6 Real Ways We Fail at Progress (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 273)
“Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.”
— John Dewey
Don’t let life discourage you. It will disappoint you at times, but don’t let it get it down. It has been said that every single person who is where they are right now had to begin where they were at some point in the not too distant past. The thing about progress is that it is always moving you further away from where you were and closer to where you want to people. If you allow yourself to get discouraged, you will begin to think motion alone is progress. Sitting and throwing your hands up is motion but it doesn’t get you any closer to your goal. Even if you fall down flat on your face, if you get back up, you’re still moving forward. The point is to get down the right path and keep moving down the right path and eventually, over time, you’ll make progress.
1. We don’t make decisions.
One of the reasons we fail to make progress is because of fear. We are afraid the decisions we make may backfire, or that it won’t be the right one, or that we will be judged in some way. A lot of people are unhappy not because they can’t get what they want but because they don’t know what they want. Indecision will hold you up every time. Decide what you are passionate about, what you want to do with your life, and start actually doing. You will fail. You will make mistakes. You will fall flat on your face and it will really suck. But an incredibly bad decision is better than no decision.
2. We don’t express gratitude.
Everyone can find a single reason to smile and be grateful. Even if it is just the fact that you opened your eyes today, put your feet on the floor, and did something — whatever it was, that is your reason to be grateful. Expressing gratitude at every opportunity and counting your blessings on a daily basis will not only improve your quality of life but will keep you in a place of continually moving past obstacles to reach your goals.
3. We try to make people stay in our lives.
If someone is meant to stay in your life, that person will stay. If they are not meant to be in your life, you need to let them go. Trying to keep people in your life for companionship alone is a terrible reason to keep the wrong people around. You don’t need to waste your time and energy chasing someone to be a part of your life. You need to trust that the right people will be with you at the right times. It is all part of the process. If you don’t wait for the right people, you may impede your own progress.
4. We fail and then we give up completely.
Failure is an opportunity for you to do it all over and get it right. But very few people see it that way. You see, for most people, once they fail the first time, it’s like a relationship gone horribly wrong. They just want the earth to open up and swallow them whole so they don’t have to face the consequences. Don’t see failure like that. If you fail at something, learn from your mistakes, sleep on your flaws, and wake up in the morning to do it all again — only this time much better.
5. We don’t take a chance on the impossible.
All of life is risky business. When you don’t know what the very next second holds, not counting the next day, or week, or month, or year, that’s risky. You keep on living anyway though. And you’ve made it this far, farther than you were yesterday. People will risk more often do more and go farther than they’ve ever been because they have this deep hunch that something better is on the other side of that risk. Learn to take a chance especially when you have no clue what the outcome will be.
6. We don’t enjoy all of life.
Too many people make the mistake of thinking that life is going to happen right for them at some time and point in the future. So they give up when they fail, skip out on opportunities, kick the ones they need out of their lives, move to some other place, and run from their problems. All because they think that life is going to take over and be so beautifully perfect in some other world, at some other time — just not right now. You can’t enjoy life this way. Life — your life — is happening right now. Learn to embrace it, enjoy it, and live it.
“All progress occurs because people dare to be different.”
— Harry Millner