「千里の道も一歩から」(senri no michi mo ippo kara) is an old
Japanese Daoist adage that translates to “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” In my travels to Japan I’ve seen the adage abbreviated as「千里一歩」(senri ippo), “A thousand miles, one step.” It conveys that idea that even when faced with a long road ahead, the best thing you can do is get started by taking a single step.
I wrote this saying on a placard to help me get through this last week. Behind the scenes I’m deep in the third straight month of crunch-time on a client project. The past three weeks specifically I’ve been working on a complex gated content scenario. It’s been an immense puzzle where every day I find a new piece of information that invalidates the previous day’s understanding. It’s overwhelming no matter how you look at it. But I’ve been reminding myself to take it one step at a time, incremental improvement, 千里一歩.
As a developer my weeks get peppered with questions about feasibility, sudden shifts in project priorities, fielding feedback, rebounding ideas, and fire fighting any breakages. These are deep work busting combo-breakers. It can be frustrating and a feeling of powerlessness knowing there’s an infinite stream of work ahead of me, but it’s part of the job. I try to address the requests and get back on the road, 千里一歩.
Summer is ending. Kids are going back to school next week. It’s a terrible confluence of events with the Delta variant’s ability to spread to children. My governor is actively trying to kill us in some kind of crude libertarian torture chamber. The background stress of the pandemic is palpable again, 千里一歩.
I’ll keep walking these roads, but I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m worn. 千里一歩.