The difficulty, the ordeal, is to start.

The difficulty, the ordeal, is to start. – Zane Grey

It can be hard to press the START button. But if you don't, who will?

It can be hard to press the START button. But if you don’t, who will? When will you start if not now?

What does that mean?
The author of today’s quote was also the author of more than 90 books, so I would dare say he knows of which he speaks. The thought of writing a book, a whole book, is quite daunting to me, even though I write a little each day.

But it’s not just writers that feel this hesitation, this difficulty, this ordeal, as he puts it. Some sports figures have something like this before the big game. Even rock stars report having difficulties psyching themselves up to go on stage, so it can happen to any of us.

However, it’s just the start. The quote doesn’t say what happens after that point, does it? I imagine that from our personal experiences, that most of the time, it gets a lot easier, and most of the fears we expected never materialize. The cure to the ordeal, it is implied, is to actually start.

Why is getting started important?  
The first answer that came to mind was that if you don’t start, you’ll never get done. But that kind of goes without saying, doesn’t it? However, sometimes it’s easier said than done. All the plans in the world, with no actual action, are worth very little, right?

You’ve got to actually get started, you have to do something to make it of any real value. Yeah, I know that getting started can be scary. Very scary. But that is the difficulty or ordeal which we must overcome if we are to get going, if we are to ever start.

And if we don’t start today, what are the odds that tomorrow will see us start? And once you put something off for one day, you have built the wrong kind of momentum. Even objects at rest have momentum, a resistance which you must then overcome.

Where can I apply this in my life?
I would imagine you can use this anywhere you have a hesitation to get started. It could be the difficulty of asking someone for a favor. It could be the ordeal of trying to make sure your plan is completely bullet and idiot proof.

I tend to suffer from both of those. I’m kind of shy and not too keen on having to ask or rely on others for help, so I often delay as much as I can while I try to do it myself. That doesn’t always end well, and I often have to ask anyway, having wasted a great deal of time and effort in the process.

I also suffer from analysis paralysis, wherein I spend way too much time planning every little detail, when I should be getting things done. It’s not too bad now, but it used to be excruciating! And if even one unpredicted thing went wrong, it was time to review and update the whole plan. Yeah, and I was a lot of fun at parties, too! (not)

Can you think of anything on which you’re stalling, not starting, hesitating, or even procrastinating? I imagine there are a few things that you’re not yet ready to start. But when will you be ready? Can you put a date on it?

Probably not, right? So it’s time to figure out what’s really holding you back. Grab some paper and write a few of these things down. They may be writing, projects, events, people, or really just about anything that is waiting for you to actually get started.

For each of the things which are not yet started, or are presently stopped and waiting for you to get things started again, write down all the different reasons why you have not started (or restarted) them. Now list all your excuses (unless you started with excuses, if so, get some real reasons).

Which of those reasons/excuses are real, and which are just there to make you feel better about not getting started? Put a line through all the excuses and all the useless reasons, and see what is left. Are there things you need to find out, people you need to get information from, or skills you need to acquire?

Write those things down and take a moment for a quick brain-storm session. What do you need to do to get around these issues? What can help you with a fear? Perhaps you can talk to someone who has done it, and get some tips or ideas. It’s usually easy to find people willing to help, if you ask.

Now you have something you can actually work on, even if it’s something on the way to your starting point rather than starting the project directly. Try to find one small thing you can do right now. Not later today, not tomorrow, but right now. Found it? Then do it.

It could something as simple as making a phone call or sending an e-mail or text. Perhaps a web search can find you the information you need, or find you a lead on a person who might be able to help you.

But you need to start. It won’t get any easier if you wait, so do it now. After all, that’s what this quote is about, isn’t it?

From: Twitter, @quoteshash
confirmed at :
Photo by kevingessner

Happy Birthday to Zane Grey, born 31 January, 1872.


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in confidence, doing, fear, goals, procrastination, time and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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