Reality TV loves a good ‘personal journey’. But forget histrionics for the camera – FM Alexander was there 120 years ago, very quietly transforming his life. So what was his journey made up of, with no audience, no judges and no makeup? Well, he wrote an account of what he did,(*) and while I recommend reading the whole thing, you could just go through it, pull out the bare bones and make it into a list.
Here are those bones, with all the verbs, the ‘doing words’ put into italics:-
- I discovered that
- I very soon noticed several things that I had not noticed
- I realized that here I had a definite fact which might explain many things
- This served to confirm my early suspicion
- I realized that I must also
- This made me suspicious that I was not doing what I thought I was doing
- It gradually dawned upon me that
- I asked myself
- Through it I was led on to the further discovery
- I had never fully realized all that this implied
- This reconsideration showed me more clearly than ever
- I looked all round for any other possible causes of failure,
- When I came to try it, however, I found that
- I began to see that my findings up till now implied the possibility of the opening up of an entirely new field of inquiry, and I was obsessed with the desire to explore it.
- I had two facts to go on.
- If this were so, and I could find out what the difference was
- A further result which I also noted
- This new piece of evidence suggested that
- Tendencies I had detected in myself
- I began to reconsider my own difficulties in the light of this new fact.
- Go on patiently experimenting
- In the course of these experiments I came to notice that
- A long series of experiments … noting the results in each case.
- By careful experimentation I discovered that
- I must continue this process in my practice for a considerable time
- I therefore decided as my next step
- I therefore concluded that
- This led me to a long consideration of the whole question of
- My next step would be to discover
- When I came to consider the significance of this last point, it occurred to me that if,
- I concluded that if I were ever to be able to
- I reasoned that if
- I had learned by experience
- As I gradually gained experience
- This experience taught me
No drama or tears, just a whole lot of learning.
(*) All quotes taken from ‘Evolution of a Technique’, the first chapter of The Use of The Self by FM Alexander.