One brick at a time…

One brick at a time…

I’ve been having a few conversations recently with people who are really struggling with self-doubt and feeling rather overwhelmed by the goals, dream or actions they (sometimes feel they) need to achieve.

I have been wondering if our cultural narrative, possibly driven by the expectation that we all need to be successful (the right job, the right car, the right house, the right family model) has set up the perception that we need to have already achieved audacious, kick-ass dreams and goals. Recent history has given us:

  • A celebrity focussed culture – where anyone can become a star (I recently read that when teens were asked about what they want to be ‘when they grow up’, they often say ‘I want to be famous’ without stating how they will do that or even what ‘ being famous’ means),
  • The emergence of number of few young tech-genius millionaires (I’ve heard a few people say that they are building an App/programme/tech gizmo for the sole purpose of selling it for loads of money to a big tech company)
  • The seemingly constant stream of social media ad’s of those who have ‘made it’ who are trying to entice us into ‘become successful and wealthy like me and you too could own your own helicopter/private jet/etc’ by buying into their ‘how to’ programme
  • …and even the question we first ask a new acquaintance, ‘so, what do you do’ (and how many times do we draw on or embellish our greatest past achievements to paint a picture of how great we are?

Has this set up a cultural expectation that our success (or failure) defines who we are and has it trained us to believe that our value lies in what we have already achieved (rather than on celebrating the state of the journey we are currently on) and the yearning for that ‘silver-bullet’ that helps us achieve our future goals now.

It is said that ‘life is a marathon, not a sprint’. I’m not a runner, but those I know who run marathons have said how the cheering crowds often spur them on when flagging or ‘hit the wall’. Why, in life, are we often so focussed on the end-goal of finishing the race, rather than focussing our attention and building up skills, knowledge and experience we need to run that race well. I think ought to shift our focus towards really celebrating our everyday achievements, our mini milestones, our little personal victories… and cheering others on in the daily trudge that life can sometimes feel like.

I these conversations with others, I focus have been suggesting that we build a Lego model one brick at a time, we run a marathon one step at a time, we read a book one page at a time. We need to recognise our mini-achievements one at a time, focus on the here and now and start spurring each other on and congratulating each other on the little wins, the mini victories…and sometimes we even need to recognise how tough it can be, just to…well, get through one more day or achieve a seemingly little task.

So, here’s me e-cheering you on…’Well done you!’

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