Do any of the following scenarios ring true for you?
- I want to be fit (lose weight, have bigger guns, a flat tummy, maybe even a six pack, lower my cholesterol count or blood pressure, whatever). But there’s just no way I can do it! I’m just too this-that-or-the-other-thing. So really, it would be a waste of time even trying.
- It would be amazing to play the violin (or guitar or drums, or paint, or write poetry or a book, or throw a curve ball, or fix a radiator, whatever). But who am I fooling? I don’t have that kind of talent! Besides, I just don’t have the time to learn.
- If only I could overcome that self-defeating habit! But truth be told, there’s no way I can stop smoking (drinking, cursing, flirting, Facebooking, gambling, viewing illicit material, gossiping, whatever). I’ve been wrestling with that problem forever! So what’s the use?
- I want to be a better person (happier, kinder, more courageous, humbler, smarter, more compassionate, loving, forgiving, patient, gracious, whatever). But give me a break! I’ll never be those things. Plain and simple truth is, that’s just the way I am, I guess. You just can’t teach old dogs new tricks!
Time after self-condemning time you have recommitted, set new resolutions, made a pact and set out to conquer your demons once and for all. And time after self-defeating time, you have abandoned the effort to save your sanity. So much guilt and self-esteem-sapping failure. So why on earth would you ever set out to self-destruct yet again?
Caveat: Some of us work just wonderfully with a more traditional time-lined goal setting plan. This post is for those who have struggled for a long time and have just about given up trying anymore.
There’s an Easier Way
There is a simple solution to every one of those problems. The solution to all our seemingly insurmountable obstacles to personal growth and change, to success and happiness is really only 4 words away.
But don’t be fooled: The solution is simple, but not simplistic. Frankly, it is quite profound in its simplicity.
The 4-Word Solution to All Your Troubles?
Just … take … a … step.
Just take a step; it’s really that simple. Move one foot in front of the other. Plant it on dry ground and shift your weight forward to that foot. Then move the other one – not too far out in front – just enough so that you will be a little further forward than you were a step before.
And that’s it.
Just One Step at a Time!
Do you see the simplicity? Do you see the power in its simplicity? It really is little more than changing the way you see life, your problem or goals. Your problem is not the huge issue you think it is. Most likely it is a whole lot of very little ones – little steps that have not yet been taken, or steps that may have been given up on long ago.
So just take one. Just one little step forward. Today. It doesn’t matter how small the step is, so long as you just take it. You will thereby step onto that road that will begin to end the trouble or create the dream you desire most.
You are not winning a marathon. You are only taking a step.
You are not overcoming years of obesity. You are simply taking a step. Just one. Then take the next. Not the whole flight of stairs in one leap foreword. Just … a … step.
You are not eating the whole elephant of success or happiness or depression or weight loss, or your anger or drinking problem. You are only taking one step. Once you take the step, that spot then becomes the new position from which to step once more.
But what if I fall back, you ask. Well, frankly, it really doesn’t matter much. You are not conquering the world! You are only taking a step. So if you fall back, stand back up and brush yourself off. Then take a step.
No-Brainer Disclaimer: If your habit involves hurting others in any way, it needs to stop now. Check into a facility that can help. Today. That is the step you must take.
You see, by reinterpreting how you view goals and growth and change, incorporating this powerful simple concept into that interpretive framework under which you think and function, you stop condemning yourself for slipping up and falling down. You no longer really pay that much attention to how many times you’ve fallen or for how many years you’ve been falling. You are not even measuring success by how close you get to your goal, or by some arbitrarily imposed timeline. You are only asking yourself one question: Am I taking steps?
If you are not. Start. Just one.
If you are, great! You are stepping toward your goal. That is one step closer than you were the moment before the step!
The Power of a Step
- Baseball games are not won by the game. They are won one hit and one run at a time.
- Mansions are not built as mansion. They are built one brick at a time.
- Success is not had in one fell swoop. It is had one step, one practice, one habit at a time.
- Happiness is not had for the wanting. It is developed one principle, one trait, one step at a time.
So, take a step. Just one. Decide what it is out of life you want and step towards it.
And then take the next step after that.
And then the next.
The point here is to start moving. Build small pockets of momentum. Along the way, assess the steps you take. In other words, ask yourself this follow-up question: Am I taking the right steps? Don’t know? Then just take a step: Google it.
Over time, hits turn into wins. Bricks turn into mansions. Steps turn into miles. And life becomes filled with more meaning and greater happiness than ever before … again, just a step at a time.
Have you had success with focusing on the steps toward a goal more than the end product?
Please share your experience and thoughts in the comments.