I hope everyone reading this has HUGE goals and a GRAND vision for their life. It is so important to have dreams that take your breath away…
We tend to look at the big picture and push, pull, fight, claw, fall down, get up, push again, toward the big goal and forget about all the amazing steps it took to get to where we are right now on this journey.
Follow me in this metaphor if you will…
We all have a huge goal to climb Mt. Everest. Seems like a worthy endeavor. Let’s think about all the things we need to do to accomplish that goal:
-start hiking smaller mountains first, proper diet, stretch, figure out how we are going to book a flight to Nepal and take the time off of work, make sure our homes will be taken care of while we are gone, grow an awesome beard and mustache (gotta look the part), purchase some extremely warm clothing layers, probably get some hiking poles and better shoes (our Air Jordans or flip-flops probably won’t cut it), hire a Sherpa or three (I mean, when else can you hire a Sherpa?!?!), and so on…
And those are all the steps we need to take even before we set a single foot on the dang mountain!
Then we need to hang out in a series of base camps to get acclimated to the altitude (base camp does seem pretty fun tho, campfires and coffee/tea galore).
I think you get my gist.
In any big dream, there are a gazillion jillion (might’ve stolen that phrase from my son) precursor things we need to accomplish before we can get there.
If all we do is keep our eyes on the peak, and we don’t take the time to notice the little victories, we may get frustrated, disenchanted, burned out and we could give up.
Likewise if we only looked at the daunting list of what needs to get done we may never start.
It is vitally important to celebrate when we achieve even a small step toward our goal. If you wanted to write a novel, would you only be satisfied when it was finished? (I hope not, if so odds are it wouldn’t be a very good book because you would’ve lost your WHY in the process). You would have a much better time and bring more inspiration into the journey if you celebrated a bit just for writing a chapter, or editing a few sentences or jotting down new ideas.
When we reward ourselves (not lavishly, we don’t need to pop champagne every time we pick up a pen to write, but a pat on the back, a coffee, a cookie, a smile, a “thank you” to our selves works well) for smaller victories, we create new pathways in our brain that help the activity improve and become easier. We also “prime the pump” so our brains will look for more rewarding activities to do (Pavlov’s dog-esque).
If the only thank you we give or get is when we are finished, we don’t give the “struggle” or the process it’s due and therefore the dream itself is diminished.
So take the time today to notice the little things that go right in your life even if its just hitting green lights on the way home, clearing out your inbox, or having Ed McMahon call letting you know you won a hundred million dollars… I imagine a flight to Nepal and Sherpas don’t run cheap in this day and age…
The more you notice, the more you are grateful for, the more you notice how much you have to be grateful for, the more you are inspired, the closer you get to living your ideal live, and on and on it spins…:)
So pat yourself on the back a bit more today and notice the goodness it brings (inside and out 🙂
-Dr Joel Lindeman