Progress Doesn’t Just Happen

Sometimes, when I get writer’s block, I venture over to StumbleUpon to see if anything jumps out at me that can spark my writing. Today, I got what I needed: a page from Temple University with a quote that began “Progress doesn’t just happen.” How true is that, really? In any aspect of our lives, progress doesn’t just HAPPEN. There needs to be a spark, something that pushes us along, ignites the way.

We can look at this in any aspect of our lives. Take, for instance, my writing. Progress doesn’t just happen. I’ve been writing for years, and years, and years. Over those years, I’ve become a better writer, more confident in my abilities. In driving, progress doesn’t just happen – it’s simple, but it requires some gas, a foot on the pedal, and a functioning vehicle to get us wherever it is we’re going.

The same is true of life. Progress doesn’t just happen. It requires hard work, determination, and a can-do attitude. You won’t get anywhere if you’re just standing in one place; you’ve got to move, to better yourself, and too keep going, no matter what.

That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today. Do you think two years ago, when I was in probably some of the worst mental shape of my life, I would’ve ever been able to see myself where I am right now? No way. Today, I’m something I call “happy.” I feel more confident in myself. I’m enjoying life, and I can see a great potential in the future, too. It wasn’t an easy road to get here, but I did – with some hard work on my part, determination to see better days, and a strong refusal to give up.

I guess in the end, I feel like I’m ranting right now, but my point is this – in whatever you do in life, keep going. Progress doesn’t just happen; you have to work for it, but if you do, good things will come.


Reflecting on a Year: Progress


From Middle English, Anglo-French and Latin roots, it’s a word that, according to Merriam-Webster, means “the process of improving or developing something over a period of time.”

For me, it represents how far I’ve come over the past few years.

I can only speak for myself, but I know sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in everything in my life. It’s easy to focus on the bad things, the parts of my life that maybe aren’t going as well as I’d hoped, and forget all the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come.

I sat down and made a list of all the things I’ve done in the last year, and it’s a decent list. The places I’ve gone, the personal achievements that I’ve added, and just the small, simple ways my life has changed, grown and developed over the last 365 days.

Doing that made me realize how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished in the last year. And if I can accomplish all of that in just a year, think about how much MORE I can do in three years, or five, or ten. Think of how much I still have in my future, how much can change and how all the things that make me sad right now will be gone before I know it. It’s great fuel to keep me going even when I feel like giving up sometimes.

For my reference, here’s a few of the things on my list from the past year:

  • Got a full-time job, with health insurance, paid vacation, etc.
  • Found a healthcare provider as well as a dentist.
  • Visited several new places – including New York City, Washington, Virginia, and Columbus.
  • Seen several performers in concert, including Demi Lovato, Darren Criss and Selena Gomez.
  • Traveled through parts of four new states: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.
  • Published my first freelance piece in a local newspaper.

And that’s not the whole list, but it’s a pretty good one. And although some of those things may not seem that important, and I left off some of the more personal accomplishments, overall…. I feel good.

I feel like I’ve come far in the past year, and I should focus on the things I have accomplished, not the ones I haven’t. I’ll continue to focus on moving forward and making progress in all aspects of my life, and I’m going to try my best not to let anything get me down.