Accumulating Small Triumphs

Big wins are fabulous, splashy feel good moments, but give me a succession of small wins any week and I’ll take that option every time.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to big wins – indeed, bring one on, I could use it.  The thing is that the excitement and joy fade away into the everyday and then you are left with a nice photo.


We like to see our lives as a progression forward and toward something better.  The big wins then should give us a jump to a higher plain where we will then stay and continue to progress upward from that point.  But the truth is usually that the big win is a spike and then we come back to where we were previously and continue our progression after the interruption.


I haven’t even gotten into the other side of things, those difficulties – both large and small – that impede this progress.  I’ve mentioned before that over my life I have tended more toward the melancholy so these difficulties always loomed larger than any triumph in my perception.  Except in these last few years.  The difficulties are still there but I have consciously changed my perception.  (As I began to write this post in my head, my computer refused to start properly on the first try and I had to force a shut down all the while afraid that I would lose details of the idea with the delay.)


Look at what people accomplished without all of our modern machinery! 1875 August Menken photo credit: Wikipedia commons

Look at what people accomplished without all of our modern machinery!
1875 August Menken
photo credit: Wikipedia commons

If triumphs and difficulties left some sort of mark, sort of like the graphs in black and red that show earnings up or down of the center line, as we look back objectively at our lives these would probably be pretty even.  But in perception, I have found that if I make an effort to be aware of the small triumphs and give a moment of thanks then everything gets colored differently – and better.


We had many difficulties and challenges in the office last week but we ended on a small triumph which made it all worthwhile.


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4 thoughts on “Accumulating Small Triumphs

  1. Dan Antion October 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm Reply

    You are so right! In April, we started having daily team meetings where you take 3 minutes to talk about what you’re doing, mention one thing you’re stuck on and state one goal. It’s amazing how good it feels to accomplish that one goal, however small.

    • Beth Anne Reed October 21, 2013 at 7:33 pm Reply

      In customer service it is frequently the case that we can’t seem to get to the stuff we wanted to do in a day. If we didn’t start to pay attention to the little stuff that we do for others, we would be terribly frustrated. I like the one thing that you are stuck on. Someone else might be able to help – or sometimes just hearing yourself say it out loud brings a solution.

      • Dan Antion October 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

        It’s amazing how many times someone solves someone else’s ‘stuck’ during the call or at least volunteers to do it. I keep meaning to write a post about the process but I keep thinking I should wait for right amount of experience. We got the idea from others but it has helped.

      • Beth Anne Reed October 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm

        Perhaps a short series of posts? I like to do a series now and again.

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