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Most Accomplishments Are Invisible

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A few weeks ago a viral tweet went around asking, “There’s only one month left in the decade… What have you accomplished?”

If that question strikes you as uncomfortable, you’re not alone.

Both the tweet and its tweeter have since disappeared from the platform, but you can still read the replies, and they say a lot about our notion of “achievement,” and how it’s changing.

The thread began with impressive lists of conventional successes: medals won, degrees earned, books published, startups sold. But as the replies accumulated, the tone shifted. More people began listing not what they had won or created but what they had survived—job losses, bad relationships, addiction, depression, chronic pain, debt, and anxiety.

Many described their great achievement of the 2010s as moving from an unbearably tough place to a bearably tough place, or even just surviving where they were. Virtual hugs and high fives were exchanged.

I appreciated this little celebration of less-visible achievements. The words accomplishment and achievement usually signify conspicuous, outwardly-visible gains, often ones that come with status and material rewards. Do an image search for either word and it’s all grad ceremonies, sports medals, boardroom handshakes, and people standing on mountains. But there’s so much more being achieved in the human world.

After the initial exchange of the more photogenic sorts of achievements, the discussion turned towards the many kinds of life-changing inner work people had done—private challenges endured and learned from. I find that stuff a lot more interesting, I suppose because we talk about it so much less.

One wonderful example is Morgan Housel’s article Overcoming Your Demons, in which he describes the inner experience of having a lifelong stuttering problem. He shared some of what it feels like—to know the word you need to say, but for its sound to be gone from the mind—and some of the many mental tactics he had to discover in order to manage it.

He learned, for example, how to rearrange sentences just before speaking them, so that they don’t begin with tricky syllables—“I was talking to Sara,” becomes “Sara and I were talking.”

He says he has over a thousand of these tricks, and doesn’t speak for more than ten seconds without deploying at least one.  

Presumably, most human challenges and triumphs are of just that sort: unseen, unsexy, and unrelatable to almost everyone else, which is why they don’t really come up when we talk about achievement. But it’s all real work, and it must be done. No extra time is given to accomplish it. There’s no instruction or training, and often no support. It’s thankless unless you thank yourself for it.

When I considered my own biggest achievements of the 2010s, they were all invisible victories nobody else would even know about.

Until about a year ago, most moments of my life were spent obsessively calculating how my actions would be interpreted by others. What will they think if I stand here instead of over there? Where should my hands be right now? What will I say if I’m asked question X or Y or Z? The questions were ceaseless and answering them felt urgent.

This anxious thinking pattern overlaid, and greatly complicated, every external challenge I faced. I worked, socialized, and otherwise made a life from within that state. I don’t know why my brain does that, and I didn’t know it wasn’t normal until my thirties.

Life still had to happen though, and I managed. I did not earn degrees, write bestsellers, win medals, or otherwise excel at conventional achievement. But I did figure out hundreds of little tricks that made life better in so many ways.

At the beginning of the decade I couldn’t make a phone call, or address a reception desk, without rehearsing or flow-charting what I need to say. Now it’s like nothing.

I no longer think obsessively about my facial expression, posture, and word choice. I no longer lose entire days to anxiety.

I can mingle without drinking alcohol. I can ask a question without thinking about whether I’ll sound dumb for asking it.

I have a rich social calendar and multiple circles of friends. I no longer depend on a more socially-adept person to connect me to them. The best part of my life, today, is spending time with others.

These achievements are completely unimpressive in any conventional sense. I achieved the ability to do certain everyday things most people do with ease. But they took an enormous amount of work, and I wouldn’t trade a single one for a million bucks.

So if you feel inadequate whenever some form of the “achievement Olympics” comes up, don’t. We live in a society that assesses people by what their lives produce, not what it takes to live them. Inner work is ignored unless it explains some outer work.

That says a lot about society, and nothing about you. Rest assured that many millions of us know the immense value of changing your inner world, or even just surviving it, because we’re doing it quietly alongside you. Most of what the human world accomplishes on any given day is very hard to see.  


2020 Goals: Relax Early and Often

May I suggest an obscure goal for the New Year? Learn to settle into your body wherever you take it. It does go with you everywhere.

My all-new course on relaxation is opening soon, and that’s what we’ll be doing. Using guided audio, I’ll teach you to systematically relax and enjoy being in your body. You can then take said body absolutely anywhere in this world, settle it in some comfortable place, and let the tension go.

Once you learn the simple, portable technique, everywhere can be your easy chair.

We begin in January 2020. [More info]


Photo by Everton Villa

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Gilly Walker December 12, 2019 at 2:55 am

I’ve wanted to hear this said for a long, long time. I couldn’t agree more – the inner achievements don’t look like much to others but are often far more significant and meaningful. From the outside I don’t look like I’ve achieved much in my life, but from the inside I feel like I’ve moved mountains – I’ve overcome extreme shyness, anxiety, depression, an abusive marriage, a debilitating illness, and much more. I’m proud of myself, but no-one else sees it.
Thank you for saying this so eloquently.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:26 am

Way to go Gilly. Hidden accomplishment is this huge force in the world, but there isn’t a lot of precedent for talking about them, so they seem like small, idiosyncratic bits of our own history. But we share them with many people.

Nova December 12, 2019 at 3:33 am

Thank you. Reading this today was perfect. I feel like I’ve worked super hard every day of my life to find ways to deal with shyness and low self esteem. I’ve come a really long way, but it’s something other people can’t really see or appreciate. Just something as small as being able to chat to a total stranger for 5 minutes at a party is a huge deal for me!

I’m so grateful for the reminder that these invisible achievements things are actually really important and that I should celebrate them, rather than beating myself up about not having achieved many of the things that others I know have.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:36 am

The inner world has to be navigated first and foremost, before anything can be brought into the external world, but it’s barely recognized at all. I appreciate the courage it takes to go from unable to able to chat with strangers, and there are many others who do too.

Tanya December 12, 2019 at 3:35 am

Thank you for saying this. I look forward to your emails.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:36 am

Thanks Tanya

September December 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Beautifully written and a balm for my heart. Thank you for sharing. Your work resonates so much with me.
Happy Thursday!

Lois December 12, 2019 at 4:26 am

Wait a minute! It’s not normal to plan what I am going to say when I have to call someone or talk to someone I don’t know that well with a specific agenda in my mind? Ha ha, ok, I know it’s not ‘normal’ for some people, but for me (and apparently for David as well) it is extremely normal. Its what I do and since I am at least a thousand years old by now (ok, I only feel that old but I am still old by any standard), I am not likely to change that way of me being. The real trick is not changing but accepting that which I can’t change. That is the hard part. For me, all of life I just wanted to fit in and feel like I was ‘normal’. It’s still hard for me to accept that will not be happening.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:38 am

I suppose acceptance is another kind of achievement. Although I will say that sometimes you can make no progress with something for many years and then find a new way to look at it.

Catrina December 12, 2019 at 5:26 am

So true, thank you, David. I do think that these inner battles and invisible victories do become visible over time. For example, a keen observer would notice that a shy, introvert person is now moving around more confidently.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:44 am

Yes… The people who know you well will probably notice something, depending on how it manifests itself in your behavior. It feels so great to hear someone say they’ve noticed a difference.

Daniehl December 12, 2019 at 5:29 am

Certainly our little invisible accomplishments are important, invisible and life-affirming. My most recent problem has been a certain existential envy that has grown from the difficulty of maintaining a level of personal financial independence in the face of quickly rising expenses over which I seem to have no control. How does one maintain one’s equilibrium while watching that cushion get eaten up unfairly by the coupon clippers among us?

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

Hi Daniehl. I’m not quite sure what you mean, maybe you can elaborate… what is being eaten up by coupon clippers?

Gina Sager December 12, 2019 at 6:48 am

thank you-this is beautiful and much needed

Vishnupriya December 12, 2019 at 7:22 am

Social anxiety was something very normal to me, just like David mentioned. I had done a lot of work in the last two years to accept that and slowly I started to observe less anxiety in me. My inner work has always been accepting and embracing me as I am and all of that has changed my inner state. I gradually felt better after leaving in anxious state for almost thirty years. Still learning acceptance, an eternal process. Now, I just feel different inside and everyday life is beautiful for me and I am feeling it is completely okay for all of us to live the different lives we are living. If that makes us deeply happier and peaceful, that’s all that matters for me. Everybody is doing the best they can. I am walking myself to peace and clarity. And I absolutely admire all those people who are doing everything they can to be in peace with themselves and creating a kinder world for all of us here.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

This is lovely, thanks Vishnupriya. I’ve always been interested in how the feeling of being “you” changes over time. It’s such a huge component of life and it’s completely private too. It does change though!

Suzy December 12, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Vishnupriya, Thank you very much for the phrase, “It is completely okay for all of us to live the different lives we are living.” I read that and felt peaceful immediately. I am going to keep that phrase with me.
And David, thanks from me to you are greater than you could ever know.

Aga December 12, 2019 at 7:23 am

I come across as confident and relaxed. I am quite often neither of those things, although the pretense seems effortless for some reason. I have struggled with depression my whole life and have recently taken two months off work for intense anxiety attacks (this was new to me; I guess somebody in the celestial mental health department figured my depression needed a BFF). I am also living with a wonderful man who happens to be a recovering alcoholic recently diagnosed with PTSD. When I sometimes catch myself thinking that my life is a failure because despite my intellectual capacity I am basically working a mid-level job far below my education or capability (by choice, not by economic necessity), I look at how bloody difficult it is some days to just exist. Becoming a world-class novelist or a company CEO pale in comparison to the massive job of getting up in the morning and facing the world. I am alive. I am functioning. I am almost happy for the most part, or at least content. I think those are some pretty serious accomplishments. Thank you for this reminder.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:54 am

The inner-outer contrast you describe is what’s so interesting to me. We think of the world as what happens that we can see, yet most (or at least half — or arguably all??) of the human world is inner experience, and we only ever see our own corner of it. I appreciate you sharing your experience here. I like to think we’re moving towards a society more interested understanding inner worlds, because they’re what all human action is born from.

Anne December 14, 2019 at 6:19 am

Thankyou Aga. This is me too. I finished my “career” still in an entry-level job, and intellectually was capable of far more than I ever “achieved”. But the fact that I’m still alive after a long, long struggle with depression, co-dependency, anxiety, low self-esteem, loneliness and other demons, and am now functioning fairly well most of the time is a HUGE achievementthat I need to celebrate more.

John Norris December 12, 2019 at 7:37 am

Thanks David. I like this interview with Elizabeth Gilbert (author Eat, Pray, Love) who “spends most of her day managing her own mental health” (40 mins in).

Then she asks, what are the words I’ve always wanted to hear someone say… (43 mins in) and has a dialogue with Love. So beautiful.


It’s OK not to be OK :)

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:54 am

I’ll check it out, thanks John.

Havu December 12, 2019 at 5:44 pm

Thanks for the Elizabeth Gilbert interview, just what I needed to hear today. :) And thanks David for another great post!

Chris Eaker December 12, 2019 at 7:49 am

So good. Thank you for saying this. I sometimes think that since I don’t have many exterior accomplishments to show that I have been a failure or at least not successful. But I have grown immensely inside. I am completely not the same person I was 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. In fact, the last 2 years have been where my growth trajectory slope really increased. It’s also the two years since I turned 40. I don’t know if those two are related, but I do believe people tend to become a more grounded person and grow inside more in their 40s.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:56 am

Similar for me… the last two years, as I approach 40, massive changes have happened. Most of my progress of the last decade came in the past two years.

Rocky December 12, 2019 at 8:02 am

Howdy David…Congratulations on your truly great accomplishments! You have gracefully shared your personal battles in your writings, thus helping your many readers, myself included, along with their own. Beautiful!!
I just completed the pilot of “Camp Calm Relax” which was a great boost to my meditation/ mindfulness practice I’ve been working on with your generous help for the past decade. The value of these inner achievements may be invisible, but it is also immeasurable!
I think also of all the people who have achieved greatly in the material world, but are bankrupt internally. Robin Williams comes to mind.
Many thanks for this beautiful post !

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:58 am

Thanks Rocky!

John Khalil December 12, 2019 at 8:14 am

Good post.

Marianne December 12, 2019 at 8:31 am

David, your presence is an accomplishment….all you have shared and your honesty has helped so many and offered such hope. You are doing something positive, and that is the greatest accomplishment that anyone can achieve. Keep it up and thanks for all your posts from the past and looking forward to the future and 2020! Love from Maine.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 9:59 am

Hi Marianne! Good to hear from you. I think 2020 will be great :)

eema December 12, 2019 at 8:39 am

as always, i so love your writings

Levi December 12, 2019 at 9:18 am

I don’t think my comment will be the trigger to send you out to write a bestseller, but I think at least you deserve to hear it from someone (unless you hear this all the time, but one shouldn’t make such assumptions, I guess): If you WERE to write a book, I am sure it would be a bestseller. Your writing (content, meaning and style) is far better than that of many of the successful bloggers-become-book-authors that I’ve read. I know I would enjoy to read more long format of your thoughts, for sure – be it as a self-help book, a novel or just a curated, themed collection of your blog posts. So if you happen to have such plans and such ideas – here is one that would happily support that!

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 10:01 am

Thanks Levi. I do appreciate your saying so!

Vlad December 13, 2019 at 3:19 am

Levi’s right!

I’d also buy the book.

Brian December 13, 2019 at 9:26 am

Hear hear! Book! Book! Book! Book!

Susan Ward December 12, 2019 at 9:27 am

Good morning David,

I really appreciate this morning’s post! Attempting to write about my life with epilepsy – seizure free now for almost 20 years – often leaves me feeling as though I am writing about an uninteresting blank slate. Your words about the ‘tricks’ many of us employ! That is what I am writing about. So, thank you very much and have a wonderful day.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 10:04 am

Hi Susan. The inner world can definitely be interesting, because we all have one, but it is harder to describe. I’m super interested in the hidden tricks people employ to get on in the world. There must be billions of them.

Mary Green December 12, 2019 at 9:50 am

Awesome writing and yes – those invisible triumphs are what make the visible triumphs possible. Sure wish more people would realize that instead of being in awe of the visible triumphs. Took me from the age of about 16 to my early 50’s to do the visible triumph I had wanted so badly. I no longer have anything to prove to anyone anymore! My internal drive is no longer running me ragged to ‘succeed’ – I’m now growing even more and in my opinion as a much better person that I like. We never stop learning or growing!

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 10:08 am

Thanks Mary. I suppose the focus on outward achievement has to do with their more immediate economic relevance… even though outward achievements are built on the iceberg of inner effort, the part that is seen is the part that’s celebrated. Anyway, glad to hear you’ve passed into a healthier, happier phase.

Valerio December 12, 2019 at 10:25 am

Recently I realized that, despite going through a difficult moment, I managed to stay human. I didn’t blame others, I didn’t point fingers; I didn’t betray myself. That was the biggest achievement of my life and I am proud of myself.

Valerio December 12, 2019 at 10:26 am

Sorry, I meant to say a difficult time. Not moment.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 2:49 pm

I was thinking about that particular achievement too — human beings respond to difficulty in all sorts of ways, and many of them spread it around. But there are so many people out there staying human despite hardship, and that is worth a lot to everyone around them. I will always try to do that.

Celia December 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

I love this post. This applies to all of us – whether we have outward trappings of success or not. I am most proud of the inner growth I have accomplished over the last ten to fifteen years. I am gradually learning to calm that inner voice that tells me to avoid my true nature. It still tells me not to say geeky things, to not show vulnerability, to avoid other people who are socially awkward, and on and on. But I’m figuring out how to listen less.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 2:51 pm

I think embracing our inner geek is one of the kindest things we can do for ourselves. Being geeky just means not hiding what you love.

Hermien Elago December 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Thank you for this. If ever there was a time I needed to read this it was today. I made great inner strides this year and not so many outward strides which meant that not much celebration and praise came my way but it’s been hard and brave work and I am proud.
Thanks David.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 2:55 pm

I’m glad it was helpful. And well done… The world needs inner strides more than it needs outer ones.

Catherine S. December 12, 2019 at 3:01 pm

David – this is great! I’ve thought about this idea many times, but have never seen it put into words (at least not so eloquently as you’ve done here).

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 4:36 pm

Thanks Catherine :)

Drew December 12, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Thanks for everything you do David. Your courses and blog are a hell of an achievement. Look forward to your insightful writing whenever I see an email from you. Keep up the great work and here’s to a wonderful ‘20’s.

David Cain December 12, 2019 at 4:37 pm

You too. The 20s are going to be good I think. We’re out of all those weirdly-named decades — the “aughts” and the “twenty-tens” and can just call it the twenties.

kid December 12, 2019 at 4:09 pm

This is good.

Raymond December 12, 2019 at 4:51 pm

What don’t you have a girlfriend yet, David?

Inés December 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm

Thank you, David. You are sunshine in my life.

Peter December 12, 2019 at 8:49 pm

Thank you for the conversation. I think what I have seen of society is a similar viewpoint that you have. The more personal achievements can only manifest into the outer as character. It’s a good question though. I think the question gears you up for the next decade. Thank you for your continuous work; I find it very unique. And I congratulate you for keeping it going for all this time.

Edith December 12, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Great article. I am struggling with forgiveness. Every day I wake up and fight with myself to stop thinking about what that person did to me and I try to find peace seeing her on a day to day basis and being nice and not plotting revenge while trying to ignore her comments and actions because it is of no use confronting her (she is the kind of person that agrees with you on everything and then acts as if you had said nothing). It is sooo hard with someone who is an in law and lives next door. Sooo hard. If I make it without having to move (I love my house) that will be my greatest internal achievement ever. So far, it has been a year and a half since the first incident and now I don’t cry when I recall the events and what they meant to me. Baby steps.

Barbs King December 12, 2019 at 10:19 pm

I love this baby steps stuff too, Edith.

David Cain December 13, 2019 at 10:44 am

Thanks Edith. Baby steps are everything :)

Barbs King December 12, 2019 at 10:15 pm

“At the beginning of the decade I couldn’t make a phone call, or address a reception desk, without rehearsing or flow-charting what I need to say. Now it’s like nothing.
I no longer think obsessively about my facial expression, posture, and word choice. I no longer lose entire days to anxiety.”

Me too.

Sujata December 13, 2019 at 12:41 am

Nice post. Thank you

Vlad December 13, 2019 at 3:15 am

I’ve been building an Android app in my spare time to document all this inner work and especially how others’ advice has influenced it. It’s not just the work we put in ourselves which is invisible, but also the work others put in us… unless we thank them, it stays invisible.

Reading Raptitude improved my life in a few ways and has been a spur for me to start working on this app, it’ll be released in 2020, still figuring out some frown generating kinks :)

Thanks David!

David Cain December 14, 2019 at 11:55 am

Oh wow, that’s fantastic… I’d love to see it when you’re done.

And agreed that others put a lot of work into us too. I owe a huge debt to certain family members and friends, and I hope I can pay some of it forward.

Brian December 13, 2019 at 9:31 am

The one achievement you overlooked, David, was creating a blog that’s a source of wisdom and reflection for countless people. I realized that my biggest accomplishment over the past decade is finally realizing that it’s NOT all about me after all, it’s about making a difference in the lives of others. As a physician I have the opportunity and privilege of putting this into practice every day. I am blessed.

David Cain December 14, 2019 at 11:56 am

Heh.. yeah…I didn’t mean that list to be a complete list of everything I’ve achieved :) But thanks. Raptitude has actually been a big part of the inner work.

Rebecca December 13, 2019 at 4:36 pm

When I was a young teen, I played a game called pokemon and racked up 800 or so hours until I finally beat the pokemon league at the end of the game. It was such an incredible feeling of accomplishment after all of that hard work.

A year or so later, I got a new pokemon game. My brother gave me an Action Replay cartridge of his at the same time. It was something you plugged into the console and it gave you cheat codes. Each of which equip you with the ability to do things that you wouldn’t be able to within the constraints of the original game.

Within 15 minutes of playing the game, I used the cheat codes to start at my home town and walk in a straight line to the pokemon league (through walls, buildings etc). I then beat the league with my level 1 squirtle, who took no damage and eat attack did maximum damage.

While is was novel being able to do that, I noticed that beating the pokemon league this time around felt completely empty. It meant nothing. Whereas the first time around my only goal was to beat the pokemon league, and it felt amazing when I finally did.

So I asked myself what the difference was, and I realised that my favourite moments in the game was collecting items and discovering what they did and coming up with strategies for using them. I loved the side quests and the pokemon beauty pagent part of the game. All if these were things that had nothing to do with the goal, and were invisible at the end of the game. Everything that made the game meaningful to me was invisible.

So now I like to imagine that I have a cheat code cartridge tucked into my pocket. I think about the goals I have and imagine that I can use the cheat code and immediately make it happen. I spend 5 minutes letting myself really believe that I have what I’m working towards. Doing this, I have found that often the goals mean nothing to me. They were in themselves a means to an end for connection, self growth and personal development.

Now, my goals tend to focus more on the invisible. The interesting thing here, is that these invisible goals have as an accident created external success to a much bigger extent than they would have if I’d tried to acheive them on purpose.

For example, a few years ago I published about 13 articles in a year because I made myself do it. If I just do that then I can build a platform and be successful.

A few months ago I realised that I truly loved discovering new ideas and playing with putting them into practice in my own life. As a software engineer, this meant that I stopped trying to write perfect technical articles, and instead used them as a tool to explore thoughts and ideas and connections in their raw form. I have published over 100 full length articles in four months as a result and each of them are messy but joyful. Also, having that many articles published didnt change things in the way I imagined it would when I set out to publish them beforehand. But they changed everything for me and the small circle who are interested in them.

Currently, my goal is to heal permanently from PTSD and extreme low self-image. So I imagined the cheat code card making it happen and knew that it was a truly meaningful goal for the quality of my life and the lives of the people around me. So I asked myself, what cheat codes in real life can I use to take a shortcut to this goal?

One of the things was shaving my head bald. Its been three days since I did that. The first two days going to work and being in public have been the worst for anxiety and low self-image I have ever had. On the third day, I walked to the bookshop with my head head high and the anxiety melted away. For the first time in my life I had accepted myself, especially in a moment where I knew I definitely don’t meet traditional beauty standards. A little anxious today but it’s getting better.

Thank you for your article. Many of your ideas have sparked similar self-discovery lightbulb moments, and I’m grateful for your impact.

David Cain December 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

Hey Rebecca. Thanks for this post. It’s giving me a lot to think about. I appreciate cheat codes analogy — I know that empty feeling, so it must be true that the fulfillment does come from the figuring and engaging. I recognize the value of inner achievement but I haven’t been setting goals by defining them on the inner side. So glad you posted this.

Emily December 14, 2019 at 6:23 am

This is a great post, celebrating what many do not see. I enjoyed it. But I am disappointed that you, among many, are incorrect in asserting that 2020 is the beginning of a new decade. It’s not: 2020 ends this current decade, and ’21 begins the new one. If there had been a year 0 this would be the end, but our decades run 1-10, not 0-9. Still, this new year’s day will begin the ’20s, so I guess to most people that’s the same thing.

David Cain December 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm

Well Emily you have run into a steadfast opponent of the “decade ends a year later than most think” idea. In fact I just posted long, multi-tweet rant on this topic.

Here’s the gist of my thinking on the matter:

A decade is just a ten year span. This span may begin any time, and it ends ten years later.

When we’re talking about decades in a cultural context, it’s very clear that what’s being referred to is the ten years beginning the the same three digits. The 1960s. The 2010s.

The meaningful psychological and cultural boundary between decades is the moment the third digit rolls over. Nobody, when they refer to “fashions of the 1970s,” is excluding the year 1970 and including the year 1980. A decade is just a ten-year period beginning any time, and culture recognizes that time as the moment the tens place changes.

I was born in October 1980. It is incorrect to say I was born in the 1970s, because we don’t group our decades as perfect intervals from year 1. We group them by the numbers they begin with.

Jordan Taylor December 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm


Have you ever explored the Enneagram? It’s helped me so much with inner work.

The part about your interpreting your life through and basing it on how others viewed you sounds a lot like Type Three or Six.

Do you know what type you are?


Esther December 15, 2019 at 5:40 am

Thanks David. This question also made me uncomfortable. I don’t think I have achieved much in the last decade, it’s the reverse. I’m still fighting anxiety and depression and for the past months they’ve been quite severe. So I guess my achievement is that I’m still here, I’m still trying. It’s not much, but your post made me feel so much better and more grateful. Thank you kindly.

Abdulla Bucheeri December 15, 2019 at 11:37 am

Thank you David. I subscribed to your blog articles starting with the “procrastination” which I summarized in a card and kept a copy in my desk at home and another in my car as a reminder now & then. Then I read Your mini book “How to Save the world” which I really enjoyed. Your current “Accomplishments” couldn’t come at a better time. I, and many other readers, can see ourselves or our typical daily endeavors – or our little inner secrets and struggles- in your articles. Actually, I thought of “imitating” your blog for such “light & palatable” social articles as there is a deficiency of such sites here in our region of the world (Middle East). Somehow sites that end up with a dispute in politics or religion attract highest number of feedback ! Thank you again.

Samantha December 16, 2019 at 2:10 pm

I needed to hear this today. I was sitting at my desk and was struck with a sense of deja vu. I felt like I had accomplished nothing this past year and that I am no closer to my goals. But the fact is that I survived something very difficult and it was a lot of hard work to come back to some sense of “normal”. So when looked at through that lens, I accomplished something huge! Despite health challenges, I managed to recover in 1 year. That’s pretty awesome.
Thank you for your always calming and reassuring words.

Martin December 17, 2019 at 4:02 pm

Wow, great post and insight David. Just getting through the mental turmoil in my mind over the past year has been quite an achievement for me.

Marie Barger December 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm

Thank you for writing this. I had not thought about the smaller things. Many continued blessings to you. Keep blogging.

Rob December 30, 2019 at 10:02 am

Thank you David, this is an outstanding post about the many accomplishments which are invisible. Please apologize my ignorance and curiosity, I wonder – how did you do it? How did you manage to achieve the accomplishments you mention above? Thank you.

David Cain December 30, 2019 at 10:14 am

Oh man… Well a lot of meditation, which helps with everything. A lot of journaling and writing here on Raptitude, to help me sort out what life feels like and what seems to make sense. With the social aspects it has been a lot of gentle pushing, in the way I described in today’s post (called How to Go Deeper in 2020).

company register January 5, 2020 at 6:09 am

Thank you David

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