The Subjectivity of Achievement

Katie has been too unwell to write this week, so I thought I would write a short post to share some thoughts with you, and hopefully some encouragement too.

One of the things I’ve had to learn whilst being a carer is the subjectivity of achievement. The true scale of an achievement can only be realised when you look at the person, and situation, behind it.

Over the weekend, I ran just over 7 miles. A few days before, Katie, despite being in intense pain, managed to sit, talk to and eat with her mother and sister, in our lounge. Which do you think was the greater achievement? Whilst I usually avoid comparing one person’s achievement with another, it is undeniable that Katie’s cost her more. It took her more effort and was ultimately more valuable to her than my run was to me. If you took away the context of these achievements then you might not count Katie’s activity as an achievement at all. It’s only when you understand her situation that you can really value the greatness of her achievement.

What have you achieved, but have undervalued because you have forgotten the context? I find that if I forget the context of my own life then I ignore the genuine achievements that I make on a daily basis. If I were not a carer, also trying to fit in studies and employment, then finding 20 minutes in my day to write might not be an achievement at all. But I am, and it is.

I’ve found that people consistently achieve more than they give themselves credit for. The problem is that we don’t recognise, or we undervalue, what we achieve. I do this all the time, despite my best efforts. As a result I am continually beating myself up and losing perspective. I would bet that I’m not the only one.

What have you achieved recently

So I ask again, what have you achieved recently? and Why is it important to you?




5 thoughts on “The Subjectivity of Achievement

  1. Paul, that’s a very inspiring post! Achievement vary from one person to another. It depends on how motivated and inspired we are to take actions. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Katie’s blog.

  2. I just found your blog today. I have had Fibro and CFS for over 25 years. I now have a few other things like RA, Sjogrens, etc. You are both in my prayers. Hope this season of exhaustion and pain changes to a better season soon .

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