I’ve written before on how pushing myself, while a long-time habit, ultimately doesn’t get me where I want to be, especially in the area of improving my vision. It also doesn’t help me be happy. It makes me feel tense and pressured, even though I am the one doing the pushing!
As much as I’ve read about clear healthy vision being a relaxed state, not a tense striving one, and as much as I’ve experienced the difference in how it feels for myself, I can still default to the habit of pushing myself if I’m not really paying attention. “I have to do palming more regularly!” my self-talk tells me, or “It’s been days since you did any dedicated Long Swing practice, Nancy!” (with a strong tone of blame).
This does not motivate me — it makes me want to rebel. Even though what I’m being urged to do is for my own good, the bossy manner of the message means I’m not even listening to the content. How do I motivate myself to do other things which are good for me, like exercise? That has never been a problem, even if I’m feeling sluggish or lazy when I start.
One factor is looking at the words I use. When I talk about exercise, I’ll say “I want to do a leg workout” or “I’d like to go for a walk”. Not “I have to…” as if it’s a major chore, or drudgery. Hmm…. Maybe I could even say to myself, honestly, “I get to take a palming break now!”, like it’s a treat, which it definitely is.
The other factor I notice here is time pressure. When I rush a weight workout, not taking the time to properly warm up, or hurrying through the post-workout stretching, it’s not as satisfying, and sometimes I even injure myself. This was not the goal of the workout! This is like doing a session of palming while mentally watching the clock, wondering “Am I finished yet?”. This attitude of urgency is contrary to the fundamental goal of relaxation, and might even give you a headache, or eye strain! You have plenty of time to improve your vision, all the time in the world.
So watch how you talk to your eyes and visual system. I recommend being gently encouraging, with large doses of praise and gratitude. Remember the saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar — a sweet attitude gets you farther than a sour one. And appreciation usually brings you more to appreciate.
Look at all you can see, don’t over-focus on what’s not perfectly clear yet. I challenge you to look at one thing in your surroundings right now, whether it be a pencil on your desk or the text on your computer screen or a tree out the window. Really notice the details, and how well your vision is working. The more you look, in an easy relaxed way, the more you will see.