A Journey of 1000 Miles – The First Step


Have you heard the proverb, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”?  That pearl of wisdom was made by the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu around 500 B.C.  The advice is simple, ‘Just take the first step, and you are on your way no matter how far away your destination may be.’

Life’s journey may seem difficult and tiresome.  You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.  So you decide to simply live one day at a time—enjoy life while you can!

Here are a few journeys taken by some.  Note the final destination of each journey.

  • Going around in circles, always ending up where you started – Destination: Lost
  • Starting out with no idea where you are going – Destination: Nowhere
  • Trying real hard, not making it and then giving up instead of giving it one more shot – Destination: Failure
  • Doing the same thing over and over again and again expecting a different result each time – Destination: Insanity
  • Starting out with the end clearly in mind, feeling the thrill of the journey pulsating in each step, and becoming a better person with every experience whether it be a success or a failure – Destination: Success

So what’s involved in taking the first step?

I’m assuming, of course, that you’ve chosen the road to Success.

Smart choice.

Because while you were still in your mother’s womb, your hard-drive was programmed for success.

That’s why you feel so horrible when you fail at anything—you are wired for success!

Let me give you three tips on how to take the first step on your personal journey to success.

  1. Decide exactly what you want in life.

You say, “I have no clue what I want!”

No problem,

Let me help you.

Imagine you could wave a magic wand and be, do, and have anything you wanted

“I can think of a hundred things I’d like to be, do and have!” you say.


Make a list of 100 things. Write them down on a piece of paper.

Put your ‘100 List’ somewhere safe.

Every year or two or five take a look at your list.

You will be surprised to see how many things you can check off: ‘Been there/Done that!’

  1. Make a plan.

“I’ve never planned anything in my life…I don’t know where to start,” you say.

No problem. Let me help you again.

If from your list you had to choose only one thingthat you would have to do for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

What would you have to do to excel at that one thing? I mean, to become one of the best in the world!

Also, what would you have to do to really enjoy–I mean really enjoy doing it?

Answer those three questions and you are well on your way to creating a plan for success!

By the way, you don’t have to be stuck on one thing.

Ask yourself,

‘If I could add one other thing to what I do for the rest of my life, what would it be?

What would I have to do to excel at it?

What would I need to know or do to really enjoy it?’

And now that you’re in the groove, you can work your way through the rest of you ‘100 List’.

  1. Act like it is impossible for you to fail.

“What!” you say, “how do I do that?”

Once more, let me help you.

Imagine yourself enjoying the accomplishment of your goal.

Create a detailed mental picture of you enjoying your completed goal.

Feel the thrill.

Wallow in the emotion.

Feel the feeling!

Now, when you’ve got that picture clear in your head, when you’ve got those emotions stirring up some excitement inside you– start to think, talk, walk, act like your dream is already reality.

Call it swagger, if you like!

Just do it!  Feel it!  And then show some swag!

Start living with that sense of accomplishment, that self-confidence, that inspiration and motivation every day.

Don’t wait…live your dream today!

“What about all the mistakes I’m bound to make along the way?” you ask.

Mary Pickford, a former movie actress, has a good answer: “If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.”

In other words, if you are willing to fail with no fear, make lots of mistakes with no shame, get up and keep trying, you will most certainly succeed!

So here’s the crunch–

the next thought you think…

the next decision you make…

the next step you take…

is the first step of your thousand mile journey.

The steps that follow will lead to a certain destination:

Lost, Nowhere, Failure, Insanity or Success.

You’re programmed for success—

decide exactly what you want in life,

make a plan,

act like you can’t possibly fail!


Live your dream—today!



Les Dahl


Image courtesy of Digitalert & Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net