The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step


Very true! The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is a famous Chinese proverb by Lao Tzu. It reiterates the fact of real life that if one wants to embark on a journey or take up a task, howsoever small or big, he/she has to take the first step if he/she has to complete the journey or the task. Every task needs a first step and even a simple task like taking a glass filled up with water need a first step to be taken, otherwise it won’t reach you by itself. Any project, big or small in life has to start with the first step.  Every project has start date and an end date. Even the longest project has a start date and an end date. The start date is the first step and the end is the last step when the targeted mission is accomplished.

The longest project of our life is the life itself. Our Life is also a project, a journey. The project or the journey of life starts with the first single step when one lands on this planet Earth; that is when one takes birth. Once one is born, the journey starts and continues non-stop till he/she departs from the planet. Within this project called life, each one has many small and big projects which are essentially to be well planned and executed by each one of us to make our life successful, comfortable and happy. The projects which come to our lives are numerous and may run concurrently. As we grow after the birth, our parents ensure that we are looked after properly, well fed and well educated.  They also desire that we are successful in our life, get a good job, have a good family and lead a happy life. During the process of our growth, we ourselves start maturing and learn to understand that in order be happy in life, we need to look after our health, have good education and secure a good job. We learn to study hard in our chosen field; we learn to take care of our body and mind, take up a good job, choose a good life partner and be happy. These are all multitude of projects in life that we must undertake to be happy. And therefore, we must remember that the first step for any project is very important to successfully complete the project. If the very first step is taken in a wrong direction, how is it possible that we reach the right destination? Absolutely not!

journey 1

So, how to take the first step in right direction? Before taking the first step, it is essential that the goal, the destination is set. Think over the objective with a cool and peaceful mind and choose the best available goal. There is no harm in taking up an ambitious goal. Actually, the goals must be very ambitious to achieve a best possible target. Everybody is gifted with boundless energy and potential within. Invoke the potential and power within and set the desired goal. Everybody in this world has been gifted with inner intuition and self guidance mechanism. Talk to yourselves, ask questions, meditate and analyze the answers coming out. If confusion persists, write down the answers on a sheet of paper and choose the best option from the available options. Take helps from the peers, the parents, the teachers, experienced peoples and associates in the field and your well wishers. They will be more than happy to show you the right direction. Once the goal is chosen, now there is time to take the first step. Go ahead with full clarity. Now make a break the activities in important parts which are associated with the entire journey and set milestones for individual parts. In depth planning is required to chart out the important details, resources required and various milestones to complete the project or the journey. Once this is done, now you are ready to take the first step. Go ahead and march on. If you want to alter your certain habit, go and plan it and take the first step to correct it. If you want to start meditation or any physical exercise, go ahead and take the first step and start it. If you want to be rich, go ahead and take the first step to move on the plan. If you goal is to study in a college, go ahead and take the admission in the desired course. If you want to set up a technology start up project, go ahead and start. You might have decided to take up a chosen job, then go ahead and take up the job in the chosen field. Don’t allow laziness and inner resistance to come in your way and stop you from taking the first step. Once you take the first step your confidence will take a boost and motivate you to take the subsequent steps automatically with more vigor. That is why it is said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


Once the first step is taken, it is necessary that the first step is followed by the second step and then the third step and so on till the destination is reached. Be watchful and don’t allow the laziness to take over and stop you from taking subsequent steps. While moving step by step, within few days you will form a habit to keep you on your march and you will take all steps one by one automatically. Doing nothing and waiting for the success to come to you, it never happens in practical life. You have to act and act constantly. There is a famous saying in Sanskrit which reads as below;

उद्यमेन हि सिध्यन्ति कार्याणि मनोरथैः ।  हि सुप्तस्य सिंहस्य प्रविशन्ति मुखे मृगाः ।।

udyamena hi sidhyanti karyani na manorathaih, na hi suptasya simhasya pravishanti mukhe mrigah

The meaning is that the work is only accomplished by efforts and not by merely wishing; the animals don’t enter the mouth of a sleeping lion.

Moreover, remember that the continuous hard work, purity of mind, dedication, sincerity and honesty is required to continue the journey on the path of success. To remain on the path of the chosen journey, it is essential to assess the progress on daily basis. One has to daily spare sometime to take the stock of the progress; mediate on the subject and on the course of the journey. In case of any deviations or departures are noticed from the desired path, take immediate corrective actions. During mediation, contemplate on the subject and on the brilliant success awaiting you. Visualize that your desired goal is coming nearer and nearer to you with each passing day. Don’t be afraid of small pitfalls on the road. Don’t allow you to lose the confidence and continue the journey with renewed vigor.  If you are honest, sincere and did your job as planned, no power on earth is capable of stopping you from your target.

During the course of journey, the self assessment is the best assessment. Assess yourself, apply course corrections if required and continue the journey. You have already walked quite afar in your journey and it is only a matter of time to reach the destination. Again, remember the famous proverb that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the single step and after having taken the first step, the success story has already begun. Moreover, remember that subsequent steps too are equally important as you cannot have a luxury of dreaming a success without taking the second, third, fourth and all subsequent steps. With each passing day, the success is bound to come nearer and nearer to you.

Have a good luck.

Interested readers may also read my other blog on motivation and success- “You Possess Infinite Potential Hidden Within” at URL:


Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Manik Barmase

About Manik Barmase

The author, Manik Barmase, B. E. (Electrical) and MBA having superannuated from a major power sector public sector undertaking in India has keen interests in spirituality and believes in interpreting every life incident, good or bad into a meaningful experience of co-existence with the universe. He firmly believes that every human being possesses infinite potential hidden within him/her to make anything possible and achieve desired goals in life. The only need is to tap this hidden potential. He constantly engages himself in search of meaning to life and devotes much of his time to explore the world through inner enquiries and deep diving into ocean of knowledge available in the ancient Indian domain. He greatly reveres the Indian scriptures, Shrimad Bhagwad Gita and Ramayana. He believes that all great Yogis like Bhagwan Shri Krishna, Swami Vivekanada, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Paramhansa Yogananda are his constant companions and guides in his journey of life. His motto in life is to be useful to the society and make a difference in the lives of people in whatever way possible.

View all posts by Manik Barmase →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *