I read a thought-provoking blog post yesterday by NYC BizDev expert Alex Taub that examined the meaning of accomplishment. I made a comment on the blog and wanted to expand my thoughts into a longer blog post.
My definition of accomplishment is taking pride in making a positive difference, whether it is something relatively small that only affects one person or something massive that has the potential to change the world.
While you’ll never be able to accomplish changing the world if you’re satisfied too easily, I think you’ll drive yourself crazy if you don’t take the time to feel accomplished by some of the “little things” in life for which you are responsible.
A sense of accomplishment provides a great feeling. Unfortunately, these feelings tend to come by far too rarely so it is important to savor and enjoy them when they arise. Statistics and science show that we are working more than ever before, and it is healthy (and fun) to take a few moments to enjoy a big win or a personal achievement.
Feeling accomplished also ideally inspires you to do something with an even bigger impact the next time. Like Pringles or a marathon session of reality TV, once you whet your appetite you can’t help yourself from coming back for more - but in this case it is a good thing as it results in more positive actions from you.
The only potential downside of taking the time to feel accomplished is if you decide to rest on your laurels, become complacent, and think you’ve done enough good already.
Alex also posed the question if you can be accomplished and have it all. My answer is that I certainly hope that you can be accomplished and have it all, otherwise what is the point of putting in all the hard work? I refuse to believe that feeling accomplished is an impediment from allowing someone to achieve their dreams, both personally and professionally.
The key takeaway for me from thinking about feeling accomplished is the crystallization that I need to make sure I use these senses of accomplishment as fuel to drive my future endeavors.
Just because it was fun for me to reminisce, here are some random examples of when I’ve felt accomplished in the past, ranging from rather minor impacts to a few things I’m very proud of:
(My Tyrone Biggums Halloween Costume in 2006)