Take life one step at a time

Although it’s been a while since I last got out there, hiking in unfamiliar countryside with only a map and compass to guide you can be an exhilarating experience.

I’ve always enjoyed following a detailed map closely enough to feel pretty good when the landmark I was expecting loomed into view.

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An expedition such as this works best when you know where you’re headed, but the step-by-step progress generally requires most of your attention to be focused on where you are now, and where you’ll be going in the next half mile or so.

If you fail to work like this, and instead simply keep staring at your destination on the map, you’re probably going to end up well and truly lost.

Quite rightly we’re encouraged to ‘look at the big picture’, to set ourselves targets and goals, to have grand visions.

And to some extent there’s nothing wrong with doing so.

But once you’ve a broad idea of where you hope to be one day, I think it often makes most sense just to focus on the here and now.

Perhaps it’s good enough (and possibly utterly appropriate) to simply concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other?

Do know where you are, though. (And beware of the bull in the next field.)

2 thoughts on “Take life one step at a time

  1. Hi Jon,
    You are so clever to think of these analogies! Thank you! I hope to hang on to my compass over the next few stressful days whilst enjoying the now!

  2. I do agree with this – when life seems overwhelming and the task ahead impossible, my husband and I always remind each other, “One step at a time”. It’s very helpful in overcoming both mental and physical paralysis. And I think there’s a (Chinese?) saying, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step”, so I can always remind myself that with that single step I’ve done so much more that it might seem.

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