Have you ever found yourself in a place where you achieve, achieve and achieve then forget what you have achieved and just continue to feel driven to do more? I think that for high achievers and doers, or as I like to refer to them “Thriver’s”, it is easy to constantly accomplish and forget to take time to be grateful and reflect on what you have done and what you have now.
It is the mere practice of gratefulness and reflection that allows us to actually enjoy what we have created and it is the source of being satisfied in life.
I think I have felt this pressure lately especially since I have started a new organization. It is brand new and I am targeting a brand new demographic. I feel like this is the first time I have done anything. Yet I have already published three books, had a successful podcast for six years, had my own close calls of being on national television, traveling around as a public speaker, I have held my own conferences and workshops, lived overseas in Italy, I have been in productions with TV and Broadway actors, served Fortune 50 clients working at a Big 4 having some of the top brand names as clients, I have worked with those who advise the President, now by day I work for a TV Network, help publish an international magazine and more, I have started four businesses and one nonprofit and became a CEO in 2008…all told someone could say that I have achieved a level of success few do.
Yet I think that sometimes the type of success that others recognize are the successes that everyone knows about. The kind where thousands upon thousands of people know you did it all. Yet for the majority of us, our real successes never will make the limelight. For most of us our accomplishments and fulfillment in what we have done in our lives will be stored in an invisible treasure box called “my life” and only those who truly participated will know its depth… and even then how many good things do we do that we choose never to tell others about because we are not doing it for others.
I think this is true for some of those who do receive a lot of attention as well. They get accolades for a momentary success but not for being in the trenches and doing the real work.
But we have to realize that if we are doing anything for others to recognize it we will also die when we are rejected. It is so tempting for me personally to run tapes in my own head of the education I should still get (even though I have eight years of college), I look at others who have had different successes than myself and think wow I really should grow in the area they have. As I am writing my fourth book it feels awfully like writing my first. I see all the new mountains to climb even though I have conquered many.
There will always be a new level of success to achieve, there is no such thing as reaching the top. Once you get to what you think is the top you realize the top isn’t there, like chasing a rainbow or a mirage. So we have to come to the place where we take time to celebrate our successes, that we pause and choose to be grateful. If we don’t do this then we will stay in a constant state of never doing enough. When “enough” is not defined by how many people know about it and it is defined by how much we grow as individuals and the stories that make up our lives…the people that make up our lives I believe we find much deeper value and meaning.
Sometimes you need to go out of your way to frame your book covers of the books you write, or if you create a product frame it. Take time to honor your efforts because it is not just the end result you are after it is the process of accomplishing what you dreamt of accomplishing. Some of you reading this need to put into a binder symbols of all your successes along the way so you can look back at what you have done when you feel discouraged. But more than that tie to each accomplishment your “why”. When you look at your achievements do you see your families faces? Do you see your kids? Do you see the better life that you created?
One thing I like to do in my life is that in every moment of success in my life, I create something to remind me of the success. This could be framing something, it could be a card, it could be something you have in your home to decorate but only you know the meaning. Having an environment that reminds you of your blessings, your why, how far you have come and what God has done for you is one that is imperative for joy. I encourage you to do something similar. Don’t just collect “things” but collect meaning and reminders of that meaning. Things that will trigger you into gratefulness.
It is very difficult to be fearful when you are grateful and that is a great factor in succeeding at anything. We all face our fears when we do something new but when we stop and are grateful for how far we have come...it's amazing how magically everything we think we should do and be suddenly disappears and we stand in a place of fulfillment. This is when you can say, "it doesn't matter if I succeed or fail at this because I know it is not about that." It is a silent confidence that you know new challenges only bring greater growth and transformation.
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