Motion Does Not Equal Progress

As the year is wrapping up, many have expressed sheer exhaustion. Everyone has had to pivot in roles and jobs, economic stress, political unrest, natural disasters. Regardless of the situation, everyone feels burnout. Recently I read a blog that stated that it had been two years in one. Although I have had the delightful opportunity to lead the 6-week leadership series, as I was preparing this week’s discussion, I came across the sentence “Motion does not equal progress.”  In last week’s blog, I discussed that everyone is busy, and our lives feel like they are in constant motion.

Even when we act with the intention, it can feel like spinning our wheels. We can feel like we are constantly busy and not getting anywhere. When you feel like you are moving but not seeing results, remember that even the seemingly small choices today will significantly impact your future. You may not have a vision of what you will do next. The best leaders I have worked with always seek ways to improve themselves. By improving yourself, you are improving their home and work environments. Improving yourself and seeking the next step does not mean a career or job change. It means that you are seeking ways to improve yourself.

Motion means we are constantly moving; we are busy moving from one task to another. On the other hand, progress means we are completing tasks and projects. Progress means we are learning and continuing to develop skills.

In his observation, author Sean Lynch said that the most satisfied and engaged people genuinely lead and take charge of their careers. You have the power to take control of our personal growth. Personal growth could be from choosing to work out more to get in better shape; it could be joining a book club, learning to paint or play a musical instrument, or returning to school. I have learned that you are never too old to learn. Each one of us is a work in progress. Everyone is at a different stage of progress.

When you feel like you are spinning your wheels, here are some things you can do:

1. Stop and take a moment to ponder and set goals.

  • Do you have action items to achieve those goals?
    • Goals without a plan are just a wish or dreams.

2. Do one thing for your career every day – no matter how small.

3. Surround yourself with people who motivate and lift you.

4. Identify and celebrate your progress.

5. Make it fun.

“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” -Alfred A. Montapert