We are all generally aware of the benefits of maintaining a health regimen. Some of us are more faithful than others, and it’s not an easy thing. I’m about to head for my personal trainer, and I’m less than excited by the prospect. (When I see people running vigorously down the road, I usually wonder who’s chasing them.)
Nevertheless, we need equivalent mental workouts. We need to stretch, increase our strength, build our stamina, and try to ensure that we’re in better shape than the week prior.
But too many solo practitioners fall prey to one of the worst downsides of being independent—they don’t talk to anyone but themselves. They get better and better at what they’re already good at (before my personal trainer, I used to do the same exercises at the same weights that I had already mastered and could easily complete). The books on the shelves are old, the methodology is writ in stone, the clients have become few and long-term, and the approaches are no longer contemporary.
We all need to work out mentally. We need to debate our approaches, learn what others are doing, be willing to consider changes to our regimen. Are we providing what’s best for our clients or “merely” what we’re already good at?
I’m constantly surprised by how stupid I was two weeks ago.
I try to engage every day. I’ve formed and am a member of a dozen or more communities. I teach and mentor and coach—activities which demand you stay on top of your craft and not only learn of, but contribute to, the state-of-the-art.
If you’re not stronger and don’t have more stamina than six months ago, your health regimen isn’t working too well. If you’re not smarter and able to provide more value than six months ago, your mental regimen isn’t working too well.
Maybe it’s time to get some guidance and lift some intellectual weight.
© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.