Sometimes all it takes is that one little step. A step so small it’s like a two year old took it. Today I remembered to bring our grocery bags from home instead of getting the plastic bags that usually end up creating a large plastic organism living in one of our drawers… On a somewhat related side-note, I also remembered to bring in the 12,324 plastic shopping bags to recycle at the supermarket as well!
I had been forgetting to bring these bags with me EVERY SINGLE TIME I’ve gone to the store for the past two months since my wife and I moved to the area. It became comical every time I’d pull into the parking lot and realize that I had left the bags at home, again. D’oh! Most people wouldn’t think it was a big deal to remember some shopping bags. But to me, this was a seminal moment. It was the break I needed to get me back to productivity. When I got home, it was like a crack in the dam of ideas was suddenly exposed. A trickle of both chores and internet work began to flow in an ever increasing flow. I started organizing my to do list for the day and actually started crossing multiple things off it. All in all, it was one of my best days of the past week.
My point is that I had been failing at this one task for months but I didn’t let it go. It was an albatross that I could not shake. Yet today I shook it. I took the first step. Sometimes an unconnected breakthrough is that baby step you needed.
Something that seems completely unconnected to real progress may be deeply intertwined and you just don’t realize it. Go find that shopping-bag albatross in your life. Don’t give up on it. A single step is all it takes.