I saw this speaker one time, who was giving a keynote speech to some young people, and he suddenly asked the entire room to stand up behind their chairs. He then asked everyone to close their eyes and listen very thoughtfully to the question he was about to reveal. He said,
“If you could take one step, and whatever step you take you will have to continue taking that type of step for the rest of your life, which way would you NOT step? Forward? Backward? Sideways?” …. Why?
There were snickering and smirks showing discontent for the exercise but one by one the young people began to raise the hands.
“I wouldn’t want to step backwards!” I remember one kid bellowing out.
“oh yeah…you sure…why’s that?” the speaker grunted back.
“Because I’m gon always be bumping into things and I’ll just be frustrated all day! I don’t have real mobility.”
A seemingly precocious kid interrupted with great insight, “All the others except for forward just don’t feel right! Not forever! We were built to step forward and occasionally use the other type of steps if circumstances call for it.”
The speaker and the young audience went back and forth for about 5 minutes when the speaker finally dropped the knowledge he had for the kids. And one thing he said (I wish I could remember his name) I’ve been using as my personal motto and hash-tag since that day.
He said (my paraphrasing),
“This exercise is an exercise for you to understand achievement and how to achieve something. If I told you to keep standing still and you actually tried to do it, the only thing that will make you move is a desire for something else. What’s true is that only desire will make you take a step away from your norm. And there’s no way that anyone will choose to walk backwards into something new – something you want to see.
In life when you desire to become someone better, the best thing that you can do for yourself is take your step forward. Sometimes you get the thought to check and see if you have what it takes…don’t do it…that’s a backwards step. How can you honestly know if you have what it takes to do something you’ve never done. Trust me, whatever it takes, you will find it moving forward on the way there. Like the young guy said You use the other types of steps if you meet obstacles on your way but your mind must always be forward looking. Always Push Forward towards your desired goals! Don’t continue to stand still!
I never forgot it because I was part of that crowd that day and since then I’ve been feeling for my desire and when I feel it begin to spark I #PushForward…always!