April 30, 2008
One Step At A Time
Hello my friends!
I woke up early today to finish a load of laundry, and while folding the last towel I was reminded that the small steps in life are what get you to the ultimate goal.
It’s such a small thing, folding a towel…and folding it without wrinkles. The edges are all even. The little tag is on the inside where it won’t be seen. The towel lays flat, ready to be stacked with the others. It seems like such a tiny thing, but folding a towel properly is important.
With this small thing comes a good feeling, a feeling of accomplishment. Pride in a job well done. No one is going to know about this little thing you’ve accomplished. You’re not going to broadcast it to the world. It’s a private thing, this folding of the towel, something you’ll keep between you and yourself. This little thing you keep to yourself, and the feelings engendered, will always be a private thing. No one else would really understand, anyway.
But it’s something of which you can be proud, this tiny, private thing. A private pride in yourself and the things you do. This pride in doing things, and doing them well, is a private reward. Such a small reward, but a reward, nevertheless. And that, my friend, is one of the reasons small deeds are worthwhile.
We’ve all entertained grandiose visions of becoming the next great physicist, race car driver, governor, or whatever else one can imagine. The fantasies, dreams, visions, imaginations, aspirations, and ambitions are as endless as the sky. It’s easy to dream. The hard part is bringing that dream to reality.
Most of us realize that accomplishing one’s goal is no small feat. Intermediate steps must be undertaken towards completion of our ultimate goal. In those intermediate steps lies the foundation for the greatness to follow. The self-esteem that follows the accomplishment of those steps, is, in itself, its’ own reward. If you do small things well, then it stands to reason, you’ll habitually do the large things well, because you’ve built a good, solid foundation.
If you take a look at the great accomplishments in human history, you’ll find they were accomplished by people who did small things well. These are people who were committed to themselves and their goals. One must have a desire and then commit to that desire. After that, one must spend the time and resources necessary for realization of the dream.
The dreaming was easy…now the real work begins. This is the point where most dreams end. The desire is there, but the commitment and hard work were not part of the original equation. The "I can’t…" begins to creep in, and soon come the rationalizations; "It was just a dream, anyway", "It would never have amounted to anything", "I don’t have the time, nor the money" or, "I am not smart enough". It’s easy to toss away a dream which has no commitment. How many of us already know that?
So how do we get commitment? Is there a commitment store? Where can I find it? The answer is relatively easy, my friend. One doesn’t commit to the lofty aspirations in the beginning, those are the end results. You commit to those only in a general sense. Your profound commitment should be only to the next small step. That’s where you spend your efforts, time and resources.
College students who have high aspirations must first get out of bed. Then the next step is simply to get to class. The next step is to pay attention to the professor. The next step is to complete the assignments. It is these repetitious small steps and the commitment to them that will get the student across the stage at graduation.
So it is with any dream. You first determine the desired end result. Then lay out the steps necessary for the achievement of those goals. Then commit to those small steps. If the second floor is your destination, one small step at a time will get you there. It is in the completion of those individual steps where one gains the feeling of accomplishment in a job well done.
Such a small thing, the folding of a towel, but its one step in the completion of the laundry cycle.