I recently had a delightful conversation about taking small steps with Megan Karlen, who got me to contemplate her words to the point where I just had to write it down. As we were discussing business strategies and ways to keep oneself sane and zen, she told me of a trip to the mountains she’d recently taken. Encouraged by others to come along, she resistantly climbed the steady slope, cursing the thin air and her protesting muscles. Struggling to keep up, but refusing to let this whole trip be a disaster, she knew she had to figure out a way to enjoy the hike.
As she took a step, she told herself ‘great!’. She took another step and told herself ‘another great step!’. She took another step and said again ‘I just took a really great step, that’s awesome!’. Each and every step, she told herself how well she did, how beautifully she walked, how courageously she stepped over the stones, and how amazingly she was climbing this mountain. Needless to say, she began to enjoy herself thoroughly!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. – Lao Tzu
This endearing story immediately reminded me of some beautiful advice Jason Kotecki from Escape Adulthood recently gave me: “Just keep taking small steps with your blog and everything else. It’s easy to want to run ahead and compare ourselves with where we think we “should” be. Believe me, after 15 years, those small steps really add up!”
As I’m progressing with omniwonder, it is easy to lose myself in what I think I ought to be. I excitingly compare myself with established writers and life coaches, whether they’re in the category Mother Theresa or awesomely traveling the world while working remotely. I want to do what they do, so that’s what I compare myself with.
I’ve always been very passionate and ambitious, and I have big plans with omniwonder. I want to write about the beauty of curiosity, the pursuit of happiness, and the philosophy behind how I live my life. I want to inspire people to be more curious again. The importance of this curiosity is twofold: it’s beneficial for yourself, your personal growth and your inner happiness, by being the force behind your explorations and the steps you take towards your dreams. On the other hand, curiosity is a necessity if we want to be kinder people. There is too much narrow-mindedness, bigotry, hatred, and violence, and being curious about others and the world is the first step towards understanding, acceptance, and peace.
Devout as this all sounds, I also want to make money with that, for reasons varying from wanting to provide for my husband and longing to be able to travel often, to wishing to be able to buy food for every homeless person I see, and having this secret dream of showing up at my parent’s doorstep with a bottle of Champagne one day and go ‘sup guys, you can retire now’. In other words; lots of big plans and big dreams.
Big dreams, however, require small steps. Nothing utterly important is ever built overnight.
Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. – Chinese proverb
A great way to remind yourself of enjoying those small steps when you’re working towards your dreams, is by keeping a progress log. This has been making a huge difference in how much I appreciate my own work. Every time I wonder why I’m not Tim Ferriss yet, I look at my progress log and realize that I’ve been doing a lot of meaningful things in the last weeks. Looking at that list, I realize that I’ve actually achieved so much already! Two months ago, I didn’t even have a blog yet. Now, I’m overwhelmed by emails and comments from readers who tell me about how much my work inspires them. I’m officially taking clients as a life coach, my extensive guide on self-education is doing great, and I’m grateful to be a contributor to InterGifted.
Whatever your dream is, forget about where you want to end up for a second. Take a look at the first possible steps. What action can you take today that brings you a little closer to your goal? It can be as small as ‘wrote ideas down’, or ‘contemplated what my perfect day looks like’.
Take a small step today, enjoy it, appreciate yourself for doing so, and you’ll be on top of the mountain in no time.
Have you taking any steps towards a dream lately? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a reply below!