What small achievements can you celebrate today? How?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by krakenimages
What make a good day a good day? How important is it for you to achieve something of great significance to place a gold star or even a check mark in the box for the day?
If our accomplishments need a certain critical mass each day, most of our calendars will appear a bit empty. Take a few hints from clever parenting charts, on which young children get stickers for eating their vegetables, putting away their toys, brushing their teeth, potty training, or simply for saying please and thank you.
What small achievements do you tend to overlook on a typical day?
In what ways can you acknowledge your efforts and progress today, and add a few more gold stars and happy faces to your calendar?
“Thrones, no matter how pretty, have only room for one.”
Image from Unsplash by Nicholas Green
By the time this post reaches your inbox or social media feed, I have review it numerous times. My own reflection on this process points to the high percentage of these efforts directed towards one’s progress in our personal and professional communities.
Although I am all for the achievement of individual success somehow, I experience even more satisfaction and fulfillment when I’ve been a part of a group or team effort.
Consider sports as a good example. On the list below, notice the fan base of popularity of team sports.
There don’t seem to be many stadiums built for individual sporting events. We all like to be part of a winning endeavor, even if we never get on the field.
||# of Fans
||# of Fans
Where are you engaged in an individual endeavor versus some form of group achievement?
Where is the “TEAM” concept of Together Everyone Achieves More truer for you?
What joyful thing would you do if this day was your last?
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Amazon
Various studies on achievement and success have demonstrated that one’s ability to delay gratification is significantly correlated with long term achievement.
You may have heard about the famous and somewhat controversial Stanford marshmallow experiment where preschool children were given the option of one marshmallow immediately or two tasty treats if they were willing to wait around 15 minutes.
Although debated due to various suggested biases, the individuals who delayed their immediate reward turned out to be higher achievers over the long run.
Where have you possibly taken delayed gratification too far in your own life?
What joyful experiences do you already regret missing?
Where might FOMO (fear of missing out) be a good thing?
Dan Pink’s newest book The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward may offer you some joyful strategies to make the most of your days ahead.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception; it is a prevailing attitude.”
—Colin Powell, 65th United States Secretary of State
Go back in time and take a look at your report cards from your days at school. How were your grades, what were your favorite subjects? Where did you intentionally pursue and achieve levels of excellence?
How have things been going for you in your personal and professional worlds since those days? What would your report card look like today, given the many roles you play in your various communities?
In what areas and in what ways have you developed the habit of pursuing excellence in matters both big and small?
What are a few areas of your life in which an adjustment of both attitude and effort would make the biggest difference and help you achieve big things?
“Mentors are like potato chips: You can’t have just one.”
—Eric Barker, author of Barking up the Wrong Tree
Image from lays.com
Whether you call them potato chips, crisps, or something else, potato chips are big business, accounting for sales north of ten billion dollars per year.
Countries around the world have unique flavors of chips – all adding to our waistlines! For example:
- Canada: dill pickle, jalapeño, ketchup and wasabi
- Indonesia: spicy chicken, nori seaweed, and salmon teriyaki
- Columbia: lemon, chorizo, sirloin steak, and mushroom sauce
- Japan: consommé, soy sauce, plum, chili, and scallop
- United Kingdom: prawn cocktail, beef and onion, spicy sriracha, and aromatic curry
What flavors have you tried? What type of chips do you crave during those naughty moments of self indulgence?
Mentors and coaches, meanwhile, are almost always beneficial and support you in leading a happier, healthier, and more successful life.
Where might adding a few more mentors and coaches support your progress towards greater personal and professional achievement?
Even if you don’t formalize these relationships on a one-on-one level, consider the books, blogs, seminars, and other resources from such individuals and how they can support your efforts.
“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”
Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte
Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.
In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.
It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.
How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?
“Greatness comes by beginning something that doesn’t end with you.”
—Robin Sharma, Author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari series
Image from Unsplash by Hanson Lu
The other night a close friend of ours placed a video call to me from The Great Wall of China. She was overcome with delight as she shared this 4,000 mile long structure that took about a thousand years to build.
Some other great human achievements include:
- The Great Pyramid at Giza
- Machu Pichu
- The Taj Mahal
- The Empire State Building
- The Panama Canal
- Man’s Landing on the Moon
What other great human achievements can you think of? What efforts and achievements have you begun and contributed to so far in your life? What personal and professional projects are you planning or beginning that will leave a legacy well into the future?
“Intent reveals desire. Action reveals commitment.”
—Steve Marboli, American Behavioral Scientist
Intention plus action: they are a formidable pair. Together, they have been associated with extraordinary achievements that have moved the world. Take a look around at past, current, and some of the upcoming quantum leaps we are capable of, and try not to be amazed.
On the other hand, when these two qualities stand alone or are completely missing, progress seems to limp along, stop, or even regress.
Where would summoning your most desired intentions and most committed actions help you realize even more of what you wish to achieve in your personal and professional life?