Small Successes


Small successes build into larger ones, and so on ad infinitum. Well… maybe not to infinity. But at least until the end of the timeline of our lives. Even at the low points, when we feel that we have failed, there is some small success. It’s just that you can’t always see it. We have our blind spots, all of us. Some people can’t see their failures. Others can’t see their successes. 

I’m one of those who struggles to keep sight of the achievements I’ve managed. I started More Odds Than Ends with this in sight. I knew many creatives were like me: we start things. We don’t always end them successfully. The idea was that if we could record what we’d done in a given day: got out of bed? Yay! Did laundry? Woot! Wrote stuff, made art, successfully navigated life… we have had more than one member sadly negotiate the death of family, recording it daily as they did so. It was terrible, and yet inspiring all at once. Sorrow shared is sorrow lessened (hat tip here to David Drake) but also, the lessons learned can help each and every one of us. We march on, through life, because the alternative is too terrible to contemplate. 

There will always be obstacles. Things we’ll trip over, and fall down. Attempts to do… something that will fail. What matters is how we pick ourselves up, dust off, and keep going on. Planning for the future helps with this process. Not just the Big Plan of: do you have a will? Who deals with your stuff when you are gone? What legacy do you leave? No, the small plans. What if you lose your job? What if the furnace dies? Have you got an emergency fund? What can you do now, to help achieve success later

In chemistry, we use catalysts. The idea is that the initial step of a reaction is a doozy. It requires a lot of energy to begin – anyone who knows how hard it is to start something new can relate to this! – and sometimes in order to truly get started, you need a boost. You’ll never reach completion if you don’t have some kind of a catalyst. In a chemical reaction, this lowers that stiff first ramp-up so it takes less energy to start it all cooking. In a human setting, that might be the help of a friend or mentor, to encourage you: literally to lend you a little energy. Heat is a common catalyst, getting molecules moving around faster, bumping into one another, forming connections and suddenly the reactions of those formations are self-sustaining. 

Successes lead to more successes. Even small ones can be used as a catalyst for larger ones. So! 

What will your success be today? 


So far this morning I have started work on a pantry project that needs to be done, but I have been putting off even starting. I have finished the layout for the next children’s book I’ve illustrated, and sent it off to my co-creator for his eyes to catch my mistakes. I have read a chapter of Thomas Paine. I slept in (yes, that’s really a success. I needed the sleep!). 



6 thoughts on “Small Successes

      1. Probably everyone who went to Parler instead of MeWe coming in to roost, and adding to the cataract, nay, flood coming in of former FaceBook.

  1. Sleeping in is awesome. Yay for more time for the body to rest and heal! And congrats on getting a major step of a large project done, and off to someone else to check.

    Today, I went to breakfast with OldNFO, then got firewood in for a fire today. It’s snowing, so this will help ward off the chill in skin and soul.

    Next up, laundry, and plucking away at a briefing in the work in progress. I can do this. I can, I can… all I have to do is get words on paper for my alpha readers to correct.

  2. Sleep is amazing! Congrats on the progress. 🙂

    Yesterday we moved furniture and completely reorganized the kitchen. Today was a continution. Laundry comes before words on virtual paper.

  3. Getting the last of the alpha comments to the western taken care of and shipping it back out to the beta readers!

Comments are closed.