Looking For Results?

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it–but all that had gone before.” ~ Jacob Riis …

How often do we find ourselves impatiently looking for results? So many times, we allow ourselves to become frustrated or afraid of failure simply because we do not see immediate and quantifiable results for our efforts. When we do this, however, we are placing unrealistic expectations on people, situations, and things in life, effectively missing the big picture–that by simply trying we are always making further progress towards achieving our goals.

Whenever we begin a new task, or strike out on a new journey in life, we really have no idea what the end result will look like. Just like when a sculptor chips off the first piece of stone or marble, there is no visual evidence of any real progress towards a finished product. And even after a hundred or a thousand more chips with the hammer and chisel, we most likely will still not see anything close to a finished product. But with patience and perseverance, the sculptor will eventually end up with a beautiful work of art.

This applies to all aspects of life. When I wish to work on losing weight, or gaining strength, I know that a single workout will yield next to nothing in terms of visible results–generally, all I get is sweat with sore muscles. But with persistence, I can increase my speed, my stamina, and my strength… and as each week passes by, I might find that my weight has steadily decreased pound for pound. And programming is much the same–starting off with a single sentence, adding a few commands, variables, and keywords. At first it is nearly impossible to make out one project from another. And sometimes, even after a month I am still unable to test my program–to see anything in action and know if it will even work after all of the time and labor I have put into it. Yet in time, line after line, I slowly see it progressing towards my desired end result.

If you are not seeing the results you expect or desire, do not let yourself feel disappointment or disillusionment. For as long as you are actively working towards a goal, you are making progress. It really is that simple. You are doing the best you can, and even if you cannot see it, rest assured that good things are happening.

Take some time to reflect upon the progress you are making in your life.

Questions to consider:

Why do we feel it is so important for us to see progress in things that we do?

How do you feel when you do not see any visible results for your efforts? Why?

How often do you take the time to imagine the end result? How close might you be to breakthroughs in your life without even knowing it?

For further thought:

“As long as you are actively pursuing your dream with a practical plan, you are still achieving, even if it feels as though you are going nowhere fast. It has been my experience that at the very moment I feel like giving up, I am only one step from a breakthrough. Hang on long enough and circumstances will change, too. Trust in yourself, your dream and spirit.” ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

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