The Power of Progress

By Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington is an author and lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who runs a northern Michigan-inspired lifestyle brand called Life and Whim. He lives with his wife and three young girls in a small town and writes about living a purposeful, outdoor-oriented life.
August 25, 2021 Updated: August 25, 2021

We recently snuck away for a long weekend to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP), which is one of our favorite spots to unwind and reset.

It’s one of those places where you can set an “I will have limited access to email” out-of-office reply message and mean it.

When we go to the UP, we like to hike. And on this occasion we chose a rigorous ascent up Hogback Mountain to a summit that offers 360-degree views of endless forest to the south and Lake Superior to the north.

Since they were very young, we’ve brought our daughters along when we hike. In the past, it required a lot of cajoling (and carrying) in order to get the whole family to the destination. Now that they’re a bit older, they’re often waiting on us, not the other way around.

One of the tricks we employed when they were younger was to intermittently stop during a climb, and instead of looking ahead at how far we still had to go, we’d look back at how far we had already come. This helped motivate everyone to keep pushing forward.

As I reflect on the weekend, I’m reminded of the importance of celebrating small wins and recognizing progress, both for ourselves and those we lead—at work and in life.

It’s great to focus on big goals. But it’s equally important to take note of the small milestones reached while on the journey.

The power of progress is fundamental to human nature. It’s impossible to acknowledge progress, however, if we never peer back to measure the distance we’ve traveled.

Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington
Jay Harrington is an author and lawyer-turned-entrepreneur who runs a northern Michigan-inspired lifestyle brand called Life and Whim. He lives with his wife and three young girls in a small town and writes about living a purposeful, outdoor-oriented life.