Do you remember your teachers, or perhaps even your parents, telling you to strive for the big dream and search for the big successes as only they were worth celebrating?
We read the stories and watch the videos of folks who have overcome all odds to make it big, but we rarely sit down and look at our own lives to acknowledge what we’ve accomplished.
There are those moments when your whole-body fills with joy, like graduations or buying that first car or stepping back and looking at a piece of art you just finished. Then there are those moments when you finally finish a daunting task like cleaning out all the horse troughs or repairing a leaky faucet. Or what about getting through a Thanksgiving Dinner with family who just don’t get you, yet you go for dear old Mom?
It’s those little victories that can keep our optimism cranked high for the bigger things yet to come in life. The little, baby victories that keep our minds tuned into a positive attitude even if the walls around us start to crumble. My Mom always said, “It’s the little things that matter.” And she was right. (Like what Mom isn’t always right, right?😉) The small successes are the things that keep us going – they stick with us if we honor them.
During the day have you ever really noticed all the little things you accomplish? For the next few days really tune in. The other day I clipped my horse for the first time. Instead of focusing on the end result of a full clip, I focused on the smaller steps of getting him calm when the clippers came in touch with his body. Then the first few swipes on his shoulder; then the hip; then the stomach, then the back. Feeling a sense of accomplishment after each ‘section’ was clipped was not stressful at all. I kept cool in what could have been an ongoing tense situation.
Do you keep cool in a tense situation? Or maybe you spend money on non-necessities. Do you spend enough time with your family or visit your elderly parents to see if they need a hand with anything or just check in to see how they are doing? (You know you should!) Just do it! Keep cool! Pass on that spontaneous buying spree! Go visit your Mom or Dad. Then give yourself a reward and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Make a mental note about it and write it down in your journal. In fact, write down all the things that happen throughout the day that seemed like a victory to you detailing what happened and how it made you feel.
Here's the thing, when we don’t acknowledge ‘the little things that matter’ or in other words, ‘our own little victories’ and we mentally file them as being insignificant, we can easily become frustrated. I could have become frustrated when I started clipping my horse, but I chose not to.
Instead of staking my happiness on completing a whole clip in one day, I focused on parts of it. Energetically my horse felt calmer and others around me did too. Me? When I finished and looked at my horse, happy, content and cool, I felt joyful. I was so happy as I drove home in my Jeep singing along to good old country tunes!
So next time instead of staking all of your happiness on getting that big FORD truck or perhaps being the winner in the equitation class, focus on your ability to ride the ups and downs and responsibilities in life. You’ll find yourself able to avoid becoming a Negative Nellie or Negative Nelson by keeping your eye on the next small victory.
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