My daughter Madison goes to gymnastics lessons every week.
She absolutely loves it and over time you can see how much she has improved.
Her favourite apparatus is the balance beam, which is a bit scary for us as we watch her balance precariously on a small piece of wood a few feet above the ground.
But of course, she didn’t start that high.
She started on a soft beam that’s at ground level. It’s not scary, and if she falls, she doesn’t hurt herself.
Then she moved onto a normal beam that’s a few inches off the ground so that she still can’t do too much damage if she has a spill.
As she mastered her technique and her confidence improved, she gradually moved onto the usual three metre beam, four feet off the ground. It still seems scary, but less so when there are hours of practice put in on the lower levels.
What does this mean for those of us who are too inflexible to attempt gymnastic routines on a small plank of wood just 10 cm wide?
There are times in life when we have an aspiration that looks hard.
And before we even start, we are too daunted by the challenge to get the ball rolling.
So we look at those who have achieved great deeds in our chosen field, and we wonder how they’ve done it.
Was there some magic secret to their success, or were they just lucky?
My suspicion is, that like Madison, they started on the low, soft, less scary beam.
They may have aspired to speak in front of thousands, but they started in front of 10.
They may have aspired to make million dollar deals, but they started with hundred dollar ones.
They may have aspired to travel the world, but they started with the next state or county.
They may have aspired to change the world, but they started with one person.
I don’t know what you want to do with your life. Hopefully it’s something magnificent.
But I do know this, when you start small and manageable, and you keep stretching yourself, after a while you have the competence and courage to climb onto the high beam.
Just remember, don’t peak too early and stay on the low level.
And don’t expect to do a back dive with a quarter twist to a handstand, followed by a half pirouette on day one.
Build up your skills and confidence.
Change the world!
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