September 5th, 2012 by Kelly Kienzle

 A client recently sent me an interesting manifesto, “How to Be Legendary” about how to develop new habits and get things done.  One of its central points was that if we want to start following our dreams, then we need to begin.  The author put it even more succinctly: “Step 1: Begin”.

 Such a simple step to take, but often the one we never take.  And so, of course, nothing happens.  What is it about beginning that is so difficult?  What do we fear about it?  We often say that our worries are about how things will end or what will happen along the way.  Not how they will begin.

Often we don’t begin because we believe we are not ready, or our colleagues are not ready, or the board is not ready, or the market is not ready, or any other number of reasons.  Yet often the very act of doing something will give us the impetus to become ready.  However, we persist in our waiting.

One of my favorite children’s books is Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go”.  There is a poignant section in there about “the Waiting Place” which is described as:

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite

Or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night

Or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

Or a pot to boil, or a Better Break

Or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

Or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.

For me, this is the modern interpretation of Thoreau’s description of our “lives of quiet desperation.”  It is this burning need to feel accomplishment that is tethered by our imagined need to be ready.

So, I’d like to issue you a challenge to begin one task today.  Pick something small that you can tackle in 20 minutes.  Or pick a small chunk of something large that has been looming over you.  Or pick something kind to do for someone else.  Or go ask your team what they want you to begin.  Pick anything, and simply begin.

Then you’ll be free.  You’ll have begun and, oh, the places you’ll go…

One Response to “Begin.”

  1. September 13, 2012 at 3:22 pm, maryanne said:

    Great post, Kelly. Reminds me of David Whyte’s Start Close In – sometimes, that first step is the toughest! Thanks for the inspiration.


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