When I was a kid, every night at dinner, my Dad used to ask each of us, “What did you accomplish today?” I guess I had an answer. Must have, because the programming is so deep that I don’t even remember it. And no trauma there, either. My Mom tells me that one summer day, I answered my Dad, “I had FUN!” so defiantly that he stopped asking the question for a while.
The funny thing is, I can’t answer the question, “what did you accomplish?”, any more. Not for today, not for this week. And I don’t mean I sat on my butt and did nothing, either. I didn’t, though I was moving a bit slowly because I’m still recuperating from that nasty flu. I could write a list a mile long of stuff I did — but what does it really amount to? I mean, I did last week’s radio show, which I think made a difference for at least one person, and some client sessions that did, too. But that was what, a relatively few hours? In the course of a whole week? And all the other activity, the marketing, the sales calls, the emails, the cooking, the laundry, the paperwork, all that, what does it amount to? The truth is, most of it fades into one big blur. Does that happen to you, too? A few things stand out — a celebratory dinner with a friend, who just landed a terrific new job, an amazing client session or two, seeing my initial designs up on the web on CafePress for the first time (check them out at www.cafepress.com/flowersnquilts).
Here’s an even funnier thing — someone advised me to write down 5 things I’d accomplished each day, and said, if you can’t find five, you’re not looking low enough. Some days, I had to look pretty darn low, and that didn’t make me feel any better.
So part of me wants to be frustrated. Another week, and despite lots of effort, I seem no closer to my goals. It seems like nothing’s happening.
But another, wiser part of me knows that this is life on the plateau, one of those long stretches of life where you are just working steadily for what you want. Nothing big happens. Nothing bad happens. That part of me knows that life isn’t all highs, or lows (which I’m grateful for avoiding for another week). I do believe that what you put out comes back to you, so I have to believe all this effort will pay off somewhere, someday, somehow.
In Mastery, George Leonard says (and I’m paraphrasing here) you have to learn to love the plateau, because that’s what most of life is, and because those long stretches on the plateau are necessary preparation for the big breakthroughs.
Maybe this isn’t the most direct path to my goals, but maybe it’s the easiest. I did say I wanted ease and flow! And you have to be very careful what you ask for, because you will get it — the Law of Unintended Consequences is a corollary to the Law of Attraction. Maybe my path on the plateau is longer because of that.
I am learning, somewhat grudgingly, to love the plateau, and to love not only what I choose to create, but how I choose to create it.
I hope you are, too!