Progress is a Spiral / by India Choquette

One of my favorite visualizations was shared with me by a really smart and excellent psychologist. At the time, I felt like I was sliding backwards, and I made some mention of the "one step forward, two steps back" cliche. She told me not to think about it that way. She said that progress is a spiral. You start at the center of the spiral, and slowly trace your path out from there, traveling in long circles as you move out from the center. Half of the time you will be moving backwards, but you are still moving away from center, creating distance between yourself and where you started. Every step you take, even if it feels like you are falling back, is in fact advancing you in the right direction. You will handle setbacks differently and more effectively as time passes, and it helps to understand that even something that feels like a failure is actually advancing you.  Those failures give you tools to keep going. It is slow and frustrating, but nothing is wasted in a spiral.