There’s a difference, I think, between change and progress. Change happens to us all the time and is frequently outside our control: progress only happens when we commit to making it happen.
It’s a process though, isn’t it? We have to decide what we want and go with that decision.
I hated learning to drive. I lacked any natural ability, was frustrated by not being able to pick it up more quickly and even more frustrated that my younger siblings passed their tests before me! My incredibly patient father didn’t give up on me, taking me out to practice even when it was clear that I’d pretty much given up on ever being able to drive. (Thanks, Dad!)
Dad was really keen on us adhering to good lane discipline, reminding us how dangerous it was to be wandering all over the road, or our intentions not being clear from our road position. If we were on a roundabout (or ‘traffic circle’), he’d encourage us to make a decision and commit to it.
That roundabout illustration sticks with me when I think of progress I want to make. Going round and round that roundabout, I’m just using up energy and getting nowhere fast. I need to choose an exit, indicate my intention to leave the roundabout and then get on with it.
Once we’re clear on our values and what’s really important to us (see this entry and the one following it if you want a fun way of working out what yours might be), the progress we want to make becomes a priority and we can commit to it.
If you daydream about starting your own business, nothing will happen until your daydreams become plans. If you’re too busy to make those plans, maybe starting your own business isn’t your priority right now. If it’s not a priority, maybe you’re not ready to make that change: that’s okay, just so long as you are aware of it.
Whilst change sometimes just happens, we have to choose to work at progress.
This week’s pebble for you: what progress are you ready to prioritise?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?