When we push for too hard we can leave growth behind. Long term focus is the key to sustained success. our attachment to short-term gratification can be problematic, particularly when we are pursuing more significant goals.
If you’re driven, taking things at a slower pace can be a challenge. Many of us are taught that anything can be accomplished quickly if we focus and work hard enough. That is true for some things. For many of the most important goals in life, it is not.
Fitness is a great example. We can be so determined that we push ourselves beyond where we are ready to go. Our motivation fades, we exhaust ourselves, and often give up. Part of the physical growth process is recovery. Without time to rest we can’t make gains. Pushing a little bit is the way to go.
Be realistic about how far you can progress. If you have minimal experience it is best to proceed cautiously towards your goals. Physical fitness goals need to be long-term.
Spiritual development is similar. Whatever practice you are starting, focus on slow, steady growth. Many people start with a flash. They set up an elaborate altar. Start praying multiple times a day. Work as often as possible. This only leads to frustration. Lack of instant results does not mean you aren’t growing.
Spiritual practice requires skill. Deepening your ability needs dedication, and patience. If you make sincere effort over a period of time, you will grow.
People also experience frustration when praying for something. They think the Universe is Costco. Simply connect, make a request, and trade spiritual effort for whatever you want. It doesn’t work that way. Your effort will bring you what you need. What you want is another story. We’ll talk more about that next week.
Do you agree that spiritual growth this a matter of patience and perseverance? I’d love to hear why, or why not.