The 1 THING You Need to get Started
I can’t join that gym, it’s full of athletes!
He was in his sixties, a bit over five feet tall, and almost the same around.
He had a big voice, a huge personality, and an monstrous belly.
He lived large and had the profile to prove it.
He was my friend.
He bellowed at me from across the office: “I can’t join your gym. It’s full of jocks! I’m just going to join at the hotel across the street so I can have a steam and a glass of wine.”
Then he laughed.
I was at the gym again this week.
The weight room was full of hockey players and yoga instructors. Young, lean, strong, fit.
Powerful kids doing complicated exercises with grace and ease.
There was a older man working out with a trainer.
He was 70? Maybe more?
He was 100 pounds overweight. Easy.
He was sitting on an exercise ball doing exercises under a trainer’s watchful eye.
And he was sweating. Hard.
I could tell by the trainer’s instructions this man was new to working out, possibly the first time he ever set foot in a gym.
His movements were stilted and jerky. His breath was labored.
But here’s the key:
- He made up his mind.
- He ignored the hockey players.
- He asked for help.
And he started!
I don’t know how to start!
I often advise people to just Start by Starting.
Somebody told me recently they don’t know
they are supposed to start.
And this is the story I told her:
Many years ago our family construction company won a contract to build a courthouse. It was by far the biggest project our company had undertaken at that time.
And we were nervous.
The project was just starting, and our foreman was staring at the mountain of drawings. He later told me he was paralyzed at the sight.
In that moment he heard a concrete truck, backup signal beeping. He poked his head out of the office window and yelled: “what are we pouring?”
“South stairs”, the answer echoed back.
He opened the drawings and saw a plug in those stairs.
He collected his materials.
He calmly walked across the site.
He installed one box for one plug.
With that simple action the project was started.
You can’t climb the mountain with one step.
As he retold the story years later our foreman described how he tried to build the whole building in his head, tried to eat the whole elephant in one bite.
And it caused him to choke.
But that first step…
to install that first box…
broke his paralysis…
propelled him into action…
and put him on the path to climb the mountain.
Start by starting.
What have you have been putting off?
What is haunting you or daunting you?
What is your first step to start?
- Dial their number.
- Draw the first sketch.
- Type an opening paragraph.
- Approach that person.
- Send out your resume.
The first step is always the worst step. But no one ever won a race they didn’t enter.
I may start in the wrong place!
I know it sounds crazy but it doesn’t matter where you start!
It only matters THAT you start.
It’s possible – even likely – you will start off in the wrong direction. But the sooner you start the more time you will have to adjust your sails.
And the sooner you will be celebrating at the finish line.
I’m going to the gym.
Maybe that old guy will be there.