I had no interest in going 1,000 miles, but someone once told me “A journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step.”
I don't buy that. A journey of 1,000 miles doesn't start with a single step, though that's in there somewhere. Before you can take any steps, there's a whole ball of metaphysical nonsense that should be sorted out.
The best place to start is with existing. If you start before that, none of the information really sticks around because it doesn't exist. Even if you're doing it as someone else's mental construct, they would need to exist, so then we have to solve their existence first. The best place to start, for yourself, is by existing. Most of us do this by default, and don't really have too much trouble with it, though we seem to have some trouble deciding if we exist or not. That's not even mentioning the mess we make out of what to do when we do exist.
If you're not sure if you exist, I don't know what to tell you. Pretend. If you can fake it, that's all anyone can ask of you.
So. Existing. Thousand miles.
No one goes straight from existing to taking steps. I'm simplifying some, but if we assume you are yourself, then you probably make the decision to take a journey of 1,000 miles before taking the step. We could trace such a journey to that decision.
Somewhere in the fuzzy chemical exchanges of your brain, you decide “Oh, 1,000 miles...good idea.” And it sort of goes on from there. You probably don't even know that it happened for a second or two. After that you even have more work!
A single step? How about the nerve impulses to take that step? How about the chemical exchanges to initiate the muscle action of taking the step? How about the dozens of balancing muscles that keep you from doing a (thoroughly amusing) face plant into the concrete sidewalk, splattering nose goo, mixed with a healthy dose of nose blood, all over Mrs. Florin's, your imaginary neighbor (she can't take this journey, because she doesn't exist,) petunias? How about the ridiculously complex exchange of...you know...brain stuff that allows you to walk?
Huh? How about THAT?
Seriously though, I think the saying is a bit metaphorical, sort of saying that you need to begin before the end is in sight. That's also nonsense, but we don't have the technology to bend time or space or anything, so if you're interested in running 40 some marathons, you should probably make with the step-step.
I only needed to walk about half a mile to the grocery store to buy some pudding, because pudding is amazing and I had run out. But most of the same stuff applies. That neuron junk for sure. Not so positive on the existence jazz.
I opened my door to go out to my car, and there on the lawn stood someone I had not seen in almost a decade. My old friend (ok, we're not really friends, but I say he is to spare his feelings,) Something Other Than George or Bob stood there, still as a stump.
I politely refrained from punching him in the face (not punching someone is a good place to start for people you haven't seen in a long time,) and walked down to the curb, where my car was more or less parked.
Something Other Than George or Bob (I might call him SOTGoB sometimes, because he hates that,) turned around as I walked by. “Hey jerkface,” SOTGoB said, “You've been out of the peril stew for a long time, but this pudding-venture might prove, oh, I don't know, PERILOUS! So watch your back! Not really though, because that would mean breaking bones, or carrying a mirror all the time, and neither are good ways to avoid peril.”
I nodded to SOTGoB. “Whatever you say goblin man,” says I. “I'm off on a pudding-ventu...wait, you stole my word.”
Something Other Than George or Bob smiled a toothy, evil goblin (which he is,) all wicked and clever and with the green spit dripping out of the side of his half open mouth and said “Yeah, I do that.”
So I got in my car and drove to the food-mart. Which was kinda wasteful because I cold have walked there, but lack of pudding makes me impatient.
As a quick aside, I feel I should comment on my love for pudding. Just because I'm the king of the Gelatin Kingdom does not mean eating pudding is a betrayal of my people or their honor.
Gelatin and Pudding have had good diplomatic relations for many years and neither side feels bad about consuming the other for delight.
Once in the store, I found some pudding, which was even on sale. I bought them all, left, drove home, ran inside, forgot to not punch Something Other Than George or Bob (lack of pudding is to blame,) and sat down.
I barely even took the time to throw several tons of prepackaged pudding into storage on the way.
I grabbed a spoon, opened the cup, took a bite aaaaaand NOOOOO! Lime pudding! How horrible! Frantic, I ran to my storage to check the other boxes. Also lime pudding! Every single one! Nine tons of lime pudding!
Even worse, the coupons on the lids (all pudding comes with coupons on them, I'm pretty sure that's a law,) were expired! Double even worse, when I checked the receipt, they weren't really on sale. Man. Day ruined.
“Hah!” Something Other Than George or Bob said, nursing his black eye. “You thought I was joking didn't you? Moron.”
I looked at SOTGoB for a moment, so confused that I had nothing to say. “What?” Was all I managed. I almost cried depressed tears, but I was worried they'd melt the floor or something.
“Err,” Something Other Than George or Bob said. “I mean...here, let me try again.”
At this point, Something Other Than George or Bob stuck his head through the ground, breaking a large number of my floorboards in the process, and said “See? What did I tell you? Peril, Eh?”
“Ooooooh,” I said. “Now I get it.”