I was just coming to the end of a session with a lively group of students – we had been discussing wellbeing and how to be able to pay better attention for studying. I was telling them how by paying better attention, we achieve more, and gain a greater sense of achievement. Having that sense is one of the five fundamentals for complete wellbeing as espoused by Martin Seligman, father of Positive Psychology.
It was as I said those words that a little tiny thought flitted across my consciousness and said, “that’s what you are experiencing now!” That moment of insight was less about the students and more about the fact that just before the class, I had delivered electronically those documents I had needed to complete as part of my post graduate studies. Pressing that “send” button had brought sweet relief. It was the culmination of twenty months study, of telecalls and pod calls and hours upon hours of research and reading. Finally I had accomplished my goal of completing the course, and yes I was feeling accomplished!
What I also noted was that the final outcome, while it will be fantastic to receive a pass grade (fingers crossed) feels of far less consequence. It truly has been the journey, which has taught me the most, not the destination.
I have been brought up on goal setting, choosing the direction in which to steer, whether it be right or wrong and believe that using goals has helped me to make those choices, to take action to decide to follow a particular path and keep going.
This last twenty months has not been easy. There have been multiple conflicting demands on my attention and time, and it has required a fair bit of juggling and tolerance on the part of my family to get through to the end. And I have promised them no more – well, at least for the time being!
And yes, it was standing in the lecture hall that I felt it – my sense of achievement had arrived and I was able to savour the moment.
It doesn’t matter whether we are striving for academic study or promotion or simply to learn something new, our sense of accomplishment, of a job well done often with some hard work and effort is truly worthwhile and allows us to experience that wonderful feeling of completion.
What have you noticed about your accomplishments? What do you consider your greatest triumphs and have they added to your own ability to really “flourish”
Seligman, M. (2011) Flourish, A new understanding of happiness and well-being – and how to achieve them. London, Nicholas Brearly Publishing