‘Take the first step …

‘The longest journey, or project, starts with a first step.

When it’s too hard to picture the whole journey,

Break it down into smaller ones.

Keep reducing until the first step seems attainable.

Then take it.

The others will follow.’

‘To begin, begin.’

Peter Nivio Zarlenga (1941 – )


To execute any move, we must – move. We need action. Whether we are talking about a trip (literally) or our dreams to get to the destination or to live the dream, we must take action.

My almost one-year old grandson recently took his first step, and then another. As I write this post, he hasn’t yet taken any more than two consecutive steps, but he is practicing…hard. I watch him as he plays, crawls and investigates his world. I can almost see his mind ticking over, working out the next step (his plan) to venture further and add to his two steps. He squats and pushes his body up to a standing position, he stands beside furniture and ‘gallops’ along the side of the couch. His mind is going non-stop. He doesn’t write anything down, he is just doing it! He tumbles, he gets up and so the process continues. I know, as well as his parents, that it won’t be long before he takes off.

What an exciting phase this is … it reminds me of a story I loved as a child. I Think I Can, the story of a little steam train who had to make it up a big hill. Even though it was hard, he believed in himself and made it. But to do it, he had to start and keep going.

Beginning is sometimes the hardest thing.

Where to start? How to start?

These can be very overwhelming questions for some. However, the best plan is – to plan – break it down into manageable bits, like Patrick Lindsay suggests, then just do it, as the Nike logo tells us to do.

It is amazing that once the hurdle is crossed, the rest usually just falls into place (most of the time).

Some might read this and wonder, “What are you talking about?” Taking a trip or beginning something is easy. And this can be true, too, for some.

But, I’m talking to those who might be struggling with life-changing journeys. Change, for a lot of us, can be a huge hurdle and needs much more consideration, and a big dose of courage. There are usually some barriers like, finance, timing, place or fear that can burden us. But, if you sit down and write out the pros and cons, then this is the beginning … and further steps will follow.

Keeping our minds positive and refreshed requires us to feed it with positive food. There is a sea of books about positive guidance, including those which require more time and lots of deep thinking and journaling to find answers to life’s big questions. But, a little book that I have found useful to help me reflect upon and help remind me to LIVE EACH DAY is this bite-sized book,

Now Is the Time – 170 ways to seize the moment

by Patrick Lindsay.


Title:               Now is the Time – 170 ways to seize the moment

Author:           Patrick Lindsay

Publisher:     Hardie Grant Books

Year:               2009

ISBN:              978174066 654 1


‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.’

Steve Jobs

This little gem is packed with delicious morsels of positive insight, accompanied by a meaningful quote from a noted achiever, that not only inspires an encouraging attitude, but provides the reader with some specific actions to take, such as starting a journal, revamping your wardrobe, making your vote count or volunteering your time.

Patrick Lindsay is one of Australia’s leading nonfiction writers. He spent twenty-five years as a journalist and TV presenter before he began writing full time in 2001. Since then he has written many books, including his, It’s Never too Late series. His book, High Hopes is another with 170 ways to lift your spirits, and Make the Most of You – 170 ways to be the best that you can be.

His new edition of The Spirit of Gallipoli and all his books can be found at his website

I hope you found this review helpful. What are some of the titles you have found useful to helping you attain your goals and stay positive?

Stay happy doing what you love …






Good luck and enjoy your journey …

Author: Debbie Smith

Author Bio

Debbie Smith is the author of a number of children’s short stories, poetry, picture books texts and is currently working on her first MG (middle-grade) novel, Hampton Common. She also writes for adults and has written the first draft of her adult outback novel, Lanolin on the Boards. Her debut children’s picture book, If You Meet an Elephant, is COMING SOON in 2019. Read about it here.

Debbie is the Founder and Creative Director of Shadytree Books. She tutors students in the Language Arts and Literacy areas, coordinates and runs Children’s Creative Writing and Art workshops for Shadytree Books’ StoryArts Holiday Program.

Debbie also helps other authors and creatives with their creative works in her role as a qualified proofreader and editor. For more info go here and here.

Debbie lives on the gorgeous Sunshine Coast near the lovely beaches of Noosa and it’s rich Hinterland life with her husband and gorgeous Cavoodle, Oscar. When Debbie takes time away from writing, she can be found at the farm riding her daughter’s Lippizaner horse, Obie, and handling and ground training her yearling Appaloosa foal, Joey.

Debbie loves hearing from other creatives and children, so please pop along here and say hello.