We live in world that epitomises celebrating the extraordinary, we often overlook the importance of modest steps that pave the way for the grand castles of our ambitions. It’s common to hear the advice to ‘aim high’ and ‘reach for the stars’, yet there’s a stringent silence surrounding the act of pausing to appreciate the effort that led to smaller victories, the often-forgotten micro milestones. Unfortunately, this practice is standing in the way of achieving our biggest goals.

The Seemingly Insignificant Victories

Imagine standing at the base of Mount Everest, envisioning the unfathomable distance between you and that notorious summit. Each step forward feels minuscule in the grand scheme of it all. You know you’re far from the top, but you press on, driven by the vision of that final peak. And this is where many of us remain – so fixated on the prize at the end, we hardly acknowledge just how far we’ve come.

Yet, every step you take on that mountain is testament to your endurance, your courage, and your sheer will to conquer.  It’s easy to dismiss these incremental movements as insignificant. But these steps are life-affirming.  They are the tangible actions reflecting your deep inner belief in the possibility of reaching your targets, which speaks volumes about your mental strength.

Celebrating to Propel Forward

What does it really cost to celebrate the launching of a product, the completion of a small project, or the learning of a new skill? The investment of time and energy is undoubtedly small, yet the returns are immeasurable.  By taking a moment to reflect on the significance of these steps and acknowledge their contribution to the bigger picture, we not only boost our morale but prime our minds for further successes.

Celebrations serve as a powerful anchor and imprint, reminding us that yes, we can. As psychologist, Jean Piaget, highlighted, the child who is praised for building a flawless square, before moving on to more complex shapes, learns the value of their achievement and is more likely to persist. The same principle applies to adults in self-contained victories – they keep the fire of motivation burning, no matter how small the flame.

The Risk of Overlooking Micro Milestones

Not recognizing and celebrating the steps we’ve already taken, implies that those steps and progress are insignificant.  The risk with this phenomenon is that it communicates to our subconscious that our efforts are insignificant; and potentially plants the seeds of unworthiness.

When we don’t make time to celebrate, we don’t just deny ourselves a morale boost; we also risk the integrity of our self-concept. By failing to acknowledge our successes, we create a narrative in which we are only worthy when achieving the end goal, not the stepping-stones along the way.   This fallacy can dramatically impact our mental and emotional health over time.

The Holistic Approach to Achievement

Acknowledging micro milestones isn’t about diminishing the importance of overarching goals; it’s about cultivating a more nuanced and beneficial approach to success. The pursuit of big aims is not a sprint but a strategic marathon made up of countless sprints. Each micro victory represents a stepping-stone not just to the final goal, but to a more resilient, motivated, and capable version of ourselves.

In essence, the act of recognizing these smaller successes is building a stronger foundation for our ultimate victories.  It’s only by celebrating the series of these steps that we reinforce an unwavering belief in our own ability to succeed.  It’s not just the goals, it’s more about

Making Rituals of Recognition

I propose that in the pursuit of our loftiest ambitions, we should make rituals out of recognizing our micro milestones. These rituals need not be grandiose or time-consuming. They can be as simple as raising a mental toast to the completion of a small task or taking a moment to visualize the positive impact of the small achievement.

By doing so, we not only foster an environment that encourages progress and success, but we also ensure that each milestone becomes a resolute piece in the foundation of our greater dreams.

In conclusion, commemorating the tiny triumphs on the path to our grand milestones is far from a waste of time. It is the building of a stronger and more complete self who is not merely capable of reaching that one peak but has unwavering strength and discipline to navigate the mountains and valleys that lie in between.