In this podcast episode, Zander Sprague and Aurora Winter discuss various captivating stories, including a 3 a.m. adventure, a risky suggestion at an adult store, and a thrilling encounter with an anaconda in Venezuela. The hosts share amusing anecdotes about peculiar highway signs, particularly in Oklahoma and Maine. The conversation leads to reflections on the importance of taking small steps, especially during challenging times, and the power of resilience and overcoming obstacles.

Listen to the podcast here


Taking One Step Forward, Part 2

Ask For Help

Talk to someone who knows how to get help because a lot of time we spend so much energy spinning our wheels, trying to do something on our own and insult something on our own. If we simply ask someone else or mention to someone else that we were stuck, “I am so stuck. I keep buying ice cream. I don’t know why I’m doing it. I don’t want to do it.” You mentioned to someone else and then they go, “I get that.” I know honestly as a small business owner the times that I’ve spent hours trying to solve a problem and if I simply reached out to someone, someone goes, “I hit that last month. Here’s how I solved it.” Five seconds solve for something that I spent two hours trying to fix.

Most people wouldn’t count asking for help as a thing, but it’s difficult many times.

There are some people who ask for help as second nature. Back in college, there was a professor who asked if my middle name was I Have A Question. That’s because I’m there to learn, and if I’m not learning if I don’t get it, I will screech everything to a halt because I am there to learn. I don’t mind admitting that I don’t know, but there are lots of people who for whatever reason, pride or ego, don’t know how to ask for help.

I remember, years ago, I did a coaching class. We were all given practice things that and some other people practice like asking for help or speaking up. For me was like, “How was that even work.” My practice was to pay attention when I stopped listening to other people. For some people, “I don’t get it that’s not hard,” but for me, it’s nearly impossible. It’s impossible for me to pay attention to when I’ve stopped listening to other people and I want to bulldoze a conversation. I’m interrupting people and wanting to get my point out and have them sit as a captive audience. That’s why my getting up and being able to speak in front of people is good for everyone else in my life because now I’ve gotten my fix and I’m much better at less.

I like what you’re saying about asking for help because that could be a step forward. I think people who are sick or even if their body wants to have a nap, you can count that as something you’ve done or even you’ve been good with your drinking your water, “I drink my water.”


EPIC Begins With 1 Step Forward | Taking One Step Forward


This is terrible. I’m not even at 7:00 AM. I have not drunk my water.

What’s going on?

It started off with trying to get some term life insurance. They come. I had to get height and weight and blood pressure. I didn’t drink a lot of water because I didn’t want all that water weight to show up and make it look like I weighed. I drink 32 ounces of water and even 8 ounces of water. They said, “Weigh yourself in the morning because that’s your true weight,” and I do that but I’m always amazed that even having a glass of water I go and I step on the scale and I’m 1 pound up. That’s because now you’ve hydrated a little in your cells of expanded and even though you go that should only be 8 ounces, but it’s not. It somehow translates into more.

About the one step, the funny thing is when I feel really blue, I feel like, “I’m never going to get out of here. It’s dark. It feels like the Sahara Desert. There’s no way.” When I feel normal, I can’t even remember that feeling because it’s never lasted forever, maybe one day. We can speak to that person when they’re feeling the Sahara Desert. You can help them take that one tiny step and then the next step could be tiny and the next step could be baby.

Understand The Steps You Need To Take

Part of what I want to say is to write down what you think the steps are that you need to take because when you do that you’ve identified it and now you can look at that one step and focus on that one step. I’ll go back to as I always do talk about training for the marathon and I had a schedule. I didn’t have to worry about all of it. I had to worry about, “Today I need to go run for 45 minutes. Highly doable. I can move forward for 45 minutes. I don’t have to worry about tomorrow because when I get to tomorrow, I’ll have it.”

We spend so much energy trying to spin our wheels or trying to do something on our own instead of simply reaching out to someone who’s solved the same problem.

When you’re trying to do that, when you have that one step, all I need to do is write this one email. That’s it. It takes you five minutes. Now you’re done. You get to check that off. Don’t worry about the rest until tomorrow. I talked to many high school students and I said, “When you have to write a paper, ten-page paper can be a lot,” but when you chunk it up and you slice it like a pizza and you go, “All I need to do is write a page today and tomorrow, I’ll write another page.” If you get on a roll, then you can write more but if all you have to do is write that 1-page today, what happens is that 10-page paper all of a sudden becomes a lot more doable because you’re not trying to do it all at once. You say, “Okay.” You have that feeling of closure, “I got that task done. That circle is closed. I got that accomplishment. I have that check mark,” or however you want to say.

To me, that person who’s deep in the well, understand what steps you think you need to take. Understanding that there may be a lot more steps involved. But at least you start to do it and once you start to do it, there’s that momentum of, “I did that,” and maybe you write that one email and think, “That wasn’t that hard. Let me go to the next one. I’ll do two today. I’m feeling good.”

Break it down into little steps and give yourself a pat on the back when you do those little steps because I think exactly. You’ve got expertise in helping people through grief. You’ve dealt with other people with depression, marriage and family problems and I’m sure a bunch of other things. Have you ever seen or experienced a client who is super stuck?

Certainly. I had a client who was such a big Eeyore. I spent 45 minutes reframing, finding the good, focusing on the stuff that was good in their day and even said, “You got up, got dressed and you made it to school on time.” That’s a victory. You don’t think that is, but it is. When you’re depressed, it could be that you got out of bed and you took a shower today. No problem. For anyone who’s ever had a child as a baby sometimes getting your shower in is the victory of the day.

If you’re a parent of that newborn, your victory for the day could be that you got to take a shower. Even though I remember before I had children, I was like, “The baby is sleeping when it’s first born for 18 or 20 hours a day. How do you not have time to somehow get a shower that takes you 15 minutes?” You have no idea that it’s not like the baby is just asleep for eighteen hours. The baby is asleep for one hour and then you are feeding and changing.

I’m here to learn, and if I’m not learning, if I don’t get it, I am going to screech everything to a halt. I am here to learn, so I don’t mind admitting that I don’t know.

They go back to sleep. You’re exhausted because you’ve been doing this all the way through you have no idea. It’s light or dark, and that’s it. You have no idea what day it is you. That somewhat goes with the Coronavirus where I remember when I first started, I put up on Facebook this thing. It was a quote from Downton Abbey, “What’s the weekend?” That was Maggie Smith playing Dane Grant and someone mentioned the weekend, she goes, “What’s the weekend?”

It’s a recent invention.

I remember my parents were watching and they loved that line. He was like, “That’s classic.” I was like, “It’s funny how it comes around.” On The Today Show, they’re like, “Welcome. Today is Tuesday.” When you’re in your house the whole time and you’re not leaving, you don’t have any concept. It’s light or dark, “I have no idea what day it is, what day of the week doesn’t matter.”

If you were to come up with three tips to take that one step. You’ll have better steps. What I’ve heard so far is to stop seeing freaking hard on yourself. The second step is what’s the smallest possible step. How can you break it down and take that one teeny tiny step, even if it’s taking a shower or sending one email and give yourself absolute credit for that and what would the third one be?

What I would do is stop being hard on myself make a list of the steps and then decide on that one step you’re doing today no matter how small you think it is. Know that you’re done for today. You could do more but you don’t have to do more than that. You don’t have to do all the steps at once. If you’re feeling highly motivated and creative go for but if that’s all you can do you did it you get to check it off, you can sit on the couch and binge-watch whatever because you took one step forward.

Stop being so hard on yourself. Make a list of the steps, and then decide on that one step you’re taking today, no matter how small you think it is.

I liked what you also said when you were helping that, “Kid count things that you maybe take for granted like going to school, having a shower or drinking your water. When you’re stalled or discouraged, you honor even the littlest things.”

That’s part of what makes that 97, there’s much that you do. We don’t even give it credit. We don’t even frankly think about it until someone points out and goes, “You already did. Here it is 2:48 PM Aurora and look at all that you’ve done so far today.”

“I showered.”

You dressed, showered, ate something, and showed up on time for the meeting. All of those things are victories. We get so much more right in our day than we get wrong. There are days that are unmitigated disasters. Even within that, there is actual there are parts of it that are good.

We need to exert a little bit of effort to notice and appreciate those. Anything I like to do is I like after a day that maybe was not good same way, it’s a new day and have that fresh energy about it, “Today is a brand new day. Whatever happened yesterday is yesterday’s news.”

Getting caught up in the shoulda, woulda and couldas. Dog chasing its tail. We all have shoulda, woulda and couldas, but that’s an endless cycle that you get into. It’s fine to acknowledge what you should have done and what you could have done and what you would have done? Now you have that knowledge so the next time you can.

You can stop beating yourself up about yesterday.

The other thing I find myself and curious about your comments is it quick for us to go, “I did that, but I didn’t do this.” You did this great interview and it was wonderful and unexpected. You weren’t sure if she was going to get back to you and she’s got a list and she’s supportive. You didn’t do these other videos that you wanted to do. This thing was huge. Do you have any comments to help people remember what they did and not just go, “I did that?”

You’re Fantastic

We are all fantastic and every day, we’re all doing fantastic things. Don’t forget how fantastic you are because frankly if you don’t believe that you’re fantastic, how do you expect anyone else to? I have to be my number one fan if I don’t believe in me, how can I expect People out there to believe in me? If we keep in mind that we’ve all done fantastic things, again, the small things, “I drank my water. I went for a walk. I got a shower. I got out of bed.”

I remember after Lucy was killed, and I talk about it all the time. It was all I could do to get out of bed. I was tired. I forced myself after a couple of weeks to get into the gym. I thought, “I’m going to be asleep at my desk at 3:00e in the afternoon to get fired.” Luckily, I had a good manager who had I felt honestly understood enough of what was going on with me that he probably would have said, “Try not to do that,” and that broke that cycle. Sometimes for people with a depressive episode, getting out of bed can be a victory. No problem.

I like what you’re pointing out a little bit of exercise can help even if it’s just a walk around the block.

It breaks that cycle of depression of, “I’m tired. I’m going to sleep all the time,” which makes you more tired and depressed. Endorphins are our own natural antidepressant. Is it going to instantly rake you out of it? No, but you will feel better. a lot of times people go, “That’s what I had to be to school on time.” You still made it on time. There are people who don’t make it to school on time.

It’s a first-world problem. Most people have a head roof over their heads and a fridge. Some people are dealing with fears about that. Generally speaking, anybody who’s reading your book or listening to your podcast has first-world problems. Exercise and gratitude are still my go-to. There’s 97% to be grateful for.

Celebrate the little things be gentle with yourself when it doesn’t go exactly as you imagine or doesn’t go at all. It is part of the journey.

It seems like it could be a good part one of the one-step chapter, to celebrate great things.

Now if we can only replicate it when we’re doing it for real.

As far as the transcript goes, the transcript could be fine and I did record it.

It’s not like I’m talking about this all the way.

That’s a wrap for the one step forward part one, go to EpicBegins.com to find out more. I’d love to know more about your thoughts on the one step next time. That was very interesting. That was good. I bet you have more to say about that. That was already meaningful and it could be the book chapter we sliced and diced for a YouTube.

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