How often do we really stop and think how some people seem to be able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task and others are barely able to make it through the day? If we are being totally honest with ourselves, let alone others, we will admit that we cannot help but wonder how some people seem blessed and capable of doing almost anything – while we find ourselves struggling far too often.
The truth is that none of us knows what goes on in someone else’s mind. They may tell us how they accomplished this feat or tackled that challenge or successfully worked that Step, but those are only words. We can’t see into their minds. We don’t know the inner doubt and secret fears that they go through. But we can feel fairly certain that everything doesn’t always go smoothly for them. It may only seem like it does. The difference is that people who accomplish great things – in our eyes as well as the eyes of the world – do so with a mindset and an approach that is akin to taking it one step at a time or, more to the point, taking it one day at a time.
Let’s look at the quote from John Wannamaker again. Here was a man who came up with the idea and put it into effect to create the department store – and promote it like there was no tomorrow. With the concept so long in existence now, it may seem hard to think of a time when there weren’t big department stores like Macy’s and Sak’s and Bloomingdales or big-box stores like Costco and Walmart and Sam’s Club. Back in John Wannamaker’s day, there were no such conveniences. There were little shops, mom-and-pop outfits, that sort of thing. But John Wannamaker had a dream, figured out a way to bring that dream into reality, and took things one step at a time, building upon what he created day after day.
So it is with our efforts in recovery. We don’t start off at the top, knowing everything there is to know about the best way to accomplish our recovery efforts. We often don’t have a clue when we first walk through the door and into the rooms of recovery groups. At first, we’re scared, unsure, and likely having to shed a lot of misguided preconceptions about what this whole recovery thing is all about. But we find ourselves welcomed, accepted, and we gradually allow some of what we hear to sink into our consciousness and find room to grow.
It is from this small and seemingly inconsequential start that we begin our new life in recovery. It also helps when we find ourselves staring at a list of all the things that we want to do in recovery, or are told that are necessary in recovery, and feel that this is just too much for us to be able to undertake. Just remember to take it slow. Absorb what we can each day and make it a point to learn something new. One day, one step at a time. That’s how we measure our progress in recovery. That’s how our recovery foundation gains strength and our spirit begins to lift with each and every success we achieve.