In the quest for progress and performance, milestone victories are essential. They enable us to move step by step and not be paralyzed by a goal that seems too ambitious. The same goes for repositioning yourself or bouncing back after a failure.
“One hurdle after another”, as Guy Drut, 110m hurdles Olympic Champion at the 1976 Montreal Games, put it. Or one day at a time, as the proverb goes. In my own childhood, returning from Martinique at the age of 8, I was destabilized by the contrast of metropolitan life in the Parisian suburbs and found myself bottom of my CM1 class. Turning things around and getting back up to the top was a daunting task, but I remember a thought that crossed my mind: “to progress, you first have to be better than 23rd in the class, then 22nd…”. And by CM2, I was in the top 3!
In 1984, Ivan Lendl won his first Grand Slam victory at Roland Garros against John McEnroe. He had already lost four finals and was dubbed the “eternal loser”. What’s more, Big Mac was leading by 2 sets to nil, but he kept focusing on one game at a time, one set at a time, and went on to win!
“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King
How about you, what’s your experience with stage-by-stage wins? What story can you share?
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