Loving the plateau (DW#887)

Yesterday we talked about how the process of self-growth involves many plateaus. And since we will inevitably be spending time on plateaus, it makes sense that we enjoy them.

And that can only happen if we stay focused on the process, and enjoy the journey rather than be obsessed with the destination.

Leonard says: "Goals are important. But they exist in the future, beyond the pale of the sensory realm. Practice, the path of mastery, exists only in the present. You can see it, hear it, smell it, feel it. To love the plateau is to love the eternal now, to enjoy the inevitable spurts of progress and the fruits of accomplishment, then serenely to accept the new plateau that waits just beyond them. To love the plateau is to love what is most essential and enduring in your life."

Process, process, process. That is all we have control over and all that we can do in the present.

Leonard says that he learnt to enjoy the plateaus of his own aikido practice—the moment when he found himself thinking: "Oh boy. Another plateau. Good. I can just stay on it and keep practicing. Sooner or later, there’ll be another spurt." "It was one of the warmest moments on my journey.", he adds.

Again, goals are an important part of the journey, but to achieve self-growth and mastery, we MUST learn to love the plateaus—those times when we may or may not be seeing external rewards but when we can revel in the subtler joy of doing our best moment to moment to moment.

And in the long-run, to paraphrase Viktor Frankl, success will follow us precisely because we had forgotten to think about it.

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