Often the most difficult part of any journey is the start.
…its also the most important.
Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to get started - we sense the significance of the beginning and want it to be *perfect*. This sense of perfectionism can be what keeps us on the starting block rather than getting busy with the task at hand.
I know I’m guilty of this.
It’s easy to be enamored with the idea of planning. If you analyze every possible option this will give you more information, more information will give you insight, insight will give you perspective, perspective will give you an advantage over the obstacles you will inevitably face. Or so the thinking goes.
One thing planning can’t do is actually get anything done!
The goal isn’t to develop the world’s most perfect plan — the goal is to do/be/make whatever awesome thing you set out to do/be/make!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that planning is a bad thing. On the contrary, planning is incredibly valuable. But it’s not everything, and its value shouldn’t be overestimated.
If you are anything like me, you can fall victim to “Analysis Paralysis” or its twin sibling “Option Paralysis”. Wherein the sheer number of available options, or the analyzation thereof, leaves you unable to make a choice and get moving.
The bottom line is that at some point you simply have to get started. If you are endlessly analyzing, planning, and fretting over *where* to start, allow me to suggest something: Start where you are.
That’s right, Start right where you are. Right here. Right now.
That may seem intimidating or preposterous, but it can also be incredibly energizing and liberating.
Just think about it:
• Its a paralysis antidote - starting where you are _immediately_ reduces your options down to a minimum (in a good way) and cuts right through the paralysis. Being limited to only the options accessable from your current position makes it that much easier to choose from those and get moving.
• It gives you momentum - starting right now means that every second after this point is already along the path to your goal
• It catalyzes your goals - actually starting something takes it out of the realm of dreaming and plants it firmly in reality.
and most importantly
• You can’t get anywhere unless you start.
I know you can probably think of a thousand reasons why starting here and now is impossible, and they may be good reasons, but the question is; why are you putting your energy into thinking up reasons _not_ to go after your goals rather than taking a crack at them?
Try this as an experiment: consider starting now as a “test run”. Tell yourself that its not really real and that you are free to get back to not starting as soon as this test is over. The parameters of the test should be simple - just do the things you would do if you really were starting.
Since this is a test you are encouraged to document the results. Don’t make this a project unto itself, just keep it simple.
• Jot down some notes about what you are doing as you progress.
• Record a voicemail stating an action you took and what happened.
• Write an email to yourself or someone encouraging about your project and its current steps.
• Make a picture / chart / sculpture / interpretive dance documenting one simple thing you have done as you proceed with your test.
After this, keep going.
Let me know what you come up with. :)