April 2, 2007

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Don't Be In Such A Hurry

Change has a habit of creeping up on you.

I gave up smoking over a year ago, and when I tell people that they almost always say "I bet you feel a lot fitter". And I have to say that, no, I don't feel any fitter. The reason I probably don't feel any fitter is because I can only really compare how I feel today to how I remember feeling when I went to bed last night. And I don't feel any fitter today than I did yesterday. Well, not noticeably fitter.

But the results of a check-up I had a couple of weeks ago suggest that I am considerably fitter than I was when I had the same check-up last March. My lung capacity is increased. My blood oyxgen levels are higher. My blood pressure is lower. My resting heart rate is lower, and my heart rate returns to normal much faster after exercising.

In short, I'm a lot fitter than I was one year ago. But if I don't feel any fitter from day to day, how could this have happened? How can 365 days of zero progress add up to a significant improvement? Surely 365 x 0 = 0?

Except, of course, that's not what's happened (give yourself a biscuit if you knew I was going to say that). On a day to day basis, progress has been small: so small that I've not even noticed it. If you woke up 0.1% fitter than you were when you went to bed, you wouldn't feel it. Just like you don't notice that your hair is 0.5mm longer.

Some very big things can happen very slowly indeed. Some of the most powerful forces in the world take years to do their work.

I think what I'm trying to say is that we shouldn't be pulling our hair out and throwing the furniture around because we didn't make a ton of progress today. Keep whittling away at the problem, sure and steady, and over time you can achieve great things.

Don't be in such a hurry! These things can't be rushed.
Posted 14 years, 3 months ago on April 2, 2007