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March 12, 2024

Maintenance Mode

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I’ve been experiencing a theme recently that has come up in myself and in others. Self-improvement is all about making progress, pushing forward, and growth. That’s what the word ‘improvement’ suggests, telling us to urge forward at all times.

But what if it’s not a season to push and grow? What if now isn’t the right time to initiate personal change and transformation?

I want to introduce the idea of being in maintenance mode. Maintenance mode is when you use all of the focus, attention, and energy you normally put toward growth to sustain your current level.

Life can change fast and it can place unexpected demands on you. It could be a new responsibility at work, a family or personal health issue, a temporary difficult situation we must manage, or anything else that life has to throw at us.

Rather than trying to step up to the challenge and keep growing, it often makes sense just to keep things where they’re at. The reason that’s the case is because if you try to take it all on and continue, it’s likely unsustainable. This causes you to strain yourself to the point where you need to recover, and progress is lost.

Alternatively, if your core focus during trying times is to maintain your current level, and make sure you do not compromise your baseline, when it all passes you’ll be poised to pick up right where you left off.

What does maintenance mode look like? It means instead of setting stretch goals or trying to elevate your standards, you hold yourself to a level that you’re familiar with and you know what’s required of you.

Shifting things into maintenance mode is not weak. It’s self-aware, and as one of the pillars of self-improvement, it’s a necessary ingredient to living a fulfilling and purposeful life.

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