The Steps That Get Us There

Wednesday October 24, 2018

The Steps That Get Us There

Sara, Studio & Accounts Manager

Throughout many chapters of my life, I observed those around me with feelings of awe and dismay, wondering how I could obtain that go-getter energy that I seemingly lacked. I was never one for vocalizing my goals; my ambition and momentum has instead been a slow and quiet drive that keeps me going. In this society of ever-growing desires to achieve so much in less and less time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we are losing the race to that elusive destination of success and happiness. I’ll admit that it took me longer than I expected (but I guess that’s perfectly appropriate), and with constant loving reminders from mom, to accept that it’s not a race at all. That shimmering mirage of a destination truly comes in the form of the little bright moments of contentedness from simply waking and moving forward each day.

On an operational level, I have always recognized the value of the small changes that contribute to optimum efficiency as a whole, but I struggled to apply that mentality outside of the office. One thing I know for sure is that the heaviness of life will continue to drift in and out with varying degrees of weight, and some days just getting out of bed can be something to be proud of. Over the years I’ve learned to practice patience with myself, to remember that it is okay if I am not always productive in the traditional sense, because achieving success as a complicated and beautiful human being is about so much more.

About a year and a half ago, I started hiking a short trail at a nearby park after work, mostly to abbreviate the long commute home and to decompress from my busy days.  My short hikes turned into long runs and now, every morning I am brimming with anticipation of putting on my dusty shoes and escaping into the dirt, with the earthy and cleansing smells of pine and eucalyptus, the skyline of downtown peeking out over the trees, and the dull roar of traffic far enough in the distance that I can be fully immersed in this serene space. Looking back, I feel simultaneous disbelief and pride at how I can so easily melt into my pace, a comforting rhythm that now carries me several miles. I frequently reflect on how I arrived at this accomplishment and all of the tiny victories that I celebrated each day - running the hill just one more time, going just 50 feet more. It is in these small moments where progress is really made.

Oftentimes setting a goal can feel overwhelming when thinking about what is required to get there, whether it’s wanting to be healthier, looking for a new career, reaching out to friends who’ve fallen out of touch, changing a system at work, or even something immense, daunting, and ambiguous like trying to be happier. But growth doesn’t happen overnight, it is a series of small changes, all amplifying and fortifying each other, like ripples on water, stones dropped in one at a time. We must believe in our capabilities, trust in the process and acknowledge our efforts, no matter how seemingly insignificant. And we must gently release doubt’s hold if we sometimes fall behind. Because the speed doesn’t matter. It is the single steps, diligently and courageously placed one after the other, that will get us to where we want to go.

just keep going,