One Foot In Front Of The Other

We all have goals that we are working towards and striving for and on the path to achieving those goals we are going to encounter obstacles that stand in our way. These obstacles need to be overcome before we can continue making progress towards our goals. These obstacles will be as unique to the individual as the goals are and we will each see them in a different light. In an article for Psychology Today, Karyn Hall Ph.D. says, “Some people see obstacles as a puzzle to solve. Some see obstacles as an opportunity to grow. Others see obstacles as threats. Still others see obstacles as meaning they cannot succeed. Your view of achieving your goals affect how you react.” How we deal with the obstacles that block the path to our goal, depends on how we perceive them. What if we attempted to forget everything we knew about our previous failures and fears of the challenges we face and instead looked upon these obstacles as a child might; as adventures waiting to be taken.

I try to take my son, Brooks, on a walk around the neighborhood after dinner at least once a week as our schedule permits. We have a three block route that we normally walk along, but every once in a while we venture off the beaten path and go looking for adventure. For example, couple of weeks ago instead of turning the corner at the end of our street we went straight and walked through a neighborhood where a gentleman had his semi truck parked in the driveway. Brooks was very excited, almost giddy as he admired this truck. The owner just so happened to be in the garage, saw Brooks in his joy and came out to talk to us; he offered to let Brooks sit in the cab and “drive”, absolutely making Brooks’ night.

Whether we our after dinner walks take us along that all to familiar path or they branch out into new territory looking to be explored, there are two things that are certain with every walk: first, Brooks is going to try and pick up each and every rock he sees and bring them home to his mom; secondly, if we encounter some sort of cinder block wall Brooks is going to want to climb up walk on it. If the wall is low to the ground Brooks will climb on to it himself and walk along it without any assistance; if the wall is a little higher I will hoist him up on top of it and hold his hand as he balances his way to the end. Big and tall or small and short, Brooks walks along these walls the same way every time; putting one foot in front of the other as if he was walking a tight rope. He takes that next step without hesitation, if the wall climbs he just climbs with it, if he stumbles he corrects himself and keeps moving forward. I am impressed by his courage and eagerness to climb every wall he sees and I admire how he walks along with such confidence; one foot in front of the other tackling every obstacle that stands in his path.

What if we looked at the obstacles along our paths as Brooks looks at cinder brick walls; with an eagerness to conquer them. What if we course corrected when we stumbled but kept moving forward? What if we didn’t hesitate, but instead kept our eyes on the prize and moved forward putting one foot in front of the other. Kaplana Chawla, an American astronaut, is quoted as saying “The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it.” The path that leads to achieving our goals is right there in front of us. It’s a cinder block wall waiting to be climbed; and once we get on top of it there will be loose gravel, slippery leaves and uneven surfaces impeding our path. These are the obstacles we must overcome and when we do it will be worth the effort. Frank A. Clark is quoted as saying, “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” In order to move forward towards our goals we are going to encounter obstacles in our way and we can overcome them as long as keep putting one foot in front of the other as if we were a two year old walking along the top of a cinder block wall.

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