Get Lucky by Taking Baby Steps

baby-steps.jpgMy one year old daughter just took her first couple of steps recently and it is an amazing site to see. To see how much effort and determination she puts into each movement of her foot while trying to stay balanced is amazing. The way she does it is by holding onto our couch or coffee table and pulling herself up. She then lets go with one hand and tries to stay balanced. Then comes the movement of one foot slowly moving forward, almost dragging itself on the floor to keep some security. Finally, when she has stretched as far as she can go while still holding on, she lets go of the table or couch and takes a step. If she can stay balanced, she takes another step. The most important detail that I omitted was that she doesn’t just do this for the hell of it, she does this when she is trying to get something. She has a goal and she is literally using baby steps to achieve it.

Lessons I learn from my children are some of the most enjoyable learning experiences in my life. I watch them grow and at the same time, they cause me to grow. The important lesson my daughter recently taught me is when trying to achieve a goal that you have never achieved before, you must go about it slowly and carefully by taking baby steps.

I ended off yesterday’s post with the importance of making it a point to become a better person each day. Today I want to talk about baby steps. No matter what the goal is, no matter how big it is, you can achieve it if you move towards it at a slow but steady pace. You just have to break the goal or task down into tiny little pieces and do one little piece at a time. They say that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It’s a great example but anyone can take anything and turn it into their own personal example. Just think of yourself and your life. When you were born, your goal was to grow up to be a toddler and then a child and then a teenager and so on. When you started school, it was you goal to graduate someday. You will notice that these goals cannot be accomplished in a day, year or multiple years, but each day you move forward towards your goal and each year you move even closer to achieving it.

Now that you have seen some large goals that you either didn’t have control over or never really thought about, look at something practical and much smaller. Imagine writing a term paper for school or a report for work. You start out by sitting in front of a blank screen on your computer, you crack your knuckles and then you get so overwhelmed by your task that you begin to procrastinate. The unlucky person will go get a snack for themselves, and then check their email, take a shower, or anything else to fool themselves into thinking that they are helping themselves. A lucky person will take out a pad and paper and break down the task into tiny little parts so that they can start moving forward.

The task list can look something like this:

  1. Write down my thesis or goal of the paper/report
  2. Decide how long the paper will be and which sections will be in it
  3. Jot down any points that I want to discuss in each section

At this point, you have a skeleton of your paper and with very little work your entire project is now more doable. Just continue breaking everything down into tiny tasks and taking baby steps to complete each one.

Once you are happy with the outline of your paper, you can take one topic to be discussed at a time and do research on only that topic. When you are finished, take the next topic. You will be finished before you know it and the unlucky person sitting next to you will just be finished checking his email for the 50th time.

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