Everybody wants to get rich and it has to happen today. If you look at social media, people are either living the good life or in shambles. There doesn’t seem to be an in-between these days. Though 2017 has been a tough year for me both physically and emotionally, I am choosing to focus on the small wins.
I love discussing life and it’s various pursuits with people. I have met a lot of driven people in my life. I have also met a lot of people who are obviously stuck in a rut. How do I know they are stuck in a rut? I only recognize a rut because I have been stuck in too many to count.
One bit of advice I have received over and over again is to focus on one thing that I am good at and give it 100% of my effort. To me, that would mean choosing one thing and focus on doing that better than anyone else. While that seems like simple advice to follow, it has not been that easy for me. You see, I have a problem with sitting still. I don’t have the ability to focus on just one thing. I have tried. It just doesn’t work for me. My brain is not wired in that way, and yes I know that you can rewire your brain. I just don’t know if I really want to in that way.
I have often measured my success by the big tangible wins. The first year I marketed myself as a wedding photographer I booked 32 weddings. That was a big tangible win. In 2008 I started a website reviewing smartphone apps and technology. That website quickly became a huge win that lasted for several years. It’s easy to see those wins because they are big and they change your life for the time being.
What I have ignored is the small wins and today that changes. The small wins are what I believe really define us. The small wins are what give us daily contentment. Looking back on this year, I realize that all I have had is small wins. There were no big wins this year. There really haven’t been any big wins for a few years, and I notice that in my emotional health.
While big wins are great, they take a lot of time and hard work. There is nothing wrong with big wins, but big wins can be lonely. On the way to a big win is a lot of doubt. The path to a big win is a tough path that you often do alone. Few people understand that path and can relate to it.
I have been at it long enough to know what it takes to make a big win happen, the problem is that I am not willing to sacrifice everything in order to get to the next big win. I am at a point where in order to make a big win happen I would have to subtract a lot from something else. I am completely fine with that. I don’t need another big win to define myself by. I watch people chase big wins every day and most of them never reach them. They jump between big win opportunities never giving them the time to become anything.
I have a couple of projects that I am working on that could be big wins if I stopped everything and focused on one of them. The problem is that I don’t really want to stop everything and focus on one single thing. While I might be able to see a huge growth in success in one of those things if it was my only focus, I don’t want to let go of the other things. I enjoy these projects and I want to continue on them. I also enjoy my business and do not want to sacrifice that for short-term success in one of these projects.
I have a long game but I am also focusing on my short game. You can’t ignore one or the other. You need to focus on the future and what that is going to look like but you have to make time for the small wins and celebrate them. You can’t jump from opportunity to opportunity, you have to invest time and effort to see a return.
If you are young, it is much easier to focus on the big wins that come with the investment of time and effort. In some areas, I have succeeded in this way. In others, I have fallen short. I have always invested in learning and exploring. That has never led me astray.
For now, I am going to be better about acknowledging the small wins and celebrating them. Small wins add up to a big win over time. I didn’t give some of the small wins of this year the appreciation they deserved. I don’t see any big wins happening in 2018, but you never know when something small shows opportunity to become something big.
What were some of your small wins this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.