Are you making progress?

"Progress not perfection" is one of our favorite coaching mantras. In simple terms this means that as long as you're improving in some aspect you're succeeding in your training. Truth is you'll never be perfect, ever. To think so is to limit yourself. 

This is an important idea in the rest of your life as well. It's easy to get stuck at "good enough" or worse "I'm the best, no need to get any better".  Sounds silly, right? Who does that? And yet, I know that I gloss over a lot of things functioning purely on habit and instinct. Most are fairly simple tasks that are sometimes better done on autopilot. How hard do I have to think about brushing my teeth? How tough is it to run numbers in my head while I walk the dogs? But here's the thing. While I'm "multi-tasking" through my day I'm not attending to anything completely. I'm out of focus, unaware, even, of what's going on and what I'm involved in. 

There's a thought in Buddhism, Judaism, almost all the -isms and philosophies, in fact, that goes something like "wash the dishes to wash the dishes". It means stay in the moment, notice what you're doing, feel the water, smell the air and be really present. It's easy to drift off and rush through things to get to that cup of tea when you're done:

"At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that’s precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I’m being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There’s no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves."  Read the full piece here.

I know this might seem like putting too fine a point on working out. Yet, we only get out of something what we put in. We're improving our lives, shouldn't we be there for it? Then guess what? Progress just happens.