Success Is Feeling You Are Making Progress
Embrace the Struggle
Many times thinking of our Big Goals can be overwhelming. Seeing life in terms of whether we are successful or not can cause anxiety and make some people feel defeated if they feel they are not in the place they wish they were or are comparing themselves with their dreams or other people around.
The point of life is not really success, but evolution. Seeing life as a continuous opportunity for growth instead of a race to an end destination help give meaning to every step we take.
We probably all know, have heard, or read a lot of the busyness trap. How do we differentiate real progress from just busyness?
Neil Gaiman says in his graduation speech ”Make good Art”, that what worked for him was imagining his major goals in life as a mountain. He defined on the summit his goal to be a writer, and then he just made sure to walk in the direction of the mountain. When in doubt, he evaluated if what he was doing was taking him in the direction of the mountain, or away from it.
Visualize the Mountain
See the summit? That’s your main goal, your ideal life. Now define the mountain. Everything it takes to get there is part of the progress.
Set your Milestones
Break down big goals into specific actions. If you are not a runner and you want to run a marathon, set achievable milestones, like running around a block once, and then twice, and so forth. Remember that every journey starts with a single step. So take those steps and use the momentum to keep going.
If you’re on a long journey, it’s easy to get bored and wonder “Are we there yet?” Usually this happens because we lose track of our progress. So track it!
Depending on what your goals are, there are many ways to measure progress. It can be with tracking apps, spreadsheets, or writing on a notepad. The point is that it is easy to keep up with, and it’s readily available every time you need it. That’s why for most of us apps are the go-to choice.
At Best Damn Me we’ve tested and used many different tracking apps, and we are developing one to fit our own needs. A very customizable app to track virtually anything. If you are interested, let us know in the comments if you’d like to be informed when it’s released or if you want to beta test it.
A healthy morale is paramount over a long undertaking. Taking some time to celebrate what you’ve accomplished in a day, or a couple hours of work, will help you start again the next day. It makes sense because if we believe that it’s about the journey and not the destination, then we should be celebrating the success of each effort, and not save it till the very end. Do this enough, and you might find yourself having so much fun that the weight of the effort gets a little bit lighter.
Evaluate the Walk to the Mountain Together
I like doing this often, breaking down the strategy for every new big goal, introspecting on my own goals and also discussing with my team, both in professional and personal life. Every month I get together with my team to discuss how we are doing, and to see if we are still going in direction of the mountain, or if we somehow got diverted along the way. We try being as open and honest as we possibly can, with ourselves and each other. We check if something is not working and are able to make adjustments to the strategies when necessary. Doing it often enough prevents us from straying too far from the path.
If you’re working on a solo project, you can meet with a friend that helps keep you accountable to your goals. You can examine and, if possible, visualize your data to figure out what is working and what isn’t. It’s an easy way to see if you’ve actually stuck to your goals for that period, and correct course if not.
Evaluations are also a great time to remember to celebrate each accomplishment. Enjoy this worthwhile experiencing! After all, that is your life. A continuous growth, with some moments of looking back, and hopefully recognize that what sometimes feels like a struggle, are also the signs of a life worth living.