The next-mile principle focuses on achieving smaller goals which then build toward your overall aim. Your vision or dream. It helps to build your belief in what you can do by focusing on short steps, taken one at a time. This is a very effective way of overcoming the barriers to goal setting, which sometimes arise from thinking big.
During the Second World War, author and correspondent, Eric Sevareid was forced to parachute from a damaged transport plane into the jungle on the Burma-India border. Sevareid and the other survivors knew that any rescue attempt would take several weeks so they had no option but to start walking.
They faced a daunting task – tropical heat, monsoon rains and a painful, 140 mile march over mountainous terrain. The torturous route to civilized India seemed almost impassable. The dream of salvation almost impossible.
As Sevareid recounts: “In the first hour of the march I rammed a boot nail deep into one foot: by evening I had bleeding blisters….on both feet. Could I hobble 140 miles? Could the others, some in worse shape than I, complete such a distance?
We were convinced we could not. But we could hobble to that ridge; we could make the next friendly village for the night. And that, of course, was all we had to do…”
This story is adapted from the “Magic of Thinking Big”, by David Schwartz. Written in 1959, this is a classic positive thinking and self-help book. Central to Schwartz’s argument is the importance of belief. If you believe something is possible, your mind gets to work for you – finding a way to achieve it.