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Step 6: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Principle: Willingness

The heart of this verse reminds us that all we need to do to change is take the first step. It is often the hardest step, but once it is taken, those that follow become easier. It also reminds us that we can't go back and do-over what is already done. All we ever have is now, this moment. This practice is also at the heart of the 12 Steps which emphasizes living one day at a time, and concentrating only on doing the next right thing. One step, one moment, one day at a time is the way of the Tao.

Text or Verse

What is at rest is easily managed
What is not yet manifest is easy to prevent.
The brittle is easily shattered;
the small is easily scattered.

Act before things exist; manage them before there is disorder.
A tree that fills a man's embrace grows from a seedling.
A tower nine stories high starts with one brick.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
64th Verse
Tao Te Ching


  1. Pick one thing you want to change and have been procrastinating to begin.
  2. Decide what is the first step required to initiate the change process.
  3. Commit to doing it for one day - today.
  4. Tomorrow, you can make the same decision to do it again.


Dyer, Dr. Wayne. Change your Thoughts, Change your Life. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, 2007.

Lao Tzu. trans. by Stephen Mitchell. Tao Te Ching: A New English Version.


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