I had to take a training class today online and in the lower right-hand corner was the familiar progress bar telling me how much time there was remaining for the session. The training was a little dull so I had plenty of time to think about that progress bar, and how much I’d like to have a progress bar for other areas of my life. While in DC this weekend, I was reminded how calming it is to have those electronic boards that tell passengers many minutes until their trains arrive. Knowing how much longer we have to go through something helps us to manage the process of getting through it.
Trouble is that progress bars in most areas of our life are nonexistent. We don’t know how much longer a job or relationship or our health will last. We usually aren’t able to gauge how much longer it will before we reach a certain goal. There are bumps and twists and turns on every road. Some set us back, some help us leap forward, and some set us on a new course entirely. There’s no electronic board to calm us down.
We could consider that every day is its only small progress bar, and our only goal is to get to the end of the day having given all our activities everything we’ve got. That way no matter how much time we have left, we can be assured that we gave as much as we had, worked as hard as we could, laughed and smiled and enjoyed every minute like it was our last. The best case scenario is that we’ll get to do it all over again tomorrow, making a little more progress in our lives, and the worst case scenario is that we put our best foot forward right up until the end.