Success. Accomplishment. Most of us crave them in some form. My question is…Do we recognize them when we achieve them?
Often, no. Without knowing what you’re looking for, you’ll never know if you’ve found it.
Seven or eight years ago now, I had a conversation with my mother which involved both of us describing our ideals of “success”.
I don’t remember what hers were. I remember enough about mine to laugh at the naivete. Among my thoughts—
- I’ve published at least one New York Times best seller.
- I have enough money to show up to my high school reunion on a custom Harley and wearing leathers studded with semi-precious stones. (Yes, you may point and laugh all you wish.)
- I never worry about money, even if I spend several thousand dollars a month on stuff that doesn’t matter.
I’m disappointed, younger self.
See, while these are obvious signs of accomplishment to the people who don’t matter in my daily life, they don’t truly mean much. The reasons why?
- The New York Times best seller list is a money game between the big NY publishing houses.
- I care about very few people from my graduating class enough to concern myself with impressing them.
- Yes, money helps, but what would I SPEND several thousand dollars a month in random cash on?
So what ARE we looking for?
The Twins: Success & Accomplishment
Ever owned a house plant? So far, I’ve owned two in my life. One was a bamboo. The poor dear likely ended up in a dumpster when we rushed our last move.
Now, I’ve got a parade rose on my desk. The orange beauties need daily light watering. Just an ice cube or two. Success in caring for a house plant is easy to see.
My roses get wilted, I’m not getting them enough water or sun.
My roses stand tall and proud? I’m succeeding in my job as caretaker.
Seeking success is a matter not of “getting there” but of small, genuine accomplishments daily, weekly, monthly. It’s the invisible twin that holds no recognition until many accomplishments have built up over time.
Accomplishment is the obvious twin. This twin can be found in the daily details of everything from running a household to running a corporation. Getting up in the morning. Keeping the files organized. Washing the dishes.
Seek genuine accomplishment and success will likely follow.
Genuine Accomplishment a.k.a. DO THE THING!
We all have that ONE project. It’s sat in the back of your head for six months, six years, or six decades. I don’t care how long. The vintage airplane to restore. The book not yet written. The painting not yet painted. The language not yet learned.
You want to do it, but you don’t do it. You hesitate.
Among the winners: No time. No money. Could be “more productive”.
Now, if your project is restoring a vintage airplane to operating capacity, yeah, okay. The money part has some validity. You need parts and stuff. Although it may just be a matter of changing your budget somehow.
Nearly every no time excuse is exactly that. An excuse. I didn’t have the capacity to see or count all the minutes I wasted on stuff like Netflix and Surf when I could’ve been writing. I just know I did it.
As for needing time to decompress, etc, yes, day jobs can suck out your soul, if you let them. Don’t let them. After all, it’s your soul, your passion, your determination and drive. Not someone else’s.
As for decompressing, if The Project happens to be a passion, doing it won’t be a chore. It CAN be your decompression.
Now why bother overcoming whatever mental and physical hurdles we have to do the thing?
To accomplish something. It’s worth the pain.
Now I ask you, what’s your ONE PROJECT? What do you really want to do? Share with me in the comments, and let’s have a conversation!