Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different?

C.S. Lewis

There is no denying that life is busy. In the constant rat race, I often find little time to be mindful since my mind is just… so full. There is a plethora of responsibilities to balance, and I routinely find myself in a repeating loop of getting up, getting ready, going to work, managing the day, coming home, catching up on work, and getting ready for bed. I have to actively focus on integrating mindful activities into this cycle, to be acutely aware of what I’m sensing and feeling in the moment.  If not, I’ll undoubtedly become trapped in this vortex of monotony and never-ending planning, problem-solving, daydreaming, and negative thinking patterns.

However, even with the inclusion of mindfulness practices, the days still seem to pass by far too quickly. I often find myself working nonstop without realizing, or without being able to see the results of my efforts. One of the difficulties in academia, and particularly in research, is that some processes are just beyond our control, and results can take a lot longer than initially anticipated. But when I step back and review the past few months, I see a great deal more than cycles. When I broaden my perspective, I can see how many things have changed. If I delve deeper, I can also say that five years ago, I could only have imagined being where I am now.

“Just remember, 5 years ago, you dreamed about where you are now”

Perhaps the issue is not about cycles, but that I have neglected to acknowledge and celebrate my successes.  When I accomplish a goal or reach a milestone, I immediately begin pursuing the next one. I cannot remember the last time that I managed to break the cycle and set aside some time to acknowledge and appreciate my accomplishments. Can you?

Celebrating success feels wonderful in the here and now, but it also has long-term psychological and psychological effects. Such celebrations not only increase our self-confidence but also release endorphins into our brains, reinforcing emotions of success and increasing the likelihood that we will continue to experience success in the future. It is therefore not a fruitless endeavour to get more attention, but rather a cornerstone of encouraging continuous growth.

I started my celebrations by reviewing my current situation and reflecting on what a typical research week entails. I’ve also been journaling, going for walks with Bella and Doc, and thinking back on the previous six months. During these activities, I’ve considered the aspects of my journey that I’ve cherished, the capabilities I’ve developed, and the difficulties I overcome to get here. I must admit that these reflections have indeed left me more motivated and confident. I also realized that it’s time to celebrate all the recent changes, as progress and success depend on change. I’ll start to celebrate my current successes and use it as fuel for future successes. 

You should do the same.

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