An ancient Chinese proverb says that “the longest journey begins with a single step,” and it’s true. 

Sometimes the greatest obstacle to attaining your goals is just getting started. 

“Lao-tzu” was an ancient Chinese philosopher who observed that even the biggest undertaking begins with some small, manageable, and easily understood action, that we already know about. 

That first step, or action, can lead to any number of things, once we just get going. 

Then there’s the more modern joke about the old man who, day after day, would walk along the beach, looking toward the sky, and asking God, why is my life so hard, why can’t I have enough money, why can’t I just win the Lottery? 

This went on for many days, until finally, a voice from the heavens reached the ears of the man on the beach, saying, with a bit of exasperation, “you could at least buy a ticket!”  …  and yes, if you don’t bother to buy a ticket, you’re not going to win the Lottery, we know that much!

Getting back to the ancient Chinese proverb, “the longest journey begins with a single step,” don’t forget that it only works if you take the journey one step at a time.  If you are constantly thinking, that’s one, single step, but I have ten million (10,000,000) more steps to take, that won’t work.  You have to really – really – take the journey “step-by-step.”

I have heard that studies (surveys) have been conducted of Alpine avalanche survivors, and one thing is clear:  survival depends on the mental state of the victim. 

Apparently, in situations where a skier is buried in snow, but is nevertheless able to breathe, the skier’s chance of survival may well depend on how deeply they think they are buried. 

If the skier believes that he is only under five or ten feet of snow, they will energetically begin climbing, digging their way out of their predicament. 

Once they’ve climbed the ten feet, they … just keep climbing. 

They climb 50 or 100 feet, or whatever it takes.  Of course, for those that assumed they were buried extremely deeply, they apparently were discouraged, and gave up trying.  In some cases, they were rescued by the Ski Patrol, but otherwise, they would never have escaped.

On a dating advice website, I read an article by a single woman who said that she was surprised to realize that when she went to her health club, carefully dressed, with perfect hair and makeup, looking fantastic, men that she might have been interested in, looked at her, but didn’t generally try to start a conversation. 

When she was there in baggy, sloppy sweatpants, sweating, with her hair a mess, these same guys would start a conversation.  She came to the conclusion, that when she looked fantastic, acting superior, the guys were hesitant to even approach her. 

These same guys seemed much braver when she seemed approachable.  If something seems unattainable, many people are reluctant to even try.

Of course, it does help to “dress the part,” meaning to put on a business outfit, when going to a job interview, and to act self-confident, even if you aren’t really.  Some people even call this approach “fake it, until you make it,” meaning that act successful, even if you haven’t yet reached that goal.

And definitely do not get “psyched out.”  As Jackson Browne sang, “don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.”   Or, as Woody Allen once said, “ninety-five percent (95%) of life is just showing up.”

If you’ve got a job interview, a try-out, a first date, just “show up.”  Get there, and you’ve got a chance.  Stay home, discouraged, and you do not have a chance. 

And finally, for all they guys reading this, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Stop, and ask for directions.  Go to a doctor if you’re not feeling well.  Call a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer if you need legal advice.  Go see a clergyman if you want to learn about being Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist.  If you’ve been in a car accident, call your Local Injury Attorney, right away.

If you’re having financial difficulties, call an Accountant, an Investment Advisor, or a Bankruptcy Lawyer, if necessary.  If you’re not getting along with your spouse, go to a Marriage Counselor, a support group, or if necessary, call a Divorce Lawyer.

Author's Bio: 

I find that writing becomes me and as I advance my skills, the profound and benevolent sense of satisfaction, increases ten-fold, when I learn of my audience gratification.