Can you take a smaller step?

This is where I keep stumbling:

I am forgetting the magic of little steps.

I know this is kind of funny given how often I write about it. And how I am ALWAYS coaching others to look for smaller steps. And then smaller still.

But here I am, discounting my own little steps.

I think this is a part of the nature of being creative: we see the big picture. I can see how I want it to be and so each little step really is unsatisfying… if I stay focused on the bigger picture.

So here are so tiny steps I took:

  • I got my paints out from the bottom of my closet and put them in front of my bookshelf, to I could start working on that mural in my workspace.
  • I pulled that bookshelf out to make some room to get back there and paint.
  • I brought a chair upstairs to stand on to paint.

With these three things done, each as separate steps at separate times, at one point I just… started painting!!!!

It’s easy to see “paint one little bit” as a little step, but it took three other steps to get there. And it would have take more steps if all of my paint stuff for this project hadn’t already been together in one box in my closet.

What I want to work on is having an attitude that CELEBRATES and HONOURS the tiniest little steps.

I don’t want to wait until I see new paint on the wall to acknowledge that I am DOING IT.


I wrote this a week ago.

In the week since, I have done VERY LITTLE on the mural. For various and very valid reasons.

But that doesn't discount the success of those steps I took last week.

And it doesn’t change the fact that I am still set up to take more little steps.

This attitude of CELEBRATING and HONOURING the tiniest little steps that I want to have is a part of CHERISHING THE PROCESS.

Our whole culture tells us that the outcome is the only thing that matters. And that a story, like the one I shared above, is only inspirational if it ends up that I completed the mural in record time.

The truth about creativity and human nature and life under colonialist capitalism is that it doesn’t usually work that way, and having a goal of wanting it to work that way for you gets in the way of ACTUAL PROGRESS.

So what’s the tiniest step you can see to take?

And can you make it even smaller?

And then can you celebrate yourself for taking it, even when it doesn’t get you all of the way to where you want to be? Can you celebrate the direction you’re going in instead of focusing on the speed?

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Can you take a smaller step?

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