I was watching the news the other day and a story came on about replacing trees and planting them for Earth Day. The anchor person was interviewing a professional landscaper on the different types of trees and shrubs, how they should be planted, and the type of soil that should be used. Afterwards some Girl Guides came on and they were going to plant some new trees in the chosen park. For doing this they were getting a certain badge for an environmental credit that would go on their shirt sleeves as a task accomplished. Now I remember as a boy scout having to achieve certain levels and certain achievements in order to get badges for my shirts. I also remember those kids that had their whole shirt filled with badges from shoulder to cuff. Today those badges don’t seem too important but as kids they were goals to achieve and display proudly when completed. The story the other night got me thinking however, as adults maybe we should be wearing our accomplishments on our sleeves, the boost to our own self worth may be the best thing we could do for ourselves.
As an entrepreneur and creative individual I am always coming up with ideas for products and services and finding ways for them to be part of my business. I enjoy the creative process and seeing an idea come to fruition. My list of accomplishments are quite long and most people are in awe, yet I move on the next one trying to improve or create something new. I am at fault many times for creating items and moving onto the next one before letting the first one incubate and grow. I am okay with that, that’s how I am wired. Every so often however I stop in my tracks, take some time to think, and look over all the products and awards I have attained over the years. Now I am not telling you this to boast or make anyone feel as though they should keep up, that is not the point. I have a shelf in my office that the first copy of each new book, or magazine gets a spot on the shelf. You’re probably asking yourself why I do this and why you should care? I do this for me. I have written about this before about promoting yourself within your environment. Being able to look around you and see tangible accomplishments whether it was a course taken and completed, a book created, or an item that no one else would look at, but that has deep meaning for you. They are your badges.
Why write about this? I write about this to get you to stop. Take one moment out of your day today and think about the things you have accomplished. Think about the struggles you have gone through in your life and come out on top. Think about the goals you want to attain and where they will take you on your journey. By doing this on a regular basis you will start to a appreciate the things you have accomplished, you will stop comparing yourself to others and use them as inspiration instead of competing against them. You will fill your sleeves with badges. If your sleeves are empty right now, maybe you have some work to do. If your sleeves are full then feeling good about yourself and helping others maybe the next step. Remember as we get older the sleeves may move to the walls or the shelves, but the same basic principles remain, the badge of accomplishment!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant. He specializes in the transportation industry helping professional drivers and owner operators have successful careers. For more information visit his website www.outridge.ca