Taking Baby Steps: An Esse Duo Guide to Getting Things Done

“One small step for a man, one giant leap for a baby” ~ Someone, Somewhere, Probably.

Got an idea in mind but you’ve got seemingly no clue where to start?

Many of us struggle with procrastination. Putting off an errand until the very last minute, or even until it’s too late. And, to our dismay, we occasionally go through periods of stagnation where we may feel as if our creativity is just not working out in our favour. 

Well, paging Doctor Baby, here are some inspiring, effective (and innocent) approaches we could learn from Mother Nature’s little bundles of joy.

1. All you gotta’ do is be prepared

“At two months old, babies have better control over their motor skills than they had at birth. While they can’t yet grip a toy that you place in their hands, they may jab at a few things within their reach.”

– a mother

Being prepared is not just a question of whether you’ve got the necessary tools and skills in your arsenal. The real question is: “Are you in control?”. I ask this because you’re going to need to take a brief moment of your time to reflect and ponder, “What are your hopes for this?”. Every resolution began with a motivation, and that motivation was built upon some source of inspiration. The two main questions of ‘how do I start?’ and ‘how do I continue?’ can both be answered through the mastery of one self-guided force: willpower.

It’s not an oversimplification, especially if one truly understands how much significance the word entails; ‘willpower’ means ‘success’. Success demands careful planning, the ability to rationalise how dire a situation is, a bold determination, effective recovery from failures, accepting turmoil when things go south, an idealised vision of the cause’s end and risking everything for it.

2. Don’t be afraid of taking risks

“At four months old, the average infant has developed the art of staying alert. This is no wonder, because with each passing day they are exposed to more and more different stimuli. To a baby, practically anything could be new, from the sounds of a chirping bird to the sight of a massive skyscraper; even a funky new flavour on their taste buds is a pivotal new experience.”

– a mother

A baby does not rely on merely one of their senses. A baby will try to make as much use out of all their senses as possible. Nothing in life is in black and white; how could a baby see any different? While there could be things that set out to hurt you, or at the very least things that give off that impression, remember that nothing could truly harm you unless you allow it to. What things look like aren’t always what things are, and it could perhaps be that you’re just seeing something familiar from a different angle.

So get curious. Utilise everything you’ve got. See into situations for yourself, take heed of and listen to the warnings of others but don’t take them to heart, and reach your own conclusions. You shouldn’t see every potential sign of danger as a deterrence. There are times where you should embrace and overcome them to see what opportunities life has in store for you. At the end of every quest lies a reward: see where it takes you. Just do be sure you have a plan.

However, remember this little mental note: when I say to take risks, I mean for you to approach them carefully. There is a fine line between being pragmatic and throwing your life away recklessly. What’s more, be double sure not to endanger the lives of others.

3. Take a breather (and cry)

“Parenting 101: Never believe the myth that babies cry for nothing.”

a mother’s instincts

Don’t let anything hold you back. Not even your ego. Crying is a natural response to pain. I guarantee you that at some point pain will be felt. You can either detest that statement or accept it with honour. The real test is not about how much physical or emotional pain you can withstand, but how well you work towards healing from it. Now, don’t mistake what I’m saying to mean “recover as quickly as possible”. Granted, while time can be of the essence, you should spare a little time for yourself. By that I mean ‘all’ of you. When working towards something big, be sure to:

Maintain a balanced diet; don’t starve yourself.

Lead a healthy social life; isolation was never a prerequisite.

Follow a thoughtfully planned schedule; you’re doing this out of passion.

Love yourself, too; no amount of work will ever reciprocate any feelings.

Lastly, follow your heart. Y’know, like a baby does.

While it’s good to have an objective mindset when facing any given task, life, and everything that revolves around it, is very much open to subjective interpretations. 

4. Get help wherever possible

“Within the first few months after birth, babies need to feed at least once every three hours. However, some babies may not be so willing to wake up from deep sleeps, unwittingly resulting in self-deprivation. This is not a good sign and it is encouraged that their parents wake them up between every three-hour interval, specifically for feeding.”

a mother’s sacrifice

It’s okay to ask for help. However, because so few are freely willing to lend a helping hand, you’re going to have to put in additional effort to reach out. Asking for help does not remotely make a person dependent, or weak. In fact, the whole idea of ‘independence’ is very much controversial. Even the strongest countries are forced to depend on other nations to make up their production deficit; are we individual humans beings any different?

Also, whenever you inform others about your plans, stand firm by your principles. I say this is because people can’t get tired of having an opinion. Be smart. Tell things as they are, answer their questions, and don’t offer more information than what was asked for. Only if they’re going to help do they have the right to know. Get the help you need, appreciate the assistance, and keep unhelpful opinions from affecting your progress.

5. Learn new things along the way

“While a baby’s capacity for cognitive processes are limited, their affinity for discovering new things from expectations and experiences are extraordinary, not to mention, adorable. At eight-months-old, they enter the phase of getting ‘busy’”.

little baby, big questions

So apparently, you’re not a baby anymore, but I’m assuming that you’ve already made peace with that fact. After all, growing doesn’t stop there. By advancing your individual patterns of cognition you’ve essentially allowed yourself to have more freedom in pursuing a plethora of paths. Life is full of endless opportunities, and it has a funny way of making sure you’ll see them all.

Life is like a river. Flowing, rapid, never stale. So, if you’re within your comfort zone, think twice about how long that’ll last. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Further, a river flows in one direction. While it might intertwine with nearby streams, or divide into smaller waterways, the constant remains the same: never go back to where you were. 

Picking up a skill or learning a new theory is important for another reason: it shows everyone, including yourself, how much you’ve grown up. And don’t ever stop there and then; you should enhance your understandings further and further. 

6. Know your limits

“Babies aren’t the masters of their own journeys just yet. They still require years of parental guidance before the baton of responsibility is passed on to them.”

part of the journey

You have your rights, but you’ve also got to understand your own limits. You have the right to swim at sea, but you should know beforehand how long you can float for. If you’ve lived out your early adolescence, you should be able to relate to the ‘adventure high’. After all, we’ve all felt young and smart when we were actually just young and stupid. That’s the whole point of growing up, isn’t it? To try and live hedonistically, while putting off the inevitable reality until it is too late. Extra emphasis on the word ‘try’ because you’ll never really know the true outcomes of a decision you’ve made until you’ve reached that journey’s end. There’s no problem with that, because one of the best ways to learn is through trial and error.

You do not acknowledge your limits just so that they can act as friction between you and the path you aspire to lead. You acknowledge them to practice a very important virtue: self-respect. I would be lying if I said this shouldn’t apply to everything you do. Exercising self-respect boosts your self-esteem because you’re showing yourself that you’re not easily swayed by temptations, much less by others. You make your own choices and only you’ll know when enough is enough.

7. Take it day by day

“At 10 months old, babies nap on average one hour per day. Additionally, the little one could very well already recognise simple phrases and gestures such as ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘hello’, and ‘bye-bye’”.

a milestone

I highly doubt that for parents one measly hour is enough to make up for the countless hours of lost sleep. Yikes. Still, the initiative for development, for parents and baby alike, is not yet finished. Mum and dad try to make every single day count, fearing they may never get another shot at it. Whilst this is the parents’ main concern, the baby is figuring out a deeper, more convoluted dilemma: the comprehension of language.

Although many conclude that cognitive processes occur naturally to children, this by no means makes learning their first language an easy feat. And just in case you were wondering: yes, parents do feel immense pride in watching their kids pass off coughs and sputters for ‘hello’!

So, take it slow. Everything happens at its own pace. Slow and steady may not win the race, but let’s be honest, you don’t want a measly ‘win’, you want it grand. The great virtue of patience does play a vital role in progression.

Remember to take a break now and then. Hard-working days yield to peaceful, well-earned nights, and a rest beneath the stars is an important, self-bestowed reward. Like the day to the night, your hard work becomes something greater.

8. Never give up

“Between 9 to 12 months old, babies will make their first adorable attempts to try and stand on their own two feet. If personal experiences have taught me anything, some infants want to skip walking and go straight into running.”

walk with me

There is an innate drive to want to walk. It’s the ‘first step’ towards total independence. You’ve come this far. Quitting will do you no good. Believe me, many have felt the shame of calling things quits, but they won’t so easily tell you. You’re alive and you’ve decided that it’s possible. You can go for gold. 

It’s important to stay optimistic. It’s interesting (and funny) how babies do not have the instinct to be defeatists. Never relenting, they’ll try over and over again without a trace of self-doubt, and they certainly won’t give a hoot about their own clumsiness.

It’s time to stand on your own two feet against all odds. Are you ready, baby?

You May Also Enjoy:

The Idea of Want

Finding clarity amid the chaos of loss

5 thoughts on “Taking Baby Steps: An Esse Duo Guide to Getting Things Done

  1. Fadzilah Awang September 1, 2020 / 4:38 pm

    Brilliant articles. Have provided me the horizon of how to look at things from different perspectives n to understand them.


  2. Fadzilah Awang September 4, 2020 / 1:53 pm

    A thorough and well thought writing. Your style has sparks Emir! Keep it up!


  3. Gottfried December 10, 2020 / 1:22 pm

    I’ve done my bit for the community


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