Best selling writer and advocate Glennon Doyle espouses the very wise idea on focusing on “what’s the next right step.” This is so wise in fact, even Princes Anna emphasized it in Frozen 2 (which we watched again this weekend). The point is, if you find yourself getting stressed about the tenth or twentieth or hundredth step of what you need to do, you may not move at all.
This is similar to what Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said more than 2,000 years ago, with his oft-quoted “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
I was already thinking about these phrases before hearing the reminder from Princes Anna. For me, lately, it’s been “a golf game begins with a single shot”.
It’s winter here in Saskatchewan, which prevents me from golfing, but I have been practicing my putting on one of the putting mats we have. I find it very meditate so I take at least once per day I set up the mat and take 60 puts. When I first started a couple of months ago, I was getting 20-30 to go into the hole, but now it’s usually between 40-50.
While I do keep count, I try not to think about it while hitting a ball. I focus on the ball in front of me, imagining the line from the ball to the hole, and bring back my putter a bit, then down and threw, following the ball with head as it moves up the line and usually into the hole.
One ball at a time. One part of my swing at a time. I’m making that mindfulness a habit so hopefully I can carry it with me on to the course when spring comes.
I’ve been practicing this in other ways for quite awhile. I add a blog post twice a week on this site. I take probably a total of maybe six weeks off of doing this throughout the year, leaving 46 more weeks. That means that I need to write 92 blog posts per year. When I think of it that way, it would be easy for me to get overwhelmed. Where am I going to find the time? What on earth will I write about in each of those 92 posts?
Until I wrote that paragraph, I’d never thought about writing that many posts each year. I schedule time to write blog posts twice per week and I write one, and just one, at a time. Each day, every day, I jot down one, and just one, potential blog post topic on a growing list. Most of them won’t get used.
If I think about 18 holes on a golf course, that’s a lot of balls to hit, and I mean a lot (especially given the quality of my game). If I think about 92 posts, that’s a lot of writing and a lot of ideas to come up with. If I think about walking 10,000 steps per day, that’s a lot of steps.
Instead of thinking of any of these that way, I hit one ball at a time, write one blog post at a time, and take one step at a time. I do the next right thing for what I want (or need) to do. I take the first step on my journey.
What’s your next right step?