16. Progress is Silent
I work in IT. We charge our clients by two things - time and material, T&M for short. Time is basically the amount of total hours spent by all people in a week / month on the allocated work.
We update our clients fairly regularly - sometimes several times in a day of the progress. So both sides vendor - us and the client - them, are generally watching the progress happen.
A progress that you are aware of and tracking everyday or regularly does not surprise you. And that is true with many things. A building that you are watching grow from basement to its top floor - especially if you have bought a house in it pleases, you but it does not surprise you.
But then there is another type of progress - the silent one. I have seen people lose tens of Kilos between our meetings that were only few months apart. For them the weight loss was not that dramatic but for me and everyone that has not been noticing they were a whole different person.
Some progresses are even slower
In his bestseller “Outliers” Malcolm Gladwell mentions that, to become an expert it takes 10000 hours (or approximately 10 years) of deliberate practice.
The exact number of hours could be disputed but for acquiring a skill at the highest or near highest level it does take an awful lot of time.
And that is the key - time. No one watches you through the years it takes to develop yourself into an expert.
Even for the most successful people in the world, hardly anyone believes they are worth their eventual virtue. When you are building your life from humble beginnings the milestones are far and wide. It may not seem that any progress is being made but … then
Just because no one is noticing it does not mean you are not going forward.
So many times we lose heart, get frustrated and give up for not getting regular praise or appreciation for the progress that is - so clear to us but not evident outside and hence, never noticed.
That’s when this quote should resonate with you
True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.
Whatever you are doing people WILL notice the final product, and in fact be surprised by it.
The CEO of amazon.com and the richest man on the planet Jeff Bezos says
All overnight success takes about 10 years.
And for those 10 years probably no one would notice you, but you should not stop working towards your goals.
The quote that started this post is attributed to Saint Francis de Sales. He was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church.
He is also attributed with powerful quotes such as
Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.
And now for the picture behind the quote
This is on a hill somewhere near where I stay. When the summer is in its full glory the trees and bushes dry up and turn yellow but every few branches apart, you can find a green shoot telling the tree is still there.
If you don’t notice it - the progress that is, you would only realize it when the whole tree comes back to life in a few weeks.
The true progress is silent and persistent - especially when not being noticed.
Keep doing what you are doing to get to the goal - even if no one is noticing …
And as always, thanks for reading through,