A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
How many times do I have to see this quote?
I get it. We've all seen the quote from the Tao Te Ching before. Read on for a surprise lesson from further down in the full verse.
Although this quote is usually used as encouragement for someone who is about to begin a major project, pursue a new goal, or embark on a major life event, when you read the full 64th verse of the Tao Te Ching, it becomes clear that Lao Tzu is offering us far more wisdom than just a kick-off spurt of encouragement.
Later in the verse it is written:
People usually fail when they are on the verge of success.
Lao Tzu's wisdom from over 2500 years ago still has great value for us today. If we are seeking success, it is through attentiveness to each and every step—each now, from beginning to end—that we achieve success and a fully-lived life. No matter how far the journey and how many steps we must take, the only step I have any influence over is the step I am taking right now.
The need for instant gratification and expectations for immediate results run rampant in our fast-paced world. But the wisdom of the Tao advises us to avoid rushing into action and instead to pay careful attention to each step of our journey, being sure not to rush or force things. The more we rush, the more mistakes we are likely to make. It is about being present.
Each stage and each step of our journey has its own flow, its own pace and its own requirements and gifts. If we become aware of and align ourselves more with that, we find that we can achieve more effectively, with more impact, and with an effortlessness and ease.
Have an amazing journey!
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Alan Mikolaj is a a professional, experienced, positive, and passionate speaker, leadership and organizational development consultant, change agent, author, and coach. He holds his Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology from Sam Houston State University. He is a certified graduate coach from Coaching Out of the Box and holds his ACC and membership with the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
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In his third book, A Travel Guide to Leadership, Alan offers you simple, fundamental, and powerful lessons that have the power to transform you, your relationships, and your career.