Even small steps of improvement can make a big difference in our lives. We need not think in terms of giant steps of improvement all at once because even small steps can make a big difference in our lives. Columnist Sydney J. Harris has pointed out that we can learn from sports the lesson that even a small improvement can mean major progress. Sports are full of examples where a small difference means a great improvement or even the difference between winning or losing. A race horse that wins by a nose, the basketball player who makes a winning shot at the buzzer and racer who shaves a minute from their best time. In baseball, he notes, if a player hits .275 for the season and another hits .300 the difference between the two is only one extra hit in 40 times at bat. Running the mile in four minutes was a goal that runners strived for over decades of competition. It seemed unassailable, but on May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59.4 seconds. Once he had done so, his achievement was followed by others. In 1999 Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj shattered the six year old mile mark by 1.26 seconds at 3.43 seconds which in terms of distance would put Bannister yards behind him at the finish line.
Benjamin Franklin made the point that even small things can be very important when he wrote in his Poor Richard’s Almanac:“For want of a nail, a shoe was lost
For want of a shoe a horse was lost
For want of a horse a rider was lost
For want of a rider a battle was lost
For want of a battle a kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a nail
So, lets not delay making small steps to improvement because we see a giant step would be difficult. Start now. One step at a time. Be determined to keep going. The march of a thousand miles begins with one step.