Sunday, August 26, 2012
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
So many things come to mind when I look at this - the fact that it was snowing, the buzzing nerves in my belly, the pure adrenalin rush and the fact that I was embarking on a life-changing journey.
Prof had done it all before, so there was some sense that I could do this. But the doubt was always there. What if I couldn't hack it? What if I wasn't strong enough, tough enough, patient enough? What if I didn't have what it took to live in the woods for 6 months and walk 2,000 miles from Georgia (where we are in this pic) to Maine?
But I did it. And I learned a lot about myself, what I am capable of and how to get things done along the way. So whenever new challenges arise or I pick some new thing to learn or accomplish, I have a pretty good idea about what it takes. It takes patience, with yourself and the process, as well as others you may have to deal with along the way. It takes commitment and re-commitment on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. It takes sheer will. It takes doing the small things in the moment that will add up to the big thing. It takes putting one foot in front of the other no matter what. It takes knowing when you need to rest and when you need to march or die.
It takes support from friends - surrounding yourself with positive people with like-minded goals. The first rule of the adventurer: Don't hang out with losers. That may sound harsh, but the reality is people who don't get what you're doing will drag you down. You have to hang out with the winners. You have to. There is no other way. If the people you hang with have no ambition or complain constantly, you will be carrying their dead weight and will never reach Katahdin. That, my friends, is no way to win.
And it takes compassion for yourself. You have to love yourself, cheer yourself on, pat yourself on the back when the hard day's work is done, and dust yourself off when you fall off the log. Get back up and repeat the mantra that's getting you through that moment: Raviolis and a nap, raviolis and a nap, raviolis and a nap. Or whatever. Hey, no judgement, man. Whatever gets you there. ;-)
And it takes believing in yourself. If you've been beaten down by life, a job, a parent or a spouse, that may seem impossible right now. But I promise you, if you keep trying - keep repeating to yourself "I deserve this", "I am worth this", "I am good enough" - you will start to believe. How do you think you got beat down in the first place? One undermining comment at a time. So it works the other way, too. Believe me, I've been there and had to crawl my way out of the dark hole myself. Oh, and start gathering those positive, like minded folks around you. They'll toss you a life line.
Whatever it is you want - whatever you want your life to be - whatever goal you want to accomplish, it all starts with a single step. You can do it.
I believe in you, baby.