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One more step


My life is guided by taking one more step.

It’s not something I think about when I'm flying through life when it’s a joy. It is when I am overwhelmed, tired, and dejected that thoughts of stopping occur. In that moment when my capacity for creative thought is at its lowest, I remove decision-making and focus on taking one more step in the same direction. It gives me peace to know that I will rest, I will recover and the world will be a little different. You see the world changes after each step. I can find new ideas and new sources of strength in that new world.

At some point, I must stop though.

It is impossible for any path you take to be perfect for always. There are bad paths that we will discover and there are better paths to take. Course correction must occur at some point.

Runners don't run forever, and the best don't stop. When is the right time to stop? Good runners know their limits and flirt with them. Poor runners never discover them.

How you make your decision to change matters as much as the decision does. Try food shopping when you're hungry and when you are not. A hungry person buys more food. Emotions and urges are powerful motivators, but too often they are the wrong motivators. Do not stop because the going is hard, take the extra step. Good decisions happen on a balancing scale, not while facing the barrel of your strongest urge.

I take one more step because I know I'm within my limits. I know there is more inside of me.

Are good runners really at their limit? Isn't the only way to know, to pass over that limit? Instead, good runners define their limits and flirt with them. Poor runners have no constructs for their limits. Every challenge is either infinite or too easy to be truly meaningful. There is no success there.

This asks the question, who is the bigger fool? The person who gives up on a foolish errand, or the one who does not? The criteria for quitting is so hard. Be cautious in your goals and succeed, or ambitious and fail? What are the real limitations that we have? Surely we must not break ourselves but only bend and even then, not always.

Real limits are scary things then. Not the limits we think we tease, but the ones that we cannot go back on. Not all limits are so severe though. If I run until I chunder, I have reached a limit but I am not broken. If I run out of money, I have hit a bad limit, but I am not broken. If I damage my brain, put in jail, if I lose a loved one, ... limits I dare not approach, but still, I am not broken. There is only one limit in life - when you lose the ability to decide. And death.

Limits are decisions then. Lines we draw in the sand. I will not chunder, I say to myself as I prepare to run. But I will come close. I will not run out of money I tell them, but I will come close. Such foresight is the gift of the good runner, the good investor, and the good man. To know the tradeoffs and to decide.

I take one more step because discomfort will not be the reason I change course.

Note: This blog post was written for the Shiny Dime challenge by Write Of Passage

The prompt for this post was: "What’s a rule you live by, and why?"