Suzanne Reisler Litwin: A sense of accomplishment

Don’t you just love getting ‘done’ those things which has been hanging around for a long time? Ya know like, finally getting those pictures into photo albums. Funny, I don’t think people do that anymore! How’s about throwing out those stacks of old magazines? I’m not sure people buy that many magazines anymore. Here’s one, cleaning out those messy drawers and closets! I’m referring to the things you need to get around to doing and just don’t want to do it. The feeling of when you finally did get that job done is a great sense of accomplishment!

The accomplishment doesn’t have to be life changing, like obtaining a university degree. It could simply be cleaning out a messy closet. Whatever the accomplishment is, it’s worth the effort to get the great feeling.

On the last night of my class, after the last student has left the classroom, I sit there for about 10 minutes alone. It’s done. Ten weeks of lectures, lessons, planning, correcting, assignments, research, etc. It’s all done. The students have left the classroom. At this time, I sit there and reflect on what has taken place. I breathe and allow my mind to wonder and contemplate. I hope my students received the learning they wanted, questioning myself, did I do the best I can do? Now, it’s time to pack up the final materials from the semester, close the lights and leave the classroom. Sue… Elvis has left the building.

Shortly after leaving, my mind fills with joy. A sudden sense of accomplishment fills my body. I did it! Another course completed, another contract fulfilled. I feel proud of myself and happy for my students. We did it together!

Anyone can achieve a sense of accomplishment. Simply set an obtainable goal for yourself and go for it. Once you have completed it, you will have a sense of accomplishment. It’s quite easy.

Here is a way to get started. Simply, select something you have always wanted to do and go for it! I’ve always wanted to learn how to line dance. This summer I’m going to do it. Firstly, I’m going to take line dancing lessons. Then I am going to go to the parks which offer free line dancing during the summer. I’m sure by the end of the summer, I will have learned how to line dance. This activity will definitely give me a sense of accomplishment. I might look like an accomplished fool, but I’m ok with that!

I need to mention how good accomplishment feels. It’s sort of like a pat on the back someone else gives you, but even better. This feeling comes from within you. You did it! It’s your rodeo! You moved the mountain! You did yourself good! Truly the only person you need to please is yourself and you did. Bravo to you!

If you never setup obtainable goals, you might never obtain a sense of accomplishment. Start with easy goals to obtain, and then move on to more challenging tasks.

Whatever goal you chose to obtain, the end result will usually be fulfilling and with a sense of accomplishment.

Now a dose of reality! Sometimes you might set up a goal, accomplish it and realize what you did was really stupid. You will still have a sense of accomplishment and maybe a dose of, “Gee that was pretty stupid!” Be prepared for this to happen too!

Like the time I decided to plant a strawberry patch in the middle of my vegetable garden. It was a great idea at the time. June came around and my strawberries were in full bloom. I was picking and eating them throughout the month. Every squirrel in the neighborhood was chowing down on them too. So much so, it was an open invitation for the squirrels to also eat my tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beans, raspberries, and apples when they were ripe! This was the worst crop I have ever (not) produced. I had a failed sense of accomplishment. I learned a very important lesson in growing fruits and vegetables. I no longer grow strawberries, but at least I tried.

I look forward to learning how to line dance this summer. I’m going to get cowboy boots and a cowboy hat to really get into the mood. I know I can do it. Once I get those line dancing routines down pat, I will be an official Line Dancing Queen. I will also have great a sense of accomplishment which will fill my “achy breaky heart!” I can’t wait! Wooo Hooo Little Doggy!

—Suzanne Reisler Litwin


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