The Power of Baby Steps

Cute toddler boy is climbing the stairways at home.
Active toddler boy is unsafe in staircase.

I rarely share from my personal journal, but today I am, to make a point that is important to our success, whether individual or corporate.

Tom

=======================

7/27/2020 8:23 AM
Monday

I took a few minutes this morning to go back in my journal (I use a piece of software called JournalLife to do my journaling and it makes it easy to go find things or trends and subjects you have written about in the past. Trust me, there is no better journaling product out there. ). I stumbled on this entry. It may be a little personal for a professional blog like this one, but there is a point to be made at the end. So here’s the entry, from June 1, two months ago:
6/12/2020 9:32 AM
Friday

Baby Steps

Oh the progress is so slow. The fight against depression and inertial (the part about a body without motion taking more energy to move forward.).

But the truth is, there is progress. Slow as it is, there is a moving forward again.

This time of Coronavirus and quarantine has not been good for me. It has become easy to succumb to depression naps and not doing much because for many, that has become the temporary norm. No one would notice. No one did. So it has taken my own volition to push my way forward again, to try and move inertia into a thing of movement. To push myself to sleep less and take that time to move forward again.

It is happening. But it is oh so slow. Made worse, or harder at least, by no one noticing. It is my journey and mine alone. I can talk about it to Cindy and others, but no one seems to get it. Unless I complain loud and long, they hear my talking and when I don’t keep complaining, it fades away. And I am not a complainer. So the encouragement and support fades away. That is simply a fact of life. 

So it is my journey to make. My loss some days and my victories some days. That’s OK because that is the truth. I live better in the truth.

==========

I have done better the past week or so. I have dropped back to simpler processes and it is paying off. I have cut off some of my software tools, lessening the web it takes to get things done. Less software to maintain, less interactions to manage. Nothing I do is complex. Why had I allowed it to become so complex?

My guess is that it was an avoidance tool. I could always tell myself I was making progress by working on the back end instead of doing the real work of developing a future. A lot of people do that. I am a little disappointed in myself for falling into the same trap.

But if I fell into it, I have also climbed out. Rethought. Reoriented. Yes, it has meant spending time on the process again, but there is no reinventing the wheel, There is a commitment and a timetable that is starting to come together. I am moving closer to the real work, even knowing there will be some rejection, which I hate, which beats up on my emotions. But the rejections are also the path to success. And I am determined to find it again.

Determined I say. Slowly I am regaining the energy and drive to build something again. I am less and less content in the drifting, as pleasant and easy as it is.

I miss drive. I miss my drive. I miss seeing things build. The past five or six years have been as if I were someone else. There has been peace in it, and peace is precious to me. Vital even. But it has not moved me forward, as a person or as a professional. I refuse to believe that, at almost 65, I have no drive to build any longer. I have too many years to live NOT to build. I should have at least one major building of something left in me. And maybe two.

What that is exactly, I am less clear about. But it will come. I trust Mike Dooley’s chart on the Matrix that if we focus on the right things, and work, it will show itself. I used that theory in most of my life for a long time without knowing what was behind it. It is time to begin again.

And I have. This entry is not just a rant, it is simply a recognition that it HAS begun again. I am digging out of the hole I have lived in for so long, one so deep that even though still in it, most people around me had no idea I have been there. To outsiders, I have been productive, powerful, but I know, even if they didn’t, that I have not been anywhere close to my potential. There is more inside me. And the tiny steps will get me there. They always do.

Enough, Time to get back to work. There are victories to be had, and I want to claim some of them.,

Be well, self. Travel wisely.

======================

Two months after this entry, I am in a far better place. I have energy. I feel the drive returning. I have regained direction and the steadiness of progress and movement. In the process, my depression is far weaker, and life, not just work, but life, is far better. So please, don’t dwell on the beat-up feel of this post, because it’s not the point. It’s not important. It’s just to illustrate the overcoming. Because we all have things to overcome. And we all can.

Here’s the point I want to make. We all have times when we fall backwards, when things knock us down. And just as certainly, there is always a path back. There is hope and there is a process to whatever it is we want. I’ve taught the process to clients for years. And the last year, with its mix of cancer surgery and treatment, and then the battering of the Coronavirus, knocked me backwards, as it has many of us.

But there is a way back. There is always a way back. And it consists of baby steps. Not grand and glorious leaps into the sky, but day to day small-batch progress. It’s not flashy. It’s not quick. It gets us there. And it gets us there sustainably. It gets us there for the long run, less battered, less anxious, and far better equipped to continue the progress, far better able to deal with setbacks, because they are small. Far better able to believe in our progress, because, day by day it adds up to a brilliant portfolio of success.

Baby steps. Every day. Something, anything, towards your goal each day. It can be life-changing. And that’s not just theory. It’s not just from books. It’s from experience.

Be well self. Travel wisely,

Tom

2 comments

  1. Hi Tom. Good for you! I agree with
    you totally, the small steps toward
    the goal make it happen! I’ve also been knocked down by nasty stuff in the
    past few years, and started to get up, and wham, society shuts down. So,
    it’s easier to curl up in a ball and play
    dead. Except I had some big responsibilities for others, and kept
    putting one foot in front of the other.
    Then I added one or two daily habits
    to feed into two goals for myself, and
    have kept at them. It works! Nothing
    dramatic, or perfect, but I now know
    I can still make things happen. Yes,
    we can get knocked down, but the
    trick is, in always getting back up…
    Sandra

    • And yours is another testimony to the power of small steps. And you touched on an important reason that they have such power – they remind us each day that we can make a difference. Blessings.

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