A time to celebrate small victories

When the going gets tough, we tend to underestimate the value of a small victory.

If the bigger picture stuff seems chaotic, just like we’re living through with this pandemic, then we can get derailed and lose our focus. Understandably. It’s entirely human to be swayed by the emotional impact of hazardous circumstances.

It’s easy to lose hope, to stop believing in the value of progress and to become apathetic. This can interfere with our capability to perform at a basic level, which quickly creates an unwelcome feedback loop as our underperformance aligns with the negative mood music.

The antidote is to keep notching up small scores on the board.

As an example, in recent weeks I’ve worked with clients who are struggling with their inability to get ‘deep work’ done while they share the same space as their children. I feel their pain.

Faced with this dilemma, there are two broad options. The first is to abandon the ambition and retreat into struggle mode. The alternative is to shrink the target and try to hit it more consistently, in this instance finding ten to fifteen minutes of deep-ish work whenever possible.

A previously insignificant achievement now becomes a small victory. And these are victories worth pursuing and celebrating.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.

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