As agreed, I met my father a mile away from home. This was a long time ago.
When I arrived, dad was still busy; just a couple of minutes later he finished. “Let’s go home”, he told me.
“We’ll walk?!” I asked surprised – I knew he hadn’t arrived there on our car. “It’s like a mile distance!”
“Nonsense! It’s just a couple of blocks away” My father said and started to stride. I shuffled in a dazzled mode.
A couple of blocks later we stopped at a small market and had soft drinks.
“I thought you meant home” I said.
“We ARE going home” He said.
“But… home is far away”
“It’s not! Come on, it is only a few blocks ahead”
A few blocks later we stopped at the post office to check his mail (that’s the way it was done those days). Then we stopped at a shop, owned by a friend of the family, just to say hi.
Later we stopped at the drugstore to buy chocolates for mom and my brother and sisters; and then, at the bakery to buy bread. At that point we where ambling.
I don’t remember if we stopped elsewhere but I do remember it was too soon when we reached home.
In a very simple way, my father taught me a life tool, a strategy that has many applications:
1 – Setting your mind on the next stop, instead of the final goal, works effectively. Not because it’s easier to reach, but because it’s easier to assess.
2 – Far away goals allow laziness, fear, indecision and other ghosts to take part, acting as obstacles for assessment.
3 – Focusing on the next visible task works very well against confusion and indecision.
4 – Splitting a big a goal into many small tasks permits us to assign the right amount of time and effort for each step and provides a great motivation: several small victories.
5 – Instead of facing a big dragon, you face hundreds of mini dragons but, one mini dragon at a time (facing all the mini dragons at once is counterproductive, as you can imagine).
6 – Being mindfully present in each stop of the track allows you to enjoy the trip, especially when you are in good company.