Human nature is very ambitious. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But we have to also realize that Rome was not built in a day. And it’s important to take one step at a time. That’s the subject of my brief conversation today, take one step at a time.
I’ll give you an example. My son has started picking up skateboarding. We come to a skate park near our house. There are different ramps with different levels of intensity and gradient at the skate park. And today, for the first time, he did a drop, which is where you go up to the ramp, and you fall down, and you skate down. To achieve that drop, we did not start with the highest ramp-we started with the lowest one, and gradually moved up and that gave him the confidence to go down that successfully. And then as he gained his confidence, and he took it one step at a time, he went further up, and up and up. And he got to the second highest one. And that was in the morning today. And then he wanted to come again in the evening, because he loves to skate at the skate park. So I bought him again in the evening.
It’s about 8:20pm Central. The sun is still out, and it’s a gorgeous day. My son Syrus, stood on the highest ramp and asked me- “What do you think-should I do it?” And I said-“Well Syrus, if you’re not comfortable, don’t do it right now. Let’s work your way up there. Let’s practice on the lower ramps some more first. Don’t rush yourself. Don’t push yourself, Don’t pressure yourself. Do it when you feel you’re ready.” And he said, “Just psychologically, there’s a fear. And it seems really high. But actually, it’s not. It’s just about two feet higher than the second highest one.”
But I didn’t push him, and I didn’t force him. Because you don’t want to do that. You don’t want to do it to anybody else either. And you definitely don’t want to do it to yourself. It’s ok to be cautious. It’s ok to be patient. Rome was not built in a day; you have to take it a step at a time. Syrus will go on the highest ramp, and he will go down on it, just not today.
In the same way, please be patient with yourself. Yes, I know you’re ambitious. And yes, it is good to set lofty goals. But you don’t hit your highest goal, the first time around. You break your goal into smaller steps. And you achieve the small steps which lead you to your end destination. It’s a journey. It’s not the one shot that gets it all. It’s not like that.
Starting Point and End Point
Make sure that you set realistic goals. Make sure that you know what your starting point is, and what your end point is. Assess how you’re going to get from the starting point to the end point and from your As-Is state to your desired To-Be state, in steps and stages. You have to break it down into quantifiable chunks and celebrate the small wins, celebrate the successes. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Sometimes it’s important to be kind to yourself, to know yourself and to realize that you don’t have to always be first. It’s okay.
Do it Right
Do it, right. Feel good about it. And you know what, sometimes you’re going to fall, and that’s okay. It’s okay to fall as long as you are taking precautions. Syrus has got a helmet. He’s got his elbow guards. He’s got his knee pads. It’s okay. Moreover, I’m right there-standing there to pick him up, if he does fall. Remember that there’s also going to be somebody there to pick you up, if you fall and when you fall. Keep the faith. Have faith in God. Go forward one step at a time.