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Milestones

Jul 24, 2018 | Communication

As soon as I hit publish on this blog post I will be off to the tiny village primary school to pick up my daughter for the last time.

Today is another milestone is passed as it is her last day of Primary school.

In September she joins her big brother at Secondary School for the second chapter in her journey through formal education.

To mark the occasion I went back into my photo library to try and find a nice picture of her first day and promptly fell down a rabbit hole of looking back at old photos and wondering where on earth the last seven years have gone.

I was chatting to an old friend recently about how I find that my memory of past events are often shaped by looking at photographs, to the extent that I remember the image more than I remember the experience that the photograph captured.

It is well documented that our lives are exponentially more documented that they were in the past. We capture snapshot moments and thoughts almost daily and they are passively collected, stored and logged.

This might seem facile especially when Facebook reminds us that, on this day in history, we chose to share with the world a particularly random and nonsensical thought but occasionally there is something important or vital that serves to remind us that our lives and businesses continue to evolve and change and that we should neither obsess about minutiae nor take things for granted.

This post however is not about nostalgia and a longing for the past but a reminder of the importance of tracking your progress – the literal meaning of the word milestone. These are passive markers along a route that indicate either how far you have travelled from your starting point or where you are in relation to your desired end point.

A simple statement for fact.

As humans we then invariably apply significance to this fact where often it is unnecessary.

Completing a half marathon is seen as an achievement.

Stopping at the halfway point of a full marathon is seen as a failure.

Yet both are equidistant.

I maintain that milestones are as important as goals because they are a statement of fact whereas goals are a statement of ambition.

I recently shared the fact that my new podcast People Like Us Do Things Like This had passed the 100 downloads mark. I shared this not impress but impress upon myself that I just had to keep going.

It was just another milestone.

If I can maintain the discipline of recording an episode every week I will have completed 52 episodes by the time I travel to Edinburgh for CMA Live 2019.

Will I become a podcasting superstar by that time? It is unlikely.

Will I have honed my skills and improved my craft by that time? Undoubtedly.

Notice the milestones or markers along the way but don’t get obsessed about them at the expense of enjoying the journey.

They are simply there to show you how far you’ve come.

And how far you still have to go.

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