Start Before You’re Ready
“Are you ready?” Klaus asked finally.
“No,” Sunny answered.
“Me neither,” Violet said, “but if we wait until we’re ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
— Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator
Personal progress. Professional progress. Collective, societal progress — all of it is born from a single person’s decision to act. To stand up. To speak out. To make a move. Usually, long before there’s any guarantee of success. Another point most of us fail to see: Action comes before the courage to act. Action spawns courage, not the other way around.
Action also generates motivation. Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, action implores you to keep going.
Think about working out. You don’t always feel like doing it. In fact, you might very strongly not want to do it. Listen to the voice in your head and you’ll hear something like, “I don’t feel like it. I’m tired. I don’t want to. I’ll start tomorrow.” However, something peculiar happens the moment you lace up your sneakers and get moving anyway. Another, more powerful force takes over. Within a few minutes, you feel more energized and alive. Inspired, even. Work out a few days in a row and bam — a domino effect kicks in. Without much effort, you begin to crave healthier foods. Drink more water. Maybe even yearn for your next workout. This same phenomenon can be seen with virtually any creative endeavor. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. Doing it generates the desire to keep doing it.
That’s why starting before you’re ready is a vital part of my philosophy that everything is figureoutable. When you start before you’re ready, you obliterate inertia and get momentum on your side. This applies to anything we want to figure out. Momentum is the secret elixir, and the only way to get that momentum is this: You must disobey the voice in your head that says, “I’m not ready yet.”
Stop thinking and start doing. Make a move. Any move. Send the email. Register for the class. Pick up the phone. Schedule the meeting. Have the conversation. Your next steps will become painfully obvious. The following points will help you master the art of…