“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” ~Lao Tzu
Have you ever noticed that it’s often the very first step that’s the hardest step to take?
The actual writing of a book, for instance, is often not the toughest part of getting a book written. It’s starting–writing that first word on that first page. It’s exercising the courage to begin, the will to decide, the faith and determination to commit to a course of action that stops us.
Running a business is often easier than exercising the guts to start it and working out can be easier than making the committed decision to start. The first step of every journey is often the most difficult to take which is why relatively few journeys are conscientiously taken and so few dreams fulfilled.
Breaking Your Own Gravitational Pull
The space shuttle is a great case in point. It requires 5 massive engines just to get it off the ground. The 3 primary engines burn 350 gallons of fuel per second for the first 8.5 seconds of liftoff. Another two rocket boosters consume an additional 2.2 million pounds of fuel in the first 2 minutes and 13 seconds of launch, creating 11 kilometers per second of thrust to push the craft beyond the earth’s gravitational pull.
Once momentum is behind you, the next step or next leg of the journey is often much easier. But to venture that initial step requires from us a force that breaks from the pull of passivity, leaping from a state of inertia, stepping away from the gravity of the known and comfortable, leaving the port of safety into the turbulent seas of the unknown, untried and unpredictable, taking massive action where inaction may have been the long-time norm.
The courage to start. The will to begin. The determination to leap from the starting line of life is a wonderful exercise in passion, purpose, vision and initiative.
Take a close look in the mirror of your life. What have you avoided starting? What needs your courage to begin? What dream has been left to gather dust on the shelf of fear or laziness and the refusal to take action?
“The failure of a thousand dreams begins with the first step never taken.” ~Meant to be Happy
Have you always longed to write a book? Start a business? Get in shape? Break a habit? Begin a project? Invent something new? Design an app? Paint a masterpiece? Launch a blog?
Don’t try to eat the whole of your dream in a single meal. Just take the initial bite, savor the flavor of the first step. That first step will put into motion a body that had been at rest. Then let the forward thrust of that momentum push you through the remaining wall of resistance.
It may be as small as opening up a document on your computer and titling it, “Chapter One.” Or making a phone call or researching a market or buying running shoes.
The point is to start. Take a first step. Once that’s done, the second, third and fourth steps will come more naturally, likely with less resistance. And soon enough, you will have written that book, completed that project and finished that design.
Go ahead, take the first step—not tomorrow. Today. Right now. Let this be your 8.5 seconds of liftoff. Let this be your space shuttle moment.
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