Start where you are

This post is a little late this week, and I was looking for a best way to word it before deciding to just go ahead with it, in the spirit of the post.

We talk a lot about factors that we believe to be necessary for any great endeavor to begin. We believe a great deed requires preparation, inspiration, motivation, and many more -ations. It’s truly amazing that we get anything done at all.

I too am guilty of this. Too often I think that I’ll start doing something once I’ve saved up for and bought specialised equipment; once I’ve lost weight; once I’m more confident. So the time passes, and I’m still where I’ve always been. The truth is that things don’t change unless we change them, and time will pass, and you will wish you had started a long time ago.

A tool I use for battling this tendency is to stick with small steps, and ask myself: ‘What can I do right now that would bring me closer to this goal?’

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

— Arthur Ashe

Instead of putting things off for that nebulous moment when you will be a different person in a different place, think about what you can do right now. Instead of putting together a long shopping list, start by using things you have to hand. Even the tiniest steps will bring you closer to your target. And getting going can give you momentum to keep going, making the next step that much easier.

Once you start doodling with an old biro on a scrap of paper, your inspiration for artwork will come. Once you start getting a few words on a page, your novel will sprout from your imagination. Once you start snapping away on your phone’s camera, you will learn to see with a photographer’s eye, bringing you closer to a great shot. Once you start walking to the shops instead of driving, that long hike will feel more achievable.

All you need to do is start.

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