“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.”
~ H. James Harrington
Progress is a funny thing. When we’re really tied to achieving a particular result it can be hard to remain objective. We can’t always trust our own feelings or observations. What we need is something that is quantifiable. Measurable.
Why might we need to measure something?
So that we can tell if what we are doing is working or not. When we have a goal to be or do or have something – we can measure our progress by determining where we are now, and how far we have to go.
If you want to write a book, and books of publishable length are ninety to one hundred and twenty thousand words, knowing that you have only written seven thousand words tells you that more work is needed. And counting words is easy. You can see them on the page.
Sometimes, though, we can be lulled into judging things simply by how we feel. As a psychic I am all for trusting our feelings and intuition, but sometimes, especially when we are emotionally involved or too close to the subject, our feelings may not be a true reflection of what’s actually happening. We can begin to base our progress on inaccuracy.
Image from Inaccurate Quotes (As any good geek will know, Yoda is a Star Wars character)
Recently, I have been on a VERY intensive course of multiple medications to treat lyme disease and various co-infections. Initially I felt worse on the drugs, and then better. Then I brought in Drug Number Four and everything fell apart. I hadn’t experienced so much pain or distress for a long while. Each week I told myself things would get better. But each week I felt worse.
It’s not working, I said to my husband. It’s pointless. All this suffering is for nothing.
The bloods showed it too. My kidneys and liver were beginning to struggle. I looked so much more sick.
Time for a break, said my doctor. Your body just needs a holiday. We knew these drugs would be rough going.
I wanted to tell him I was done. For good. I went off the drugs and immediately felt better. But after four days off them, as much as my physical body was stronger, I began to experience a huge increase in symptoms. In truth, I’d managed better ON the drugs than off them.
What to do?
One more test. The right kind of test.
For many years, since my twenties in fact, I’ve had white matter lesions on my brain and a host of neurological symptoms. After sixteen months of heavy-duty lyme medication the lesions disappeared.
Words began to come back into my daily usage. I could write again. Function began to return.
And then I did a visual test to measure neurological damage. A high score on the test means no damage, a low score significant damage. To my dismay I scored a very low score. I was devastated.
No lesions, but still damage…
Now, after all these horrible lyme drugs, and me feeling so ill, I did the test again. My score put me at the low end of normal. A dramatic improvement after just fourteen weeks on my new regime.
I’d needed the right test to measure my progress. Judging things simply on how I felt wasn’t giving me an accurate picture.
Sometimes it’s hard to face what’s going on. But when we know where we stand, and have an accurate position, we can make a plan to move us in the right direction, or at least step away from what isn’t working.
One of my best friends went to the dentist last week after being in pain for months and too frightened to make an appointment in case the news was bad. My friend imagined teeth needing to be pulled, a mouth full of cavities, rotting gums. It wasn’t anything like that. She has an impacted wisdom tooth and the inflammation was causing her whole mouth to be sore. But there was not a single hole in any of her teeth, and her gums were healthy. She just needed the tooth out. In fact the dentist extracted the tooth the next day and already her pain has massively decreased.
Where do you need accurate measurements right now? Maybe it’s time to speak to an accountant, or your bank manager. Maybe it’s time for a check-up with your doctor, or an eye test. Perhaps you need to submit that manuscript or job application. Maybe you need to show your work to someone with greater experience than you so you can get some feedback and a few pointers about how to improve.
If you want to create change, then you also need to measure your progress so that you can make better decisions about what works for you, and what doesn’t.
It’s actually a place where science and magic collide. Science gives you a position, and that position gives you feedback. Feedback gives you knowledge. And that place of knowledge is where the magic happens. It helps you become magnetised to your goal, to what works, and to that energy of improvement.
For me, this week, the magic has also been in a renewal of hope. I can endure just about anything if I know it’s taking me in the right direction.
Wishing you a week of knowledge, magic and wonders. Lots of love, Nicole xx