#SlowDownSunday: Embracing The Near Win


Welcome back to #SlowDownSunday! As we wrap up the weekend and move into a new week, I want to use this time to slow down and reflect on what made it onto our radars in the last 7 days.

This week? It's all about the near wins...

(For the skimmers, here's the link to an interactive transcript.)

Embracing the Near Win (Kinda)

I'll say it: I hate not winning. I hate the idea of anything that resembles "losing" or not being the best at what I do.

I'm your stereotypical "all or nothing" person - but I'm working on it, I promise.

Anyway, because I know the effects of this hopeless pursuit of perfection, it's really easy for me to recognise the same plight in my clients.

Progress vs. Perfection

For some of our clients, this plight might look like a cycle of boom and bust - overdoing it and then having to take a week of down-time to recover.

For others, it might look like avoidance. Maybe you've had a client who loathes the idea of walking 10 minutes a day as a path to better function when they used to be able to run half marathons before they got sick. Anything less feels a lot like losing - so why bother?

And success?

To that client, success might only look like that moment when they're able to finish a half marathon again.

All that annoying stuff in the middle (the hurdles, the stumbles)... it's just fluff, right?

Nothing worthwhile there.


Mastery vs. Success

In the TED talk above, Sarah Lewis explores the idea of a near-win and the potential it has to build mastery.

Why might it be valuable (for us and our clients) to pursue mastery over success? I'll let Sarah field that one:

"I realized that success is a moment,but what we're always celebratingis creativity and mastery.But this is the thing: What gets us to convert successinto mastery?This is a question I've long asked myself.I think it comes when we start to value the gift of a near win...

...Success is hitting that ten ring,but mastery is knowing that it means nothingif you can't do it again and again.Mastery is not just the same as excellence, though.It's not the same as success,which I see as an event,a moment in time,and a label that the world confers upon you.Mastery is not a commitment to a goalbut to a constant pursuit."

Requires quite a shift from our current idea of what success looks like, don't you think?

And particularly when it comes to goal setting, it makes me wonder why we value the end point so much more than the process of getting there.

What could a conversation about near wins with our clients look like?

Maybe it involves reframing a missed goal as something that could get us closer to where we want to be in the long run.

Maybe it requires us to explore the value in the annoying "middle stuff" - the stumbles and the hurdles, the times where we don't do so well - and their ability to help us build mastery and skills that will last much longer than that feeling of success when (and if) we reach that goal.

Oh, and one last thing:

What was on your radar this week?

*Feature image from Ben Rodford.