Albert Einstein

Sometimes the goal, task or project before you feels like a three hundred mile trek through the jungle and over a mountain range. Before you even begin, you feel discouraged, dismal, overwhelmed and defeated. At least that's how this writer has felt more times than one cares to remember.

Take these last four months, for example. Life threw an unexpected series of 100 mph curve balls. Makes me smile at John Lennon's infinite wisdom: "Life happens while we make other plans." It's already the last days of February and I haven't even started with the first bit outlined on my New Year's List for 2010. A fractious gang of inner critics are having a field day with this morsel of temporary failure. Yes. Yes, I know. Failure is only a stepping stone to success. I really do believe this. Yet, right now, today, it feels like I'm knee-deep in jungle-weed muck and it's taking all my strength to pull my legs, one at a time, out of the gurgling-sucking quicksand and move forward.

A brilliant optimist gently reminded me that it's all part of the process. Jean Carnahan shared an inspiring story found on pages 90-91 in her latest book: The Tide Always Comes Back. This is a woman who has been through the muck of life. She lost her husband and son in a plane crash. Her beloved home was hit by lightening and destroyed by fire. All within eleven months. Yet, she courageously lives each day to capacity.

A particular story in Jean's book inspired me so much; I've used this question/affirmation every single day for the last month. I ask myself:

"Have I done my ten miles today?"

It reminds me to keep on truck'in on.
Just ten miles.
Baby steps.

Ten miles may sound like an awful lot, but in the context of this story you'll get the message and the meaning. Thank you to Jean Carnahan for sharing this story. I hope it inspires you to take a small action forward.

"…Some years ago, a group of airmen, who could barely walk, put their faith to the test. It was during World War II; their bomber had been shot down in the Burmese jungle. By some miracle, the men onboard survived, but many of them were injured. They looked at their map and discovered they were three hundred miles from an American base.

The men were completely disheartened. There was no way they could walk that far through jungles, over mountainous terrain, through the rain and heat, back to their base. They knew where they wanted to go, but they had little hope of ever getting there.

The captain knew he was going to have to do something or they would die there in the jungle. He discovered from the map that the villages were about ten miles apart.

So he asked, "How many of you think you can walk ten miles?"
They all agree they might be able to walk that distance. And they did.

The next day he asked, "How many think you can walk ten miles today?" Again, they all agreed they'd give it a try. So, day by day, they kept walking, until they finally made it back to safety.

The captain was later interviewed by a reporter, who asked: "Under such hopeless circumstances, with that terrible terrain, and with all those wounded, dispirited men, how were you able to walk three hundred miles back to your base?"

The officer replied, "Oh, we never walked three hundred miles. We could never have done that. We just walked ten miles, thirty times."

Reaching our goal is seldom accomplished with a giant leap. It's more a series of little steps moving in the right direction that finally gets us where we want to be. It all begins in our thoughts. We have to believe we can accomplish something, before we can do it."


I, for one, look forward to days filled with:
Tropical March Madness
And a sense of Exhilarating Accomplishment.
Join me ...

Just walk ten miles, thirty-one times!

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