I often refer to the fact that I have two lives: my current life and my previous one. My previous life includes everything that happened prior to the life I have right now which, although not perfect, is far better than the one which involved so much heartache and anxiety that I sometimes questioned how I would survive.
For instance, it was during my previous life, during its collapse actually, that I went through a corporate bankruptcy. Now, if you’re familiar with bankruptcy laws at all, you know that going through this process means that you have no legal obligation to pay certain debtors back. Your debt to them is essentially wiped clean, taken off the books, forever left unpaid.
While this is exactly what happened in my case, I still felt morally obligated to pay my creditors. No, I wasn’t legally required to make good on the money they’d lent me, but I felt that the right moral response was to pay back the money as I’d originally agreed to do. For me, my moral responsibilities and obligations were stronger, thus more important, than my legal ones.
After all, these people had trusted me when I said I’ll pay them back the money they loaned me. I needed to do the right thing, even if all I could afford was just $100 a week (which was the amount of the initial payments), I decided that I was going to repay my debt. I was going to stand true to my word.
For me, it was about taking baby steps to achieve my goal– to become debt free and have a clear conscious. It wasn’t about paying off the money I owed in five seconds; it was about taking small and consistent actions so that someday I could say I paid what I owed, even when I wasn’t legally obligated to pay anything at all.
Oftentimes, we get caught up in the idea that if we want to see grand results, we have to take big actions. Yet, if we just take baby steps, we tend to fare much better. We don’t feel so overwhelmed, so pressured by the idea of changing our lives dramatically. By taking one small action at a time, we’ll eventually reach our goal.
Think about the goals you have and what tiny action you can take today that will put you closer to it. For instance, if your goal is to grow your business, could you make one cold call today and reach out to a potential client, asking what you could do to make their life easier, happier, or somehow better? Or maybe you could start working on new flyers, business cards, or your website, updating it so it more accurately reflects who you are.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and the march of a thousand miles was accomplished one footstep at a time. Let go of the notion that you have to go big to get where you want to go. It’s typically the small steps that make the biggest impact. That makes them the ones worth focusing on.