Have you ever heard the expression that the longest journey starts with a single step? Or that the first step is always the hardest? What about the first step being the most exciting?
All these statements are true in their own right, and we all know that the first step is, well the first step. But, what happens when you don’t know you’ve started a journey, or that the step you took is leading you down a path you don’t want to go. My Dad always referred to the story of Alice in Wonderland when talking about this topic, the Cheshire cat. If you don’t know where you’re going it doesn’t matter which path you take. So what’s at the end of your path?
This then becomes the question, is the first step as important as the end destination? I could list a bunch of different analogies, if a plane is off course by 1 degree it will miss the destination by miles if not hundreds of miles, but instead I want to focus more on the benefits of the walk based on where we end up. Lets imagine that your destination is to have a lasting and committed marriage. Now at the start we all make a vow, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. So why are so many not making it to their destination? I want to suggest that we all from time to time lose sight of the destination, and take “first steps” onto wrong paths. “First steps” to love someone forever start in simple disciplines, telling them that you love them; telling them that you are proud of them; telling them that you will be there no matter what. I think that’s good advice. There is another side to the coin as well, if you berate, belittle or ridicule your spouse/friend/team mate/associate they may not (probably won’t) enjoy your company and in the end, leave. Now you are at the end of the relationship, which wasn’t your desired result.
I say all this to make the point that, your “first step” is not as important as the journey itself. The simple disciplines that you adopt are what will keep you focused on the path to your desired destination. Lets take our thought about marriage being till the end of our lives. Now before you all tell me how I couldn’t understand your situation or circumstances, I want to share a statement I heard from a couple who had been married for almost 80 years, when asked how they made it so long? “when we were growing up, if something broke we had to fix it”. What if, we all looked for a way to forgive, forget and fix what was broken. I think that kind of attitude would vastly change the way we see almost everything. Imagine that we fixed problems, instead of avoiding them. Confronted them in a way that didn’t accuse or put down, but found common ground to resolve and heal hurts.
In closing I want to ask you to think about your desired destination, whether its a focus on relationships, career/business achievements or getting better at golf. We all have the same amount of time each day, we all have the option to choose what we say and do. Take a moment now and think on where you are heading, does your speech take you to that destination; will the activities you have planned help move you towards your goal. Every choice you make has an impact on the path you walk. Make today count, tell someone that you are proud of them. It might just change everything!
Look out for next weeks post, how to be more of yourself in your everyday.