Three steps forward, two steps back? No, take five steps forward instead

Three steps forward, two steps back

I don’t know how universal this expression is, where it came from, or what exactly it’s meant to be about. I do have a rough idea, though.

You take three steps forward, but something happens and you need to take two steps back. In the end, you’ll end up having made one step instead of three steps. It’s still better than making no progress, and you can probably learn some lessons while taking two steps back as well.

But I wonder.

Isn’t there a way to avoid taking two steps back and to keep moving forward? That is, can’t we take five steps forward without backing down at all?

Take five steps instead

As an answer to this question, it occurred to me that if we turn around when we’ve taken three steps and if we walk backwards for the next two steps, then we will have taken five steps forward, provided that we turn around again after the 5th step. I’d also encourage you to smile right there, too, because you’ve managed to move for five steps forward instead of one step!

(Of course it’s a funny assumption that you need to take two steps back when you may not need to do so at all in reality or when you may need to take five steps back, but let’s assume that you have five steps to spare and turning around is OK.)

Does this sound somewhat absurd? I hope it does. After all, this blog is supposed to be sometimes absurd and I need to make sure that you get some sort of absurdity from here at times.

Reflective two steps (of the non-backing down nature)

So, let’s say this much has been absurd so far. What I said about taking five steps does sound neat to me, but when I came up with this idea, initially, I didn’t know how to interpret it in real life situations. I thought about it for a while, and came up with the following interpretation.

You take three steps. Then you turn around and check these three steps – you check what you’ve accomplished so far, how you took those steps, your foot prints and so on.

In order to learn from those three steps by checking them, it’s better to step back a little so you can see it from a distant perspective.


You take two steps back. Since you’ve turned around, you are walking into the direction towards which you took three steps initially. And there, you’ll be able to reflect on your initial three steps. Once you’ve studied about them, turn around again. Now smile. You are ready to keep moving again.

The idea is, in short, this. When you need to take two steps back, don’t back down. Turn around and move forward by walking backwards so you can review what you’ve done.

It’s a reminder for myself – a reminder to review what I’ve done. It’s a reminder for you too. We can use this weekend (or any other day depending on when you are reading this post) to reflect on our three steps by turning around and taking two steps back.

Make sure to notice and celebrate any small achievements you’ve made! Also, make sure to turn around again after the reflection.

Face your destination again and keep moving on.

What are your small achievements this week, this month, in the last year, or in the past? Share with me in the comment section below! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


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Photo: ro gianesi