What Does Progress Look Like

Progress: Expectation vs Reality

Nisha Mascarenhas

8 days ago|3 min read

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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts 
-Winston Churchill

From the moment we are born, we enter into a struggle, into a rat race. As infants, our struggle could be acclimatizing to a new environment. As toddlers, learning to walk and talk, seems like a struggle. As students, our struggles advance to challenging ourselves out of our comfort zone. The struggle is continuous. Life is a struggle, and this struggle is called Life.

Our struggle is often to achieve something, to become someone. However, sometimes things do not go our way. We face stumbling blocks, walls we cannot penetrate, and tunnels without any light at the end. These situations are what the world stereotypes as Failure.

Humans tend to celebrate victory. As spectators, we frequently assume that their success is an overnight success. What we fail to notice is the blood, sweat, toil and tears that are the lifeblood of such achievements.

For every person achieving success, there are many more who are dealing with failure. Usually, when failure hits us, it hits us hard, especially if it hits us for the first time. They convey the impression of being dead ends. We may time and again feel like giving up when such events occur. Honestly, overcoming failure itself is a success.

I was once sharing my failures with a dear friend. She listened and gave me a great piece of advice she had heard on a show. She said progress isn’t a linear graph, but rather it is a zig-zag one, like a heartbeat.

This is what we perceive progress to be like.

 

Progress in a linear fashion

 

This is what progress usually is

 

Progress in a zig-zag fashion


The vertical lines may vary in magnitude, but the rise will follow. I believe, this vertical line, or times which let us down, are the greatest testing times of our lives. This is where we build on our potential energy, which gets converted to kinetic energy on the rise thereafter. The vertical decline is just getting us ready for something better, something we truly deserve. Just like the heartbeat, this graph is a sign of life. So, fasten your seatbelts, your best is yet to come.

Remember, you are the impetus in converting Failure to Success. The stumbling blocks will be overcome, the walls will be climbed over, and the tunnels, they’re just a little longer, you will surely experience light at the end of it.

Photo by Illiya Vjestica on Unsplash

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Hi, I'm Nisha Mascarenhas. I'm a student of Computer Engineering.

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