Springingtiger's Blog

Filling The Dishwasher IS an accomplishment!

Today as I put together my to-do list the thought occurred to me that we dismiss most of what we do as routine and mundane. We do a lot of things that, when asked, “What did you do today?” it would not occur to us to include the answer, it certainly would not occur to us to consider them accomplishments, perhaps we should.

We tend to reserve the term accomplishment for the big things people do; we lose sight the fact that the big things do not exist in isolation, but require many little considered, commonplace actions to bring them to fulfillment. We have to eat, we need to sleep, to bathe, obviously; less obviously we need entertainment, beauty, interaction, simulation. Beethoven’s symphonies are accomplishments, but had he not sawn off the legs of his piano, they may never have been written. A chef may create a magnificent new dish, but not without washed utensils, not without chopping and mixing, and how much depends on the ingredients? It is easy to celebrate the accomplishment of the chef and forget the farmer, the fisher, the market gardener, the sous chef, the kitchen porter, the butcher and even the cutler.

We also forget that an accomplishment requires us to know what to do, and that learning is, in itself, an accomplishment. When my daughter, Ambika, told me she was going to teach my granddaughter, Rhiannon, to tie her shoes, I showed her the “Ian Shoelace Knot”
by Ian Fieggen .  She furrowed her brow and said, “It shouldn’t be that easy!” And that is another reason we don’t recognise accomplishments, we expect them to be the result of hard work and effort, they can be, but there no reason they have be what makes an accomplishment is recognising it.

Every evening I end my day by reviewing it with my “Daily Greatness Journal” and it asks questions like, “What went well today?”, “What did I learn today?, “What am I proud of today?”. It forces me to evaluate my day and what I’ve done. It is easy to look back on a day and wonder where the time went because we fail to value the routine, but when we notice what we have done, we realise just how full been our day and much we have done.


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