Published in


An Alternative to the Model of Breakthroughs.

Everything is Process.

Anticipating breakthroughs presents a paradox.

I achieve breakthroughs by actively engaging. Yet counting on breakthroughs might encourage me to sit back.

Breakthroughs take place as I apply myself, or as I process experience from having applied myself. By synthesizing a range of input, I put things together in new ways. My new understanding empowers new possibilities and ways of being.

Breakthroughs don’t happen simply because I hope for them.

It’s kind of naive to anticipate a ‘Deus ex Machina’ exploding inside me at some random, unpredictable time from some unidentifiable, all-powerful source. That source is obviously not me. I’m not only invoking magic but relying on magic to change me forever for the better.

Sure, so doing may create a kind of un-pressuring which allows space for integration. It may fill me with hope.

Yet, is this kind of hope really constructive?

By putting energy into putting off, I’m moving away from investing in myself right now. If I need a break, I can take one without buying into a counterproductive myth.

As I illustrate step by step in The Myth of Breakthroughs: Fulfillment Through Incremental Steps, organizing myself around anticipating impending breakthroughs can discourage constructive daily habits and actions which support me proactively to realize my dreams.

What is a breakthrough?

A breakthrough is commonly understood to be a dramatic epiphany: a significant personal experience that instantly expands me and welcomes new horizons.

The idea cultivates images of being struck by lightning, blessed by God, and making a great stride that instantly pulls forward years of personal growth. Magic coalesces which catapults me into new dimensions I can immediately navigate and implement.

I’m transformed: A New Me!

It’s a universal utopian fantasy.

Eureka! I’m transformed!!! Photo by Michelle McEwen on Unsplash

My parent, my soulmate, my friend, God — the Universe — meets my needs, answers my prayers, and through euphoric experience brings me what I yearn for.

Things come together in just the right way.

Because a breakthrough brings expanded levels of functioning, perhaps it’s even better than orgasm.

What fun!

Magical Thinking — Fulfilled. Childhood Longing — Requited. Perfect Attune-ment — Achieved.

I sail off into the sunset, live into my dream of being superhuman, and welcome being forever Loved.

There’s just one tiny glitch.

Breakthroughs are almost invariably a result of a period of development.

A breakthrough is a momentarily interpreted culmination in a process seeded much earlier; a process that continues to affect and contribute to me.

That developmental period includes…

  • Yearning for expansion
  • Testing the waters
  • Determined application
  • Playing and experimenting and exploring
  • Having no clue
  • Thinking I know
  • Uncertainty
  • Confidence
  • Trial and error
  • Success and failure
  • Rejection and futility
  • Losing and gaining faith
  • Misguided contributions
  • Loving guidance
  • Undiscerned learnings
  • Putting things together on my own, etc.

The first time I touch a new ability or embrace a new awareness, I may feel glorious. However seldom does this revolutionizing experience immediately become my baseline.

A time of consolidation and reinforcement almost invariably both precedes and follows a ‘breakthrough’.

If I think my ‘breakthrough’ comes out of nowhere, or means I’ll never face related issues ever again, I may be ‘blindsided’.

While our language emphasizes words like “moment” and “arrival”, time never stops. That is to say, time is always moving — as are we all.

Just as a newly discovered “phenom” has been working away in anonymity (Tiger Woods was tutored in golf from age 3), ‘breakthroughs’ — especially ones that usher in new and sustainable levels of functioning — brew over time, sometimes years.

Even if their ingredients never receive acknowledgment, breakthroughs result from incremental steps.


It would be to my advantage to be much more ‘self generous.’ What would it be like to take the opportunity to congratulate myself for all manners of forward progress — even those I normally take for granted?

After all, every instance of new thinking and behavior can be deemed a ‘breakthrough!’

As a human being, I am always growing.

My intention is continually to expand.

I am learning to hold incremental steps as celebratory accomplishments I take pride in; to use them to build faith in myself and trust in my abilities.

Take Away

Thinking in terms of ‘breakthroughs’ can provide respite from the constant effort, as well as a paradigm for feeling fulfilled. However, by leading me away from quotidian actions which empower me to progress, believing growth occurs through ‘earth-shattering breakthroughs’ may prove unconsciously disheartening.

Viewing incremental forward steps as continuing breakthroughs creates a paradigm for consistent recognition and reward.

Letting go of my conception that growth occurs through sporadic incidents of cataclysmic revelation, in turn, empowers me to accomplish ‘breakthroughs’ every day.

‘Breakthroughs’ stand at once as celebratory culminations, and new foundations.’

Everything is process.

What’s most important is continuing to grow.

Thank you for reading. I value and will respond to your feedback (you may leave comments by clicking the little cartoon bubble to the left below, or by emailing me directly, here.) I learn from what you offer.

You may find more of my writing, as well as follow me (valuable to me), and also subscribe to be notified as I post new articles, here.

If you care to support me by joining Medium through my member link (most valuable to me), you may do so, here.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store