One of my uneducated and flippant theories about writing is that all you have to do to have a successful blog or magazine is publish articles along the lines of “5 Steps to…”, or “3 Ways to…”. There is something in us that is attracted to lists; especially lists of things that promise to give us what we want.
“Want to be faster, smarter, sexier, slimmer, stronger, more effective, and have less stress? Just do these 10 things.”
Does anyone else think those types of articles are over used?
That was a rabbit trail. Let me rein this thing in…
Last week I was walking down the stairs in my office building with a co-worker. She always takes the stairs in an attempt to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I think she must have got this idea from one of the many aforementioned magazine articles on practical tips to lose weight. Now obviously it is better to take the stairs than it is to ride the elevator, especially if you are talking multiple levels of a large building. However, we were taking one tiny flight of stairs.
Immediately the skeptic and critic in me, and by the way I hate that guy, started thinking…
“Isn’t it stupid to take one flight of stairs and tell yourself you are doing something healthy and beneficial for your body? Is one tiny flight of stairs really going to help you lose weight? What is the point?”
What is the point?
I think we ask ourselves that question more often than we should. In fact, I know we ask ourselves that question too often, because I know that just like me, a critic and skeptic also lives inside of you.
The point, in the case of my co-worker taking the stairs, is a big one. Yes, it may be a small step, both literally and figuratively, but it is a step in the right direction nonetheless.
We are often captivated by the big and the bold and, to use a current buzz-word, the “epic”. We read about wondrous acts, but we don’t take the time to understand how they came about.
What do you really want? What do you dream about doing, or becoming? It all starts with small steps in the right direction. Momentum starts slow, but builds exponentially.
So back to those pesky lists. I have a list of my own for you today; two statements and one question…
1) The skeptic and critic inside of you sucks.
2) Small steps lead to big things.
3) Are you taking steps, however small they may be, towards what you want?
“A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn’t will find an excuse.”
– Stephen Dolley Jr.