As with any organization, it often seems like you have more problems than positive results. Once a month at my company, Ink Custom Tees, we gather as a leadership team for a planning meeting. Years ago the focus of those meetings had a tendency to gravitate toward problem areas. Problem areas have to be dealt with. Part of effectively running an organization is not turning a blind eye to the challenges. But dealing with challenges all the time does drain your energy. Each week, at the end of those meetings I often felt worn out and discouraged. I knew we were doing good things as an organization, but it was hard to see those things through the fog of what seemed like continual challenges.
I decided to make a change. Each week I asked my leaders to bring to the meeting one positive result they were seeing in their area of responsibility. The positive didn’t need to be a huge victory, because huge victories were often hard to come by. We started off the meeting taking turns talking about the small victories we saw the previous week. We called those victories Short Term Wins and nicknamed them STW’s. It totally changed the dynamics of the meeting. It was amazing to see the energy that was gained as we each took turns sharing our STW. Sometimes the entire meeting was spent sharing STW’s. We found that focusing on the victories gave us the needed energy to respond more effectively to the challenges. The same is true when you pursue your God-inspired dream.
As you maintain momentum by focusing on the next small step, you are going to see one of two things happen. You will have victorious moments and clarifying moments. Both are wins. When you accomplish a goal, you have experienced a STW. Take time to celebrate that victory with someone close to you. When you run up against an obstacle, you are experiencing a clarifying moment. Don’t treat that as a defeat. What you have now is actually more clarity about which direction not to pursue. Or maybe what you have is more insight into what is required in order to continue along your dream journey. Clarifying moments are also STW’s and should be treated as something to celebrate. When I encounter clarifying moments, I tell myself that I am more informed than I was before. Take time every week or so to review your STW’s so that you can experience the satisfaction of knowing that you are creating momentum along the dream journey. Just remember, short term wins equal progress along the dream journey. As long as you are making progress, you are living your dream.