often. And most importantly, that he seems to be in less pain lately.

I am also celebrating my progress both physically and mentally. I am the fittest I have been since college, and I am more aware of my thoughts and emotions that I have ever been.

#growth #progress #kindnesstoyourself #personalgrowth #celebrate #learningisnotlinear #growthisnotlinear

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