Appreciating tiny victories

No one is good at something right when they start. When starting something new, it’s normal to feel terrified or have “imposter syndrome.” You’ll constantly be rubbing shoulders with people that are more experienced, more talented, or seemingly more confident. 

It takes a long, long time to get good at something. Of course, there are hyper-talented freaks of nature: Adele, Lebron James, the dude from Coldplay. Even in the database world, people like Bob Ward or Kendra Little seem to have just been born with tech talent. They have an undeniable ability that will rise to the top no matter what.

Everyone else is a regular person.

All regular people have raw talent within — untapped gold. That talent takes time to discover. Once it is discovered, it must be mined. A regular person’s talent takes years to develop and refine.

I sucked at guitar when I started. I couldn’t sing for anything. But after 100 shows, my guitar work and voice started to be presentable. After 400 shows, my performance was decent. After 1000 shows, I had what I needed to make a living at it. It’s all a long burn. I’ll never be Eddie Van Halen, but that’s ok with me.

What about working with data? How do the experts seem to know all the answers? It’s because they have made the same mistakes and overcome the same issues you have. They figure it out and share what they have learned with the rest of us.  

We can’t compare ourselves to the Adeles, Lebrons, or Coldplay dudes of the world. Unfollow them on Instagram or Twitter and focus on mining your own talent. 🙂 You can still learn a ton from the Kendras and Bobs, but don’t kick yourself for not being them.

Mining talent takes time. It’s all about the long slow burn, so find something you like doing because you’ll need to do it for a while to get good. 

As that talent is mined, it slowly begins to garner “success” (however you define success), gratification, progress, or any combo of the three. Eventually, you can be the person others look to for answers.

If you are looking for “overnight success,” you will be disappointed. If you appreciate “tiny victories,” you are making progress and likely feeling gratified. 

It can be hard to spot the “tiny victories” along the way, but they are the motivational currency we need to keep going. Nonetheless, a victory is progress, no matter how big or small. Appreciating tiny victories is the fuel that keeps us trucking thru the long slow burn of mining our talents. 

Talent is mined. Tiny victories accumulate. Consistency is rewarded. Life is long, and we don’t need to put pressure on ourselves to “make it” by tomorrow, next month, or next week. So, if you’re itching to pursue something new, do it because if you have a good head on your shoulders — odds are you’ll land on your feet. 

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