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Making Progress: Just Keep Walking Down the Right Path

Posted May 01 2009 10:18pm


photograph by Jim Lee

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” ~Barack Obama

I read about a study that was done on a group of people.  Some of the people in the group exercised daily.  Some did no exercise.  And some, did no physical exercise, but only visualized themselves doing the exercise every day.  The results were that those who exercised every day lost some weight and got stronger.  Those who didn’t, remained the same, neither losing weight nor getting stronger.  But the most amazing thing is that those who did not physically exercise, but only visualized themselves exercising, also lost weight and gained strength!  That just shows how powerful our minds are.  However, if I want to travel from point A to point B, I can sit and visualize about it all day, and I may even feel as if I’ve been walking toward my destination, but I won’t be a bit closer until I get up and physically take the steps.  That’s the reality of the world we live in.

The lesson in this is that it is good to think about what we are going to do to accomplish a goal.  It is great to plan it.  And it is even very helpful to visualize it.  But we still have to get up and take physical action to carry out the plan and reach the goal. 

Sometimes the goal seems so far away.  Yet, every step we take towards our goal, if we stay on the right path toward it, we will eventually reach it.  It’s only if we stray off the right path, that we don’t get there.  Obama said it correctly.  As long as you’re on the right path to the goal, and you’re willing to keep walking, you will eventually make progress.  You can’t help but be successful.

But to keep on walking on the right path is a choice.  And each step along the way is a choice.  And the better we make our choices, and the longer we keep making them, the sooner we get where we want to go, the sooner we accomplish our goal that we set out to accomplish to begin with. 

My father used to quote the traditional song lyric of the civil rights movement to me all the time when I would lose focus of my goals:  “Keep your eyes on the prize!”  And he was right to remind me not to forget what I wanted to accomplish, but even better advice than that is found in this quote by Russell Simmons, “ I know some people say ‘Keep your eyes on the prize,’ but I disagree. When your eyes are stuck on the prize, you’re going to keep stumbling and crashing into things. If you really want to get ahead, you’ve got to keep your eyes focused on the path.”  And he is right.  There is a right path to that prize that we want.  If we keep walking that right path, we will get there, and while we shouldn’t lose focus on the prize or goal at the end of the path, we can’t overlook the path itself.  Each step, taken carefully, keeping on target, and done over and over again, will lead us to the prize.  We can’t help but make progress.

Weight Watcher’s Way In, Week Two:  lost 5.2 pounds, for a total loss of 13.2 pounds!

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