Imagine getting a glass of water and as you fill it, water leaks out of holes in the glass. How much more effort would it take to quench your thirst and fill your belly than if you had a glass that is intact?
A similar leakage happens when we do not take the time to fill our own well with acknowledgment of our progress. As we make our way toward completion of our goals, whether it is writing a book, building a web site, or raising a healthy child, we may forget to pause along the way and refresh ourselves with acknowledgments.
What difference does this kind of pause make in our success? More than you would imagine. Most of us are accustomed to being hard on ourselves, noticing how we could have done more. By stopping to reflect on what we have done, we are better able to absorb the learning of our work. We see what we are capable of and are thus ready for the next step. If we do not do this regularly, we risk having a constant thirst for more. We burn ourselves out because we can get caught in a cycle of never getting there. The pause in the journey is encouraging, empowering and fuels us for more.
Acknowledging my clients for what they do and who they are is one of the best parts of my job. I get to see people's intention gel into action. When I recognize them for what they did and who they were being as they did it, they often are surprised to hear it and would not have noticed the accomplishment by themselves.
I invite clients to practice acknowledgment by keeping a log of weekly actions. As the week progresses, or at the end of the week, they take time to write down what they accomplished. I do this myself and have been amazed at how helpful this simple tool can be. When we go for large goals, it is vital that we note the landscape along the way. Often people do this by looking at their weekly to do list and noticing what they have checked off. But I find that doing a separate list, with a title like "What I accomplished this week" carries more weight than a to do list that you will then throw away.
I cannot stress enough how important this small action can be to your success. Try it for a few weeks and notice the impact.
Challenge: Stop today and notice what you have accomplished during the last week. Write down the steps you have taken, no matter how small. When you have your list complete, look at the big picture. What qualities or skills did you use to accomplish these tasks? What reward will you give yourself for coming this far?
Cynthia Morris started writing regularly in 1994 and just can't stop. She has written performance pieces, plays, essays, poetry, newspaper columns, marketing copy, blog entries, hundreds of e-zine articles, and, dearest to her heart, a historical novel set in Paris. When not writing, Cynthia coaches individuals and groups to their own creative exuberance. Information about Cynthia's creativity tours in France, her e-books, e-zines and book, Create Your Writer's Life: A Guide to Writing with Joy and Ease, can all be found at her web home, http://www.originalimpulse.com
Together Katherine and Eileen have participated in "The Twilight Brigade/Compassion in Action" training, Toastmasters, and numerous workshops. Following their mission to touch lives with the spirit of gratitude, their current projects include The I AM Foundation's MILLION BOOKS FOR KIDS CAMPAIGN, to help build self-esteem and raise literacy in children around the world, and their THREE FOR THIRTY CAMPAIGN, to donate books to women prisoners.