The love of my life is in the middle of a 30 consecutive day yoga challenge. Her first attempt she got to 10 days and was derailed by a road trip. At the time of posting this, she will be on her second attempt, so far passing 16 days. Objective measurable improvement. A testimony to her virtue and character.
Right now I’m doing my own personal challenge. Today is day 2 of 10 days of writing. I’ve previously completed 30 days. My favourite from that adventure was the one I wrote on mushrooms. If you just check out my November 2016 tab you’ll find the rest of the content.
I think these sorts of challenges can be immensely important. They are obviously a good way to learn a new skill or develop a hobby, but there’s so much more. It’s empowering to see ourselves grow in a measurable format. So often our personal development is only noticed years later in reflection. It’s a way of building up our willpower. Every attempt after a failure teaches us more discipline, adding to our inventory of virtues. It sparks our productivity, helping us have better habits. Maybe most importantly, it gives us an opportunity to fail. Often repeatedly.
Learning to fail is a necessary and unavoidable aspect of life. In the jungle, it might have meant missing our arrow and not eating for a day. In modern society, it may mean dealing with heartbreak or getting turned down from every job interview. Failure has always been an aspect of your life. These personal challenges give us a chance to fail while the stakes are low. Missing out on a blog post isn’t gonna kill ya, but it may still hurt emotionally a bit. You get more familiar with processing your failures and how to get back up. Life might not be a constant struggle for survival any more, but if you can’t get back up after missing a day of blogging you’re gonna be poorly suited for life. You’re gonna really struggle to get back up when your car breaks down, or when you butcher your sales presentation.
If you’re scared of taking up a personal challenge, maybe the very fact that you’re scared is what makes the personal challenge worth doing. Maybe your fear of failing is the exact thing that you need to confront. Dive into your fear. Embrace it. Take up a personal challenge.