As my friend Leslie and I sit here in the cool crisp autumn air, we casually discuss what achievement means to us. What is clear right away is this is not a word whose meaning can be applied widely to the world.
Shiloh’s Perspective: My relationship with achievement is complex. If I accomplish an activity on my todo list it is a mini-achievement. Love crossing those little buggers off. Larger achievements are a bit more squishy. To me, you aren’t living your life if you do not relentlessly stretch yourself. When I reach an ambitious goal the celebration is quieter, more of a respectful nod to myself. Then I go after the next one in the line up. Yes, a textbook overachiever.
Leslie’s Perspective: My goals change as I go. When I have a far off objective, if I see that it has become too difficult to reach, I move the bar to something more reasonable. The progress alone brings me joy. Any movement should be celebrated, an achievement in its own right. I don’t beat myself up. I adjust and continue on. There is no failure in that as I am leading a happy, fulfilled life. The way of a peaceful warrior.
Setting goals and striving for achievement is where we share common ground. However,
- mine is more competitive, which creates pressure to reach lofty successes, while
- Leslie’s is easier going threaded with a journey mindset versus a milestone one.
Judgments aside, achievement is bound by one’s own perspective. The goal here is to take ownership of what achievement means to you, then confidently applying your own strategy to reach it.