Making A Start

startAfter I moved into the Palatial Horvath Estate, I was intimidated by my closets for thirteen years.

Sad, but true.

See, I wanted to organize them, but I had so much stuff jammed in there I didn’t know how to begin. Year after year it kept getting worse…and worse…and worse. It was overwhelming. So what did I do?

That’s right. I did nothing.

Then Hurricane Sandy came and the power went out for five days. I couldn’t go anywhere. It was cold. It was quiet. And, without even realizing what I was doing, I found myself organizing a closet.

Once I started, I couldn’t stop myself. Over the next couple of weeks, I whipped through my closets like a gerbil on speed. I wore myself out, but most of my closets are organized now.

What had I done? I’d started. That’s all. Just…started.

I thought about my closets the other day as I was contemplating the manuscript I’ve been working on for over a year. I’m still learning how to work with this whole writing gig, so I’ve made another classic newbie mistake – the beginning of the book is polished and seems pretty good, but everything falls apart about half way through. Looking at the manuscript, knowing I have to fix it or I’ll be wasting a lot of good effort (not to mention over a year of my life), was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to do it.

What did I really need to do? I needed to start.

That’s all. Just…start.

So, (finally) that’s what I’ve done. I started by outlining what I had, and that’s showing me where I need to go. It turns out everything I need is mostly there anyway, there’s just a few vital pieces missing.

The point is, I’ve started. Now I have some momentum going, but it’s only because I (finally) started.

There’s power in making a start. Taking one step makes it easier to take the next one. It can be hard to overcome the inertia, but we have to do it. We eat an elephant one bite at a time, but if we never open our mouth to take the first bite, the elephant isn’t going to get et.

So if you have something you’ve been putting off, start. That’s all. Just…start. Because you can’t finish it if you never take the first step.


Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!  Begin it now.

W. H. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition



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