This is daily bluejayblog post 4,070. I don’t mention the number so as to receive massive kudos, I could have fished for compliments at 4,000, 3,000, or 2,000 posts. I mention the number today to illustrate a point. Although none of my posts will win a Pulitzer Prize, each of them is a small personal victory of sorts. This even remains true for the earliest articles that few people have read. Each win is a cobblestone on the road of my life.
We all have victories to recognize and to celebrate in some manner. Perhaps you completed a project at work. You watched one fewer television program last night. Maybe you kicked a harmful habit. Did your last dental checkup reveal you have no new cavities? You might have a major victory under your belt. Were you promoted at work? Did you win election to public office? Did you graduate from school? Go ahead and self-validate the win.
Our “minor” wins are important. Significant research has shown that small and large wins create emotional and mental power. Even our lesser wins reinforce emotional strength, disproportionate to the sizes of the accomplishments themselves. Whenever we acknowledge a small win, refreshed, mental attitudes ready us for more small wins. We can think of this process as a positive feedback loop. As the feedback loop continues to reaffirm itself, we convince ourselves that we are capable of ever larger achievements.
It boils down to achieving a series of lesser, but authentic accomplishments providing further incentives and confidence to do more of the same and even try for higher goals. For example, a person who wishes to become healthier may resolve to start out by walking around the block each day. When this becomes easier, he decides to walk a mile each day. In turn, this may give him the resolve to walk two miles. This process continues on and on. Each completed walk is yet another small win.
Wisely, we can expand the practice of self-affirmation to including others in our praise. Done honestly without ulterior motives is not flattery. Consistent, genuine acknowledgement of their small and large wins bolsters their own confidence and boosts their motivation as well. When we make honest affirmation habitual, we help convert the improbable into the probable. Try this out with friends and colleagues, you’ll be amazed.
When we remember the minor considerations, courtesies, kindnesses, and victories, we begin to glow with authentic character and charm better than when we show off our status and brag about our major wins. It’s a matter of give and take, while being relateable to others. It’s important to plan for great ambitious endeavors, but it’s best not to let those dreams prevent us from acknowledging the minor, meaningful wins.
The Blue Jay of Happiness ponders this quote from a major guru of the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche. “Our human awareness is so powerful that even if we tap only a small part of it we can accomplish more that we ever thought possible. Using our complete potential, we can soar to the height where our accomplishments have great and lasting value for both ourselves and for future generations.”