The Most Important Step

Today I had a rough day. I had an upset stomach all night so I didn’t sleep well and right now am feeling an overload of general fatigue from too much running which is okay and even planned, but it was the combination of the two that completely had my timing off today.

The first part of the day was spent literally just trying to feel better and once my stomach was mostly settled I began to take care of the details of the day, catch up on client emails, phone calls, etc. And even though I had to get all of that done, the reality was that I was totally procrastinating on going out for my 15 mile run. Maybe it was 1/3rd procrastination, 1/3rd building up my motivation and drive to get it done, and 1/3rd just waiting until I felt like I could run and not feel completely ill doing it. Whichever, it felt like the only way I was going to get out of my desk chair was if someone literally ignited a few sticks of dynamite under my ass to get me moving.

I often say, “just get started,” take that first step, and this morning was all about that, just taking that first step, getting out the door and starting my run. But today, the first step was not the most important step, it was the next step that was most important.

For every step of my fifteen mile run, which was mostly 15 miles of UPHILL, the most important step that I kept taking was the next one, and every step I had to renegotiate with myself to keep going, to take the next step. Run to that flower, run to that tree… run to the top of that steep rise… it was a day full of nothing but next steps.

It isn’t always the first step that is the most daunting, but the next step and especially if that next step is into the unknown. You can stay where you are indefinitely in a predictable and safe place, but unless you take that next step, that most important step, you will never move ahead.

I love the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, who once said, “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” But I challenge that saying as the first step is usually a clear and obvious choice to take or not. It is after that when we must truly commit to a path that things become muddled and we must act on faith to take the next steps into the unknown.

The most important step is the next step, and after that, the most important step is the following next step…

Always take the next step…

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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