Weed Your Garden First – Know Yourself before You Know Others

“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”- Sun Tzu. One thing in life is for sure – all the important lessons are learned only by experience. Know yourself and win rest of the world.

Know Yourself

Know Yourself

I realized it when I was hopeful about playing a pivotal part in getting a local start to an Occupy movement in my home town some time ago. More than a movement, it proved to be a great experiment in seeing social dynamics on an upfront and personal level. It also compelled me to see how easy it is to point a finger at others for problems, and how difficult it is to know yourself. I would have to say that the frustrations that the lessons of Occupy caused in me, egged me on to create what has now taken the shape of this blog – StartWithin.

Whose Fault is It?

It is so easy to point the finger at others; so easy to point out the weeds in other’s garden. And this syndrome only grows with human population growth. It takes real wisdom to realize and fathom the reality of someone’s fault (a person, a leader, a government) and use the lessons for PERSONAL growth first.

A Lesson Learned in Time

The lesson that must be learned, however, is that before you try to incite change in another, it is you who must change. Weed out the greed in your own heart before shaking your fist at the corporate greed. That is what I had to do. I could not see myself being apart of something with pure ideals (realized or not) with what I felt was a lack in personal purity. I had to weed my garden first, and the process seems to have just started. It may take this lifetime (or more) to get this herculean task completed.

The Chain Reaction of Weeding

There is hope though. Just like one person on the block cleaning up their yard can spur others to spruce up their place as well, likewise, by “weeding” yourself you may end up encouraging others to do the same. Making wise choices yourself, without, howsoever, making much noise about it creates the space for those around you to make wise choices as well. On the flip-side, when you make poor choices, you allow other to continue the way they are going. There are more people comparing themselves to you in ways you may never know. Your growth creates a force to allow their growth. This is how human population growth is. This very act of spreading the positive change is the true Occupy movement.

Occupy yourself first, weed your own garden. What is that 1% negative within you that is oppressing the 99% positive that wants to grow and evolve? What is that one good change you can decide to strive for right now? What is one “weed” you can pull in this moment? To find out it is imperative to make efforts to know yourself.

Get the gloves out and get ready to take the dirt, your garden awaits.

-Oscar Nelson

The Compound Interest of Sustained Action

I like to make lists. Lots of lists. Lists of things I want to change, plans, general madness and the like. My wife is very nice about all of my half filled notebooks around my house. But this year I have started a process of not diffusing myself on so many half-assed wishes and started to put the time in on a few things. The results so far have been amazing. I still get the nudges to change and tweak things, but I just watch those thoughts and try to see where the “voice” is coming from. I have committed to a year without change. Twelve months of daily action; 20 minutes of Mantra meditation followed immediately by 20 minutes of writing – twice a day, morning and night. Taking a cue from Jerry Seinfeld I mark half a red X on an at-a-glance full year calendar when I complete the morning ritual and the last part of the X when I complete the nights. I cannot tell you how beautiful an X’d out January looks! It has been hard though. The desire to change my mantra, to change my writing, to change everything has come and gone like storms in the sky. The calendar and X’s have helped ground me, but this is new. Never before have I been able to sustain something so simple for so long (ya, I know… only a month. But Still!) It has bread discipline in a lot of other areas of my life as well.

This is working and it has brought peace in my life. Waking early and knowing I am investing in myself flavors the whole day as a success even before it starts. The meditation before I create has been a revelation as well. It takes the brakes off, it’s like I watch my body create instead of “trying” at all.

Where are you going in life? What would you love to build? A novel, a relationship, a language skill, a business? Like the penny doubling every day adding up to $10,737,418.24 after 31 days, the small DAILY addition to your goal will reap rewards far beyond your input. Pick two things, one being a support and the other the main action towards your goal. Put the time in and stick to the simple plan and watch your life change in areas you could have not imagined.

Simple and steady. Leverage the Compound Interest of Sustained Action. And for today and every one after it,

Live RAD!


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