Take the first step and continue doing one more step each day

Why is that we don’t achieve the goals that we set to ourselves like losing weight, getting fit etc. Maybe, it’s because we never take the first step towards a goal in the first place. Then those of us who take that first step usually stop right after doing it. What is missing is the determination to continue to make small steps, day after day after day. As they say the road of 10,000 miles starts with the first step, but as I mentioned it’s more important to continue making step after step.

So, start small. Make a goal, say you want to lose weight. First, understand that most diets alone don’t work. Second, if you have no physical constraints start doing intermittent fasting going from long eating window to a short one. Then as you get used to fasting start incorporating walking into your fasting routine. Walking in a fasted state helps to lose more weight and also makes you feel good.

Write down your goal on a paper or digitally. Each day document the small step your took that day, summarize your progress. You can consider sharing your goal and your progress as you make it on social media which may help you to stick to your commitment due to peer pressure.

You can consider joining a support group or starting one yourself. Having other people engaged in the same activity, seeing their progress and how they overcome difficulties along the way could motivate you and provide you with a desire to persevere and move forward towards your goal.

In short, try to do something each day that moves you towards your goal just a little bit. Remember, that doing nothing is not going to help you in any way. But incremental steps in the end sum up to a long way you’ve made. The way that is taking you to where you want to be. Yes, it’s not easy. Yes, it takes will power. Yes, it’s uncomfortable at times and frustrating, but there is no other way.

Below comes a quote from Contact movie that summarizes it good

This is the way it’s been done for billions of years. Small moves, Ellie. Small moves.

‘Contac’, 1997


A user friendly introduction to math

For people who got scared of math in a school or college when it was taught in a such a way when no curiosity is fostered it is easy to dislike math. But if you still want to give math a try or even curious about mathematics then the How To Bake Pi book by Eugenia Cheng is maybe what you need.

This book is a gentle introduction to a wide audience of the Category Theory which is a part of pure mathematics. It does not require from a reader to be a math expert, but it does require at least a certain interest in math. Each chapter of the book starts with a recipe, usually related to pastries and then proceeds at looking how that recipe could be related to some aspect of mathematics in the first part of the book and to some aspect of Category Theory in the second part of the book.

What I particularly like about this Eugenia’s book is that it talks about sets, rings, groups and categories which are advanced concepts in math, but it is able to explain them in a friendly manner, by providing real world related examples and analogies. For example, she reminded a reader about how it’s possible to use a Pythagoras’s theorem to calculate a vertical and horizontal distances that a ‘real’ taxi cab travels in a city.

What I found most interesting to myself is her layered model of mathematical thinking that consists of three parts: knowledge, understanding and belief. Where understanding is in the middle and binds together knowledge and belief. Put in her own words:

We have knowledge, which is what the outside world sees, belief, which is what we feel inside ourselves, and understanding, which holds them together.

Cheng, Eugenia. How To Bake Pi. Profile Books, 2016: p. 272

What is interesting that Eugenia Cheng has written recently a new book on Category Theory which builds upon the foundations she laid in the How To Bake Pi book. The new book is The Joy Of Abstraction and it can be seen as a textbook for Category Theory presented in a user friendly manner that very much retains the spirit of How To Bake Pi.