Just Start

What is the one thing you most want to do in your life, that you haven’t yet even started? Look at your to do list. Or think about something you really want to do, that you haven’t dared to even put on your list. Starting an intentional community, or your own business. Asking someone for a date. Going someplace you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Learning something that would let you love what you do for a living. Walking away from something that has caused you too much unhappiness. Reconnecting with someone you really miss. Healing your body (exercise, diet), or your spirit (meditation), or a broken relationship. Why haven’t you started?

If it’s a huge and imposing task or leap, break it down into manageable pieces. Make the first step small, pleasurable, and easy. Some early research., a phone call, a conversation.

If you’re afraid of failure, imagine what might happen if you overcame that fear, and lived this dream you have, and contrast it to the worst thing that could happen if you actually failed. Make a list of the things you could do to mitigate both the likelihood of failure, and the severity of consequences of failure — like learning more, getting someone to help you, or thinking it through carefully, alone or with someone else. Now compare the best case versus the (mitigated) worst case again. What would the first step be?

If you’re being held back by obstacles, list them, analyze them, and deconstruct them. List the steps needed to overcome them. What’s the biggest obstacle, and what’s the first step to getting past it?

Now, look at the first step, and just start: Today, Right now. No excuses. If you’re holding back, break that first step into even smaller and simpler pieces, and do the first one.

If you don’t start, it could soon be too late. You (or someone who’s integral to this project) might fall ill or die, or a crisis (personal or societal) could arise tomorrow that would put an end forever to an opportunity that exists today.

Don’t think too much. You can rationalize not starting very easily (and you’ve probably had lots of practice)! Just take that first tiny step. I bet once you take it, the next step will be much easier.

No putting it off until tomorrow. You might as well put it off a century. First step. Right now. Stop reading this. Tell yourself what the first step is, imagine yourself doing it, successfully, tell yourself you’re going to do it. Stand up.

Just start.

(the intriguing artwork is by rodrigo from this site)

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2 Responses to Just Start

  1. Kate says:

    Dave, I think you’re cool. Thanks, brother.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    Right back atya, Kate.

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