Vail Daily column: Small steps will get you there |

Vail Daily column: Small steps will get you there

As a youngster, Neil Armstrong developed a love of flight. He read everything he could find about flying. He ate, slept and dreamed of flight.

At 16, Armstrong got his pilot’s license. In college, he studied aeronautical engineering. As a naval pilot during the Korean War, Armstrong flew 78 combat missions. In civilian life he became a test pilot, eventually entering NASA. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. As he stepped off the lunar landing module, Eagle, Armstrong spoke these words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

One Step at a Time

For more than a billion people worldwide, my parents included, those words were seared in their memories forever. That “small step” was the end result of a host of small steps. NASA’s scientists, technicians and engineers achieved excellence reaching beyond anything ever accomplished before. The eyes of the world looked on in amazement. Meticulous small details led to one of the most impressive events in American history. The spinoff from lunar technology produced quartz watches, firefighting equipment, chlorine-free pools, earthquake seismology gauges, heart monitors, the list goes on and on. Small steps, big outcomes!

Just as stepping-stones keep your feet dry when you cross a stream, small details ensure successful outcomes. Maximum satisfaction is derived from planning and the execution of step-by-step detail. Take classes pertinent to your future. Read self-help books. Search the Internet for beneficial information. Do your legwork; take that job for less pay if it gives you training. Even through times of “one step forward, two steps back,” take it in stride. Look at everything as a learning experience. Network with others who have similar interests and expertise. Never be superficial or self-indulgent, don’t take another person’s contribution for granted and always acknowledge their input. Appreciating friends and employees builds loyalty and pride. As you share and learn you not only enrich your knowledge but also build lifetime liaisons and great friendships.

Stepping Stones to Secure Future

Whatever your venture might be put yourself on the path to succeed. For example, starting early, investing small amounts on a continuous basis builds a comfortable nest egg. It is easier to invest $400 a month throughout the course of 20 years, ending up with $96,000 plus interest, than it is to try to come up with $96,000 plus interest at retirement 20 years from now. Seek advice from experts. Research investment opportunities; know what you are investing in. Small steps lead to a secure future. Doing your homework along the way makes an easier transition into retirement later.

Have a Plan

If you want to lose a few pounds, then do it right. Set your mind on life change. Don’t shop when you’re hungry, it sabotages willpower. Get rid of junk foods. Fill your pantry with healthy choices. Have an unflattering photo on your refrigerator. Post inspiring quotes next to your photo. Take a look at yourself naked in front of a full-length mirror every morning. Step on your scale every day. Keep a daily journal; write down what you eat and what you weigh. The scale is not going to move if you don’t.

Get to the gym. Have a plan. For example, start with walking on a treadmill, then move into running on future visits. Small steps build positive results. It won’t happen overnight, but I promise if you keep taking small steps toward weight loss, then you will lose weight.

If your goal is to climb a mountain, then concentration on each small step is crucial. Ascending that mountain depends on correct equipment, thorough training and precise execution. Careful placement of your hands and feet are essential if you want to reach the summit. You could get to the top in a helicopter, but that is not your goal, the challenge of the climb is. If you hopped into a helicopter, then you would miss the joy of the journey. View every goal with that in mind. Save the helicopter ride for another day.

Looking at my own life, the accomplishments I value most are those that took the hardest work and a multitude of small steps to achieve. I think this is true for most of us. Having a purpose and a goal drives us. Figuring out how to reach our goals is the exciting, frustrating, exhilarating, fun filled core that pushes us forward. Every small step is a building block, like interlocking Lego toys, connecting the structure of our dreams. It is the small steps that get us there.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber & Business Association, what we have to offer businesses, further details on membership or to receive the weekly newsletter, then email us at or call 970 754 0075.

Cabal Yarne is the owner of Arriesgado Clothing Co. in Lionshead. He owns additional stores in Keystone and Denver. He is a board member of the Vail Chamber & Business Association.

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