Victories: Savor Them All

Talk about a growing trend! We’ve begun in recent years to “supersize” everything, from the coffee we order—where small has ballooned to grande—to the meals we eat: the pride of one national eatery’s menu is a “lumberjack special” that would feed Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox!

Some of us also supersize our problems. We dwell on them until they loom as large as—and seem to be—the sum total of our existence. Meanwhile, we downgrade the numerous but minor triumphs that can make our daily lives incredibly sweet.

Remember the film comedy What About Bob? A psychiatrist (played by Richard Dreyfuss) has written a self-help book—Baby Steps—that he recommends to his patient Bill Murray, urging him to overcome his challenges step by step and to celebrate each advance, no matter how humble.

Isn’t that what loving parents do with their child? They mark his every sign of progress as a major milestone, celebrating it and encouraging the child to keep going. And he expresses sheer delight each time he manages a new feat, from first smile, burbling word and wobbly step to first grade and beyond.

You are no child, but wouldn’t you like to see your own face beaming more often when you look in the mirror? There is a way: savor small victories.

This works because of the Law of Attraction. Its essence is that you get more of what you focus on. Want to supersize your satisfaction in life? Try celebrating small signs of personal progress, such as something you can now accomplish that was beyond you earlier, or an improvement of some kind in how you act or think. In time, you’ll find yourself experiencing more and more such signal moments and feeling good about them.

You don’t need to look far for these nuggets of attainment. You create them in abundance and they are all yours for the savoring.

As an example, last night my inkjet printer clattered and jammed constantly, seeming to turn as ornery as a braying jackass. That ordinarily inspires similar behavior in me, but instead of having to summon all my willpower to refrain from tossing the printer out the window, I kept calm amidst the irritation. That is progress!

When seeking your own small victories to celebrate, remember that most of us tend to place unduly heavy expectations on ourselves. In consequence, we want our signs of progress to be super-size as well. There’s no more sense in that, however, then in expecting to see a piano student graduate from Chopsticks to Chopin overnight.

Keep in mind, too, that small does not always mean negligible.

Recently a man made national news with his plan to run 50 marathons in 50 days. Contrast that with an Olympics hopeful who goes unheralded when he shaves 1/20th of a second off his best training time. I’m inclined to think that the latter has more to celebrate, because he understands that even modest progress can constitute a meaningful victory.

Being aware of your own small victories is an important key to enjoying your journey in life. You don’t have to tally super-size deeds. Instead, take one baby step after another, noting and celebrating the importance of each.

Soon enough, you’ll realize that you’re tracing out a life worth living. That, my friends, is a victory to savor.

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