"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" is a quote attributed to Lao Tzu, who is thought to have been a contemporary of the Chinese philosopher, Confucius.
This quote is not related to an actual trip, but to any situation that requires intentional steps. The purposefulness in laying out the steps is part of the journey and in fact it is the most important part of the journey.
I have always been struck by the fact that everyone wants the prize, but few are prepared to invest in themselves or to do the work consistently on the path to their personal greatness. Most people just don’t want to push themselves.
The push is the daily work required to be successful at the highest level. The push is a path paved with stepping stones that represent actions that the person takes to reach the bridge that leads to the success that they want.
For years, I have been a believer in visualization and I place my dreams on a vision board. I’m not talking about the “name it and claim it” craze in some religious and coaching circles.
I’m talking about developing the mental muscles to first believe in your ability to succeed and to use visualization to help you to have higher thoughts of yourself and what you’re capable of, as well as the affirmations or positive self-talk to tear down the negative voices that will surely ring in your head from time to time.
The push is the work in action. Nothing happens without action. So in addition to pictures of the dreams that you’ve pasted to your vision board, the journal filled with positive affirmations and your list of the goals that you want to accomplish, you also need to visualize the steps that you need to take towards your dreams.
Once you start thinking of the steps and seeing yourself taking those steps, the more likely you are to actually begin taking those steps.
I have had some recent conversations with people who have dreams of being in a strong financial position and being able to afford all the things they want in their lives, but they were unwilling to reduce unnecessary spending to pay off credit card debt or to get a second job to pay off their bills.
“Wow, so you want the money to just drop from the sky into your lap,” I said. That’s the same as wishing that you’ll win the lottery, without ever buying a ticket.
I’m not saying that you should run out and buy a lottery ticket – that’s gambling and it’s the opposite of what I’m talking about. I’m talking about believing in yourself, investing the time, money and resources into developing your path and taking the steps necessary to reach your goals.
Your steps might be completing your education, getting a part-time job to pay off your bills or provide the extra income to start a business one day. It might mean walking or exercising for 30 minutes a day in preparation to begin running and then winning a marathon someday.
It all begins with a single step, but the step has to be taken by you. It can’t be done by anyone else. So get started on your journey and keep moving until you cross the bridge that leads to the kind of success you’re seeking.