How to get back on track with personal growth, even while travelling around the world, with a ‘one-hand list’

>Sitting silently and writing in the dark of the morning while listening to Chopin

>Racing to produce the audio to this blog before my son wakes up or a truck barrels down the street

Voice recording of the author reading the post

I have been in Mexico for the past two weeks and I have really had my eyes opened. Not on account of living standards or the people or the language, all of which are beautiful. But on account of the level of work it takes to maintain expectations of self whilst abroad. I found myself rolling through my ‘one-hand list’ and I was surprised that I hadn’t been doing the things that lead to personal growth for the past two weeks.

What I mean by this is not that I am drinking too much or eating too much, which would be easy to do. But what I mean is that while I have been travelling around Mexico’s broken sidewalks and dodging traffic, fetching water or groceries, seeing the town or exploring the natural beauty, I forget to go through my one-hand list of fundamentals for my personal development.

I understand that this may seem vague, so let me clarify.

The One-hand List, Personal Metrics

I have personal expectations of my self on a day-to-day basis. Personal growth expectations, if you will, and they fit on one hand like this:

  • Reading
  • Wrtiting
  • Math
  • Fitness
  • Fun

This short list of personal growth priorities have always been an easy way of looking over my day-to-day to determine if I am making the kinds of strides that are important to my overall personal development.

Deep Analysis From a Simple List

Sometime I get indepth and ask myself questions like:

  • Did I do what leads to growth?
  • Did I invest time into reading books that help me grow?
  • Did I invest time in writing for myself and others?
  • Did I do my personal accounting of the day?
  • Did I take time to train my body and mind?
  • Did I take time to have fun?’

I don’t necessarily ask myself these questions every day, or in any particular order, or even these questions; but, I can quickly assess the overall success of my personal growth by rolling through my mental shortcut: the one-hand list.

As I am sitting in Oaxaca (wa-ha-ka) I found myself rolling through those questions, realizing that I hadn’t been doing the writing that leads to personal growth, and that’s when I found my self yearning to tell you, my dear readers, that you too can quickly get back on track with your personal growth by making a ‘one-hand list‘.

Make Your Personal Growth Easier, Make a One-hand List

Take a moment now, whereever you are in the world, and list your most important priorities of your personal growth. They don’t have to be set in stone, they are on your fingers. You know what leads to your personal growth. And if you don’t, you can borrow my one-hand list to start and make changes when you are ready to.

Did you get them figured out yet? Great.

It doesn’t take much time to establish this mental checklist. And in very short order, any time you need to know how you are doing, just look down at the hand and roll through your mental pegs. You will be surprised how quickly you not only make the adjustments towards continuing your personal growth, but you will love the peace of mind that comes with knowing how to get back on track with your personal development and growth.

How to move the plot of your life forward

The reason that I started studying literature, or books in general, as a young man was simply because that’s just what you did under my parents’ roof.

Now as an adult I read because reading is the fastest way to make marked changes in my life and my understanding of life. It is as necessary to read as it is to go to the gym, go to work, and spend time with my family.

So why do I read mostly non-fiction? Because that’s where the good stuff is.

Okay so you don’t like non-fiction, I get it. It doesn’t have the usual plot and character development you want out of a book. Would you reconsider non-fiction if I told you something that would blow your mind? Of course you would.

You are the character that develops when you read non-fiction, and as you read the plot of your life thickens in light of new information.

Don’t believe me? Ask your self this, when the character of book is faced with some incredible insight, like they cracked open the mystery of the bad guy or whatever, does the story just stop there? No. They go on to take that information and turn it into something useful, like saving the world.

So what I am saying is, your life is in peril. You need to crack open the mystery. You are the only one who can and no one can do it for you. So where to start? Try this here, or here, or maybe even this here.