The Beauty and Magnificence of the Small Steps
Posted on January 22 2017
“Do not despise these small beginnings…”
Before a child can walk, he or she has to crawl. The world’s greatest philosophers, mathematicians, spiritual leaders, all took the baby steps of crawling on their hands and knees before standing on their two feet. We have been lectured on the importance of the future for so long that we have forgotten that the future is a culmination of steps taken in the Now. We forget that every thought, conversation and connection is an important piece of the puzzle and that without these pieces, the puzzle cannot fully exist. Without these pieces, there is no big picture, no finished product.
“Pay attention to the steps you’re taking towards your goal. Those steps are even more important than the goal itself because the steps towards that goal determine the quality of the goal.” Eckhart Tolle
Fulfillment lies in the future. This is a lie that has been perpetuated for as long as human beings have existed. It is such a common lie that many of us stopped recognizing it as an untruth and have embraced it as the norm. You have a goal, you work as hard as you possibly can, you achieve that goal and then you’ll be happy. Don’t get me wrong, fulfillment and happiness can come in the future but when you get “there” it won’t be the future, it will once again be Now. Besides, most people that achieve their goals are usually met at the end with a sense of “what now?” The journey towards finding fulfillment begins again.
I received the best advice from my dad when I started my fashion blog a few years ago. I was so stressed about all the content I needed to produce and all the ideas that would or would not work and how they would work…the worry list was endless. After sensing all of the tension and anxiety brewing, he said I should quit. I was taken aback. This was coming from a man who had never quit anything in his life. What he said next is something that I go back to every day, “there are a million things you could be miserable doing, why be miserable doing what you love?”
All I could see was the destination –where I needed to be. I forgot to find joy in the process of discovery, in the exciting challenge of building something from scratch; I forgot to find beauty in every victory, I forgot to marvel at the magnificence of each step taken.
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.” Albert Einstein
Who you are in the small steps is who you’ll be at the end. If you’re miserable on your journey to success, you don’t all of a sudden become the Dalai Lama when you “make it”. There’s no automatic peace, zen and happiness that comes over you. Appreciating each moment along the way requires being present in those moments. It requires recognizing that no step is more or less important than the other.
I often remind myself that before a plant can bloom, a seed has to go underground. It is dark and scary underground but it is a crucial step in what will be. Roots have to take their place, the seed has to be nurtured with water and light; all of these steps are key to the first bloom. The beauty that we see at the end cannot exist without those steps. There is no end without a beginning.