As many times as I learn this lesson, I end up forgetting it time and again:
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Lao Tzu
Taking small steps tackles big goals.
Select a manageable portion of the problem.
Try as I may to keep these bits of wisdom close to me, and as many times as I write about them, I think my mind is wired to the OMGosh look at all I have to get done gene. I come by it naturally as my whole family lives and dies by it. So although I know the lesson well, application is tough. I think it is because I am more of a lateral thinker than linear. If I take notes on a page, they are all over the place. Even if I start out a numerical list, by the time I get to number 3 or 7, I have abandoned the format for inserts, side notes, and the arrows. This works great for brainstorming, but not for productivity.
So it was yet another Wow I could of had a V-8 moment when I read Dr. Henry Cloud’s book last weekend, 9 Things a Leader Must Do. In his chapter Play The Whole Movie he writes of a woman with a hated job who wanted to be a lawyer instead, but she thought three years of law school was just too long of a time span to consider.
Cloud asks her, “Do you plan to be alive three years from now?”
She answers with a strong affirmative,
Cloud continues, ” … three years from now, do you want to have a law degree, enabling you to do something you love? Or do you want to still hate your life?”
Cloud’s point is that we often see the necessary change as uncomfortable and more easily avoided, but the problem is, “By avoiding the immediate discomfort, you also sign up for the negative consequences residing within the future reality.”
Big Picture Phobia
I have a unfinished novel starting to tug at me again. I want to make this blog earn a little income and that requires a huge learning curve for me on the tech and marketing side. I also caretake my mom, who suffers from a lot of short term memory loss and pops into my office at will.
The big picture sometimes seems overwhelming, so I have to mentally step back, envision my goals with all their fulfilling moments and know each little step forward is taking me there.
That and keep humming this part of Bob Marley’s song Three Little Birds:
Don’t worry bout a thing,
‘Cause every little thing is gonna be all right.
Singin’: “Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!