Accomplishments are food for us humans.
That’s why we cheer out loud when a baby walks or when our friend crosses the finish line. It’s why we pass around videos of special needs adults beating their best time on a treadmill.
We do it for them but we also do it for us. It’s energizing to watch someone do something they couldn’t do before, to see their fists go up and their eyes widen. It reminds us that most barriers aren’t real and that it’s not usually our hands, our feet, nor our lungs that are holding us back.
Sometimes when you’re down, it’s helpful to watch another person go up. For some reason, it’s often easier for us to rejoice in others’ achievements, especially if they’re chipping away at something we’ve already mucked our way through.
But, you know what? When we root for someone else, we still reap the rewards ourselves. It’s a loop-hole.
Why do you think coaches and trainers and mentors are so happy and energized all the time? They get to witness progress regularly, to watch barriers get demolished by the hands that put them there. That’s where the optimism comes from. They have proof. They have thousands of case studies stacked up behind them like a great stone pillar with a big sign on it that says “You can fucking do this.”
We focus so much on the things we’re not able to do, we forget that we are in that pile of inspiring success stories too. We’ve got stones in that pillar.
If you’re feeling stuck, you may be focusing too much on yourself, and in particular, on what you’re not doing.
Seeing the glory in someone else’s eyes can help you put our own foot forward. And, no matter how far down you feel or how far ahead you’re looking, that’s the only thing you ever really need to do.