Little things…

Some problems seem so huge, so insurmountable that we can’t begin to work out where to start. Take climate change. What do we do? Where do we even begin? With little steps. Everything we do has an effect. Every action has an opposite and equal reaction – this is a fundamental law of physics (Newton’s Third Law). Every single action. If we all make small changes that overall effect will add up.

It is the same with our horses. You can’t change your hairy un-backed four year-old into a gleaming rosette machine overnight. But you can start with teaching him to stand nicely, and to be groomed. Then gradually teach him to accept a numnah and then a saddle. Little by little and over the years, you can create a massive transformation.

And sometimes we will make mistakes, sometimes we will go too fast, or down the wrong path, and that too is okay. It is okay to make mistakes, it is okay to fail, we are humans not robots. You might rush teaching your horse to canter, because the trot felt so good. You might be tired and grab a plastic coated ready meal. It’s okay, because tomorrow you can take your time and establish the trot before you canter. And tomorrow you can make a homemade meal.

We are not perfect, we are trying to be better. Life is a series of learnings, of opportunities, of successes and of failures, but tomorrow always bring you chance to do better. You are never too small to make a difference. No matter how small the step, a step forwards is always a step forwards. And by the very act of trying, by your very intentions in your heart you are making a difference. Keep going, keep trying, you will get there. It might be hard and it might be difficult, but it is worth it…

Challenges can be good for us

The thing about challenges is that they do exactly what it says on the tin! They challenge you, and in challenging yourself your gain access to parts of yourself that you might not otherwise have managed to. Anything that makes us push forward or strive requires us to reach down inside and get that little bit more.

I walked up Snowdon on the weekend. I had never done it before and it was wonderful. It was hard, but I had trained for it, made sure I was fit enough – which I was (just!) But the payback for pushing myself was to get to stand on the top of a mountain and look out across the world.

Humans are forever wanting to climb up things, or across things or go faster or higher. Often I write about the need to just appreciate where you are, not to judge yourself against other, delight in the present, but sometimes a challenge is a wonderful thing. Sometimes it is great to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that tests you, that excites you, that challenges you.

Remember the great saying about comfort zones? “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” It’s true. I’m not advocating pushing yourself wildly out of your safe place, but the odd little toes dipped in the water will allow you to stretch out, without over-stepping the mark. Just remember it’s your challenge, not anyone else’s. Don’t ever judge your achievements against anyone else. Your mountain may be small, but it doesn’t stop it being a mountain. Nothing anyone else does deflects from your triumphs.

My delight in my ability to climb up and down Snowdon was not diminished by being overtaken by men running up and down – each to their own…