One step at a time
“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” — Joe Girard
Years ago when I wanted to lose about 5 pounds, I was able to accomplish that goal by making just one small change. I worked on the third floor of a large building, and I began walking the two flights of stairs instead of using the elevator. Since my job involved some errands, I frequently made more than one trip up and down per day, but it was never unduly difficult or time consuming. In fact, I came to see that taking the stairs for just a couple of flights can often be quicker than an elevator, especially going down. In just a week or two, my weight had come down. I don’t think I ever took the elevator in that building again, even when I was pregnant.
Now when I’m with Jeff someplace and he wants to take the elevator, I take the stairs and see who gets there first. It’s a fun game for me, and a fairly painless way to get some exercise.
It’s tempting to look for shortcuts in life, but often we actually lose time by cutting corners. More importantly, being in a hurry adds immeasurably to our stress. No matter what I’m doing — driving, cooking, cleaning, or anything else — the amount of stress I feel is directly proportional to how quickly I’m trying to get finished. I think that principle applies to long range goals as well. When I start dwelling on all the goals I had hoped to accomplish by my mid-fifties, it can be downright depressing until I pay attention to what I have already done, and the direction in which I’m heading.
Next time you get impatient with your progress, whether it’s a big project or a small daily task, it might help to remind yourself that taking one step at a time will almost always get you there– and often, you’ll arrive in better shape for having allowed yourself to skip the shortcuts.