Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Self Improvement

I remember long ago discussing the various compartments into which we can dissect our lives with a good friend of mine, Luke. We broke it down into the following categories:
1. Spiritual
2. Emotional
3. Intellectual
4. Physical
A fifth category "Collateral" could be included if you so desire. The accumulation of wealth or possessions.

I believe it was in Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" that I read an idea. It runs along the lines of "pick one thing that would have more impact upon your life than any other if you did it for twenty minutes each day - then do it".
Every now and then I feel motivated to try and improve myself, I'm certain that I'm not alone in this. As an aside, what do you think of the word "certain"? My wife to be seems to think that it's use indicates you don't really mean it. Am I alone in thinking that idea is somewhat wrong? Back on track. These fads come and go, generally when I'm trying to structure one of the four parts of my life mentioned above. At the moment it's physical. Let me digress for a moment.

As mentioned previously, I love good food. Being a decent height (5'11" - 178cm) being overweight isn't a massive issue. In fact, it wasn't really until the last two years that I really filled out. At any rate, being largely overweight isn't an issue I generally have to worry about, however I've noticed that a certain amount of my body fat has decided to locate itself around my middle.Nothing that a bit of regular exercise won't rectify of course, but something that requires some action. Focusing on the needs of one area generally makes me take a few steps back and examine myself from a wholistic point of view. Normally this results in a half assed effort to improve myself in every area at once and I succeed in none of them.

Those of my friends reading this will have heard the HCC method of goal setting. Find a goal, write it down and do it. Well, that's what I'm doing - and I'm doing it here so that you can all enjoy my pain and frustration, and even add to it by asking me in six months time what happened to that deleted post back there.

Fads... maybe that can be my next Blog entry. There have been a few of them. Some not around long enough to really be fads. Anyhow, more on those later.

1. Spiritual
So, how can I improve my spiritual life? I read my Bible regularly, pray a bit and go to church on a gradually improving basis. I guess to see a marked improvement I need to be putting in more time to prayer and trying to make some sense and life related discoveries in what I read. I think "Spiritual Thoughts #x" will become a permanent part of my Blog. Feel free to condemn those upcoming posts.

2. Emotional
Relationships.... man they are wonderful and crazy thing all wrapped up into one. I'm not only talking about Liz, but friends and family. My sister is somewhat deluded and seems to think that being in a family simply means that you do favours for her and she kicks mud in your face. Problem is, she's still my sister. Reconciling myself to that whole situation is not a task any of you should envy. From interacting with people at work, and others I know from outside the church, I begin to see that being in a church teaches you to be dependent on your friends. To expand - from a young-ish age you start seeing your friends at youth. Those same people are probably your social group so you see them of a weekend too. Then you go to church and see them there. As you get older you no longer see them at youth, however you feel the need to still see them - all of them. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. I love all my friends but finding time to spend quality time with them all is quite difficult. Group things are always fun, and most time economical, but you don't get that connection - at least I don't feel I do. One of my closest friends I see maybe every three months for dinner, but that time is well worth it, and the gap between when I last saw him feels very small. Bugger me I ramble on. At any rate, from an emotional standpoint I'd like to spend more time in meaningful communication with my family and friends.

3. Intellectual
This one is kinda sucky. I mean, I work five days a week and then I need to spend time outside of that exercising my brain? Yes. That's the simple answer anyway. The more complicated answer would involve analysing exactly how I'm meant to improve in this. If it's work related then I can easily justify time spent at work to studay and learn - yay for cool bosses. Reading things that stretch my brain as opposed to just for fun is another option. What to read though? Bah. I think I'll just go with extending my knowledge of IT. Speaking of which - just how much is a sys admin of a smallish company meant to know? I've realised that it's far more difficult than being specialised in one technology and serving in a large IT team. Applications, auditing, security, maintenance, efficiency, training.... it goes on. A never ending task of self improvement right there. Thankfully I have a number of IT resources to turn to - in no particular order Mick, Nathan
Justin, Marcus, Joel, Aaron .

4. Physical
Yay for exercise. I love the feeling that you get coming down from exercise. The euphoric feeling as adrenaline exits your system leaving you feeling weary but satisfied.At the moment my main form of exercise comes from bike riding. Unfortunately I only do this once a week. So... I'm aiming to increase my exercise levels to an hour each night. Be it stretching, riding, calisthenics or other - one hour per night is dedicated to exercising. Bring on the gutbuster.

That's all for now... fads will be covered tomorrow.

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