If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward. -Martin Luther King Junior
How important is the first step? If a baby stopped trying to walk after it’s first failed attempt – or even after it’s tenth failed try – it would never know how to walk. But babies don’t stop trying and hopefully, they never will. So if babies can do it, why can’t we? It’s not easy, no, but embrace the adventure – stumble, fall, try getting back up and fall again. We’ve all done it. If you need help along the way, the right question could often prove to be the answer. And more often than not, the question begins with a please.
Why did we keep trying to walk? Were we just imitating our elders, or was there something else to it? What was our motivation? I don’t know, and in all probability, I may never know. But without motivation, I know we can never succeed.
We’ve all made mistakes, and we’re still making them. The important thing is not to dwell on them, but to learn from them. Accept the fact that you blundered, laugh at yourself and try never to repeat the mistake. What kept us going, as toddlers, even after falling and hurting ourselves so many times? I believe that it was trust. Trust that your parents would be there to catch you. You knew that if you were walking away from mommy’s side, you were going towards daddy. So trust me when I say that if you’re walking away from something, there will always be something just as good on the other side of the road.
Several potential geniuses have been held back by [!Bad Wordplay Ahead!] Freakishly Extraordinary Assumptions about Reality, or simply, fear. Learn to embrace the fear. Every path worth travelling will be full of risks. It might be ridden with snares to trap you or scare you. Sometimes it’ll seem like the world has ganged up against you. But the harder and longer the climb up, the sweeter is the run down. I’ve met many people who tell me I should never fear anything. I think they’re wrong. At times, fear is what keeps you going. So welcome the butterflies, because as Jay Pritchett once said, “If you’re not throwing up in your mouth, you’re not doing it right.”
Remember, the first step will only be the beginning of many. It’s difficult but it’s rewarding. As you take more steps, you will control the fears that once controlled you. In the end, it is the fact that you tried, the fact that you put up your hand and attempted to move ahead that matters. Whether or not you succeeded, you at least tried, and in the end, that is what defines you. But if you try hard enough, and work long enough, you will get there. Don’t let the enormity of your dream weigh you down and say, “I’ll start tomorrow” because you never know – ‘Kal ho na ho’ [Tomorrow may not come.]. Start today, right now. Just take the first step. It’s always the hardest, but I swear it’ll get easier. Remember that with every piece of you.