Monday, December 26, 2011

Take the first step; the next step follows

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But without making that first step nothing will be accomplished. Once the first step is taken the next one and the next and all the others may simply fall in line. You already have enough to begin with that first step. If you are looking for alibis of ‘if onlys’  you will never really start anything or reach anywhere. If you keep on thinking about the problems ahead, you may to tend to postpone things. Prolonged delay paralyses any initiative you might have had. There is no auspicious day, there is no special circumstance; every day is right and every moment is auspicious. All the conditions will not be just right and perfect conditions will never arrive. What you can do now in the present set-up is all that really matters.  The distant and the vague appeals to the human mind as no specific action need to be taken. It is difficult to take the first steps but remember, you unleash a lot of power in doing so.“The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive; the great opportunity is here,”   Says, John Burroughs, the American writer.  From what I know of the lives of the great, I can tell you that everything great they have achieved had begun with something very insignificant.  And many people have not achieved anything simply because they failed to take that first step. The impossible is many a time the untried. If you are in grave doubt or worry about  when or how to start the journey, just take the first step and get past the starting point. Subsequent steps would follow and you may reach a point of no return! You already have enough to take the first step and then the next. Do not worry what will happen tomorrow. Take the first step and then the next and go on. Before we begin a new venture the whole project looks so very overbearing that we are thwarted. When you look at the long road ahead, the destination looks far away and the task daunting. And you do not feel like starting the operation at all. Suppose you are overweight and you want to reduce 30kgs!. You think about the rigorous exercises over a long period of time, the food control measures that have to be implemented and you become dispirited. It is easier to be the way you are: eat whatever you want, do not exercise and it is easy to remain in your comfort zone. But all that you need to do is to just take one  step now. Begin your journey. Start with a simple exercise. Do not look too far ahead or too far back either. Enjoy your present exercise.
If you have begun, you have overcome the inertia and that is a great achievement. Once you start there is a momentum to push you for a little while and a few steps would definitely follow. You have to get charged up by motivating yourself with the goal thereafter. Once it is an intense desire more steps would follow. March on never losing sight of the finish line and never looking back. When I was a faculty of the TKM college of engineering in 1976, State Bank of Travancore had an offer: deposit Rs1000/- and get 100,000 after 40 years. I thought about it for a long time. But looking so far ahead into the future everything looked hazy and impractical. I held on with the idea for quite some time but never took the first step. And the result:  I saved nothing. Now after about 40 years, I regret having not taken that first step. I could have easily deposited Rs50,000/-over a period of a few years and I would have been a millionaire now! We  hear people talking about big plans  over and over  in life.  There are so many who want to write books and become famous, others who want to start a big business, and still others who plan to build a mansion. They are all waiting for the conditions to become right, for the auspicious moment. Very few realize that every moment is auspicious and every day is the right day. The conditions are not going to be different from what it is now  the next year or after ten years. If you do not put that first step, you will never achieve what you want. As in the case of my savings plan I would have been closer to my goal had I acted on time and started depositing my savings in the bank. If you wait under whatever pretext, the goal would recede further and further without any change in your conditions.   Winning is the most important part of any endeavor. Non-starter is worse than a quitter.  90% of success lies in starting, in taking the first step. You may fail after starting but you have a chance to win. If you do not start you are doomed as you have no chance to win. The first step is the hardest of all. Many of us fail because we do not take that first step. We do not overcome the inertia. One step is all that matters. If you don’t grow, you whither; no one can stand still. In other words you will never do great things if you do not do small things. The courage to begin is the same as the courage required to win. Little by little is a universal rule. Doing small things like taking that first step make all the difference in life. 

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