The key to training ourselves, and trusting ourselves, is small steps, carried out

When we have to do something challenging, we may struggle and falter. And if this happens repeatedly, we may lose confidence and give up.

To succeed, we need to train ourselves and trust ourselves. Training ourselves centers on learning the knowledge and skills needed to meet that challenge. And trusting ourselves centers on keeping the promises we make to ourselves. And for both of these, the key is deciding small steps that we can take, and then taking those steps. Even if those steps are tiny, taking them assures us that we can do it, that we are trainable and trustable. And if we take those steps steadily, we cover substantial distances, eventually doing things that had earlier seemed impossible.

Suppose we are to learn a new language. If we start with simple sounds, simple words and simple meanings, and take the small steps necessary to learn those basics, we will gradually find ourselves easing into that language.

The same incremental approach works for our life’s most important challenge of learning to love Krishna, which alone can grant us lasting fulfillment. The Bhagavad-gita urges us to gradually, step-by-step, fix the mind on Krishna using our intelligence (06.25). And if the mind wanders anywhere else, we just patiently and persistently get it back to Krishna (06.26). Even if we can’t focus on him constantly, we can at least focus a little more than earlier and can render a little more service than earlier – through these, we can take tiny steps towards him. By taking these small devotional steps steadily, we will become purified, and our pure heart will become increasingly attracted to him, granting us inexhaustible, inalienable fulfillment.

If we thus take small steps towards Krishna, the unattainable-seeming absorption in him will become not only possible but also relishable.

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