Stop and look in the mirror. 100% happy with everything you see?
I certainly am not. I’m still scrawnier than I’d like to be. Ideally, I want to gain another 30 pounds of muscle. My bank account? Well, that’s scrawnier than I’d like it to be as well. My career is moving along, but if I’m honest, I’ve not done as much as I thought I would when I was a senior in college and expected myself to change the world. Socially, I have a few good friends and I’ve made a lot of progress towards overcoming that natural shyness that I grew up with. But you know that guy that just walks into a room, commands instant respect, and electrifies the crowd? That’s still not me.
If I honestly assess where I am at as a person vs where I’d like to be, I see so much ground I need to cover. It’s a bit overwhelming – so much to do. I find myself either stressing out about how far from my ideal self I still am or trying to just accept where I am now as good enough.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
I could freak out and stress over how much work I still have to do or I could give up and just accept I’ll never reach my goals, but a third option exists. Just One Step Forward. All I need to do today is take one step forward towards my goals. Just one step. Slow, steady forward progress will eventually accomplish your largest, most incredible dreams.
What can you do today to take 1 simple step forward? Here’s a few ideas.
- Take a jog to burn some calories and strengthen your heart.
- Sign up for a class in something you’ve always wanted to learn.
- Visit the store and buy one clothing item that fits well and gives you confidence.
- Join an online dating site and practice chatting with someone.
- Better yet, visit a coffee shop and make small talk with someone there.
- Sign up for a gym and search Youtube for a few basic workouts.
- Fill out a to-do list to get yourself organized.
- Clean one room or even one part of a room.
- Message a friend to reconnect.
- Read the first chapter of a book you’ve always wanted to read.
- Drop $10 into a savings account.
- Take 5 minutes and just breathe. Repeat the word “peace” or “strength” or “love” in your mind. You just meditated.
- Plan to help someone today. When the opportunity presents itself, go for it.
None of these ideas are dramatic or life-changing. But then again maybe they are. If the journey of a thousand miles really does begin with a single step, then these simple steps may change you in ways you can’t imagine. You don’t have to change the world today. You don’t even have to transform yourself. You need just take a single step towards a better you. And in doing so, you just might end up changing yourself and the world more than you ever realized.
If you really want to master something as quickly as possible and go from first step to goal even quicker, I highly recommend The First 20 Hours – How to Learn Anything Fast. Josh Kaufman helps self-directed learners like us expedite the learning process get to the stage of enjoying what we’ve learned as fast as possible. If you are serious about self-improvement, moving forward towards goals, and achieving skills faster, then consider this book a strong introduction to everything you need to know.
Happy reading, happy improving, and may your small steps lead to giant leaps toward your dreams!