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Progress starts with a single step forward

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." It reminds us that regardless of the distance between where we are and where we would like to be, none of us can get there standing still.

For the purposes of this column, your journey is wherever you desire to go; whatever goal you desire to accomplish.

There are some who have yet to begin their journey because of procrastination. They have put it off day after day, month after month, and year after year, certain that the right time is soon to come. The problem, not surprisingly, is that the "right" time never does come. It does not come because when you procrastinate, you rob yourself of that time and, thus, the opportunity to take a single step to start your journey.

Perhaps one of the greatest consequences of allowing procrastination to immobilize you is that the extent of your capabilities might never be fully realized. Time wasted.

There are some who have yet to begin their journey because of fear. We've all had visits from this culprit at some time or another, but not all of us have allowed it to move in with us. Fear is not a responsible visitor, if you are not careful to call it out on its attempts to limit you, you might find that it has taken over your life.

I've observed that sometimes fear is a deeply rooted issue in the lives of people who feel inadequate in some way. That is, that they are not smart enough, rich enough, attractive enough, or that they come from the wrong family or don't have connections with the right people to progress on their journey. A fear of this sort often gives people the "permission" they need to make excuses for not taking a single step on their journey. It is highly likely that if you have not begun your journey out of fear, that you have not even defined one for yourself.

You see, that is what fear does. It robs you of the audacity to dream, to hope, to set goals, and to want more for yourself or for others than the present offers. For too many, it does so effectively. It does so because when you have the audacity to believe that you can go where you desire to go and to accomplish the goals that you wish to accomplish, something happens. You are faced with the responsibility to try, to take a single step on that journey. That responsibility, unfortunately, is too great for some. Possibilities denied.

What is fortunate, however, is that for those of you who procrastination and fear has held captive for far too long, today can mark the beginning of new day. Today can be the first day that you take a single step to begin your journey.

It begins by taking on a new attitude. Whenever you are faced with a difficult challenge or obstacle in life, it almost always comes down to the attitude that you have towards it. A negative attitude can make a bad situation worse because it paralyzes you, but a positive attitude can help to mobilize you because you are able to see some "step" you can take to begin to make your situation better.

You have to recognize the ways in which procrastination and fear has played out in your life and commit to doing something about it.

Make lists, breakdown tasks, start on your journey. Take a single step, and if you become a little afraid along the way, do not worry about how long you have to go, just take another step.

Be encouraged.

Contact columnist LaTonya Dunn at ln_dunn@yahoo.com.