The path is made by walking (DW #940)

We have been talking about how when we are traveling the path of change, transformation and growth, we simply set our direction and start taking baby steps without necessarily having it all figured out.

Sharing these words today by Antonio Machado which state this idea rather eloquently:

Traveler, there is no path.

The path is made by walking.

Traveller, the path is your tracks

And nothing more.
Traveller, there is no path
The path is made by walking.
By walking you make a path
And turning, you look back
At a way you will never tread again
Traveller, there is no road
Only wakes in the sea.

Antonio Machado, Border of a Dream: Selected Poems

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The step that is right in front of you (DW #939)

One of the ways we procrastinate making changes in our lives is that we want to "have it all figured out". We want to have a solid plan in front of us and know for certain where it is going to lead us.

There is a lot of merit in planning. However, the bad news (and often GREAT news) about life is that it doesn’t quite work according to our plans.

So here’s another thing about taking baby steps: You do not know where these steps are going to lead you. You really don’t.

And you really don’t have to know. You just have to set the direction and start traveling.

As Martin Luther King wisely said: "Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

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The compound effect (DW #938)

Here’s the truth about taking baby steps.

If you are taking baby steps, they will not feel significant. These small steps are so small that you will not see any results immediately. If will not seem like anything is happening at all.

Please don’t let that trip you up.

As Darren Hardy, the publisher of SUCCESS magazine, tells us, the formula for success is simple:

"Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE."

In his great book, The Compound Effect, he writes:

"What’s most interesting about this process to me is that, even though the results are massive, the steps, in the moment, don’t feel significant. Whether you’re using this strategy for improving your health, relationships, finances, or anything else for that matter, the changes are so subtle, they’re almost imperceptible. These small changes offer little or no immediate result, no big win, no obvious I-told-you-so payoff. So why bother?

[It is because]...

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But what if it is not my best effort? (DW #937)

When you keep taking action, even if it is baby steps, the reality is this: some days you will be good and some days, you "will suck."

And when you suck, you will be tempted to skip.


Remember this: "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."

This is my new mantra and it has really helped me to keep going. And this is how I am currently encouraging my students and clients to develop new habits and make changes.

  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
  • "It’s OK to suck. It’s not OK to skip."
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Stop stopping (DW #936)

Once we have gotten ourselves to start taking action. There is an important point to remember.

Keep moving and stop stopping.

According to some athletes, Dean Karnazes is one of the fittest men alive today. He has some pretty amazing accomplishments under his belt: running 350 miles at once, running a marathon to the South Pole in minus 40 degrees, running 50 marathons in all 50 US states in 50 days!!!

He gave this advice to budding athletes in an interview quoting the ancient Chinese proverb: “Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid only of stopping.”

Wise words, these, and they can apply to absolutely any area of our lives, whether it’s writing a book, running a marathon, doing a long term project or anything else: KEEP GOING!!!

One of my favourite authors on the creative process, Steve Chandler puts it this way: He says we need to “Stop stopping.”

So, what challenge are you up to right now? What’s your next baby step?

Remember this: Keep moving!! No...

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WIN-ing (DW #935)

David Reynolds explains that the most profound sense of confidence in ourselves comes from being the type of person who can get themselves to do what needs to get done whether they feel like it or not.

(And by the way, we have all experienced this in some areas of our lives . . .we go to work, take the children to school, cook for the family, pay our bills – all whether we feel like it or not)

Reynolds gives us a very practical question to use in those moments when we’re not quite feeling our best but need to act like we are.

It’s super simple.. and very powerful . . . .

“Now what needs to be done?”

(Another way to ask this is: What’s Important Now W.I.N)

That’s it. Doesn’t matter how we feel. We just need to ask that question.

“Now what needs to be done?”

And then, of course, we need to do it.

So please try this in a moment of wavering commitment. When you simply don’t feel like doing what you are committed to.

Ask: Now what...

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Talking about feelings (DW #934)

Yesterday we discussed that not feeling like doing something is not a good reason to not do it.

Here is another thing we need to understand about feelings and action.

David Reynolds in Constructive Living writes that feelings FOLLOW behavior. And that most of us do not understand this basic fact.

Most people ask themselves “How do I feel?” before they do anything and then they let that dictate what they do.

This is not very effective. Why?

Because science confirms that feelings FOLLOW behavior at least as much as the other way around.

Just simply getting yourself to take action CREATES the feelings you thought needed to be there to get you started.

You may have experienced this already.

For me, the first 20 minutes of moving are torture. I rarely want to get off the chair and get in action. Once I start moving, I want to stop immediately.

Once I manage to get through the first 20 minutes though, suddenly I want to keep going. I get into the groove.

And then it is just as hard to...

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Feelings and action (DW #933)

What stops you from taking action towards your goal?

For me, very often it is this: I simply do not feel like it. I am not motivated some days to take even the tiniest of steps.

Then what?

Then I remind myself that the difference between successful people and the not so successful people is this: those who succeed in achieving their goals also do not necessarily FEEL like doing what they have committed to do.

They simply do not let their feelings stop them from taking action.

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Cross the bridge (DW #932)

We have been talking about how it is somehow easier to achieve a daily goal than to set and achieve a goal for something to be done occasionally.

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth John Maxwell tells us: "You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future."

Really like that:  "Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day."

Have you Crosse the bridge between your goal and its accomplishment today?

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The Buddha’s wisdom on baby steps (DW #931)

I love this piece of wisdom from the Buddha: "Little by little one becomes evil, as a water pot is filled with water. Little by little one becomes good, as a water pot is filled with water."

Isn’t that true? It is the daily tiny decisions that we take every day, the actions that we do repeatedly that become our future. This quote is saying two important things:

  • The pot gets filled drop by drop – through micro actions and
  • Focus on filling our pot (ONE POT – not many POTS!) one drop at a time.

Drop by drop by drop.

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