Stop putting off success - have a cup of tea

Licensed under Creative Commons by Jeremy Keith. Thank you.

Licensed under Creative Commons by Jeremy Keith. Thank you.

No sooner had Neil Armstrong set foot safely back on earth than a journalist asked him, "So, Neil, is it Mars next?" (Actually, they didn't).

Just after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary had reached the summit of Everest, a voice was heard in the distance asking, "well, then, K2 and Anapurna next week?" (No, that didn't happen either)

Almost seconds after finishing the Sunflowers, van Gogh's housekeeper uttered the now immortal phrase, "oh Vincent, enough of all this painting lark, how about we start the knife-juggling circus act we've always dreamed of?" With disastrous consequences all round. (Again, probably not).

I imagine that just after parting the Red Sea, Moses had a voice in his head saying something along the lines of, "yeah, OK, it's a sea, but it's pretty narrow. Now what about the Indian Ocean? That's the biggy as far as water parting goes...a real sea-parter could nail that one first off. Now, get with it, Mr M, there's a bunch of folks behind you trying to get across, here" (Well, you try and prove that didn't happen. I know it probably didn't, but proving it might be fun).

The point is, how successful do we have to be in order to afford ourselves the luxury of enjoying our success a little, before rushing off to climb the next mountain, or part the next sea?

I don't know where it comes from culturally, but the idea of modesty seems to come in here. But often, sadly, it's not a modesty born of a balanced humility and equal regard for ourselves and those around us, but it's a kind of default, wet-blanket modesty that just dampens ourselves, and those around us too. A modesty that doesn't simply preclude arrogance so much as erode self-esteem and instead discounts successes, downplays achievements and that, despite all that, might still be deployed to good effect in "The Apprentice" - it's a question of balance after all.

This is a behaviour I see very often; discounting achievements as something that 'anyone could do', or a failure narrowly averted 'despite myself'. The difficulty is that with repetition, we may end up not spending as much time looking at the good stuff as the negative. And it leads to a success-blindness that can start to weigh heavily on the self esteem.

So how about we don't do that for a spell?

I don't mean we have to be terribly narcissistic and self adoring (though it might be fun for a short while), more that we need to be conscious of the balance of positive to negative messages that we give ourselves - and how that detracts or contributes to our sense of self worth.

What about, then, making a list of the last five successes you were part of. However small or large they may be?

(Notice that we'll often say our successes aren't large or significant enough to be considered a success, but, frankly, that's baloney. For some, making a good cup of tea might be enough, and that's plenty good enough for me...particularly when thirsty). So get listing.

Now, what do those five things look like, and what do they tell you about you? Now please sit back and enjoy a moment of warm glow. Several of them, daily. Doctor's orders.  (Well, not really, but you know what I mean).

Time for a good cup of tea, I think.