Our world continues to grow in complexity and intensity. Although we may talk about big goals like improving education, addressing poverty, and eliminating the oppression of certain groups, it is often very difficult to genuinely see and “feel” progress being made in our day to day lives.
The purpose of today’s writing is to bring a progress check much closer to home, where the potential for global change actually begins and where it matters most.
We are all familiar with the importance of setting goals, building a plan to achieve those goals and using some date on a calendar like a birthday, the new year, or the start of school to help jump start the process in a healthy and often convenient way to initiate needed change in our lives. Unfortunately, we are probably also familiar with the reality that the vast majority of us will abandon, or just plain forget, our goals almost as quickly as we set them.
Today’s writing is not about rallying around some collective motivation or new process to more effectively achieve our goals. There is already plenty of information out there to help us all get a little more motivated to achieve our goals.
Today’s writing is about the importance of recognizing small steps of progress along the way in order to keep the momentum going. The “world” (feel free to insert your own relevant term) judges or highlights the finish line. However, most often it will be us alone, in the quiet of the journey, that will be in a position to celebrate making progress in the right direction on the things that matter most.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, a helpful discipline we alone can exercise is the personal “high five” we can give ourselves for making progress on the journey to reach our hopes and dreams in matters close to home.
There will be a great deal written about the steps to achieving the common goals of losing weight, exercising or some professional career milestone. However, the real need to celebrate making progress towards often our most challenging goals, which is rarely written or talked about, is in having a positive impact on those closest to us in our homes and families. A helpful discipline is to acknowledge the small steps of progress we make in:
- Judging less and encouraging more
- Breaking the cycle of a painful past to bring healing to an important relationship
- Experiencing the lasting joy of serving and giving instead of the short-term pleasure of getting our way
- Opening dialogue on an important issue rather than avoiding it
- Courageously acknowledging our fears and insecurities while minimizing our concern of judgement or shame
The “world” will celebrate the big achievements in business, politics, entertainment, etc. As we choose to celebrate making progress in the home and with the ones closest to us, we will build the foundation to achieve great things in the marketplace, the community, and our world.
As we make the choice to personally celebrate the small steps of progress we make in our close relationships, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity for us to bring health into relationships closest to us.
As we continue to clearly define our hopes and dreams in the home, let us not forget that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tzu). Congratulations, in advance, for the steps of progress you will make with the ones closest to you.