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Should you stop and smell the roses? No, you shouldn’t just smell them, you should touch them, photograph them and write about them. Our accomplishments are so diverse and scaled that we rarely take stock of them. I used to be the kind of person that was fixated on the past; more specifically by ruminating on the shameful things that hurt myself and others. After I learned to forgive others as well as myself, I vowed never to look back. The problem with that mentality is that accomplishment becomes a non-variable. Let me explain.

How many times have you set a goal, put in the hard work and accomplished it? What was better: the goal or the work? In my experience the journey has always been more enjoyable than the goal itself. Goals are great to have, but they change and evolve as life influences them. I am an ARDENT believer in writing things down and as such, I firmly contend that you should write down your accomplishments on a daily basis. From getting out of bed when you don’t feel like it to not eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream for the 3rd night in a row, there are no accomplishments too great or too small. Here are some of my highlights over the last 30 days:

  • Wrote something valuable EVERY day
  • Started writing a book about being an organist (Almost done! More on that later)
  • Created a website
  • Started and expanded a podcast
  • Created an engaging social media presence
  • Met new people who shared the same vision
  • Cleaned the house in preparation for Baby Jack
  • Linked up with family at my grandmother’s funeral
  • Performed Handel’s Messiah with my choir
  • Lost a golf tournament but had fun

I don’t share these to brag, but rather to show you what an accomplishment highlight reel looks like. When I was in my darkest moments, I felt like I had nothing to live for and I wasn’t accomplishing anything. Guess what? you can and should still keep a list when life sucks and is hard. It’s in these cloudy moments that we experience the most growth, even when we can’t see it. Keeping a highlight reel of accomplishments drives us to one very important word: GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is the thing that keeps us going when motivation and good vibes fall flat.

Gratitude is the fuel that keeps your engine running when you are on fumes.

Gratitude is realizing that we’ve won the lottery by being alive NOW as opposed to any other time in human history.

Gratitude is the essence of the human experience. We were built for RELATIONSHIP. If you feel like you don’t have a highlight reel, reach out. Someone has been watching your film the entire time and thinks it’s amazing. I want to know: What are some of your accomplishments? What are the highlights of the last week, month or year? Let’s keep going forward with boldness and a desire to add value to the lives of others.

There’s more to come, I’m not done yet…