Sometimes life’s greatest teachings are from the simplest message: always take the stairs.
Four words, one sentence. Providing literal and metaphorical advice.
Pre-COVID-19, I worked in an office and my team was based on the fourth floor. There were two ways to level four—the lift or the stairs. I always took the stairs.
The decision became a habit, the habit a routine, the routine became a practice, and the practice a mindset.
Each morning I walked four levels up, lunchtime four levels down, lunchtime back up four levels, then hometime the final four levels down. I would glance at the lift and walk past it. I knew the lift option was quicker, delivering less discomfort, but it would also enforce a mindset that didn’t serve me long-term.
It promoted an “I take shortcuts“ mindset.
As someone who is always trying to better me, this isn’t the daily action I want to take, as it can lead to a mindset where other shortcuts will creep into my life.
When presented with two options, we can remind ourselves that there are no shortcuts in life, so it’s best to take the hard road if we want to learn more and reap the long-term gains.
If we want to succeed at something and we’re focusing on why everyone else appears to be succeeding except for us, the first thing we need to do is stop assuming everyone else has a “secret” or “magic pill” that we don’t.
If we are honest with ourselves it is because they are making sacrifices, they are accountable for their actions—they don’t take shortcuts. If we want it bad enough and are willing to consistently turn up, roll up our sleeves, and put in the hard work, then results will come.
Be determined and be consistent. Don’t take the stairs once a week but each day.
There is no elevator to success; we have to take the stairs.
Why would you want to take the lift?
For instant gratification.
To avoid the discomfort that comes with climbing the stairs. Instant gratification results in you saying no to a healthy body, mind, and life. Can you imagine if you climbed the stairs every day for two years versus taking the lift?
Climbing the stairs was a form of self-care. I listened to a podcast and would mindfully count the steps in the present moment. As I paused on level three to catch my breath, I knew I was ultimately growing stronger in mind and body.
The feeling as I reached level four was a mixture of tiredness yet overarching satisfaction.
Stairs one versus sloth zero.
People who start a new healthy habit or routine often give up the moment they have an “off day.”
We all have a choice; chalk it off and get back into climbing those stairs. Start all over again as soon as possible.
Fill yourself with optimism and feel the satisfaction of climbing the last step knowing you choose a life of growth, always pushing yourself to feel better and think better.