Progress Over Success

As a Seahawk for Life, when Super Bowl XLIX ended with the Patriots intercepting Russell Wilson on the one-yard-line, I was devastated. Their journey failed. 

Or had it? 

This team’s journey had begun years before with the drafting of critical players like Wilson, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman. They’d established themselves as a perennial contender and even won Superbowl XLVIII the year before. No journey is defined by one step.

Harvard researcher Theresa Amabile says progress leads to our “best days.” In her article featuring Amabile’s work, Anne-Laure LeCunff suggests we “focus on progress over success.”

The morning I returned from our honeymoon, my boss stormed into my office and fired me on the spot. Perhaps I understood how Russell Wilson felt after his fateful misfire.

My boss was right to can me, though. I’d fallen out of love with the only job I’d ever had. 

I dusted myself off and began the next phase of my journey. My wife and I were soon to have the kids who inspired us to start the business I run today.

I believe progress comes from living what Socrates called “an examined life.” It requires you to make conscious choices — something I was unable to do before somebody fired me.

I’ve enjoyed many successes, just like that Seahawks team.

But my best days — and I’m guessing this is true of the Hawks as well — have come from enjoying the journey and making conscious progress.

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