I’m looking forward to the future, and feeling grateful for the past.” — Mike Rowe
When I started Successful Steps, I wanted a way to share my knowledge and perspective on topics like life, success, motivation, and happiness with the world. It was a way that I could contribute and help others. Writing on this blog helped me figure out what was important to me, and what I should work on.
Like with anything else, personal development has its potential downfalls. We can steer ourselves in the wrong direction and end up at a completely different destination. Or get so caught up in our own goals and glory that we lose sight of why we started in the first place. Some people see personal development as a way of addressing our weaknesses. Yet, many people hide their weaknesses to show the world they are succeeding in their personal development journey. In order to achieve true growth, we should take an honest look at our weaknesses and work on them.
An area of personal growth that I’ve been battling with is being able to look back at my progress with a smile on my face. While I’ve never considered myself a perfectionist, I always try to see what I could’ve done better, or where I can still grow. I’ve known that being able to acknowledge our strengths and progress is important, but as Stephen Covey says, “What is common sense isn’t common practice.”
Today, I made a step in the right direction. As anyone who has seen the Instagram page knows, I am a big fan of quotes. There was a specific quote said on The Minimalists’ podcast that particularly caught my attention.
Their guest, Chris Guillebeau, said, “There’s always something we should be proud of, and there’s always more we can do.”
This was the missing piece that I had been looking for. Chris beautifully articulated the art of balancing pride from past accomplishments along with the desire to improve and grow. Our past accomplishments give us proof of what we’re capable of and the motivation to keep moving forward. Our upcoming goals give us the guidelines in which direction we plan to move towards for the future. If we get too caught up and solely focus on the past accomplishments, we’ll be too afraid to move forward for fear that we might fail. If we only focus on the future, like I used to, we subject ourselves to burnout and give more strength to our inner-critic. Having this balance of pride and desire keeps us going with our best foot forward.
What’re you proud of? There is no need to wait until New Years to reflect on the past and create goals for the future. Every day, we can pick something we are proud of, and something we’d like to do or improve upon. It can even be something small. As long as we are cultivating this habit, it’ll do wonders in our everyday life, as well as our future.
So what’re you proud of, and what can you improve on today? Then go out and do it.