What cliche have you heard that made sense but didn’t really sink in until long after hearing it?
You’ve probably heard the cliche of the stone cutter. When they hit the stone with the hammer the first time nothing visible happens. After the second blow of the hammer there is still no change. This process repeats one hundred times and there is seemingly no change. When the hammer strikes the stone for the one hundred and first time it break apart perfectly. It was a stroke exactly like the rest yet the result was tremendously different.
In my own life I too often celebrate and focus on the 101st hammer blow. I think about it, research it, and develop theories on how to make all the strikes of the hammer the same as that one definitive stroke.
When I do this I’m prone to missing something and making a mistake. I’m jumping to the flashy, shiny, and action filled activity; the most recent activity. I’m forgetting the entire journey it took to get to the end.
Often I’m not celebrating the earlier strokes. Instead of seeing them each as equal progress to a goal I see them as ordinary and redundant. I feel like I am toiling as opposed to working with passion. If only I remembered to appreciate each exactly the same as necessary progress towards a goal my mindset would be more easily changed to joy.
Today I’ve been focusing on remembering to appreciate the first one hundred hammer blows. In taking time to be thankful for the opportunity to make progress towards an incredibly long term goal I’ve already found more joy. Each swing if the hammer brings me closer to my goal and I appreciate each of them even if there isn’t a perceived progress. The journey wouldn’t be complete without each and every one of the first one hundred, they slowly shape me I to who I am supposed to be.