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Every Step an Arrival

November 30, 2011 5 Comments

“Every step an arrival” – Denise Levertov

Goals, goals, goals. We have to set goals! We need to set personal goals, goals for our career, goals for our health, and goals for our family………. It seems like every expert in leadership or personal growth will tell you that you need to set goals for every minute area of your life. But if you set goals for all those areas you will be quickly consumed by them. Then there are those long range goals, that as soon as you write them down you are overwhelmed by their scope. It seems like it will take forever to achieve them.

Courtesy Didrik Johnck (Creative Commons)

While reading Eugene Peterson’s memoir, “The Pastor,” I came across this quote by Denise Levertov. “Every step an arrival.” (Peterson printed it on the book dust jacket, and he mentions it in his introduction) The quote really caught my attention. What if I began to see each accomplishment, each step towards my goal as an arrival?

No longer do I have to constantly focus on the final destination of my goal, but I can focus on today. What do I need to do today that will get me one step closer? I cannot change yesterday, and tomorrow is not guaranteed, but I can take one step today. I can recognize that today I reached my destination. Today I arrived!

As mountain climbers near the summit of Mount Everest they have to rest between each step. Step forward, rest, step forward, rest. Each step, one step closer. If they just focus on the summit the task seems too great, and the temptation to quit grows. It is easier to just focus on the next step.

Here are some thoughts that may help:

  • Keep your big goals to a minimum. Probably no more than 5. Anymore than that and you will create a feeling of being overwhelmed, and you will not be very effective with any one goal.
  • Focus on the day at hand. What one task do you need to do today to work towards your goal?
  • Recognize each step, no matter how small, as an arrival at your destination. Feel accomplished

Every step forward is an arrival. Some steps may be bigger than others, but each step is one closer to your goal. Every step an arrival. Everyday a success!

I would love to hear from you:

  1. What step did you take today?
  2. What step will you take tomorrow?

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About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.
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  • Chris Hendrix

    I always keep John C. Maxwell’s Rule of 5 in mind. I try to do 5 things each day consistently that work towards getting me closer to accomplishing my goals. Those 5 things are one step each day that I can manage. If I keep doing them, one day I will achieve the big scope goals.

    • It is those consistent small steps day after day that gets us to goal accomplished vision achieved.

    • Hey Chris thanks for mentioning the Rule of 5 – I know had read it before but never really worked on implementing it.. I have printed it out this morning to give it another look.

      • Chris Hendrix

        It took me a while to figure out what my five things were, but now I do them every day. It’s a powerful analogy and it works.