“Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.” -Samuel Smiles
Today included a satisfying set of small steps that I have been working toward for weeks. For some reason, progress seems to happen like that. Our effort to move in a certain direction, to accomplish something gets stalled in details, endless negotiations, communication hang ups, unforeseen natural events. Patience is not only a virtue, it is the only choice as we attempt to shape the world to our vision. Then suddenly, there is a breakthrough. Negotiations completed, raw materials arrive, storms pass and we are back on track.
It seems increasingly important to pay our respect both to the extended efforts and long-standing patience that progress takes. Of course I want to celebrate the days when I can document the progress. I love those days when the fruit of the labor is visible. But really in the end, it is all the other days of sticking with it and continuing to show up that make the fruit possible at all.
I am trying to glean from this positivity quest the attribute of optimism because I increasingly recognize that one’s ability to look for what is working, even when it isn’t working is the foundation of the courage you need to keep at it. It is the path to achieving anything. In fact, I would say that progress of all and any kind depends on our capacity for optimism, which is another way of saying that we believe in the world.
So for today, I feel accomplished and more important and my capacity for optimism is a little bit bigger.