Tracking As A Powerful Personal Development Tool

One of my favorite outdoor activities is tracking. Admittedly, I am not very good at it, but I can identify most of the common tracks and signs found in this area and, when I find an interesting track, can usually follow it for a fair distance.

Tracking forces you to fully connect with the natural world. When you track you are not just visiting the wilderness, you are joining it. When you track, you step off the beaten path, off the trail, and into the unknown. You get down on your hands and knees. You lay your cheek on the earth to get a better perspective of the trail. You push through bushes and squash through mud. You get dirty and scratched and tired. And it feels great!

There is a wonderful meditative state that I enter when tracking. It is as if I am stepping into the place of the animal that left the tracks and reading, not just the physical signs, but also the vibrational signals that remain. I believe that the truly great trackers follow the vibrational trail even more than the physical signs. But that’s another topic altogether.

In this entry I want to talk about one way to use tracking skills to enhance our personal development.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed a distinctive drop in my energy level from a peak that happened during the last week in January. For about 5-days I was buzzing along at a fabulously high vibration. I was waking up, naturally, between 4:00 – 4:30 and feeling energized throughout the day. I was cranking out blog posts, preparing for the Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive and just generally feeling great.

And then my energy level began to slide down. It was subtle at first, but within a few days I began to feel the beginnings of a cold. And that “on the edge of sickness” feeling stayed with me for almost two weeks. Even now, a full month after that peak, I am operating at well below that deliciously vibrant energetic level.

What happened? What caused that drop in energy? This is where tracking can help.

When you are out in the woods, tracking an animal, there are often times when you lose the trail. When this happens you have to backtrack and return to the last place you were connected with the trail.

Take a moment to think of your path of personal development as the trail of an elusive animal. Your job is to stay on track, to follow that trail as closely as possible. Sometimes the trail will take you onto the wet, sandy banks of a river and will be clear and easy to follow and other times it will head into rocky hills and become nearly impossible to track.

It is exhilarating to track when the trail is clear and easy to follow. You can run along with the trail, barely needing to glance down at the tracks. Enjoy those moments. Move forward as much as possible during these times.

And when the trail moves into rougher terrain and gets harder to follow, enjoy those moments as well! Use your intuition. Trust your inner guidance. Get down on your hands and knees and sniff out the elusive trail.

And when all else fails, and you feel like you have become completely disconnected from the trail, backtrack to the last place and time that you were connected.

So I backtracked to that last week in January to discover what contributed to that energy peak as well as what caused me to drop down from that peak.

This is where the Observation Log in Simpleology can come in quite handy. If you do the complete Daily Target Practice every day, or at least a couple of times a week, you will have a date-stamped list of observations about what has increased or decreased your energy. And if you can determine the date that you were last on track you can uncover quite a bit of valuable information.

Here are just a few of the clues I gathered from my backtracking:

In the days leading up to, and including, that peak period, I had exciting meetings with two high-energy people wanting to assist me in expanding the speaking and training aspects of my business. I hired a bookkeeper to get my books up to date and handle ongoing data entry. I hired an organizer to come into the office and clean up my mess! I paid a deposit for the beautiful space I’m renting for the Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive, and had a great phone conversation with a potential Joint Venture partner. There was other stuff, but you get the idea.

This information tells me that when I take clear and definite steps in the direction of my big vision my energy goes up!

The last day of the energy peak was Friday February 2nd. On Saturday, February 3rd, my daughter and I spent the evening and next morning with an aunt who was visiting from the east coast. We stayed overnight in Sacramento and came home on Sunday. While I love this aunt dearly, she can be quite energetically challenging to be around. And, when I track back to that experience, it is clear that my time with her marked the first moment when I lost sight of my personal development trail.

Looking through my Simpleology Observation Log I see that there were other incidents that either helped move even further off the trail. I found out my father had had a “silent” stroke and needed additional tests to determine next steps. I got the assessment from my daughter’s Adapted Physical Education teacher. There was more, but again, you get the idea.

Now remember that, from a Law of Attraction perspective, I am not looking for someone or something to blame for my energy drop. Rather, I want to gather information to help me gain a heightened awareness so that when situations like these occur in the future I will be more prepared and not so easily thrown off track.
Obviously, the sooner you realize you have gotten off track, the easier it is to get back on track. But even if it has been weeks, or months or even years, you can still backtrack and find the last place and time when you were firmly on your personal development path.

And when you have taken the time and effort to go back and reconnect with that trail, you can be sure that you will be more careful to stay on trail the next time.

So if you ever find yourself wandering around wondering where your personal development path has gone, try backtracking until you find the last time you were on it. And then pay close attention to that trail as you move forward once again.

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      5 Responses to “Tracking As A Powerful Personal Development Tool”

      1. Aaron M. Potts on May 15th, 2007 4:40 pm

        Awesome post, Edward! I love the idea of getting into the meditative zone out in nature, and it is something that I don’t do as much now that I live in Florida, compared to when I used to live in the Pacific Northwest.

        Great job comparing that experience to personal development as well – that’s sound advice.

        Also, the fact that I got to experience this post even though you are on a beach in Kauai right now just shows the wonderful power of blogging!

        p.s. – don’t you DARE respond to this comment until your vacation is over!

      2. Abundance on May 16th, 2007 6:38 am

        Agree that it is a great post.

        Tracking your journey also forces accountability.

        You have to persevere. That is why I love this quote:

        “Success is doing what you said you would do, long after the mood in which you have said it, has left you.”

      3. Self Improvement and Law of Attraction Link Love, Volume 15 : Today is that Day on May 19th, 2007 7:13 pm

        […] Evolving Times – In his post Tracking As A Powerful Personal Development Tool, Edward Mills shares a great analogy about personal development. I agree with his wisdom and […]

      4. Edward Mills on May 26th, 2007 6:32 am

        Aaron: Thanks for the dare! You’ll note that it took me a full week AFTER I returned from Hawaii to return the comment!

        I’m not sure where you live in Florida, but it’s actually amazing how much tracking you can do in suburban and even urban areas. You might be surprised at how much wildlife is available to track. Even following the trail of your neighborhood cats can be quite an interesting experience!

      5. Edward Mills on May 26th, 2007 6:35 am

        Abundance: Thanks for the great quote! So true.

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