thoughts on progress and achievement and how massively huge it all is

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16, Insight

Progress is so important. Appreciating the journey towards anything is so important. You could feel like you’re getting nowhere in a moment, feel like you’re at a standstill or have plateaued in your development as a person; yet once you look back, you realize how far you’ve come since the start of your journey. Every step forward is a huge achievement, a massive accomplishment that deserves celebrating.

When you’re losing weight or toning up, you never feel good enough (or, at least, I constantly felt like I needed more work or my stomach was a little too poofy for my taste). But, oh my goodness, if you stick to it, your body progresses so much compared to what it was a month ago, or even a week ago! You don’t notice how good you look until you look back at the start of your journey and see the difference. Humans tend to live in the moment, where a judgment of “progress” is based on the achievement of momentary satisfaction with your body with the end in mind, not the beginning. Your body standards get higher and higher, which is a good thing, but certainly not something you should utilize to justify self-hate or consciousness. Those newly raised standards simply push you to work harder and keep raising the bar. Then you can take a step back and be like, “Wow, I’m benching 90000 pounds!!! This is crazy, I remember benching 7!” Work towards a goal, but never forget the moment you started working towards it because that makes the journey that much more rewarding and satisfying.

Likewise, when you’re in high school, you feel lost. There are moments where you feel 12 years old and scared of the future, and moments where you feel 37 and desperate for childhood once again. But think about your little embarrassing, 7th-grade self. You are basically a Greek god or goddess or something compared to that poor thing! You’ve come so far! Sure, you’re not 25 with a loving fiancé and cute dog and physical features that reflect your actual age, but you’re a young adult! A teenager! You’re no longer a little middle schooler that puts “like my status” posts on Facebook and wears knee-high Converse (I mean, no offense to the knee-high Converse, they’re super rad, I once had an affinity for them, but def something that must be grown out of one day). You’ve come so far since then! You’ve figured out what your interests are, and though that’s not a career, it’s something that could steer you towards your future. Like, you’re in high school and have friends and go to Homecoming and can totally relate to 90’s teenage movies now! You can order at restaurants by yourself and not get nervous about it! You can watch R-rated movies and not feel guilty! Life is amazing, growing up is amazing! Measure your successes with regards to your childhood; do not see them as failures with regards to someone else’s adulthood. You are awesome. I promise.

Progress is important, and one must never forget its significance. Little progress is better than none at all. Celebrate your achievements, big or small. Just kidding, there are no small achievements. All achievements are big achievements. Huge and massive alike. Celebrate them. Never discount them. They are so important. You are important. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate where you are in time and where you are in the huge timeline that is your past, present, and future. Celebrate everything. Keep moving forward, my friend. You rock.

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