Whether it’s on the moon or at the beginning of a journey towards change, a small step can be the difference between success and failure. If Neil Armstrong hadn’t taken his small step off the lunar module, then the mission to walk on the moon would have failed.
Taking that first step made all the difference. Big change – or let’s get fancy and call it transformation – most often occurs when we make several small changes. My friend Soraya didn’t go from sitting on her sofa to running a marathon overnight. Sir Ludwig Guttmann saw sport as an essential therapy for wounded soldiers and so took the step of arranging an archery competition for injured British war veterans to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. He called it the Parallel Games: that first step began the journey to the Paralympics.
What would be a small step for you on the way to transformation? If you are thinking of retraining, perhaps you will make an appointment to speak to an advisor at a local college. If your goal is to climb Kilimanjaro, will you start with Snowdon? Are you looking to make a move to another team within your company? Maybe you will invite someone from that team for coffee so you can find out more.
A small step towards a more balanced lifestyle might be to turn off your smartphone at 8pm or at the weekends. Perhaps you will talk to your manager about working from home once a fortnight to allow you to make progress on the longterm project she’s given you.
If your goal is related to fitness, maybe you’ll set off for a walk after dinner tonight rather than sit in front of the TV. Perhaps you’ll grab a skinny cappuccino instead of the full-fat version on your way into work tomorrow. If you want to save £1000 towards your holiday, perhaps you’ll skip the coffee shop altogether and pick up some great ground coffee in the supermarket to go in one of these.
Planning a lunar mission or the Paralympics takes years: the small steps I’ve described take seconds to conceive and minutes, maybe hours, to plan. Taking a small step today is the way to achieve future transformation, whether it’s of our careers or our lifestyles.
Today’s pebble for you to ponder: What small step will you take this week?
I’d love to hear from you,
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?