We regard hell as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering but I am convinced that we create our own “hell” on a daily basis, when we refuse to start things and when we leave the things we start – unfinished. ‘Not finishing’ is perhaps going to be another column but for today I’m focused on ‘the Start.’
What exactly are you waiting on to start? Some sort of confirmation that gives you the green light to proceed or perhaps a loud clap of thunder with a lightning flash just as you’re about to begin? This is not going to happen. You already know this but you remain frozen in place, unable to step into the unknown.
Ok so it’s the unknown that’s holding you back. I understand. You would like a guarantee that it’s the right path, that you’re doing the right thing, that you’ve adopted the right system and formula for your ultimate success. Sorry, no guarantee here either.
Tell me, how long have you been looking for ‘THE WAY’? And let me ask you this “have you encountered perhaps one, maybe two ways that felt right to you as you searched? Why didn’t you choose one to follow? Have you thought about maybe combining different aspects of different ways that suit you best onto a path that felt like a “yes” for you?”
We spend so much time trying to find the RIGHT way that we stay in the same position, year in, year out THINKING about starting. We research, analyze, read, talk to people, read about other people stepping forward and in the meantime do nothing.
Bryan Hutchinson, author of ‘Good Enough – Stop Seeking Perfection and Approval’ says “As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. But for one reason or another, I always put off the dream. I set it aside and allowed time to pass, doing things that seemed more important. I built up excuses in my mind about opening myself up, not thinking anyone would want to read my words. But in reality, I was succumbing to the death knell of so many would-be writers. I was stalling, because I didn’t want to be exposed and rejected. I neglected to take the most important step you can take in pursuing your dream: the first one. You’ve got to START.”
You’ve got to commit and begin or else you’ll be searching for your entire life! This is a lesson that I only just learned: Whatever path we commit to, it will show us what we most need to know, but we must first COMMIT…
Looking back, I’ve skipped from one thing to the next searching for ‘the way.’ I felt sure that there was some formula, system, and method that would lead to success or peace of mind. I abhorred discomfort. I wanted certainty. I wanted to be sure. It never happened. Looking back over the years and examining the various paths that emerged – any one of those paths I committed to taking, would have taught me what I most needed to know at that time. The only reason why I didn’t take it was because I was waiting on the world to tell me that I was doing the right thing. I was focused on getting the approval of folks (people I didn’t know or may never meet; people I did know and respected).
And every ONE of those paths held in it what I most wanted to share (whether the path was print brokering, performing in a band, writing speeches, doing workshops in direct marketing, customer service or leadership development, facilitating a mastermind, or consulting) : that we are in charge of our lives; that we need not numb ourselves to our lives with food, drugs, alcohol, or having too much of a good time; that ALL things work for our good if we don’t run away and stay for the lesson; that we each have something to offer in our own way and that when we begin to live within the context of our contribution that we would be content and live abundantly; that our brain is more powerful than we could ever imagine; that we must learn to THINK (really THINK) for ourselves and not let others dictate how we should live, what we should feel, what we should do; that where we are is where we’re supposed to be and we need to do our best in that place; that we cannot do it alone and we need help, not in the instruction, but for the duration of the journey because on our own, we’ll give up once we’re bored or not getting results fast enough, and we need someone to help us through that difficult passage and usher us into our light.
In her book ‘When Things Fall Apart’ Pema Chodron has captured what I’ve tried to just explain “I began to see that in some way, no matter what subject I had chosen, what country I was in or what year it was, I had taught endlessly about the same things.”
So what am I saying is to begin where you are – choose a path and stick to it. You must commit to or else the first sign of discomfort will send you scampering for something else.
Germany’s Shakespeare Goethe said “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!” I was inspired by the boldness of Tim Sanders, New York Times bestselling author, public speaker, and former Yahoo! Executive who announced recently on Facebook
“I’m going to invest the next few years into teaching sales professionals and entrepreneurs how to leverage creative thinking to solve problems and succeed in life. Very excited to go on this (new) journey to explore the other Killer App besides love…Creativity.”
You might be thinking “of course Tim could say that, he’s a bestselling author, he speaks in public for goodness sakes!” But Tim, just like you and me, and all the other favourites…let’s see…that would include Oprah, Denzel, Tyra, Barack, Hillary, Stephen, Seth, Adam or Maya…had to start. Now it’s your turn: What can you start today?