You are making progress if you find yourself...
criticizing no one
praising no one (I don't entirely agree—a kind word can go a long way; but I understand the idea)
blaming no one
accusing no one
saying nothing about yourself to indicate being someone or knowing something
when frustrated or impeded, you blame yourself (*warning: lots of language on link!*)
if complimented, you laugh
if criticized, you ignore
relaxed in motivation
banishing harmful desire
watching yourself as though you were an enemy plotting an attack
I find that last one very important. As with most artists, I have an amazing capacity to self-sabotage. My harmful desires, my nihilism, my darker fascinations—such things are always at the ready to undo me. Positivity and a growth mindset (traits that don't come naturally to me) are keys to success, while balancing such aspirations must be in harmony with wisdom, a lack of naivety, measured discernment, and love. It's not enough to pretend to be optimistic and positive all the time. I have to embrace my natural Stoicism, my faith, and my five-ness. There's simply no way around the makeup of my brain and my soul. So why fight it?
“I go to sleep content, but my final thought is of Resistance. I will wake up with it tomorrow. Already I am steeling myself.” — Steven Pressfield
Harmony. Harmony is key. Polyphony. Multiple melodies acting in accord. The macro is the whole symphony. The micro is every line, every note. People will only understand the symphony (the thing I’m trying to build and communicate) if each note is properly in place.
So what are the notes of your life? The melodies? How do they weave together? Ask yourself that today.