August 14

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This Year, Steady Is the New Growth

I recently realized that this year had taken its toll on my motivation.

Before we found ourselves in a pandemic, I created a huge list of goals and experiences I wanted to have.

My list included things that now seem painfully anachronistic (“What do you think this is, 2019?”), such as:

  • Visiting my best friend in Canada,
  • Taking a train to the West Coast, and
  • Attending a martial arts workshop.

It’s probably not surprising to you that none of these things have happened, even though I had made an effort to come up with good resolutions.

And let’s just say that this year also hasn’t lined up with my expectations for my business. What I had in mind were things such as teaching at an in-person conference, giving a TEDx-talk, or even just (sigh!) spending some time working in a coffee shop.

So I found myself feeling rather down about this gap between my expectations and reality.

The other day, as I walked around with my husband and talked it out, I realized that I was actually doing better than I was giving myself credit for.

I was exercising, meditating, and eating well. I was getting work done. I even read a bunch of books.

While there are a lot of things that aren’t happening this year, my business has been going steady and even continued to grow somewhat.

As I mentioned all these things, my husband remarked:

“That’s great! You’re doing great! Steady is the new growth.”

(I should probably adopt that as my mantra for the coming months.)

Turns out my hubby is right! We’re not separate from the world around us. And dealing with a “world gone mad” takes a lot of energy.

When you’re sailing in stormy waters, maintaining some sense of balance and not falling into the water is a huge accomplishment in itself. (Or climbing back into the boat if you went overboard.)

Everything that goes beyond that is just a bonus.

You’re not wasting time. You’re learning to deal with challenges. And, as Franklin D. Roosevelt put it:

“a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

If you can’t celebrate the growth you want this year, celebrate whatever you have managed to keep steady in these stormy waters — relationships, fitness, work… or simply your sanity. (If you are currently looking for a job, this article contains strategies for coping with unemployment.)

If you’re like most people I talk to (and the person I see each day in the mirror), you probably don’t give yourself enough credit for your achievements.

But right now, steady is good enough.

If you don’t hit your goals this year, adjust them.

You can sail to new shores (or take a train to the West Coast) when the storm has calmed down.

Perhaps I’ll meet you then?

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