“In order to move forward, you have to look back.”
- Matt Maher
Improvement is often not a sudden thing. It tends to happen slowly over time, with each step bringing you closer to mastery. We do tend to take these small steps towards improvement for granted. We hate getting things wrong and seeing the gaps in our progress whilst on our way.
Whilst learning to play the piano, I used to get frustrated with every scale and note I played out of position. It angered me that I could not get it the first time. Sometimes months would go past, and I was still struggling with the same problems. However, after a year or two, the errors were polished out of my playing.
The problem is most people do not enjoy the process of mastery. They do not want to do what it takes to get to the level of genius in whatever they are doing. Although the process is straightforward, it is not an easy journey to embark on.
When we get stuck and feel like we want to give up, it is not the desire to move forward that keeps us going. I have found that my greatest motivators often come from looking back on my progress. Due to seeing how far I have come, I seek to keep moving forward.
So here is the best way to know if you have improved.
The Process of Revisiting Your Old Work
It can be rough looking back at the work you once did, especially when you are not pleased with it. But now and then, I find myself bumping into one of my old articles. And I can not bear reading it. Amazingly, over a year, my style, tone and structure have changed so much. Knowing that my skills have improved has left me wondering if I should ever revisit those articles.
Funny enough, I found the courage to do it. And despite me being somewhat disappointed in myself, I have learned to appreciate them. It is through reading those old articles I have found that I have improved more than I ever thought. Even my results are showing me this. The process of reviewing your old work is…