White evening mists hung over a purple saw-toothed mountain and the temperature crashed faster than the setting sun. The landscape seemed to go straight up and as I slipped in the wet grass and mud, I realized why these darn shamans don't talk much. I was deep in the Amazon basin and had been following an Andean healer the whole of the day, deeper and deeper into the wild. The trek had been through wet bogs and up steep slopes. Our altitude was almost unbreathable and as my reserve waned, I knew we still had a long distance to go. Yet a deep evening cold was setting in and we could not stop before we reached the primitive camp. The incline ahead was especially steep and slippery and I wondered how I could see this through.
The shaman looked back and seemed to understand, but said not a word. Instead he simply exaggerated his steps and made them smaller. Don't know how I can describe this……except to say he seemed to shift from second gear into low and made each step smaller. I tried it and discovered that this worked! The steeper the hill, the smaller the steps. The greater the challenge, the lower the gear. I don't think the Shaman needed to take those small steps, but he continued doing so the rest of the way and sure enough, we made it. At that top of that easily attained ridge we saw the camp snuggled in the mists and green of the valley below.
I slept well that night dreaming about the two new lessons. First, follow men and women of action who lead by example. Beware of those who are people of just many words. Second, climb your hills in small steps, the tougher the path, the slower you go. Achieve the one small resolve and then build on it. Suddenly you'll look back and see that all your little achievements have created something that is rather gand. Low gear is the ultimate resolve.
My resolution this year is to stick to my resolution for just one day. Tomorrow i'll worry about tomorrow's resolution. That's a pretty small step, but I'll achieve it and will feel good. Much better than failing a big resolution.
Think big in 2004, but take the plan one step at a time and get in low gear to convert the grand plans into action. Take one small step on a long path, and you will feel good and be better too.
We wish you a happy, 2004 filled with many small resolutions you acheive.