Near the end of the TV series, The Office (US), the nerdy and determined Dwight Schrute is asked how he feels about not being made branch manager, the job he’s always wanted.
Dwight responds, “Yeah, at first I was really disappointed. But I’ve got a great daily routine going right now. I’ve up’ed my karate to eight times a week. I added boxing, lunches and on weekends, I do kick-boxing three times a week, Krav Maga four times a week, an hour of meditation in the morning at sunrise and again at sunset. So yeah, I’m doing great.”
Spoiler alert: Dwight is eventually made manager. The other characters are genuinely proud of him. It’s a satisfying ending after watching Dwight’s persistence throughout the series.
As his Karate sensei states, Dwight is “one of the most tenacious and determined men.”
Now, Dwight does have several obvious personal limitations. He’s naïve, oblivious at times, and socially awkward. Yet seeing Dwight succeed in the face of his limitations makes his victory all the more compelling.
Dwight manages himself first. He changes his own life, even while still dealing with immense disappointment.
In order to develop the mature perspective that ultimately leads to your success, you must learn to do the same.
You’d probably have a hard time trying to adopt a daily regimen of Karate, boxing, kick-boxing, Krav Maga, and two hour-long meditation sessions, all at once.
It might be better to focus on making just one change at a time.
Here’s something I once wrote while high:
“As you prepare to share your experience over time, you see how different areas of your life are being held back.
“I wouldn’t recommend trying to make too many changes at once.
“Your progress in each area should be part of the experience you share.”
A few days later, I got high and wrote:
“Part of each self-management step is to share that step with others, whether the step is to start exercising, learn an instrument, get a new job, or whatever other goal you see currently being held back by your addictions and compulsions.
“Someone will benefit from what you share, and sharing holds you accountable.”
Do you think it’s possible to make more than one big change at a time? I’d love to hear your feedback on that, since I think I’ve come to see both sides.
Tomorrow: throwing your convictions against a wall and seeing how they stick.