“The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
When I first read the wise words of this Chinese proverb, the message encouraged me to have patience on my health and wellness journey. I knew when I committed to changing my life years ago that I wouldn’t lose 100 pounds in a day. I knew I had to embrace the time it would take for a spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical transformation.
What I did not know was my road to success would be filled with stumbles, falls and failures.
Lao Tzu didn’t explain that part.
Or did he?
Over the years, I’ve had seasons where every step I took led me to success on my health journey. Then, there were recent seasons when I really struggled with keeping my food choices in check, either because food is just so dang on good (Laaawd!) or I was subconsciously punishing myself for being happy. Self-sabotage is no joke, friend. The lows after seasons like that can be devastating. Do people notice that I’ve put on some weight? Are they making fun of me? Are they disappointed? Am I a failure?
Thoughts like that can make pushing forward seem pointless.
In a moment of clarity, I remembered that God didn’t create me, or you, to be a quitter. He created us to be more than conquerors, and that means each moment on this journey can be attached to victory if you keep pushing.
The steps that move you forward, and the steps send you into quicksand, have the same value. Stumbles, falls and failures are not setbacks. They are steps towards success if you can be patient enough to learn from them and lean forward.
Every eating plan may not work with your body. Every workout regiment may not leave you with six-pack abs and “Usher cuts.” Or — here’s a doozy — what worked in one season of your journey may not work in this season (enter my struggle of 2017). Do not be defeated when these roadblocks appear. Learning what doesn’t work gets you one step closer to what does work.
Take comfort in knowing you are not alone. If you feel you’ve failed, you are in amazing company. Oprah Winfrey was fired early in her career. Michael Jordan missed 9,000 shots on the basketball court. J.K. Rowling was homeless. What set them apart? They didn’t let those moments end their journeys. They used what they learned to help them win down the road.
Every single step is a lesson if you let it teach you. So when you feel the ground beneath shift or slide, take another step.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.