Progress is often slow – that’s true perhaps even most of the time. But when the effort begins to pay off that encouragement – even the slow encouragement – pays handsomely.
If I were designing the world I’d make a lot of changes. Well, I used to think that. But now, as I the miles pile up I see the benefit of delayed gratification in just about every endeavor.
When we’re young we want things now. I’ve been blessed with 8 (yes 8) children. While the oldest is well into her maturity, the youngest, now just 18, reminds me of how I used to be. Anxious for the next thing, achievement, place. As I say he has nothing on me – I used to be like that and in some areas I’m still pushing faster than circumstances would permit.
But I as I’ve aged I have begun to see that it is the slow progress, the slow encouragement that generates the biggest rewards for it is the immovable obstacle or intransigent coworker (client, boss, spouse) that stresses our muscles and makes us grow. Sometimes that growth comes in the form of learning new techniques for dealing with the blockages along the way but sometimes those hindrances force us to take a harder look at ourselves to see what role we may be playing in stopping our progress.
As we deploy the lessons learned we inch forward seeing the signs of progress and the slow encouragement of gradual success (see “Little Successes” from November, 2014). Even before success is complete we will more thoroughly enjoy the distant outcome knowing it was not luck that produced the result; knowing that the result was not cheap; it was persistent plodding and determination that got us to this point.
If you’re not now on such a journey you do know you will be. When it faces you take a deep break and begin knowing that most good things take time and effort to accomplish – and the encouragement often comes in small doses along the way.