The first time I tried abstaining for 30 days, I was using it as a test. It was the big challenge put out by many people to answer the question, ‘am I an alcoholic?’ Try doing without for 30 days, they said, and you’ll see that an alcoholic can’t make it.
Well, I did make it, and promptly celebrated my success by returning to my regular routine. Nothing changed within me. I was just making a point. As someone who is pretty stubborn, it’s easy for me to focus on the big challenge, make the big point. It’s all a big show.
But it doesn’t count. Real change is small steps. Sometimes, it feels like when you’re dancing all night on a dance floor and suddenly realize you’ve moved across the room, you’ve gotten to know all the faces around you and it’s three hours until dawn. Big changes come from the energy and dedication that you can only bring to one small moment. Put enough of those moments together and they turn into a big night.
Baby steps aren’t just a compromise, they are the essence of transformation. They let the changes you seek soak its way into your pores. You start out wanting to change your life, but end up changing you.
This thought, by the way, was entirely inspired by Chris Gardner, who Will Smith played in ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’, and his amazing advice that he couples with wisdom from his mother. Put them together, and you see how he accomplished what he did: