How many steps in a marathon?
According to Runners World magazine, it would take approximately 33,000 steps. Obviously no two people would take exactly the same. The power of small steps: that’s the message. That’s also the lesson of our quote this week.
This quote is not new to our ears; we’ve probably heard something like it many times over. In other words, it’s truly amazing how much we can achieve, by taking many small steps. Small steps often seem pointless, but if they are done relentlessly, day after day, year after year, then the result really can be “mountaneous.”
Another similar quote I’ve always liked, goes something like this: study anything for 15 minutes a day, and in five years you’ll be quoted as an expert. That makes 1,825 consecutive little study sessions! No wonder you’re already an expert!
When can you be relentless?
The key to success, then, is in that little word “relentless.” Not many people are relentless. Here’s why. We always discover a thousand compelling reasons why it’s not worth carrying on. Very often those reasons are nothing more than lame excuses. Truth is we get fed up, bored, interested in something else, the shine wears off, and then that terrible thing happens: we give up.
Of course we justify it to ourself. “I didn’t really give up, there was a good reason why it was no longer a worthwhile goal.” Or, terrified by the enormity of the goal, we decide that it’s impossible: perhaps like “moving the mountain” of our Chinese proverb.
“That’s insane”, we think, “who ever heard of moving a mountain?”
But what’s the result of this negative attitude? Failure, of course!
Goals in the trash?
Our life is littered with goals we have set ourselves, and for some reason they disappeared. I fight this problem every day. So many things to do, so many new goals that attract the attention. They seem much more important than the existing goals.
There is of course a grain of truth in all of this, but we have to admit we often end up going round and round in circles. We’ll never achieve very much if we continuously stop and start, stop and start, not getting anywhere fast.
As a result we have a multitude of half-finished little projects, sadly resting in some forgotten corner.
Try a little more dogged perseverance
Perhaps not many of us can find that single-mindedness of purpose to achieve great things. However we might find it useful to remember this: a little dogged perseverance will pay rich dividends.
Now take a look at your own present situation. Does any of this resonate with you? Would you like to do something about it? Will you do something about it?
Or maybe you’re a bit tired of it all. You’ll think up another feeble excuse, sit back and relax. That’s great too. We all need downtime.
But why let downtime be our greatest achievement?
P.S. How does the “little steps” strategy work for you? If you like, please let us know by leaving a comment.