“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” —Booker T. Washington
I don’t know about you, but I have found that during this pandemic my to-do list keeps growing! I seem to create and collect projects like a toddler collecting sea shells at the beach. Every time I pick up a new one, I drop two. Part of me says, we are going to be home and we have time, it will be good to do this now. I add another project, fixing the leaky window upstairs, add those shelves, paint the wall, add some landscaping outside, or make some new IoT device or gadget. The list grows. But something that I have discovered is that while there is some reward in just knowing what is to be done, the real reward is checking it off the list. Job done. Accomplishment reached.
Have you noticed how much of our life we measure and memorialize by the accomplishments we make? Dreams are great, but it is the concrete formation of that dream that we anchor in our minds. Accomplishments are the result and reward of work. There is a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure in completing a task, a project, or a plan.
Did you make your bed? My youngest daughter and I discuss the merits and futility of bed making. She is convinced that there is no purpose in making the bed because she is going to mess it up again at night. I help her make the bed and when we are done, I say, see how nice it looks? Aren’t you glad you started the day with an accomplishment? The day is going to be great. Let’s go accomplish more things!
The little things and the big things can all be celebrated and rewarding. Changing the air filter on the air conditioner, launching a brand-new website, sweeping the floor, opening a new business, patching a server, completing a million-dollar cost savings job, or just making your bed are achievements that feel good, that we can acknowledge and celebrate.
What did you accomplish last week? What targets do you have this week? Give yourself the opportunity to complete a task, to make a difference and harvest that reward. Celebrate the successes and the obstacles you have overcome to get there.
I know that many of our jobs require time to complete and we may be weeks or months away from that final celebration. But we should look for wins along the way. There are small things that can be done every day to give us that feeling of accomplishment. What did you check off today? What milestone have you reached? If nothing else, you can always start with making your bed.