Day 121

Nothing big was ever accomplished without taking that first step.   And nothing great was ever accomplished without days of toiling in the rain.

If you want to quote me, you can. I was under the impression that the above sentiments were words of wisdom from Thoreau, FDR, Winston Churchill, or my therapist, Jed. But a quick internet search says I am wrong (except maybe about Jed).**

So I’m marking MyBigWalk milestone achievement — one third of the year spent walking with friends new and old, in places near and far, warm and cold, American, French, and Canadian —  with a nod to the importance of commitment and the reassuring calm of habit.

Taking that first step and following it with many others  is more than just a metaphor, of course, in terms of MyBigWalk. But sometimes our lives (ok, my life) feels like a lot of walking, without ever arriving.

The economy is bad. The book market is shrinking, bank bonuses are inflated. People are out of work, underemployed, or worried about getting laid off. Which is why it seems like a good time to stop and acknowledge that greatness is often achieved in the midst of ordinary life, and fortitude and persistence are surely the hallmark of all personal success. Just ask my nephews, Bryce & Max, who built their castle one tiny piece at a time. It started out as 1000 pieces (or was it a million?), packed in dozens (or was it hundreds?) of tiny pastic bags.

It’s the rare person who becomes an overnight success.  A castle was never built in a day.  J.K. Rowling labored in obscurity for years, and endured a lot of rejection before achieving astronomical success for herself and Harry Potter.

So I’m reminding myself that putting one foot in front of the other is the only way to walk, whether you’re training for a marathon or just walking up to your desk, or out the front door for another day of MyBigWalk.

** The German idealist philosopher Hegel did say, “Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.” And Emerson apparently said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” But I think that sort of misses the point of taking many small steps in order to arrive at a wonderful destination. Which is why my favorite inspirational quote comes from Henry D. Thoreau:

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

And that’s our Monday Morning Motivation, friends.