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Forget About Success, Celebrate Small Progress

Focusing on success can be the exact reason why you’ll never succeed. Here’s why


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Meryam Lehoufa

3 years ago | 4 min read

We live in an era where topics and stories related to success and big achievements are everywhere we turn. Life coaches, actors, athletes, presidents, entrepreneurs, and so on. Whether it’s through books, videos, blogs, podcasts, or any other type of content, everyone is talking about success and how to become a successful person.

The focus and attention placed on success are becoming so big that they are actually putting so much pressure on one’s life and mental health.

The term “success” is usually used to refer to a long-term result, a big achievement, an ultimate aim, and I think therein lies the rub. Because this way of defining “success” leads to being so overwhelmed by the hugeness of the final goal,

and the whole process seems too long and complicated that most people end up feeling that that goal is unachievable and giving up in the middle of the journey or before they even start.

The world is filled with great ideas, people come up with amazing ideas all the time and they have big dreams yet only a very small percentage manages to make those dreams come true. Why? Because the arrival point seems and feels absolutely out of reach for most people.

“Some quit due to slow progress. Never grasping the fact that slow progress is progress.” — Jeff Olson

My advice for you is this: Unless you want to end up burying your dream like so many people do, forget about success.

Shift your focus to progress instead, no matter what that success means to you; becoming a famous motivational speaker, becoming the boss of the company you’re working for right now, owning a very lucrative location-independent business so you can travel the world, becoming the next president of your country, inventing something that will make a revolution in a certain industry, becoming financially free, …Whatever it is you call “success”, focus on making small progress towards it every single day and commit to that.

Start by setting a small SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goal and make sure to succeed in achieving that goal. And then set another small goal and so on. Don’t look up! Just get the first step done and then move to the next right step. In other words, divide that big success into small successes. And don’t forget to celebrate each one of them as you go.

I found that, in general, people who give up on their dreams, thinking that they’re impossible to reach, tend to make these two mistakes:

#1. They underestimate and thus get discouraged by small and slow progress

When you keep focusing on that big goal that you want to achieve, it can start feeling like a huge rock on your chest.

So what’s the solution? Easy, you take that huge rock and divide it into little small stones and put one stone on your chest at a time. Now, I’m sure that you won’t feel that heavy weight on your chest anymore, it’s just a small stone. Well, that small stone represents a small step. It’s as simple as that.

“A little progress every day adds up to big results.” — Satya Nani

Never underestimate the power of small steps, no matter how tiny and insignificant they might seem, because they will add up and, one day, you’ll look back and you will be like: Wow! I’ve done a lot.

Small progress is still progress. Always keep that in mind

#2. They compare their progress to that of other people

This is another fatal mistake that a lot of people tend to make, don’t be one of them! Don’t fall in the trap of comparing your behind-the-scenes with someone else’s highlight reel, don’t compare your current situation to someone who has already done a lot.

You don’t know every detail of how they got there and you shouldn’t care. You’re your own opponent, focus on being one step ahead of where you were yesterday and getting better and better at whatever it is that will make your dream become a reality.

“Don’t compare your progress to that of others. We need our own time to travel our own distance.” — Jerry Corstens

Never stress over your age or your current circumstances. no matter how old you are or how far you are from achieving what you want, make daily progress a must, an absolute must. In fact, make it a daily habit. Every day, ask yourself; what step have I taken today towards my desired goal? And, unless you’re not really serious about achieving that goal, the answer should never be “nothing!”.

In brief, achieving big or even huge, crazy goals is absolutely doable. The difference between those who manage to make it till the end and those who give up earlier lies in one simple yet powerful strategy; setting small daily goals, getting them done one at a time, and considering that as a success in itself. Focus on that and detach yourself from that big overwhelming final goal that you have in mind.

Just stick to this very simple rule and one day you’ll wake up and you’ll discover that you’ve finally achieved that big thing you call “success”. That’s the magic of focusing on, and celebrating, small progress.

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