“Quotes in Action” – Day 5

Consider the postage stamp quote

Have you ever been working on a million things and then ended up feeling like you’ve gotten very little accomplished? It seems like most people these days are juggling multiple responsibilities, hopping sporadically from one to another. Of course, to some extent this is unavoidable. Still, we will achieve more when we commit to completing what we start.

There are a variety of reasons why we fail to finish tasks:

  • We hit a hard spot, get discouraged, and decide to work on something else
  • We get interrupted by someone/something who is demanding our attention
  • We fail to allocate sufficient time, end up making only partial progress, and never go back to complete the activity
  • We undertake too many projects at once and fail to prioritize
  • We become overwhelmed and give up

Today’s quote from Josh Billings provides insight on how to overcome this kind of situation. He said, “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

I love this quote because it emphasizes two important qualities we need to nourish if we want to succeed:

  1. Tenacity. If we expect that there will be challenges, we won’t surrender in defeat when they arise.
  2. Focus. If we really want to get something done, we need to commit to keeping only one or two projects as top priorities for as long as it takes until they are completed.

I think these words of wisdom particularly apply to big projects, such as writing a book, decluttering a large home, earning a degree, obtaining a new job, or running a marathon. We won’t finish these long-term initiatives in a day or two, so we will need to commit to showing up over and over again until the objective is reached.What large goal you would be willing to stick with this year until it is finished?

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