A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step - Meaning, Examples, Origin, Expansion, Importance

Meaning

The proverb ‘a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step’ means that big achievements are made through small but concrete resolves. Dreams and life goals are achieved by making a path plan and taking the first step towards it. The first step is most important because you may have big plans, but they will not materialize if you don’t take that first step.

Therefore, it is true that a journey that might last for a thousand steps actually begins with a single step.

Examples

Examples are the best way to understand the true meaning of a proverb. I am giving below some fresh examples based on the proverb ‘a journey of thousand miles begins with a small step’ that will let you better understand the proverb.

“The famous 240 miles Dandi March by Gandhi Ji was first started at his Ashram at Sabarmati, by taking the first step towards the coastal village of Dandi. True that a journey of thousand miles begins with a small step.”

“When I started the business, I had only one small outlet but today I own a chain of restaurants in the city, proving that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.”

“The officer told the commissioned soldiers – you have already taken the first step towards a lifelong glory and courage. Indeed a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”

“The teacher told the students – even if you don’t want to study, just try to sit with a book and read it. Such small yet significant steps may decide your future. As you all know that a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”

“I remember a motivational speaker told me once – ‘the first step that you take towards your dream or journey is the most important, as it indicates you resolve towards the goal or destination’, therefore it is true that a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Origin

The proverb ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ originated in China during the 6th century. A phrase similar appears in a Chinese religious text ‘Tao Te Ching’ composed by saint Laozi. The original text reads – “A journey of a thousand li, starts beneath one’s feet.” ‘Li’ in Chinese means mile.

Therefore, the proverb means that a journey of thousand miles starts beneath one’s feet which refer to the first step.

Since then the proverb has been transformed into different languages by sages, saints, and others. Today, it popularly used by motivational speakers across the globe.

Expansion of the Proverb

The proverb ‘a journey of thousand miles begins with a small step’ means that a long journey starts by taking a very small step towards the destination. The proverb signifies the first step as it indicates that the journey, howsoever, long, has already begun.

On the contrary, if the first step is not taken then the journey will remain only a dream and will never be realized. However long the journey is, it only materializes with the first step you take, that indicates your resolve.

The ‘journey’ here doesn’t specifically mean a journey or distance covered between two points, but also something as meaningful as a journey of life. To put it in simple words – If you have a dream and you want it to come true then you must chart out a plan and take that very important first step!

Importance

The importance of the proverb ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step’ teaches us that if we want to realize our dreams then we must not be hesitant towards making our initial moves. We should be fearless in taking the first step.

It also teaches us that howsoever, big the distance might seem or the dreams may be just too big to realize, but we should not be discouraged by these facts, rather should firmly begin the journey, confiding in our own abilities. Bottom line is that the journey could be a thousand miles long but it sure will be finished one day if you take the first step with determination and confidence.

Short Stories on ‘A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step’

Stories are the best way to understand the true morale of a proverb. Here I am giving below a couple of stories on the theme ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step’.

Short Story 1

Once there lived a famous King who was respected and loved by his subjects. The king had a large stable with many beautiful horses, but there was one exceptionally beautiful horse named ‘Wind’. He was tan, tall and the most handsome horse in the whole kingdom, but there was a problem. Wind was very stubborn and wouldn’t act on anyone’s command, not even the King’s. King had a long-cherished dream of touring hundreds of miles on the back of ‘Wind’ and exploring his kingdom with him. But, wind wouldn’t allow anyone on his back for long.

The King sought the help of a famous horse trainer from another kingdom. The trainer was so good in his job that people called him the magician of horses. The trainer came and looked at wind, the horse. He looked beautiful the most beautiful horse he had ever seen. But as soon as he tried to hop on its back, the horse started rearing aggressively, sending the trainer to the ground.

The trainer asked King’s permission to walk the horse just a couple of steps every day; although confused the King consented. Within a month the horse was trained and would gladly allow King to ride on his back. King was surprised by the development and asked the trainer, how he achieved it. The trainer replied – “Dear King, the journey that you want to go on with this beautiful horse of yours began with that every step the horse took a month back. That day I knew that if he has allowed me to ride even for a single step it will ultimately also allow you to ride for miles. After all, a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Short Story 2

Once there lived a boy who was not very good in studies but he had big dreams. He wanted to do something in life but was always fearful and hesitant. He would fear the consequences and outcomes and kill his dreams every day. He was exceptionally good in painting but would fear to talk about it. He wanted to pursue it as a career option but was afraid to ask his father for the same.

His mother knew about her son’s dream and asked him to talk to his father openly about it. She told him that unless he asks his father to send him to some professional drawing class, the answer would always be ‘no’. He has to ask first to make things work out for him.

However, the boy gathered courage and asked his father to send him to a special drawing class. The father first gazed in surprise then allowed the boy to join a class. The boy was elated that day. Years after that incident the boy successfully runs an exhibition of his own paintings.

When he looks back, he feels glad that he took that first step of asking his father that would embark him on a journey of his dreams. If he hadn’t taken that first step, things would have been pretty different today. Indeed it is true that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, the man thought to himself.