I spent portions of the last two days working on putting together new desks for my kids. Like most DIY projects, there is a lot of grey in how things happen. This one was no different. Certainly there was an instruction manual, and happily, the desks came with all the materials necessary, but I’ll admit that there were a few steps where I was truly taking a leap of faith. I was entirely unsure whether I was putting the desks together correctly our not.
But, like any experience, it is always a work in progress. I spent about four hours on Saturday working through the first one, and then, on Sunday morning, I was able to put the second one together in about three hours.
In many ways, this was an exhibition of progress. Not only did the project keep moving forward (as the picture shows, I was able to successfully put both desks together. . .thankfully), but when I went to put the second one together, I was able to do so in about seventy-five percent of the time; I clearly had internalized a number of the difficult steps in such a way that I was able to avoid the obstacles that tripped me up the first time.
In all that we do, we must see progress. This doesn’t mean that we eventually become perfect. In fact, far from it. However, it does mean that we see ourselves growing. There is a lesson to be learned here for all of us. Those we serve (including ourselves) have to be able to visibly see that growth in order to feel committed enough to continue the hard work. Whether it be through building with our hands, thinking with our minds, or a combination of these (or others), making progress helps us see the value in continuing to strive towards the benchmarks we set.