In working with hundreds of clients and speaking to tens of thousands of people over the last decade, there are some fundamental truths that have emerged from my work. One of those is the fact that human beings are most happy when we feel that we’re making progress in any area of life.
We are driven at our core to learn, grow, and become the best version of ourselves. And we seek relationships, experiences, and work that will contribute to that end.
But how often do you stop to take inventory on your progress? And when you do, what is your assessment? Are you indeed making progress? How would you know?
“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”
– Khalil Gibran
If you are a parent, you’ve probably had the experience where you are out with your child and run into a friend or relative you haven’t seen for a while. Immediately they remark, “Oh my, look at you! You’ve grown so much since I last saw you!” And as you look at your son or daughter you realize that they really haven’t changed all that much in your eyes.
Because you’re with them all the time, you miss the incremental growth that is taking place right in front of you. I mean, on a logical level of course you know they’ve changed. But you don’t notice it as much as someone who hasn’t seen them for a while.
Well, the same thing happens to us when it comes to really seeing and understanding our own growth. We tend to measure our progress in short bursts. What’s different from last week, last month, or even last quarter? Maybe not much. But what’s different from last year or the last two years? Probably a whole lot more!
“Success is steady progress toward one’s personal goals.” – Jim Rohn
Let me give you an example from my own progress. As I write this blog, I am coming off 6 weeks of travel and speaking engagements that have taken me to Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Istanbul, Monterey, and Las Vegas – and I have still more travel ahead over the next two weeks.
It would be easy for me to focus on the last 3-6 months and overlook the growth that has taken place from the expansion of my business over the last 10 years. I have gone from being completely anonymous as a Coach/Speaker/Trainer to an internationally recognized keynote speaker and transformational coach. Yet without the perspective to step back and look at the bigger picture it would be far too easy for me to do what most of us do; look at the short-term and miss the meteoric growth that has truly taken place.
And in so doing, I would miss out on the progress I’ve made and continue to make in my life and work. I would miss out on the feelings of happiness, pride, and acknowledgment that comes from knowing I’m making a difference in the world, clarifying my message, and growing my influence with those whom I serve.
“Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, and completely underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.” – Anthony Robbins
Take a look at your life and work. What progress have you made over the last year? The last 5 years? How about the last 10 years? Take a moment to really sit with that and let it sink in. Don’t be caught up in the trap of only looking at the short term. See how much you’ve grown. What would someone who hasn’t seen you in say, 10 years, say to you about how much you’ve changed and grown? (And I’m not talking about your expanding waistline or receding hairline!) I invite you to inhabit that perspective, and give yourself some much-deserved recognition for what you’ve achieved.
Growth equals progress. Progress equals happiness.
Share your comments or story below. Our community grows and benefits when we are open and willing to share ourselves within it. And if you feel like you’re not growing or making progress in the ways you’d like, contact me! That’s what I’m here to help you do – to grow and make progress in the most meaningful areas of your life!
Quit being an average leader! Take the FREE Leadership Assessment.
Kevin Ciccotti, Human Factor Formula
Helping companies create sustainable, effective teams that are committed to the success of their projects, the organization, and the individuals with whom they work