This was what the great nineteenth-century pioneer ofmeteorology, James Pollard Espy, was shown in a chance encounter as a young man. Unable to read and write until he was eighteen, Espy attended a rousing speech by the famous orator Henry Clay. After the talk, a spellbound Espy tried to make his way toward Clay, but he couldn’t form the words to speak to his idol. One of his friends shouted out for him: “He wants to be like you, even though he can’t read.”
Clay grabbed one of his posters, which had the wordCLAY written in big letters. He looked at Espy and said, “You see that, boy?” pointing to a letter. “That’s an A. Now, you’ve only got twenty-five more letters to go.”
Espy had just been gifted the process. Within a year, he started the college.
The story may sound like some regular incident. Something like idol fascination. However it can give few lessons on how we approach any task in hand.
• Everything in the world, howsoever big it is, have a unit from which it is build. Like our body is made of cells. Molecules are made of atoms. A house is made of many bricks. In similar way, approach any problem we face with smallest action item you can take.
• There is no life transformation that happens by passing the other side of door. It happens only in movies as they do not have time to show the gradual progress. But growth is a gradual process. It will happen if you start taking the small steps in the routine.
• Action repeated regularly creates habits. Our habits create our path. Practice makes it permanent. So do it step by step, regularly.
• As a leader if someone looks up to you, your guidance, even a basic one, has the potential to change other person. Choose your advices judiciously.
References: The story is mentioned in the book “The obstacle is the way”, by Ryan Holiday.