Saturday, February 18, 2006

Curious about Accomplishments - Big or Small, the Importance Is What They Mean to You

“Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.” - Thomas Carlyle

If you can react the same way to winning and losing, that's a big accomplishment... quality is important because it stays with you the rest of your life, and there's going to be a life after tennis that's a lot longer than your tennis life.” - Chris Evert Lloyd

What did you accomplish this past week? Do you keep track of you accomplishments? And, do you reward yourself for and celebrate your accomplishments? I know I do, and Carlyle is correct when he states that they build “self-esteem” and “self-confidence.”

This past week I had several accomplishments. I went down and back up the three flights of steps to my apartment. I put the trash out twice. I did laundry. I ran the motor in my car for 15 minutes. And, I even cleaned my apartment.

“What?” you say. “What kind of accomplishments are those?”

I would be asking the same question in my usual, normal life, because there is no way I would even think of them as “accomplishments.” They would be easy tasks that I would do quickly and regularly without a thought. But, if you have been reading my blog, or know me, you know that in the first week of January I fell before teaching my three morning fitness classes.

I then taught the classes, and by the time I left the gym I was in PAIN. It did not get better, so three weeks later I visited the Cleveland Clinic's Sports Medicine section where new x-rays showed that I had fractured my hip. They performed surgery, told me not to drive and not to put any weight on my right leg. So, for the past three and a half weeks I have been hopping along on a walker and expending an incredible amount of energy on every small task - from dressing to just moving around.

That’s why I am feeling accomplished this weekend and started thinking about what accomplishment means. I also felt it would be interesting to look up a few accomplishment quotations just for interest’s sake. First, what do accomplishments mean to you and others?
  • “My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces.” - Wilma Rudolph
  • “The greatest feeling of accomplishment for me is the fact that I was an athlete who was somewhat disabled.” - Bill Toomey
  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” - Jim Rohn
  • “Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” - Eric Butterworth

And, then there are accomplishments that relate to what we do:

  • “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” - Thomas A. Edison
  • “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” - Arnold J. Toynbee. Way to go, Arnold! This could be my mantra. That’s why I have so many careers. I love them all so much, they are more “play” than “work.”
  • "You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare." - Georgia O'Keeffe

I will leave you with my favorite accomplishment quotation of all. Leonardo da Vinci wrote, “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

And, do let me hear about your accomplishments. In two more weeks, mine should become more impressive than the ones I cited earlier. Just remember, if it is an accomplishment in your mind, it is impressive!