Sometimes I make lists to see if I’ve accomplished anything lately. When I feel stuck and depressed, I like to write down things that I’m proud of, just to remind me that I am in fact moving forward through life. These accomplishments make me feel inspired to reach new goals.
At the end of 2020, I decided to write down all the good things that happened to me during the year. No story, no emotion, just facts.
The list of accomplishments surprised me.
I accomplished much more during 2020 than I gave myself credit for and according to the list, my actually went great!
But the truth is, I didn’t feel that great all the time.
You see, I have another list as well. A list that I continuously recite during sleepless nights, that contains all the things I haven’t accomplished yet. All the things I have trouble doing and all the things I feel like giving up on.
Having the two lists in front of me, I kind of feel I would have slept much better, had I consciously gone through the first one at night, instead of the second one, but unfortunately, that’s not my default thought pattern.
Upon examining the first list, I realised that many of the things I’ve accomplished were still running through my thoughts at night quite recently under the ‘not accomplished, or rather, ‘it seems impossible’ list. Somewhere, somehow, without me realising, they have switched lists.
And that’s just how things go. We don’t realise that we’re making progress until we’ve noticed that we’ve achieved a goal. Progress is slow and it’s hard to keep track of accomplishments when we’re caught up in the messy middle of still trying to accomplish them. Especially if we have no indication of how deep we are in and how far we still have to go.
The trick is to keep on keeping on. A day will come when you look back and realise that you are accomplishing the things you set out to do initially. Sometimes it takes years, but things eventually do happen when you put them into motion.
I have a little motto (or mantra, if you will) that keeps me going when I can’t make out if my feet are in the air or on the ground. It’s a little something I say to myself to remind me that things take time and everything will be okay. It goes like this:
PATIENCE | PERSEVEARENCE | POSITIVITY
Big things take time to accomplish and time requires patience. Things get tough and then you need to have the grit to pull through. Life gets you down and then you need to get yourself back up again. We know these things, but we forget them.
In the year to come, try making your own mantra and know that you’re on the right track. You might not see change or progress from day to day, week to week or even month to month, but over the years you’ll go far. Change in the bigger picture is only possible when you put in work, from hour to hour.
At the end of the year, go make a list again. There will be accomplishments on it and you’ll know that you’ve been moving forward.
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