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We are neither success or failure, and this is the whole point of human living

We are works in progress.

This is the whole point about our human lives, working in progress. The problem with the world is, we want to see in ourselves and others, on the extreme ends of the spectrum. We want to see or label ourselves or each other as success or failure. When truly, we are mostly within the spectrum of works in progress.

When we introduce someone or we ourselves get introduced to an audience, we are often labelled, this is Mr or Mrs XX, a successful XXX. And when we indulge in negative gossips about people, oftentimes, we focus on how much of a failure they may be.

It’s been ingrained in our culture, our language and in our social habits to see people in black and white.

Somehow, being works in progress seems so bland. Maybe in our minds, we think there isn't much drama in works in progress. And this is where we are so mistaken!

The daily grind of our lives is filled with nothing but some kind of struggle. (See last week's article on struggles).

Every day, we are trying to become better than we were the day before. Most people I dare say, are constantly looking for ways to do something better, to feel better, to think better, to look better. It is a daily grind.

Maybe we do not realise this consciously. Because it is what we do, unconsciously. As humans, we are constantly trying to be better, in one way or another.

The being better may not be the standard set by others, but is certainly a standard we set for ourselves. So for eg, if yesterday person Sally didn't feel good about herself because she made a mistake and felt bad about it. In her mind, she would have asked herself how to correct the mistakes, or how to feel better about the mistake she made. Sally's self-esteem and confidence may have been shaken due to the mistake, and so as a work in progress, she sought to see how she can make things better.

We give so little credit to ourselves for these little things we do daily to make tiny incremental progress. Yes granted that there are days when instead of making progress, we tumble down this very slippery slope and ended up back where we started. Even then, with the fall, the next time we try again, we will definitely move higher than we ever did. This is how life is, as one of my mentors used to say: Three steps up and two steps down.

This applies to anything in life -- personal development, our business, our career, our relationships.

If we have an unrealistic idea of how life should be, that it is simply a straight line up the gradient, we will constantly feel and think of ourselves as failures.

The reality is our human experiences the progress will look like fluctuating ups and downs on the graph, just like our human heartbeat. Sometimes it goes faster, and sometimes slower.

If we feel pressured to end the ups and downs in our lives because we think that we have not peaked, whether, in our career or relationships, we may end things far too prematurely, and not realising that works in progress are truly the goal/gold.

Patience, courage and perseverance are indeed the three qualities that we need to sustain our lives. Being works in progress is a sign that there is always something positive to look forward to in any aspects of our lives, and that the gold/goal we have been seeking has always been under our noses.


©2020 Shamala Tan

Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.

One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.

Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.


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