The Key to the Middle

[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]W[/mk_dropcaps]e lack no shortage of leadership insight these days.  You can podcast, read, have someone else read to you on audio book, browse the internet and all the barraging information from social media.  With all this information I think it is safe to say we have become obese with knowledge.  We know a lot of the catch phrases to say, how to filter our pictures just right, but do we know how to apply the information we hear to our daily lives? I often question my capacity to do just that. I can say the right things, but more often than I'd like to admit I don't always do them. What I've been making an effort to do is whenever I read, listen, or watch something to learn and grow to not only take notes, but to pause and ask how I will apply that to my life.

There was a great opportunity for this early this week.  While I was meeting with some ladies who on their own businesses, one friend brought up a very good question I think will be very helpful to you.  Before I share that however, allow me to paint some context.

We were talking about how in the middle stage of working a vision, it is easy to grow very weary and tired. While, the start of any vision is hard to get momentum built, it still has the excitement and novelty to push you forward.  Towards the end of seeing a vision come to pass, as you see that finish line grow closer, excitement rekindles and you find more energy as a result.  It is that dang middle phase that get's sticky.  It actually takes MORE energy in the middle than anywhere else in the process.  There is no eager anticipation and freshness that comes at the beginning, and you still are far way off from the finish line, it is nowhere in sight.  Yet, it is the MIDDLE where we need to push forward most.  The fact this came up in the middle of a discussion of a podcast about "Setting Up Camp in the Discomfort Zone" by Michael Hyatt I believe was no accident.

One of the key points Michael brings up in this podcast is about celebrating victories.  Personally this area is a struggle for me.  I'm all about setting goals, reaching them, and moving onto the next.  The problem with this is it can become draining.  You lose all fun about the process if you don't pause to celebrate progress.

Ok now you're all caught up, here is the question that came up.  I now ask you... :

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]What do you do to celebrate your progress? [/mk_blockquote]

Don't just say you throw a party once you hit your big goal.  While that is fun that isn't the type of celebration I think we really need.  Rather, the type of celebration that helps us get through the middle is when we set milestones of progress.  These milestones are easily measured, not so big you rarely ever reach them, but significant enough that the progress  toward the finish line is noticable.  Let me give you an example my husband and I came up with:

For every $1000 we save, we will go out to have a fancy dessert. 

This will cost us no more than $15, is something fun we don't do a lot, and will refuel us for the next step. It isn't so far off I never will get to celebrate, but not so often it is every day.  My husband and I have made a list to create milestones to celebrate in business and ministry as well.  I believe this will be something, just like goals, we will have to revisit often in order to persevere till the end.

We can so easily get stingy with our celebrations that we only really pause to celebrate massive life transitions (weddings, births etc..).  Even worse, we can wait until we have "arrived" at our desired state to celebrate.  What a sad way to live!  The more I press forward and accomplish, the bigger and bigger my vision gets.  I realize I never will "arrive" as long as I live.  I can't put off celebrating because that will rob me of joy along the way. Celebration is vitally important to refuel you and I as we dig in to push past the MIDDLE.

Now I want to ask you... What will you do to celebrate your progress?