Monday’s Meditation: On Progress

May 13, 2013

A little while ago now, I was having a conversation with someone about our respective careers, professional and general life paths. In the space of that talk, my conversant asked me a simple question that struck me as particularly pertinent.

“Do you feel like you’re making progress?”

When I answered in the affirmative she responded, “Well, that’s all that counts then.”

I have continued to revisit that question in my mind ever since. Progress really is all that counts.

Each of us has a goal that we are in some way, no matter how vaguely, marching towards. Movement, then, is the key. When we feel we are in motion, progressing however slowly forward, we are content. In fact, in a rather ironic twist, it is usually when we have forward movement that we are able to feel our best in our present state. And when we aren’t in motion, when we feel stagnant, when we sense the gears grinding to a heavy halt, we become our most unsettled, our most restless.

We move and we have stillness, we reach a still and we crave movement.

The human being is not content to languish. To rest upon our proverbial laurels. To watch time slip through our grasp without feeling as though we have milked those moments for every ounce of fulfillment they bore.

The most important thing is to keep moving. We know that, by now. But we must remember that we alone have the power to reignite mobility. That life won’t suddenly send us a tidal wave, sweeping us along to our supposed destiny. It is on us to make progress, us to say, “I may only be able to do one tiny thing to move my life forward, and so I will do that thing.” I will make progress. I am progress.

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