Thursday, June 15, 2017

Progress at Your Own Speed

(This blog was originally posted on February 12, 2015)

Photo by Rick Hustead

Opportunities and events rarely just drop into our laps. An immediate, successful outcome is not guaranteed. Usually we must put in a lot of work and have a lot of motivation to reach a goal or milestone. Days, weeks, months and even years can pass without making any obvious progress toward our goal. During that time it is easy to become frustrated and even disillusioned about when/whether/if we will ever get our “break.” Sometimes life even steps in and replaces the original goal and desired outcome with something better than you could have ever dreamed of.

Recently, my dad commented (again) how excellent it was that actor Benedict Cumberbatch has enjoyed such great success in the film industry. However, he has certainly been paying his dues as an actor for many years—mostly on stage in Britain and some roles in television movies and series in Britain and in America. Receiving an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, well, that’s quite an endorsement for the Sherlock star’s acting chops, is it not? Of course, Mr. Cumberbatch’s story is not one of overnight success, at all. Do you remember his very minor role as a cavalry officer in Steven Spielberg’s (2011) film, War Horse? As he landed roles in bigger projects, it just seemed like he suddenly popped out of the woodwork. He had the lead role in the film about Julian Assange and a role in August: Osage County, a major film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. He even voiced the dragon in a recent Lord of the Rings movie.

Meanwhile, actress Julianne Moore has been acting in and headlining films for approximately twenty-five years. She has received five Academy Award nominations, including her current nod for Still Alice. It seems likely that she will finally win a long-overdue Oscar this year, so say Hollywood pundits, but who knows? Meanwhile, Ms. Moore carries on promoting the movie and working and perfecting her craft.

And, what about the unexpected play that New England Patriot cornerback Malcolm Butler made during the Super Bowl XLIX? Just when it looked like Seattle Seahawks’ wide receiver, Ricardo Lockette, was about to catch the touchdown-winning pass in the end zone in the last few minutes of the game, Butler jumped up and grabbed the ball instead. Suddenly, the comfortable 10-point—and then manageable three-point—lead that the Seahawks had been enjoying through most of the second half of the game was reduced to a four-point deficit from which Seattle would not be able to overcome. Throughout the game, both teams had played hard and made strategic mistakes that could have changed the outcome, but there was no denying that the Patriots constantly continued working and fighting for those winning points. Their unbeatable lead may not have happened as early in the game as New England would have liked, but their never-surrender attitude and determination to win ultimately paid off in the end.

One of the biggest challenges many of us face is being patient with ourselves as we strive to accomplish something. As you pursue that promotion at work are you compromising your health by getting little or no sleep and poor nutrition? The physical consequences of these behaviors could affect your perception, mood and ability to focus or problem-solve, which could inadvertently jeopardize your chances of being promoted. Are you so focused on completing a project that you neglect relationships with or responsibility to family or friends? Are you so focused on attracting that perfect partner that you pay no attention to your professional goals and other social bonds? Where and how will your goal, once it is accomplished, fit and balance with other important areas of your life?

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit
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