Forward Steps

Andy Ramirez City of San Bernardino Public Works

We often admire great leaders for their powerful oratory, amazing organizational skills, or creating solutions that address complex problems. But have you considered how such leaders were able to muster enough faith to move forward in the midst of negativity, naysayers, and false allegations? Yes, the journey to success is often riddled with many obstacles. Take for instance the man credited for inventing the light bulb. History tells us that Thomas Edison’s teachers labeled him “too stupid to learn anything”. In fact, he was let go from two jobs for supposedly being “non-productive”. After 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb, a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times. Edison answered, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Our success is dependent on building micro victories made by small steps. According to Royale Scuderi, “the happiest and most successful people will tell you that they have achieved their level of life and work success by taking small steps, and making one positive choice after another”. For example, if you are set in living a more healthy lifestyle, exchanging one unhealthy snack for a piece of fruit, or one vegetarian meal a week, or replacing a Starbucks coffee with a glass of water creates the necessary building blocks to strengthen your internal will to do more.

Scuderi concludes that these bite-size goals will vary depending upon your specific intention, time frame, and motivation. The reason this strategy works is because we are able to see tangible progress, rather quickly. Thus, we feel a sense of accomplishment and are encouraged to move on to our next mini goal, using the small successes as stepping-stones to larger change.

Go ahead, make that step forward!