It is time to start.
It is the right time.
The time is now.
This hasn’t always been my response to getting down to business. I have been guilty of procrastinating; haven’t we all? But I have learnt that the hardest part is just taking the first step, and that every single step you take after that feels easier and lighter purely because you are getting somewhere.
If you stand still (in Formula 1) you go backwards.Adrian Newey, Aerodynamisist for McLaren F1 in early 2000’s.
Arriving at this point, where I am writing my first blog has come from many small steps on an undulating pathway that I wouldn’t necessarily have found myself on if I hadn’t made some pretty dramatic decisions.
I chose to leave a very comfortable and established life to emigrate and start all over again with nothing more than a feeling in my heart that said: “You have to do this now!” And I was pushing 40 at the time! Sensible people don’t do things like that. Not without large amounts of cash behind them anyway, and I certainly didn’t fall into that category!
But I did it anyway. And the twists and turns that this pathway has shown me have been varied and many. There have been obstacles aplenty that I have had to negotiate, and times when I have looked down to see only the narrowest footpath, with a steep mountainside to my right and a sheer drop to my left. In that moment, as I have paused to look around, I have been rewarded with a view that I thought only angels could see: beauty so great that it has taken my breath straight from my lungs and caused my eyes to leak.
Those have been the points where I have been reminded that life is all about the journey, over and above the destination.
That said; the best journey is the one that you are taking on purpose, and not one that you have found yourself on by wandering aimlessly, or worse still, have been dragged along by someone else.
I take great comfort in living my life on purpose, with Internal Intention. I know that the choices I make are what will determine what I see around the next corner, and whether I will love the view or not. That accountability gives me the freedom from worrying about what other people think I should or shouldn’t be doing. It gives me the power to push on when the terrain is tough, and the satisfaction when I achieve my goals, to know that it was my own doing that got me there.
I recall as a tiny tot being on a family holiday in Europe. Still unsteady enough on my feet that I needed my hand held by my Daddy, I can hear his voice so clearly singing to me: “One step at a time,” as we headed down a large flight of stairs. This was almost certainly as a result of my having gone tumbling down a different set of stairs head first as I displayed signs of being impatient from a very early age.
Yet those words I have heard sung in my head on many an occasion, not always coming from a sentiment of taking things slowly, but sometimes from the notion of: just keep going. Even if it is only one step. One step in the right direction.
And it is possibly the best advice my father ever gave me for the benefits I have felt from following it. Which is why I chose to regift it to you today. The next time you are feeling that you don’t know what to do in a situation, or which way to turn, just say to yourself: “One step at a time,” and give yourself a minute to consciously take that step as a way of regaining control and being decisive once more. Use it to slow you down if you feel like you are running around like a headless chicken trying to get everything done, and stressing over what you should be doing next. If you have been putting off going for that run that you had been so enthusiastic about in the first week of New Year, but have subsequently sidelined; just put on your trainers and tell yourself, “One step at a time.” Then when you are hitting that first big hill and your chest is on fire, and your legs feel like lead:
Before you know it, you will be at the top of that hill, and as you look back you can say:
“I did it!”