It’s easy to get focused on the big milestones. They’re big. Your first job. First love. Your wedding. The day your kid is born. First house. That “big” project. We get focused on the big ones. I think in my past, I’ve focused too much on those big moments. By past, I mean the whole past…professional and personal. I wonder if sometimes, had I been focused on the moments between the moments, would I be in a different place.
Over the past few years, I’ve tried, with varying degrees of success to pay better attention to everything around me so that I don’t miss out on recognizing a significant moment. It’s not about the proverbial smelling of the roses. No, this is about more than that. This is about realizing there are moments in between the moments and to ignore those moments so that we can chase the major milestones, is to miss out on life. It also happens to be a maddening way to live…milestone to milestone.
What happens if you don’t reach the one milestone that you’ve been striving for? We’ve all been there at some point; it’s quite a deflating experience. You somehow feel less successful, less happy, less fulfilled, less accomplished…it’s a tough pill to swallow. That laser focus on that next big milestone can be a heavy burden. But, we take on that burden because of the rush that comes from reaching and achieving that milestone. That rush is addictive.
I’ve learned a lot these past few years. And one of those lessons is to focus on the moments between the moments. It’s not the kiss, it’s the way she tilts her head as she looks at you on a cold winter night, under a street lamp while the snow just begins to fall. It’s not the award show, it’s the whiteboard session where you and your team have that seminal a-ha moment where the idea is first conceived. It’s not those precious first steps, it’s the stumbles and bumbles of watching someone grow from crawl to walk.
Those are the moments between the moments and frankly, without them, you wouldn’t have those big moments to focus on.