Progress comes to mind. Not the words money, health, success or even family, just the word progress. You can have a wonderful loving family, but what if you have poor health? Are you still happy? The cancer patient who successfully conquers his disease is probably happier than any healthy person will ever be, at least for that moment in time. That’s progress.
The problem with progress is that it gets harder and harder to move forward with each progression. If you’re a publisher, take your Alexa ranking for example. When you first start off, each monthly improvement may be by 1 million. The next month’s jump slows to 100,000. Finally, your rate of improvement is only 1,000 until you start losing interest. Your ranking may not mean much, but it’s fun to track and it will keep you motivated when you first start out.
Another example is work. The guy in the mail room who gets promoted to the front lines that week is happier than the woman who’s been head of the office for the last 10 years. For the next 10 years, I’ll take the junior guy’s work happiness over the established woman’s work happiness any day.
So what do we do once we hit a wall? In Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture, he says,
“Brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want something badly enough. They are there to keep out the other people.”
I’m determined to scale that damn brick wall and find out what’s on the other side. Are you?
Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
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