Scoutmaster Minute: The First Step

The Chinese have a saying, "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step ".

There are many important lessons for us encapsulated in that short saying.

First, you need ambitious goals in your life. Whether it is a "thousand miles," a good college education, a challenging job, a comfortable home or an Eagle rank -- you need to set goals. Where do you want to be in five years? And what goals do you need to accomplish to get there?

Second, you need to act. If you come to Troop meetings without ever looking in your Official Boy Scout Handbook all week long and if you never ask how to pass a test or who to see about a merit badge, you'll never advance very far in Scouting. In Scouting, and in life, the rewards don't come to those who sit back and wait for something to be handed to them on a silver platter. Be active; life is not a spectator sport!

Lastly, take the first step. It is easy to get overwhelmed and discouraged when you are faced with an enormous job. Instead, break it down into smaller tasks. If those tasks are still too big, break them down even smaller. Then, take that first step by accomplishing a single task. You'll feel better, can celebrate the activity, and then be ready to accomplish another small task. "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." (See video below)

Whatever the goal you set for yourself in life, remember that only you can take that first step toward it. No one can do it for you. Once you've taken that first step, the next step becomes easier. And the ones after that will be easier still because you're on the way along the Scouting trail and making progress to your goal.

Yours in Scouting,
Mr. Cooper