If you have two working legs you should always take the stairs.
We live in a world where everything is designed to simplify our lives so that we can focus on the “bigger things.” But frankly, it’s sometimes the smaller things in life that we need to appreciate more.
Take your health for example. Think about the last time you were sick. Whenever we get sick, our main focus is on our own health. Do we worry about the stock market dropping, what team Lebron James is going to play for next, or what we will be doing with our lives in 5 years? Of course not! All we think about is how badly we just want to not be sick and just be healthy again.
But yet when we are healthy, we don’t think about how lucky we are to just be healthy. Instead we worry about the other problems we have with our lives. The same concept applies with our legs.
Everyday we move from Point A to Point B without thinking much. We go about our day driving our cars, walking across the street, riding the bus. All in an almost robotic state.
Maybe if you have a Fitbit you might check it at the end of the day to see what you did. Understand that most of those steps came without conscious decisions being made. Rarely do we stop to consider how fortunate we are to be able to move from Point A to Point B so effortlessly.
An easy way to take gratitude in our health is to take the stairs. Using the stairs is not a decision that takes much thought, but if we have the freedom to make the decision (since there are those out there without the use of their legs who cannot) we just need to do it.
The physical benefit is obvious: it takes more effort to walk up steps than it does to just stand on an escalator. Sure those calories burned are beneficial, and will add up depending on your day to day life, but they are just a small part of the benefits. Taking the stairs is more than just being physically healthier, it’s about becoming a more driven, disciplined person by changing your state of mind.
Every time you pick the stairs over an easier route you are wiring your brain to take the route of self improvement, to take the higher road, and to take the road less traveled (literally less traveled if you have ever seen a line for the escalator while the adjacent staircase is empty). With each step you build momentum and confidence. Each step makes you a little bit better than you were.
Every time you get to the top of the staircase you feel a small sense of accomplishment that you wouldn’t have felt if you had taken the escalator instead. Those extra couple of ounces of effort leads to a little taste of success that prompts you to realize “I can do this all the time.”
Soon it becomes a habit and you begin to realize “If I can do this, what is stopping me from doing the next thing?” This change in mindset will be what pushes you to create your next habit and to accomplish your next goal. Small goals are much easier to conquer, and although the improvements might be small, they will eventually add up.
There is so much possibility in this world and so much that you can accomplish. All you need to do is just take it step by step.
All you need to do is just take the stairs.
Originally published at medium.com