The feeling of accomplishment is perhaps one of the most important that can be acquired. Accomplishment comes to us through our own hands; it is not one of those feelings that is evoked by another’s actions or activities, nor is it stimulated by chance encounters. Accomplishment is earned, like a trophy or award given to those who have been recognized for a significant effort. It comes to those who deserve it, without the politics of panel votes or favoritism. It comes honestly and purely. For this, it must be, along with true love, among the most virtuous of feelings.
A sense of accomplishment is deserved after completing a well-done task, but the most satisfying accomplishments are those that come from the attainment of long-term goals…goals that were conceived and planned, then slowly worked with patience and deliberance and commitment. The most robust accomplishments are those that create something significant. Handcrafting a fine quilt, growing fruits and vegetables for your family, and completing long-term education or career goals are some examples.
But, there are other accomplishments that are even more rich and deeply felt…and often overlooked. These accomplishment arise from attaining long-term goals that are focused on enriching other’s lives and not our own. Creating a lovingly crafted gift for someone who is unable to reciprocate is an example. Others include always being there for someone who has suffered a terrible loss or serious illness, growing food to help feed those who are unable to feed themselves, and raising children through the twists of life. In accomplishing goals that enrich other’s lives, our own lives are enhanced in ways that transcend superficiality. Although these acts of kindness bless other’s lives, in a way, they are the things that have carried each of us through life. We all are where we are today because of the selfless acts of others…our parents, our friends and even strangers who we will never meet. The acts of kindness that were done without expectation of return flow throughout each of our lives and allows us to be who we are and to accomplish what we have during our lifetimes. The wonderful sense of accomplishment that arrives afterward is the return on our investment into this flow. It is the receipt that confirms our participation in making other’s lives better.