Baby Steps

Dear Elsie,

Let me begin today’s letter with an interesting proverb I heard when I was young. “The cow that is in a hurry to go to America will return as corned beef”. The first time I came across the saying, I guffawed.  Although I found it funny, I did not understand it then. I learned later that the proverb means there is no hurry in life. It also suggests that doing things in a rush only results in undesirable consequences.

Elsie, one of the things you will learn when you come to this world is that life is not a race. So, never be in haste to do things. You will learn to crawl before you walk, walk before you run and run before you fly. As predictive and mundane as these processes may seem to you, they hold important principles to life and succeeding in it.

Life is a journey and it is usually long. You cannot start it off by running. Apart from the fact that it is impossible to do so, running will also wear you out too soon and make you want to give up on life.

With this knowledge, learn to appreciate the baby steps you take in this life. First, you must understand that you cannot figure this life out at one go. You can only taste its sweetness one bite at a time. Second, know that a baby step is better than no step at all. Be bold and never be afraid to take the most important steps of your life. There is nobody as brave as a baby taking his or her first non-stop five steps alone. Your first step will be wobbly and perhaps the most fearful thing you may have to do at that age but keep taking them. It does not matter how slow you go if you do not stop.

Also, note that you are never too old to take baby steps. Keep this principle of baby steps and apply them in every aspect of your life. Whatever you must do, begin where you are and move forward immediately by starting small and capitalizing on what’s at hand. The birth of grand things does not begin with grand things at all, but with the small things – like the little baby steps you take. Finally, in your personal development and growth, note that we all have blind spots – those areas of our lives we must improve. In your quest to be a better version of yourself, be gentle with yourself and be real with yourself. Take baby steps

Here is my one of my experiences with taking baby steps. My journey to becoming a columnist did not start in a day. I started by reading. This was followed writing reviews of the books I read. They were usually plagued with mistakes. The mistakes almost deterred me from moving on. They sapped my energy. But every time they did, I re-energised myself with what I wanted to achieve at the end of it all. Appreciate small beginnings and the mistakes that come with them for they make you ready for the bigger things that would follow. See where I am today.

Life is meant to be lived gradually – a step at a time. It is the same for everything you would want to achieve while you are on this voyage. Your life may be short, it may be long but a shortcut is unwarranted. A shortcut will only land you a half-baked dream, a fragile trophy, a temporary contentment and an ephemeral fulfilment.

On this journey, you are going to fall too often but you would have to get up and continue walking to your desired destination. Always remember your experience of learning to walk. You fell so many times but that did not prevent you from trying to walk again. Just as you did when you were a baby, do not quit because of your setbacks, get up and continue your trip till you get to your destination.

Finally, Elsie, do not build your life like a pyramid –  big base, tiny apex (big beginnings, small endings). Start small, take steady and unrelenting baby steps and your life will blossom into beautiful big endings. Big beautiful endings is my desire for you.

It has been a pleasure writing this letter to you. Until my next mail comes next week, be good.

Yours sincerely,
Fathiya

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