Find your greatest weakness

There is a saying:

If you think you are the best, you will never get better.
If you think you could do better, you may well become the best.

The latter perspective has enabled ordinary people to develop extraordinary talents.  It requires the right mindset, a beginners mind, which is constantly seeking “how can I do better?”

lone tree

For me, this saying implies that as one gets better at something, it becomes possible to develop blind spots to weaknesses.  If the weaknesses are not identified, improvement slows down or halts.  This is very true for vision improvement and self healing in general.

A few months ago I was getting migraines almost weekly and felt like my health was deteriorating.  It was painfully obvious that I was doing something wrong and so I took a step back and asked myself what it was.

After reading and rereading various health books I came to the conclusion migraines were a total ‘user error’ on my part.  I was making the same mistakes I’ve always made, but the consequences were amplified by work pressure.  I had managed to heal my eyes and improve my health a great deal, but had developed a blind spot to some very obvious bad habits along the way.  I’ve been trying to kick these bad habits for a long time:

  • craning my neck forward
  • holding my breath for long periods when concentrating
  • constantly sitting or standing with unbalanced or strained posture
  • not sleeping enough
  • reading for hours without pause
  • hunching my shoulders forward

Many of these things cramp muscles and negatively affect the circulation in the body and especially through the neck to the head.

In the last few months I’ve focused my awareness on better posture and breathing.  My migraines fell sharply in May, and in the last couple of months I’ve not had a full blown one at all.

To gain the largest benefit, tackle the greatest weakness first. I’m hoping that by tackling some of these long time posture issues my vision improvement will now progress faster.  But even if it doesn’t have that effect, I’m just happy to feel like a normal person again!


11 thoughts on “Find your greatest weakness

  1. Sorrisi, good work in identifying the problem, which is not a lack of meds like some doctors would have you believe! Your results speak for themselves — nice going. I have many of the same bad habits on you list, particularity the craning my head forward to see at the computer. I am also not taking enough palming breaks. I just wrote to someone last night that my vision is good enough now to let me get away with not practicing much. Plus it’s so nice and sunny and green outside! (But yes, I could be practicing outside as well as indoors. That’s just an excuse.) Thanks for the motivation — you are such a good example!

  2. thanks Nancy! we are having a great summer here as well 🙂

    that is fantastic that your vision is so good! your story is so inspiring and I know a lot of other people find your blog a help along the way.

  3. Nice post. Prioritization is so crucial to success, it seems. You could spend forever doing things that only help a little. One quote by David that sticks in my head is “You’ll beat yourself up once you finally realize that what you’ve been avoiding doing is the very key to seeing clearly.”

  4. I think people often miss their strengths as often as they miss their weakpoints;-) You’ve clearly got a gift for self examination. With the posture thing I don’t know if you’ve tried barefoot walking & minimal shoes? Not having padding under your footware means your bad posture habits will start to get really uncomfortable all of a sudden since you have to be light and easy on your feet when they’ve only got a 2mm sole underneath them! Apologies if you’ve already tried this – it’s an obsession of mine & I like to talk about it:). It’s also a great way to connect with nature when out walking etc.

  5. In case you are not familiar with the Alexander technique, it is well worth exploring.
    Alexander lived at the same time as Bates, and IMO they have much in common in their views. They tackled different symptoms by adressing the the same causes. Alexander was interested in posture.
    Here is a good intro:

    Rob is right that reducing footwear to only a necessary minimum is a good idea. Going bearefoot or almost barefoot lets you recognizing all the little shocks that travel up your body when too walking hard.

    • Manuel, I actually did a couple of terms of Alexander Technique training. It really helped in a lot of ways – the intellectual framework of doing less to be more efficient and also it stopped me crunching my neck back all the time. However, the teachers were often pretty determined that I keep my head still. That was hard for me back then (I still find it tricky now sometimes). I guess it depends a whole lot on the teacher though. Mine was shortsighted…:)

      • Sorry Rob for never replying.
        For what I gleaned from the Alexander lessons so far, I’d say giving specific instructions like “keep you head still” goes against the whole Alexander spirit.
        It is more of recognizing your old habits, and stop them if they are wrong. Not about creating new habits.
        As one of the sayings of Alexander goes: ) “As soon as people come with the idea of unlearning instead of learning, you have them in the frame of mind you want.”

        I actually asked my teacher a number of times to give me specific queues or exercises, like some kind of training regime.
        Now I see that the request is wrong (and probably shows my myopia as well…)

        Again, I see much in common with Bates and others: recognizing your old vision habits and stopping them if they don’t serve you.

      • You’re right of course… I guess finding an alexander teacher who improvises their teaching using the principals rather than one who performs a learnt formula over and over is important. Also, if they have experience with vision improvement themselves, that would be a bonus. If you ever meet such a person, pls let me know:-)

  6. For the teacher: it of course depends where you live. I am in Munich, Germany, but you probably not, so I cannot advise on a teacher in the area your are. I am afraid you may have to shop around until you find one suitable.
    Ther Alexander association has a list of techers:

    I believe a good teacher is useful, since there is some manual work. but the essence may also be learned on your own. (Alexander did it too, after all), with a good book or so. Teachers may be good to give you some pointers and direction, but nothing beats making your own experiment/experience.

    talking about books: i ordered the book eyebody, which is supposed to use the alexander technique for vision improvement:
    I have not received it yet, so I cannot comment right now. it sounds interesting.

    I will probably attend a 1 week seminar next year with that eyebody method, they have it in Germany, Italy, and New Zealand.

  7. Pingback: back to blogging after a long break | Seeing Beauty

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