The Brilliance of Baby Steps
Our whole lives we want to run or sprint towards the various finish lines in life. In today's accomplishment-driven society, we miss looking at the baby steps. Think about the last major accomplishment of your life. Do you remember how it came to pass? As we near the end of this year, I'm going to share some baby steps that I'm grateful to have taken. Allow me to give my perspective on the ever so cliche "It's all about the journey" here on the 30th Episode of the View 112 Podcast.
In episode 10 of this podcast, I talk about surviving “Rookie Season” ie the moments in which we are new to something like a job, career field etc. Some of the tips I shared were: 1. Do Your Home Work and be Prepared, 2. Remember You’re in the Room for a Reason, and 3. Sit Down, Be Humble. Recently, I realized this year has been full of learning and baby steps on the road to accomplishment. It's only now that I've reached certain places in my journey, that I've been able to look back and see the value in baby steps. Before I share my 3 examples of how I've grown this year, let me make a quick case for patience during the process.
1. Patience for Baby Steps. I am one of those people who have a hard time enjoying or respecting the process. I’m impatient. In fact, at work we just had a training about Emotional Intelligence using internal lingo and concepts from the book Emotional Intelligence in Leadership by Daniel Coleman. Coleman breaks down the five key elements to Emotional Intelligence as: 1. Self Awareness 2. Self Regulation 3. Motivation 4. Empathy and 5. Social Skills. For me, self regulation immediately stood out as an opportunity. Later we were challenged to pick an area to work on for our professional development and I selected the competency of Patience for these specific reasons: 1. I’m impulsive and sometimes act before its time. 2. I get frustrated when things cannot be done with a certain amount of speed. 3. I am overly action oriented and my preference is to handle things myself rather than delegate. Professionally, I have more responsibility than ever before. I also have a new boss and she’s challenged me to lead through and empower the incredible, capable leaders on our team. Sounds like nothing but it's a true practice of patience to let people implement processes and ideas that you would not necessarily employ. The learning process is also a practice a patience. I’ve had to be patient with myself during this process, hence comes the self-regulation element of emotional intelligence. It takes far less time to do something myself instead of explaining my vision, my process, wait for challenges/questions, check for understanding, set expectations, and then follow up. Far. Less. Time. But being patient and learning to trust my team has freed up time for other things that I was not able to get done before. Overall the quality of the work our team is improving and that is a great feeling. My leaders have shared with me that they feel like they are doing better work and leading at the right level and that is an incredible feeling. I’m still a rookie the patience department, but grateful for this moment in development.
2. Build in Baby Steps. I've got 3 examples. If this is your first time listening to my podcast, I am a part time writer, I have a full time career, and I am a student. This portion of the semester I am taking Organizational Leadership and Microeconomics. I attempted to take Econ in the past, about 10 years ago and failed the class miserably. All I remember where the formulas and slopes were a blur. I am nearing the end of my studies (Praise God) and have pushed the majority of math and math related classes to the end. My entire life, from long division in 4th grade to today, I have never earned higher than a C in math. Most times I earned a D or worse. This summer I could no longer delay taking college math, another college course in which I failed last year most recently. Because I could not test my way out of remedial algebra, I had to take that course before I could take anything left in my requirements to graduate. This summer I finally passed that math class, and had to take another low level math class in order to finally get to take the math class I need to take. Earlier in the fall I passed that math class with a B. Again, I’ve never had a B in math since probably 2nd grade. Which brings me to Microeconomics. I’m only 2 weeks into the class and I feel so grateful that I had to take those 2 pain-in-the-butt algebra classes because they have prepared me for this Econ class. The first 4 chapters are all about supply and demand curves, loaded with graphs, and lots of “slope” talk. If I had tried to cut corners and not actually suffered through the learning process of understanding Algebra, I would be struggling in this Econ class. Within a month of starting view112.com and the View 112 Podcast, I wanted all the readers/listeners. I wanted to monetize the blog and the podcast immediately. In January, I wouldn't have no clue what to do with zillions of supporters. I’ve changed so much about the site and podcast, I’ve had highs, lows, and inconsistencies in content creation. I’m humbled and very grateful for gradual growth and loyalty of my audience. My final example around building in baby steps is around money. I’ve mentioned during my Summer Challenge one of the goals was to save more money though Summer Savings. I have also mentioned this year, I have earned and spent more money than I ever have before. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could ever really have too much money. Occasionally, I play the Powerball from time to time and get a random ticket hoping to win millions of dollars. One day it dawned on me that I would really have no clue to how to manage that much money from a personal finance standpoint. I started researching and mapping out how I would manage millions of dollars. This year, I’ve diversified my personal portfolio and will come out of 2017 in incredible fiscal shape. Probably the best of my life. Yes I’ve still made mistakes, but I’ve saved and I’ve learned a ton. I wrote a blog post on how I went through all of my finances, audited bills, traded in my old and got a new car, etc. Those tiny baby steps helped me build to finish the year strong. For once in my life, I will need to set different personal finance goals going into a new year. I only came to this realization about a week ago. You should have seen me when I had it all laid out on paper. I got up from my desk and literally shouted and dance. Yes like us black folk do in church. That was me praising God in my living room.
3. There is Brilliance in Baby Steps. Appreciate them. Keep track of them and see how far you will come. I mentioned that I “suffered” through learning Algebra. In life I know we all have to suffer something and this is lightweight/first world stuff I’m talking about here. But still, I have learned that suffering through the learning process and through baby steps has made me better. I want to encourage myself (and you) to build the habit of honoring baby steps. Its an exercise of discipline that will make us better in other areas of life. I get so down on myself when things are not an incredible, booming success right from the start. When in actuality, they are a success, I just need to be patient enough to build and see things through.
Thanks so much for listening! Talking to myself and to you has really helped me through somethings this year. If you are feeling the Podcast, please subscribe, like, and review the View 112 Podcast in Apple Podcasts. If you have thoughts or questions, I'd love to hear from you. Email me at email@example.com.