The Journey Ahead

23 Jan


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Confucius

…Maybe Aristotle

…Wait, it was definitely Drake, that’s certainly the guy!

Regardless of who whispered the words, people from all over the world have relied on them for inspiration when stuck against a wall, making a decision or taking on a seemingly insurmountable challenge. I mean it’s simple, yet so very strong and profound!

But the use of this quote frustrates me when it is used without a true understanding the weight of its words. “Whoo! Journey! Thousand Miles! Single Step! I got this!” Yes, it’s motivational and inspiring, but we often sell it short. We tweet it and share it, but sometimes fail to consider what the words means below the surface.

In my opinion, the quote implicitly says: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step….and must be taken a step at a time.” The original quote is profound, but it’s only the beginning of the story. The real magic is found by reading between the lines and seeing that the journey requires many steps. Yes, the first step is important, but it’s only a piece of the picture. It’s the first in a long series of steps each being as important as the last.

Do you know how far a thousand miles is in a literal sense? It’s hard for me to wrap my head around. I do know how far a mile is, and I don’t even enjoy walking that. So, a thousand miles? That seems pretty intense. The thought of placing my foot tirelessly in front of the other over and over to walk a thousand miles doesn’t seem pleasant.

But, I know I could take a single step – not a problem.

While you should definitely begin with the end in mind and think about your end goal, that shouldn’t be the sole focus. When we look only to the end of the journey, it’s easy to become discouraged by how far there is left to go. That’s why we break the journey of a thousand miles into small achievable goals. Single steps. That’s where the magic is! See how this came full circle?

When you break a journey of a thousand miles into single steps, the decision is no longer one of taking a thousand mile journey – rather, it’s a lot of decisions to take many one-step journeys.

The message is not: start and you will finish.

The message is: start-finish, start-finish, start-finish.

And if you do that enough times, eventually you will succeed.


Jacob Lira is currently a full-time svsdvsdvtudent at Texas State University pursuing an undergraduate degree in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies. Committed to developing as a peak performer and servant leader, Jacob is always proactively engaged in opportunities to sharpen his wide skill set and abilities. Currently this is best exemplified in his endeavor to build a new business and startup of his own.


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