So many of us do not feel we are ever successful. We work and work and feel like we are getting nowhere. But doing whatever we do and doing it well IS success. We do not necessarily become celebrities or even known outside of our specialized circle, but we do well with what we have and have become.
Applaud our small improvements
Recently, I read this in Chats with the Void, a comic about existentialism: One character says: “I’m honestly scared that this mediocrity is all I’m capable of…. that I’ve peaked here as this amateur…. My few successes feel so…. small.” The Void replies: “The real terror is turning successes into failures by being unable to enjoy them.” (@chatsvoid—check it out, a wonderful comic.) If we applaud all our successes, no matter how small, we can see how far we have really come.
The Hermit card
The Hermit card shows someone standing on the top of a mountain. He is often shown holding a lantern (some have a symbol inside it that shows it is illuminating Truth). He looks back to see where he has been. If we look back to see where we have been in the past, we will see how much progress we have actually made—more than we usually think.
I tell people who are frustrated with their progress in a project or goal to look back six months and see where they were before compared to where they are now. It would be very rare that you are not at least incrementally ahead of where you were. Success is not a matter of bolts from the blue, it is a matter of small steps leading to progress. We practice and practice and see the results over time.
We may never be big names in our professions. We may never be world famous. But we get to be very good at what we do and that is all we can strive for. Enjoy what you are doing and applaud yourself as you improve. Even if you are not an expert, you are better than you once were and that is worth being proud of.