June 8

Today's quotation:

As long as you're actively pursuing your dream with
a practical plan, you're still achieving, even if it feels
as though you're going nowhere fast.  It's been my experience
that at the very moment I feel like giving up, I'm only one step
from a breakthrough.  Hang on long enough and circumstances
will change, too.  Trust in yourself, your dream and spirit.

Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today's Meditation:

Results, results, results--how often do we get into the habit of thinking that results are the most important thing in our lives?  How often do we fear that we're failing at something just because we don't see immediate and quantifiable results of our efforts?  Even when we don't see the results of our actions, though, we still may be making some great strides towards achieving our goals.

When a sculptor chips off the first piece of a piece of wood or marble, there's absolutely no visual evidence that he or she is making any progress towards a finished product.  Even after a hundred or a thousand chips, we may not see anything that resembles a finished product.  But the sculptor doesn't quit, and the sculptor doesn't feel as if he or she is going nowhere.  The sculptor knows that any finished product is the result of many such chips and that the progress doesn't show until well into the process of creation.

As a teacher, I've found that one of the greatest lessons I've learned is that of letting go of results.  When I teach first-semester writing, for example, I know that while I may see some progress on the parts of the students by the end of the semester, their true growth in writing will take place long after they leave my class.  I'll probably never see the full results of my work because it takes time for the students to grow into it.  Letting go of the results has been one of the most important things in my life, as I apply that concept to many other aspects of my day-to-day life.

As long as we're actively working towards a goal, we are making progress.  It's that simple.  So don't berate yourself if you don't see or feel results--keep your peace of mind in knowing that you're doing the best you can and that things are happening--you are making progress--whether you actually see it or not.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so important to us to see progress in things that we do?

How do you feel when you don't see visible results to your efforts?  Why do you feel this way?

How close might you be to breakthroughs that you might not be able to imagine unless you think of it?

For further thought:

When nothing seems to help, I go and look
at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock perhaps
a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know
it was not that blow that did it--but all that had gone before.

Jacob Riis

  

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