First Steps in Rome

November 10, 2004 · Posted in Europe, Travel 

It is true that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Taken boldly with confidence, we begin the process of achievement, signaling to the universe our intent to realize our potential. This, providence rewards greatly as long as we persist. With God taking our hand we never lose as we walk, but only learn the lessons of life.

Contemplating the large goals that we set for ourselves, it is easy to get overawed by their enormity. Appearing as the skyscrapers that point to the heavens, we are prone in our humanity to question whether we have what it takes, whether we are prepared enough, whether the rays of the sun will shine gently on our faces. Hounded by this uncertainty, we stand at our edge. Looking out from the cliff that promises new life, we need only lean far enough forward to realize true freedom for ourselves. Tempted by the alternative, we can retreat into the familiar, remaining grounded and aloof to life’s possibilities.

Taking years and even decades to reach, it is important that we come to accept that any goal that is worthy of our effort and achievement will take time to realize. Doing what must be done every day, we can manifest a dream into reality. Through focused awareness and purposeful action, we progress along the path that is uniquely ours. Learning whatever we need to achieve the desired result along the way, the task of the ambitious traveller is to pay attention to the results produced by their actions so that they may learn from their failures and setbacks and proceed in the direction which leads to the promised land.

Very recently I came across the wise quote, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’. Having heard it many times before, it was only on this day that I took the time to really think about how it applied to my plan for success. Feeling frustrated and dejected by a perceived lack of progress in the previous months, I sought an objective angle to my predicament. Finding it in that quote and the wisdom that sedated my neurotic narrative, I was able to relax and let go in the knowing that as long as the goal is in place and I do all that I can in every moment I have been given, then I will eventually build a city of my own.

In my experience, moving towards the realization of a large goal is a test of faith. Why I say this is because often when you can’t really see where the finish line is or what it looks like, you are susceptible to experiencing pangs of doubt about whether the movements you are making are bringing you closer to unlocking your heart’s desires. This is why we must know what we want and have a clear picture in our mind of what it looks like. Not holding this vision and acting on it with courage, we are at risk of giving up for fear that we are moving in the wrong direction. Fear leads to hesitation which coincides with indecision. Paralysing us in the moment that calls us to move, we suffer as we sit and stagnate in the pool of our mistrust, which holds not the flowing water that symbolises our spiritual freedom.

With the spirit comes faith and the willingness to make the leap, not in the absence of fear but in spite of it. Trusting the inner voice that urges us forward, we win as we align our will with that of the higher good. Losing the battle with fear within ourselves, the world is unreceptive to the fragrance of our flourishing. Being one with the scent of the spirit, it is this that emanates from those who trust in their God given power and ability to last the distance and claim the prize.

While the journey itself is indeed the prize, the greatest rewards go to those who are fearless in the pursuit of their destiny. Driven by love along the path that is trusted by spirit, power replaces force as the means of accomplishment. Listening to their heart and using their inspired mind to overcome obstacles, momentum is built up along the tarmac which gives birth to flight.

An airplane burns the most fuel during take-off. Having to break the inertia of an object that weighs as much as an airplane does takes a tremendous amount of energy. Generating a large amount of thrust in the engines, the airplane can move down the runway with increasing speed before becoming airborne and soaring towards the heavens. Expending this initial energy while still on the ground, it creates a powerful momentum which allows it to move beyond where it previously found itself.

What we can learn from this metaphor is that energy and momentum are vitally important if we are to get the most out of each and every day. Doing what we need to in order to succeed we strengthen our ability to do even more. Creating a domino effect, it is the energy that we put towards one thing after another that strengthens our momentum as we move towards our goals. Like the airplane that leaves the ground to become one with the sky, so can we transform our lives by strategically and constructively using our energy to bring us closer to our desired destination.

Expending this effort at the beginning of our journey we make things easier for ourselves as we travel. Riding our momentum, we can be like the airplane that once it reaches its cruising altitude is capable of travelling great distances with the highest of efficiency. Whether it is saving money in a compounding investment account, going back to university to pursue your passion or building a business from scratch, it is the hard steps that we take early which build the strength of our mental, emotional and spiritual muscles for the journey ahead. Equipping us with what we need to endure, it is in sacrificing instant gratification for long term gain that we prosper and prepare for success to enter our lives.

To be sure there will be times when you are not going to want to do some of the things that will be necessary for your success. Maybe these tasks are tedious, unglamorous or uncomfortable, or perhaps they challenge your very sense of self. Lacking in energy and enthusiasm for their individual accomplishment, this is the time to reacquaint yourself with your larger vision. Inspired by its promise, it is the motivation generated by this action that you need to channel directly into the task that has you hesitating, flinching and resisting.

Whatever these testing tasks are for you, know here that what matters is not how you feel about doing them but that you do them. People who are successful in every sense of the word make it a habit of doing what needs to be done in spite of how it feels. Distinguishing them from those who settle for less in their lives, they don’t allow their uncomfortable feelings to stop them from doing what they know to be important to their success. In control of themselves and clear on where they are going, they are like the airplane that directly follows the flight path to its destination. Not deviating from the path of least resistance, it is the purposeful traveller who teaches us not to avoid the inevitable steps that lead to the top of the mountain.

Having to step in any event, we may as well climb to the top of the pyramid. Committing to the realization of our potential, we can start now in the only moment in which we can step. Honouring our vision, we can use it wisely and lay not waste to the infinite resources at our disposal. Existing inside of us, it is what we create that will testify to our level of consciousness. At one with spirit, what we build is beautiful. One step at a time does this magnificence reveal itself.


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