The Story about a Little Boy and the First Step


There is this story about a boy who refused to climb up a flight of stairs. Have you heard about it?

There was once this little boy who refused to climb up a flight of stairs. Now that’s really no big deal if he only reacted that way towards a particular flight of stairs, ie a dark, gloomy, errie one (have you watched “The Messenger”?). But no. The boy was not reacting against anything that was “unseen” at that particular flight of stairs. He simply refused to climb any staircase at all!

The reason for this boy’s peculiarity bothered his parents for much of his childhood. For years he refused to climb despite repeated coaxing by the adults around him! Until one day, the boy finally explained, “I don’t like climbing the stairs because I’m not good at it.”

“What do you mean by you’re not good at it? You’ve never even climbed it! I mean, the furthest you’ve gone on the flight of stairs is a few steps before you scramble down and run away…” his father replied.

“Well, yea… but you adults are so good at it! And it’s so hard to climb up the stairs! I’d rather take the lift.” Well, there’s one of the reason for obesity again!

But seriously, what do you make of the story of that little boy? What do you make of his concerns? What about his reaction to turning his back on climbing the stairs? Childish? Irrational? Oh like we adults can do better!

I think the story of the little boy has highlighted a very relevent point when it comes to personal growth and development – that the first step, though important, is often not a true measure of our abilities and potential.

Let me repeat that! The first step, though IMPORTANT, is often NOT a TRUE measure of our abilities and potential!

Now the little boy ran away because he compared his current abilities with the abilities of the adults. Is that a fair measure of his true capabilities? The little boy was comparing his abilties, accumulated with whatever limited experience and ability accumulated over his last couple over of years with the skills, experience and ability which were accumulated by adults over several years! Well that’s certainly a level playing field for comparion!

Now hey, the little boy raised good, genuine concern. Unfortunately, it’s a poor excuse to stop improving. Don’t you think so? I’m sure you’ll agree with me on the following:

Nobody begins strong or exceptionally capable in a particular area of life the minute they were born. Let’s face it, not many of us are little Mozarts and Beethovens, Einsteins and Edisons. So for the majority of us, we’re probably going to make lots of mistakes during our first steps (actually, even Einstein and Edison made lots of mistakes and failure in early life…), and that is probably even going to take a little more effort than those who were “born talented”.

Still, despite our intrinsic talents, unless you’re really a little Mozart of Beethoven, most talents have to be complemented with skill and training! Consider this, why is it that some of the world’s greatest sporting talents have to endure hours and hours of training on even though they’re widely regarded as some of the best sporting personalities in the world? I mean, if talent’s all that speaks, then why would they even bother to train?

Yes, it’s because training makes a difference.

Now if you watch soccer, you wouldn’t a stranger to the young soccer stars of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. Those two are arguably among the most gifted soccer players in the world right now! And yet, both have rightly admitted the great amounts of hardwork they had to put into training during their teenage years. When their friends were out having fun they would be training. Did everything just fall down on them from the sky above? No! Even the gifted have to work on their gifts!

So here’s the “bad” news: Talent without work still comes to naught. To all you talented people out there, I’m sorry to burst your bubble!

The good news for the rest out there who are seeking to improve their lives is this: Working can help us improve! Yes, regardless of how advance your skills and abilities are, persistence and work can help you improve!

And now for the BEST news: I believe everybody is talented and gifted in their own way. The difference between the extraordinary and ordinary boils down to the discovery and extent to which their talents are nurtured and utilised… and one of the biggest reasons why one’s talent is never realised is because he turns his back on himself after his unfair judgement of his abilities.

Because: The first step, though IMPORTANT, is often NOT a TRUE measure of our abilities and potential!

So here’s the challenge: I don’t care how many times you’ve failed or how difficult it was when you’ve first tried something new! The key is not to give up and learn from your experiences!

If you must, forget the experience of the little boy and learn from a baby! Yes! I think babies are our greatest role models! Observe how they fall, cry and make lots of fuss for awhile and then forget everything to try again! Hey, that’s the spirit of learning and self improvement isn’t it!

Now get up! What is that one thing you’ve been trying to accomplish but have yet to complete due to initial failure/difficulties?

Now it’s time to make a difference. Get out there and fail! Yes… you didn’t read wrongly! Get ready to fail! Only when failure is out of the way can you succeed!

So, what will your success story be?

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