Sunday, February 1, 2009


We are not in a position in which we have nothing to work with. We already have capacities, talents, direction, missions, and callings.
~ Abraham H. Maslow

Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.
~ John Albert Michener

Do you undervalue your accomplishments?

The problem with setting very high standards and almost unreachable goals is that it's easy to feel like a failure. Given so much, I hardly ever feel that I've done as much as I should to make things happen. This kind of thinking is all right once in a while, but it can easily become a trap since it creates a loop of self-loathing.

What did you accomplish? What are the things you succeed at doing every day?

On a day like today, the accomplishments seem small - very small, but they still count. It may be mortifying that it took this long to do it, but it feels good that the Christmas tree is finally(!) gone. The front room looks fabulous. The laundry is all done. I'm psychologically prepared for the week, and I didn't sit around feeling sorry for myself as I was tempted to do.

I did spend some good time with my son today, and he's got a head start on his homework for the week. I did think through how to have a dialogue on an important subject at work. I did put together some clothes to donate. I could have done some work last night, but it was better for us all that we had an enjoyable evening with friends.

No, I didn't work on my novel, or write the poem that's bumping around in my brain and just waiting for a little attention. I didn't create a killer presentation with all the slam-dunk graphs and stats. I didn't even sing, or practice the piano - or send that package of books to my mom. But this wasn't a day to do those things - that's all. I have done enough for what I need to move forward.

Sometimes accomplishments are big, and they can even take you by surprise because they can be so in tune with who you are that you tend not to count them as accomplishments. However, sometimes the accomplishments seem very small and it can be disheartening when they require such Herculean effort.

Remind yourself what you accomplish across all the areas of your life. Be kind to yourself. There are always so many things happening at once - have you forgotten something that you did accomplish today? Did you say a kind word, take out the trash, compare prices on an upcoming purchase, get some exercise and fresh air? When things are really rough, it can be an accomplishment that you got out of bed in the morning and managed to slog through a disaster-free day!

Find something to celebrate - even on the days that you feel a little disappointed in yourself.

Big or small, important or trivial, you accomplished something today.

You did it! And it matters.

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