Sorry about the pun, but the truth is that time simply keeps flowing (like a river… into the sea…). We, today, would say we are mid-way through March; any Romans in the crowd would know today as day 74 of the year, the Ides, as it were, of March. Bad day to be a Julius Caesar. Free Roman factoid: among other things, you were supposed to settle up your debts by this day.

That said, the seasonal cycle has swung around about 2065 times since Caesar bought it at the Theatre in Pompeii. Time has not stopped and, unless my physics is misinformed, it hasn’t even really sped up or slowed down. It has just relentlessly marched on.

Which brings us to mid-March and the question, “What am I investing in my wellness now?” I say “now” because at least some of us were deliberately paying attention to and investing in our wellness last month (February) because we were challenged to do that. Now that the band has gone home and we’re on our own, have we been able to keep our momentum, to sustain the effort we made last month?

I often talk about challenging ourselves in the same way I might prod myself, or someone else might prod me, to get moving. The immediate goal of that prod is to initiate motion. It is a fine balancing act to prod others because – and I assume this is globally the case – no-one really likes being prodded. Another day I might write something about that, because I think our response to being prodded says a lot about our character, but… another day.

For this day, the point I want to make is that how we respond to being prodded serves as one indicator of personal growth. I mean not so much our literal “reaction” in the moment, but rather the level of resistance we put up over time. To illustrate the concept, consider this scenario:  school day, 30 minutes before bus, kid still asleep. The parental unit will often, in such a situation, administer a “prod” to the kid, who, undoubtedly, will react to this prod in some manner [Sidebar: I’m not really interested here in that immediate reaction – I’m interested in growth over time].  Whatever transpires between the prod and the kid getting on the bus (or not) is the measure of interest: Response to being Prodded over time. And one day’s data is not sufficient to document growth – or lack of it.

Personal growth over time on the part of our young person here would be reflected in: a) a decreasing negative reaction to the prod, and b) a reduction in the number of prods required. To make the extension… if we are growing in our wellness, we will, over time, react less and less negatively to various prods to make wellness investments. And we will require fewer and fewer prods to begin with. My objective for this wellness challenge has always been GROWTH – to have us move ourselves further along in our wellness journey – to be increasingly “well-er” because we are living more and more “well-ly”.

I think you get the idea. The grammar police have surrounded the building and I’m being called to surrender myself, so I’ll leave you with this thought:

Each time you are prodded to act – say in a wellness challenge like this – you have a growth opportunity. Your reaction both influences and reflects your own internal state, so don’t work yourself up into a lather that simply foments (but I like “ferments” better) resistance and bitterness. Take the prod seriously. Act on it. Invest in your wellness. Struggle through some challenges. Keep at it. Allow yourself to grow.

If you don’t, you won’t.