The First Step

Be it kick-starting your workout regime or the diet plan, changing jobs or career, be it getting into a new relationship, moving to a new city or just simply starting to read a new book, the first step is always the most challenging.

I had a little recollection of my first-time bungee jumping from a 43m high bridge. This may be a bit dramatic analogy to what we usually experience in life but it’s a pretty close one.

I am someone who gets nausea at high altitude, especially at open space. Anything higher than 4 floors can make me go weak at the knees. Though I’ve always wanted to challenge my own fears, I was not exactly prepared to do the jump on that day. I and my travel buddies were just passing by the place and thought of taking a quick look since it’s on the way. Somehow, a little devil in my mind wanted me to jump and I sort of signed up on impulse.

My confidence level was really at rock bottom knowing myself how scared I am of heights. What if I pass out? What if the rope gets loose? What if I fall into the water down there instead? I looked straight in front; I noticed the scenery was beautifully serene. I looked right down; I saw the blue water flowing downstream. As I panicked, I gripped the wooden pillar beside me really tightly. I did not want to let go of it. It was my safety net. The deck I was standing on was my comfort zone. The facilitator behind me was my mental support. I did not want to leave any of these to jump off into the free fall – the fear of losing control.

Then again, I was under intense pressure because the facilitator said I was taking too long and that I’d have to go back if I did not jump right away. It was the final pushing force that made me go, “what the heck, I paid 250 dollars I’m jumping” and so I did, instantly.

Once I jumped, I realized all these worries I had were really baseless. These were just voices I made up in my own mental cell. I enjoyed the jump so much that if not for the steep price, I probably might have jumped again! The kind of accomplishment and exhilaration after the jump was priceless; it was absolutely rewarding.

Just like how I was on the jumping deck, many people get stuck in life because they never get out of their comfort zone or are willing to dive into a pool of uncertainties. Some tasks may be easier because there are fewer stakes in them. Others may seem more daunting to succeed.

I believe a rule of thumb is – Give 100% in everything you wish to succeed so that even if it fails, you know that you put your heart and soul to it and turn the failure into a learning point. As long as you don’t stupidly screw up, things will eventually fall into place. The only thing that matters is to take the first step or a leap of faith as some call it, and don’t doubt what you can achieve.

In the past, I’ve taken certain significant steps in life that have geared me to where I am today. The time when I decided to study business. The time when I decided to go to Singapore for uni. The time when I decided to come back and work in Myanmar. Now I am at another point in life where I wish to explore something new again but with much higher stakes. I hear a little bird inside me telling me that I definitely should go for it but well unless I start working on it, nothing is going to materialize.

To all who are also facing challenges in taking the first step to make your dreams come true, may the force be with you. 🙂

Journey of a thousand miles starts with one step. – Lao Tzu



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