Improvement has its place. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to make things better.
But fetishizing efficiency, worshipping at the altar of productivity, fueling our ruinous addiction to the drug of advancement, these cravings only rob us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living in the first place.
I notice this tendency often plays out in the locker room in the yoga studio. A first time student will strike up a conversation with me. And inevitably, the questions he will ask are, how long have you been practicing, and have you seen improvements?
To which I almost always reply, many years, and who cares?
Because frankly, I’m not interested in getting better. I just love the practice. That’s enough for me. My objective in doing yoga isn’t to have the best standing bow in the room, or to win the class fashion show for sporting the sexiest neon orange moisture wicking shorts.
Progress is not the sole path. There is no ladder to climb. The source of meaning is the practice of enoughness, okayness and sufficiency.
Is your lifelong romance with the progress of life preventing you from enjoying it?
Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.