“Love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.”
That’s the result I got back when I searched “Devotion definition” on Google. If you have done some visioning work like I have discussed previously in this blog, you may already have a vision that you are devoted to. Certainly, devotion is big part of developing a vision. But what about after the vision is created? We don’t just want to put some ethereal words into the universe and leave it at that. We want to ground our vision through more tangible events and outcomes.
Of course, setting goals is the primary means by which this will get done, but this process can seem sort of sterile if we don’t embed it in its proper emotional context. In other words, it’s important to consider our level of devotion throughout the visioning and goal setting processes as well as throughout execution.
Let’s unpack the definition of devotion above for the activity or cause of personal development. Do you love the vision you have created? Do you love yourself enough to bring this vision into reality? It will certainly be a difficult journey; can you stay loyal to your personal development when things get rocky? Are you excited about your vision? Can you sustain this enthusiasm over a long period of time?
These questions really get us going but they are still pretty high-level. I’d like to consider the maintenance of devotion on a day-to-day, moment-by-moment basis. So consider you are working on a particular change effort, like getting in better shape. You have taken time to create a vision and you have broken down the path to get there in a series of goals. To achieve one particular goal, you find yourself at the gym staring down at a barbell loaded up with heavy weights.
Now, in this moment, there are many ways you can choose to think. I recommend using a mindfulness practice to not only evaluate your level of devotion in moments like these but also to boost your devotion by considering the bigger picture, or reminding yourself of your Why. So you take a moment standing there in front of the barbell. You close your eyes. You visualize your ideal state and you remember your goal setting process. You remember why you have chosen this change effort and you let yourself feel the appreciation for the journey, for the progress you’ve made thus far, and that you are moments away from even more progress. When you’re ready and feeling good, you execute the lift and move closer to successfully completing your goal.
This is one example of how you can check your level of devotion and offer course corrections in real-time. It’s the small, mundane moments where devotion is either lost or renewed, so it’s a great idea to make a regular practice out of taking a moment to refocus on your Why, what goal you are trying to achieve, and to build the self-love to continue your next activity with the strongest possible mindset.