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Arrow Tip #51: Sometimes You Have to Take a Step Backward, to Take a Bigger Leap Forward

I was watching some kids the other day compete to see who could jump the furthest. One by one they took off from their starting point, each hurling themselves as far as they could go...but one kid decided to take a different approach. Taking 5 steps backward, behind everyone else, he got a running start and sailed past his friends...winning the game. Victory!

If you didn't know better you might think the one starting behind everyone else was at a disadvantage. But he understood the game. He didn't see it as being 5 steps back. Nope. He KNEW this would give him what he needed to be the WINNER.

Can't life be this way? I know for me there've been situations where it appeared that I was going backward instead of forward. In hindsight those steps back allowed me to go further and higher in the long run. Without them, I would never have made the giant leap necessary to cross the cavern.

In areas of my life where profound progress took place, each of them started with what felt like major steps backward. I can't say those steps felt good at the time. Often it was confusing. I might have even classified it as "failure" in the moment. But in every single case that "backward" motion resulted in me rising higher. I try to remember this when things don't go according to my plan. I change my perspective because I've had enough experiences now to realize that as long as I keep my focus on Point B, then falling behind at Point A only means I have more power at my disposal.

What looks like a step or more back, is really just a matter of understanding. Leverage your power by changing your mindset. Begin to see your setbacks as only increasing your odds of going further, higher, and faster. Consider the possibility that starting out behind may give you more energy and inertia to win in the end. And when situations in your life have you confused about how you ended up where you are today, just keep your focus on the prize and know that this extra distance is exactly what you need to take that trophy home!



  1. If you're experiencing what feels like a step backward, see the power that can come from this new place.

  2. With this viewpoint, understand that while it might take you a little longer to get back to the launchpad, the energy you harness on the way back to Point A will enable you to go much further, faster, and higher than you originally planned.



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