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absolutely the opposite of the progression I talk about here...but progression nonetheless

Progression is something that all human beings strive for in their lives. It can be seen in so many forms throughout a lifetime like in a baby’s first steps, his or her first words, that first day of school, graduation from college, that first job, our wedding days, the tears mourning a loved one lost, or a job promotion. These are all considered goals or objectives, but should be noted as progress throughout our lives as well.

But what about the everyday? What about the time between these milestones of achievement? Do we live mundane existences in the gaps between our triumphs or does it just seem like this because we don’t know how to quantify progression? “Progression” as defined by Merriam-Webster is 1) the action or process of progressing, an advance, and 2) a continuous and connected series, a sequence. If we break it down into its most simple form, it’s about advancing. Simplicity is the key here. Advancing in any way is progression. Whether this be advancing spiritually, emotionally, physically, or the like; any and all of these should be considered progression even in its smallest form.

We as people need to cultivate this type of attitude to get through those times between milestones. Milestones are those “few and far between” pillars of achievement in our lives. When there is a large gap between these milestones we need to find relief in smaller increments of time and success. We need to think smaller to keep on the correct path to those greater successes. Not “think smaller” as in diminishing our dreams or aspirations or in a “get your head out of the cloud” kind of thing, but rather quantify success in tinier, more manageable units. Think back to the everyday and revel in the accomplishments of the “now.” For example, I will finally finish the book I have been reading by this weekend. I also ran a sub 8 minute mile yesterday (Not too good, but my first full mile I’ve RAN in a couple of years and I felt good about the time). I also have standing agreements with key components to help turn our ideas for products and businesses into reality, all through incremental advancements. This is progression. Progression in smaller forms, but progression nonetheless.

To break it down into even smaller units is easy and once this illustration is made, you will find the same revelation I did; we strive to progress every second of every day. This is in our DNA. The book “Making Ideas Happen” breaks it down like this, each person lives to progress. It is evident when we step into an elevator, press our floor, and then repeatedly press the “close door” button. In our heads, this is a way of moving forward even if the button doesn’t actually work. For New Yorkers it’s as simple as weaving our way through the city to our destination. Think about it. Instead of stopping for the Red Hand at a cross walk, we take the road that is open to get to the next block. We zig and zag following the open path instead of halting when that red hand tries to stop us in our tracks. Standing on the street corner works on our patience, but continually moving feels like “we are getting somewhere.”

The example that really hit me from the book is a person waiting in a concert line or in line for an amusement park ride. Everyone in line is there for a reason. To see the show, hear their favorite songs, to feel the rush of a coaster hurtling through the tracks; we are all there for a reason and we don’t mind the wait as long as we see progression. As each person inches forward in line to our goal, we feel satisfied, but if the person in front of us stalls and a gap forms, we become anxious over being held up. We all know that as soon as the person in front moves up and fills the gap, that we are now in the same position as if we were to incrementally inch forward at a steady pace. But, we are filled with anxiety because we are temporarily stalled, stagnant.

Pretty interesting concept when you think about it because we have all been there. Been there waiting in line for the concert, in our cars at a toll, standing and staring at the red hand. I have said this for so many years and for those that know me, you have probably heard it. “Dont let the red hand dictate your life.” Dont stop when there is progress to be made. Dont get lost when those milestones are beyond the horizon when there is achievement in today. Keep your head up, eyes always looking forward and strive to enjoy the little advances we make daily. I think that if we all work toward this mindset, we can only be happier in our everyday existence.

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