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To any track athlete or swimmer, a Personal Best, or PB, is all: it is the single best indicator of their progress . . . and place on the global stage.
But how can we adapt this simple and useful measure to progress on our personal growth journey? When our goal is not to win gold but to become more whole, better at coping with life, is there an equivalent to a PB?
Yes, there is!
Your personal best
For anyone engaged in personal development, improving Emotional Intelligence (EI), or such self-improvement process, there is a simple, easy to measure indicator of your progress:
My PB used to be about a week. When one of my biggest issues cropped up, it would get me angry and/or depressed for about a week before I was able to let it go, accept what had happened, and get on with the rest of my life. The time between the gun going off and regaining my full, calm, composure was typically 7 days. That’s how wound-up I was!
The trigger will vary between us: it might be something a politician says, it might be smoking, it could be anything: there are few of us who don’t get irritated by something. And it’s these triggers that help those engaged in EI improvement to know what to focus the growth process on.
Then as we face our demons, undertake appropriate forgiveness and inner-healing, so our PB comes down. An enlightened person’s PB will be seconds, or less. At the start of the process we might never really let go of some issues!
So the PB scale isn’t linear. It might go something like this:
Never – Years – Months – Weeks – Days – Hours – Minutes – Seconds – Blink of an eye
It’s an on-going process and having such a simple measure can reassure us that progress is indeed being made. Thus, for example, as an open-minded engineer I like to think I can accept new ideas pretty easily. But I do get frustrated by those scientists who insist on ‘evidence’ before they’ll even consider the possibility of any theory that varies one iota from the long-established norm.
Faced with such a situation, I would have been cranky and depressed for weeks. Earlier today I found myself, quite by chance (LOL! The university of life works in wondrous ways) listening to just such an unmoving scientist on the radio. I got angry. Then I felt depressed. But now, an hour or so on, I can smile at it knowing that ‘they can’t help it’. My PB has improved from weeks to hours! OK, still some work to be done, but practice makes perfect.