First Step? Take A Leap!
When Starting Is The Hardest Thing
“You start from nothing and learn as you go.” – E. L. Doctorow
We’re all searching for that one little secret that’ll unlock all the mysteries of whatever we’re about to do. Some tidbit that’ll give us the assurance that it’s all clear skies and smooth sailing.
Whatever you’re about to do: Start doing it.
Don’t do any research, don’t ask any questions, don’t doubt. Don’t do anything else for the next 2 hours except what it is you want to do.
Here’s what’s going to happen if you decide to get advice and ideas on whether or not to do it: You won’t.
You’re probably looking for some kind of guarantee that this idea is worth the time and effort. That it’ll pay off.
The only thing this will lead to is more doubt and focus on everything else except gluing your butt to the chair and actually doing it.
Now, write the shittiest draft you’ve ever written. Begin writing an awful version of that song. Draw the ugliest version of whatever it is you want to draw.
Let it sit over night and come back to it tomorrow or in a couple of days.
Keep all the ideas that you think are good and save the ones that aren’t in a seperate file.
Then you go through the same process 3 more times. Then you post it online or show it to complete strangers and ask for their opinions.
You will get judged. Harshly. It might sting and you might have to cry.
Now that you’ve put yourself out there you’ve gotten some valuable feedback. That’s part of the research. Go out there and do some more research.
Finally you will have put a finished piece of work out there.
Was it a success? Was it a failure? Either way, you will have done it.
Now, look at the process you’ve gone through. You’re going to experience the very same things in your real life when becoming the person you wish to become.
What you do is simply go through the process.
It’s not going to be painless and there are no guarantees for success or “perfection”. However, you can choose to go through it with a certain amount of acceptance of that fact.
It’s not wrong to ask your fellow travellers what you should bring on your journey.
But don’t load your backpack full of techniques, ideas, outlines, concepts, etc before starting.
If you do, you’ll find the weight too heavy to lift.
Maybe start by taking 3 things with you so you can make it to the next town, check point, or whatever metaphor you want to use. Once there you ask for more advice and directions.
What no one can give you is a guarantee you’ll make it there on your first try or if it’ll be “worth it” in the end.
The only way you’ll know is by taking that first step and seeing where it leads you.