Thousands Of Small Steps

There is an old saying, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step.

This is something that I really want to focus upon because all success in life is the result of action.  Sadly, when people look to change their lives, they often concentrate their efforts on the large changes such as leaving a bad marriage or switching jobs.  While these are perfectly acceptable steps to follow in many situations, there are other ways to approach things that are equally beneficial.

Breaking Things Down

The truth of the matter is that few actions are "big".  Instead, we find that most big actions are nothing more than a series of much smaller actions strung together.  For example, one does not sit down and write a book.  The process actually involved writing a series of words, perhaps 500 or 1000 at a time, until a book is completed.  Same thing with working out.  An individual does not lose 20 pounds but, rather, goes to the gym.  All results are created through a series of actions.  Remember this concept as it is vitally important.

Another thing that one quickly realizes is the importance of habitual behavior.  Bad results are rarely caused by one horrific event.  Certainly there are instances in life which are surprised and throw people for a loop.  However, much of what we endure was of our own making (if one is honest and takes responsibility).  And, few events, even when of our own making, are overnight occurrences.  Usually, things are the culmination of a series of actions over time.

Let us look at health as an example.  A person does not get lung cancer from lighting up one cigarette.  This disease is the result of years of puffing away at tens of thousands of cigarettes.  The same thing with being overweight.  Someone did not suddenly wake up to find an extra 40 pounds on his or her frame.  Instead, this extra fat was acquired one jelly donut or bag of candy at a time.  The habitual activities of this individual led to poor results.

For this reason, it is imperative that you look at your daily actions to determine if they are beneficial or not.  Obviously, smoking is a habit few will try to defend as healthy.  But how about some of the other things you do on a daily basis?  How is your diet?  Do you drink too much?  Is too much time spend inactive in front of the television?  Are you always late to work by a few minutes?  Questions like these will help you uncover what you do on a regular basis so that you can assess what is helpful.


One of the biggest keys to success is to get started.  As mentioned in the old saying, the single step is the starting point.  It is like that in all phases of life.  No matter what you wish to accomplish, nothing will be achieved until some action is taken.  Planning is important but it is a mental exercise that many can use to actually procrastinate.  There is a time for planning and there is a time for action.  Focusing upon the small steps makes the beginning that much easier.

Many believe that a man traveling through life without a plan is completely lost.  I agree with this assessment to a point.  The flip side of that idea is someone who plans so much that little is actually accomplished.  Personally, I find that one who is willing to start even if he or she does not know 100% the direction traveling in to be much better.  The advantage to this approach, as long as the general idea is known, one who begins has the ability to alter course along the way.  The one who never starts because he or she is too busy planning cannot do this.  Instead, he or she is stuck in the starting blocks.

Therefore, since life is a result business, we need to take some kind of action to have an effect.  This is why it is imperative that you remember action as the key word.  Without it, nothing will get accomplished.

Changing Your Life

I am a big fan of lots of simple steps taken to reach success.  Too often people try to establish a course of action which is impossible to maintain.  We see this each January when people sign up for gym memberships with the intention of working out like a champion athlete.  Sadly, this schedule is just too great for them and by February 1, the desire is passed.  This was a situation where failure was ensured at the start.

To illustrate, I will use the analogy of cleaning out a drawer.  If a drawer is full of stuff, a person has the option of either cleaning it out in one sitting or doing a little each day until the goal is met.  Either approach will achieve success.  However, both require getting started.

Personally, if one can discipline him or herself, I find the second method works better for most things.  The key in this instance is to be disciplined to open the drawer each day.  If this is done, cleaning it out is a snap because one only needs to get rid of one or two things a day.  Do this enough days in a row and the drawer will be cleaned. 

Remember the example of writing the book.  This is the methodology used to complete this work.  A book is not written.  Instead, words put down lead to the formation of a sentence.  Put together enough sentences and a paragraph forms.  After this is done, if more paragraphs are added, then a pages is written.  And, string enough pages together will ultimately lead to a book.

So, if you want to change your life, the best way is to make a list of small steps you can take to alter the direction you are moving in.  Start with a list of 10 actions you can complete today which will make a difference.  Remember, do not look for earth shattering ideas.  Keep it simple.  Once you do that, you can begin to form a larger list.  Work your way up to 100 or even 1,000 if needed.  The more action you take, the more things will change.  It is impossible to take 1,000 small steps without leading somewhere.  Work this mindset into your life.  All the insignificant actions we take do add up.  Therefore, as opposed to allowing your outcome to chance, take the initiative and start altering things on your own.  Try this for 30 days and you will notice a difference.

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