A good friend and I have been saying this to each other lately—“just start.” There are a ton of quotable quotes with this idea at their core:
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. (Lao Tzu)
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. (Twain)
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. (Disney)
And perhaps the pithiest of these:
To begin, begin. (Wordsworth)
To be clear, it’s not that this idea is new to my friend and me. But knowing that you should “just do it” and being able to step into that unknown are two different things. When faced with doing something new, or scary, or that may fail, it can be natural to hesitate. Often that hesitation takes the form of continuing to gather information. “I couldn’t possibly start until I know this…and this, and of course that…” Then we need to think some more, and maybe run an idea or two past friends and family.
At some point there is nothing more to be gleaned, and we have to actually do the thing we set out to do. “But I’m not ready!” a voice inside cries.
When will you be ready? The answer, for that voice, is “when it’s safe.” But venturing into the unknown is never safe. It’s unknown—we don’t know what’s going to happen.
But the great news is that, simply by beginning, we will learn and discover something new. That’s the necessary information-gathering. Simply begin.