How Progress Works

Whenever we want success, it requires some sort of progress. We need something to change in our environment, or inside ourselves that will create the result that we seek.

However, often when we set a goal, and a timeline to achieve it, it can soon become a sign post for how things aren’t working.

I often think of Vince Vaughn’s slacker character Peter La Fleur in the movie Dodgeball when he says “I found that if you have a goal, that you might not reach it. But if you don’t have one, then you are never disappointed.”

Ironically funny, and also somewhat true.

If you are like me, you are always slightly frustrated that you aren’t achieving your goals.

What I’ve realized lately, is that progress doesn’t happen in the ways you want, or the ways you plan.

It would be nice if results were consistent and gradual alongside your efforts. Like this:


But this is not how progress works.
In my own life, I have noticed it happens more like this:


Progress towards your goals happens in fits and starts. It is almost completely random when the results happen. You rise up a little, often when you least expect it, and then you plateau again, usually for much longer than you expect.

Now, just because your progress is random, that doesn’t mean that you can stop making consistent effort. In fact, it is the daily continual effort that causes the sudden surges in progress.

Somehow, even when it feels like nothing is happening, there is momentum building in the background. Sometimes it is external momentum, through meeting new people, reaching certain thresholds or some other factor. Other times it is internal, where your beliefs, your skills or your inner strength slowly increases.

The challenge is to not frustrate yourself to death when the progress is not happening gradually.

Know that the efforts you are making each day, each week, each month are building up. They will cause a sudden burst of progress, just not exactly when you expect it.

The progress is inevitable, as long as you have focus and faith, and keep facing the frustration head on.

Random progress is coming.
Stay on the path.


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