Accomplishments and Their Downside

It’s been an interesting week for me.  I finally got around to publishing a book I wrote a few years ago.  Because I did that, it drove me to finally get around to starting this blog I signed up for a few months ago.  Heck, I even finally got around to cleaning out the hall closet like my wife has been asking me to for months!

So it’s been a good month, right?

Well, let me explain my point of view on that.  My book isn’t getting the downloads I wish it would.  I haven’t come up with any good ideas for blog posts like I thought I would.  And I have no idea what to do with all the space in that closet.

Accomplishments are great, until they’re not.  It’s good to get things done, as long as you can accept that they’re done.  If every accomplishment leads to more stress and anxiety, then we need to rethink some things.  I seem to have a tendency to chain my goals together.  Write a book becomes write and publish a book; which becomes write, publish, and sell a book; which becomes write and publish a NY Times bestseller!  Do you see what happened there?  I feel like I failed because I’m not a bestselling author, when in actuality, I met three of my four goals already (note that I said sell <i>a</i> book, singular).  So I put myself through the psychological torture of trying to figure out where I went wrong instead of celebrating the strides I have made.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we shouldn’t set goals for ourselves and even reach for the stars occasionally.  But it’s important to separate the steps along the way and recognize the milestones we reach.  There is no value to setting a goal for yourself if you are not going to acknowledge when you reach it and declare yourself the winner for that particular day.  If you  were to fail in that goal, wouldn’t you be quick to call yourself the loser?

So today, I’m not aspiring to be a bestselling author.  Today I am a writer, and a published one at that!  Maybe I’m not rich, but I’m a guy who accomplished some goals in the past week, and I’m good with that.

The bestseller thing?  That’s a goal for another day….