A Journey of a Thousand Miles

This entry is part 3 of the series Motivational Quotes

Motivational Sayings with a Twist:


Two weeks ago, we looked at: If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly! 

Last week, we saw the cure for procrastination was Do the Next Thing!

Today, we’re looking at a topic close to my heart: Motivation!

According to an ancient Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” 

We need to be motivated to start out if we’re going to achieve our goals.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. ~ An ancient Chinese proverb. Click To Tweet

Without motivation, even if we force ourselves to get through a task, there will be no joy at the end of it. And it probably won’t be as good as we would have liked it to be.

I’m sure you will agree that there are days when you are really motivated to get to a task. But then there are the days . . . when you have NO desire to do anything, except maybe curl up in bed with a good book!

So what do we do when we are unmotivated?

According to Zig Ziglar, an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” 

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. ~ Zig Ziglar. RT if you agree! Click To Tweet

In November last year, my husband and I traveled to Johannesburg to attend my nephew’s wedding. Two days after arriving, I was hit with a bug to beat all bugs! Despite a doctor visit and many meds, I didn’t make it to the wedding. After 10 days of mainly lying around, we flew home. I couldn’t wait to get back to “life” as I knew it.

Only one problem. Actually, quite a few. The leader of our choir, of which I am 2nd in command, was desperately ill. I was far from well, but I was on the mend. She wasn’t. So I had to take over. At Christmas. In the middle of a frantic program.

Then my husband had an 80th birthday. We traveled to Hoekwil, a rural farming community four hours away for a family reunion. It was wonderful. But I still lacked energy and enthusiasm. When I got home, life would return to normal.



My health improved. My motivation remained missing in action. I had writing projects I needed to do. But I had no desire or energy to get to them.


Because I was burned out! From illness, from pushing myself to do more than my body was ready to do, mostly for reasons beyond my control, I had moved past physical exhaustion, and now my body was demanding R&R time! It was insisting I needed to slow down.


I wondered if I’d ever get back to writing. Had the Lord decided it was time to hang up my writing cap and take up a Retirement Life, whatever that meant?

However, I had given my word to my critique partner in America that I would critique a book for her. So I had to first get my act together and do the job.

As soon as I started working on her manuscript, it was as if a light-bulb came on. A flickering bulb, it’s true, but a light nevertheless.

Each day, I woke up eager to get back to work. Initially, I only got a few pages completed before my enthusiasm burned out. But gradually, my motivation grew.

Only a few days later, I began to have an idea for my next book. And so I began to see the truth in that earlier-quoted ancient Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

I’m still not 100% there, but I’m on the road to recovery. I know I can do it!

So you’re lacking in motivation?

Remember, your life is not a series of co-incidences! God has planned it all out for you. And He has something to say about motivation too!

So establish the journey God has planned for you. And don’t attempt a thousand miles! Just take that single step. Tackle a small project, just a tiny bit of it, and see your enthusiasm return.

Share below in a comment if you’ve found this to be true in your life . . . or share with us what area you need a boost in your motivation! Any other suggestions you’ve found helps to regain motivation?

But remember Zig Ziglar’s comment! You need to do something—even a simple step—every day.


4 comments on “A Journey of a Thousand Miles

  1. Thanks for another super-helpful post, Shirley. Once I take that first baby step I find the next steps are easier. The first step is always the hardest for me.

  2. Thank you, Shirley, for this wonderful post. I always look too far ahead and think I will never be able to get there…but if I just look a few steps ahead, well, that is more doable, right?

    • You’re so right, Paula Marie. I like to see the end before I start on the beginning! All wrong. Get going, girl. You don’t need to see the end yet!

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