We all know that it's the small things that make the big difference, but what holds us back is usually the last mile. Of course the first step is hard, but reaching our potential is an endless series of first steps. And the hardest first step is the one at the beginning of the last mile.

The hardest thing we have to do is usually the one that's most important. There are things we don't want to do, but know deep down we have to. They're the ones that give us the greatest breakthroughs. And it's not the thing itself that gives us the breakthrough, it's the doing it.

Courage is not fearlessness. Courage is feeling afraid and not running away. We often find it when we are forced to act by external circumstances, when the status quo becomes untenable. But we have a fantastic capacity to adapt, to normalise situations which, to an outsider's eye, are ridiculous or tragic or both. It's much harder to be courageous when we don't have a burning platform from which we have to jump.

To walk that last mile, we first have to know it's there, and then we have to take the first step. We go a long time in the knowledge that we haven't walked the last mile, but we are unaware (not conscious) of what the gap, the incompleteness in our performance, actually looked like. That's when we feel dissatisfied and stuck, and the most frustrating thing is that we don't know what completeness looks like.

At least that what's we tell ourselves. Because we really do know, at some level that we simply avoid acknowledging. Think of all the unfinished business in your life - things you're avoiding, doubts you're holding on to, people issues you won't address, the things in your business that you really don't want to do. In what ways might this incompleteness hold you back? How does it translate into other areas? Can you honestly say you're giving your absolute best?

Here's the thing: to accomplish ordinary things you only have to be work effectively and efficiently within your current capability. To achieve the extra-ordinary, you have to be at your absolute best. Why you don't achieve your extraordinary goals is not because of the goal or the circumstances, but because you stop yourself from being your absolute best.

Once you've taken the first step on the last mile, the impossible becomes a little easier.

Author's Bio: 

Dr Mike Ashby runs programs that have helped hundreds of business owners achieve breakthrough in their personal and business lives. See www.biztime.co.nz