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The Journey of 1,000 Miles

Are you ready written on highway road in the middle of empty asp“The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” You knew what I would say as soon as you read the subject line. This ancient Chinese saying has been used so much that it is cliche.

Here’s the origin of the quote:

It comes from Chapter 64 of the Dao De Jing, ascribed to Laozi, although it is also erroneously ascribed to his contemporary, Confucius. This saying teaches that even the longest and most difficult ventures have a starting point, beginning with one first step.

What makes a quote a cliché?

A cliché is an element of an artistic work, saying, or idea that has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, even to the point of being weird or irritating, especially when, at some earlier time, it was considered meaningful or novel.

I will argue that: 1. Such sayings are often “overused” because they are true, and 2. They are ironically not overused; they are often over-spoken and under-applied.

This is to say, the saying that “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” is quoted way more often than it is applied.

My message is to take the step!

My personal experience has validated many times over my 55 years the compound effect that can happen when I’ve taken the step. I could tell many stories, from my military, academic, martial arts, and other personal and professional elements of my life where I took the first step, and then the 10,000 after, and it changed my life for the better… but it always started with that first one.

Chances are that, while reading this, you have conjured a thought about what your first step may be and what it could be if you were to conjure the courage to take it.

Written By: Stephen J. Castillo


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