I don’t believe people can change their lives overnight, eighter for good or bad, it’s a process, and if you are anything like me it’s a slow process, so we better enjoy the drive.
A few years ago, my boss told me something that transformed the way I get things done and helped me to make permanent changes.
“Baby steps” …- he said- “you’re doing too much too fast, you need to take one task at a time. Otherwise, you’ll lose control, precious time, and make us lose time, and money. “
And I said; “Money! This is what this’s all about! … Money!”
No, I didn’t say that sorry… I said; “okay”…
But inside of me, I was thinking … “I can multi-task … you asshole!”
Of course, I took over much more than I could possibly handle, I messed thing up, and then;
“Easy, tiger!; baby steps” …. he said over again, and again, and again.
I was young and kind of in a hurry to speed my way up, to get a better position, to prove myself I can do this. But lucky me he had patience and didn’t let me speed-up. Instead, he would take over saying; “I will handle it from here” and I used to get mad as hell! But who wouldn’t!
Although, now I can admit that he did so whenever I began to lose control of the stupidest things; forget to double-check this or call someone, or notes something I should’ve seen.
Of course, my boss did it to protect the project’s goal, he was doing his job. You know what they say; “A butterfly in Japan can cause a hurricane in the Caribe,” the consequences of little things can be massively harmful.
I use to get so frustrated with my own mistakes that more than once I ended up consumed in my own anguish and despair until that I almost threw up and thought;
“What a drama queen, Get over it!”
Yeah, I like to muck my self that way when I’m having a hard time, somehow it makes me feel better, you know; laughing of yourself reliefs tension.
Is not that I’m a particularly funny person or anything, but, we all as human beings are hilarious; self-destructive, whining, dramatical, pernicious, delusional, dangerous; really, beautiful creatures, with a lot of issues.
Anyway, the consequence of little things can also be massively good…
I want to think I learned fast enough, or at least as much as I needed to take more from little things.
I’m not saying that from a specific moment I handled everything perfectly because I’m sure I didn’t; but I pass from been an anxious nobby, to supervise other peoples work, I had 10 times more responsibilities and people under my charge, something I never thought I could do, but I did.
How did I learn?
Well, for sure I didn’t wake up one day with superpowers or was touched from divine wisdom, but I know I started to listen to that annoying advice; “baby steps.”
It was such a long time ago that I don’t remember what was the first one…
Maybe I started breathing more before making any decision.
I practiced my negotiation skills, my father is a pretty good lawyer …
I learned to have the ‘big picture” in mind.
And I also had a tiny notebook where I write everything because I have the memory of a fish.
Ho! and I started to do memory exercises, and, meditate, and yoga.
every day… well, more like every week (I was exhausted, don’t judge me)
But it certainly I was taking responsibility for the confidence my team and my boss put on me.
And, I committed to the goal (or I became obsessed with it)
Wait, no, it was definitely fear of failure.
And I started to sleep well, 6 to 8 hours straight.
Drinking more water … or less alcohol.
I started having definite long term goals and short term goals and clear aspirations.
Of course, that’s a lie …
I needed the job, and I wanted to learn
I had a great team, and we all made little changes
And I had a constant little voice saying; “you could do better.”
But where did that voice come?
I’m crazy because I have little voices in my head?
Sorry for the mess I never tried to put this into perspective…
Probably, it was all that stuff combined together, let’s be honest; I had changed so many little things of my work routine, how to decide which one is the game-changer, and it doesn’t matter as long you keep going. And I just know now; that learning to put one foot in front of the other taught me more than any revolutionary shift I tried to do before.
It all started much sooner, but after a year of been stuck on my career I found this job; I didn’t have production skills, so I started drawing floorplans in the structure department. After four months, I was in charge of sanitary production, the warehouse, certification, and more. I didn’t have a life! … but that’s not the point.
I moved fast because I started doing a lot of things; little things, I failed a lot and learned on the way. Of course, after these four months, I was still far away from mastering any of the tasks I had, but I earned the opportunity to have them.
I know this isn’t a sophisticated way to become successful, or a fully developed one, but it doesn’t have to be. What do you think?
This experience taught me that no matters what I want, or where to begin, it just matters to start taking action, with Baby Steps.