Our lives consist of countless journeys. Some are easier to travel than others. Some are more difficult to finish. But whether we are undertaking challenges physically, mentally, or spiritually, the most difficult part can be just getting started.

Think of any creative project like writing, drawing, etc. When staring at the blank page or canvas, the correct first move seems invisible to the eye, and our minds tell us that no matter where we start, it will be the wrong place – tricky, right?

This perception applies to many areas of our lives – afraid of failure and disappointment; we remain frozen at the beginning of the road. However, as often is the case, all it takes to break out of this uncertainty is one small step forward.

Consider this quote from philosopher Lao Tzu:

The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

These words, nearly 2,500 years old, still resonate with crystal clarity today. The reason is because it connects to a fundamental fact of human existence – we are meant to move forward in life, rather than idle in one place permanently.

Sure, Lao Tzu’s quote can refer to any worldly travel, or might even help you begin that new exercise or yoga routine. But the concept can also apply to complex emotional challenges, the start of new relationships, undertaking creative projects, or overcoming fears of social anxiety, for example.

Interestingly, Lao Tzu’s quote can also be translated (depending on who you ask) to this alternate interpretation:

The journey of 1,000 miles begins beneath one’s feet.

In this sense, the philosopher’s words remind us that we are in control of our destiny, and that the ability and courage required to complete all journeys resides within ourselves – not in the outside world.

Once we understand that our lives are ours to control, all that remains is for each of us is to step forward, and begin walking.