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FIRST STEP

From: Chee Hung Ngoh ngohch@netscape.net
Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 12:52:40 0800 MYT

Winning starts with beginning. Achieving even the biggest, impossible looking goal can be easily done if you take one step at a time.

No matter if your goal is big or small, personal or professional, tangible or conceptual, you come closer to it by taking the FIRST STEP.

Have you ever read those motivational one-liners, inspirational stories or self-help books, found them wonderful, felt good about them – and then nothing changed? Have you sifted through web pages and "how to" magazine articles, and still found yourself exactly where you were? What happened? How can we so full-heartedly agree with what those articles tell us, and then still end up not following through? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a magic wand, whoosh, and our dreams and goals would be reality?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way. Achieving our goals takes "effort" we hear, it takes "commitment", it takes "persistence", we have to "endure" and keep "working at it." Well, if you are like me, those concepts don’t sound the least bit appealing. There seems to be this huge mountain that I need to climb to get to the top, and frankly, I feel already tired and worn out just by looking at the heights I’ll have to conquer. Result: I choose to wander around at the foot of the mountain, looking wistfully at the top, imagining what it must be like up there, but never taking a step to get closer to it.

There may not be a magic wand to catapult us to the top, but the journey up there definitely does NOT have to be hard work, tough and without joy. If I could only find a way to make the road a pleasant one, one that doesn’t feel like I have to grit my teeth to get on.

This is an invitation for you to find out if you can take the first step without drudgery. And then the next. See how far you get without it becoming a begrudged "have to." Try this out. You can stop the moment you feel uncomfortable.

What inspires me to take steps and do things I have postponed or avoided so far? A sense of adventure? The knowledge I have the freedom to turn around any moment? The curiosity of what it would be like to actually begin the journey I’ve been dreaming about for so long?

The answer is: results. Now. Not at the end of the journey. Now. Give me something right now. So let’s try this:

Make a commitment to yourself to follow the goal described below for one hour. When it is achieved, congratulate yourself and extend the goal for another hour. Keep going until you’ve done it for one day. After that, you may rest and suspend the goal for a while if you wish. Or you may feel so encouraged that you don’t want to stop. You may find it irresistible to keep going. And this is the goal:

Keep your word. If you promise your boss, "I’ll do it right away" do it right away. If your friend calls you and you say "I’ll call you back", call them back. If you remember that you wanted to pay your bills last night and didn’t, recommit to a new deadline and KEEP THE DEADLINE. Make a list of things you want to get done TODAY and then make sure you do them before the clock strikes midnight.

Feel free to take on as little or as much as you want for one day. But KEEP YOUR WORD under all circumstances. No excuses. Do not allow anything or anyone to come between and your word. For one day. And see what happens. See how you suddenly feel different about yourself. See how you feel more powerful, more in control, more optimistic – just by keeping your word. Live your word like it is the only thing that you have. One day. At a time.

Susanne Forrester, Success For You