The Power Of Starting
I was falling asleep the other night, doing everything in my power to not start any thoughts of any kind, but then the mere thought of the power of starting...consumed me.
This is why...
Think of whatever project you're working on or whatever task you need to get done, as if it were like starting your car. (New Yorkers - use your imagination.)
This is what keeps me up at night, you guys. Car metaphors.
Now, imagine getting in your car, starting it and sitting in the driveway all day with the engine running. HOW WEIRD. HOW WRONG. WHY? - Exactly.
This is the power of starting.
Once you start the car (with minimal effort) the anticipation of pressing the gas will win and you will go somewhere - anywhere. (Unless it's winter in MN and you're waiting all day for the car to defrost, but I digress.)
I call this one: "Pedal To The Metal"
1. Trust your GPS
If you don't know exactly where you're going or what you want to start, I'd ask this - have you ever gotten in a car with a rough idea of where you're going, but rely heavily on Google maps to get you there? Same.
Your intuition is your google maps people, you just have to trust it. Start the car, then listen patiently and confidently. It's not always going to be perfect and construction can be annoying, but you'll get there.
Life example: My freshman year of college I majored in Equine Studies. I rode horses 3 times a week and competed in horse shows almost every weekend. One day I woke up and realized I wanted to be doing something more creative. I looked at all the majors I could switch to and blindly chose Creative Advertising. I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing, but my inner google maps was assuring me - I was on the fastest route to my destination.
3. Make a U-turn. Turn right on red. Roundabouts are fun!!
Some of the biggest fears that surface when you're starting something new are: What is the thing I should be starting? Should I wait to start something else? What if I start and realize I shouldn't have started? Am I stuck? Or - oh Forget it, it's not worth it.
Don't just "forget it"! It's ok and completely normal to start something, make mistakes and question it. Anticipate that, but don't let that ever stop you from turning the key in the first place. There is nothing wrong about taking a different route, exploring the back roads or completely starting over. This is why cars can turn left and right, back up and go slow and fast. You're in charge and you can go wherever you want, as fast or slow as you want.
Life example: I downloaded the app Duo Lingo, right? I couldn't decide whether to learn Swedish or German and I didn't want to spend ALL this time on one and then wish I had done the other. So you know what I did? I didn't learn either. I could have kind of been speaking Swedish right now... or German. I guess we'll never know. It's not too late either...maybe after I finish this post I'll "pedal to the metal" myself. German. There - I decided.
2. Traffic will happen and it will end.
Sometimes you start something with extreme excitement and passion and think, "this is going to be it!!!!" And then a month later you've lost that fire and you justify all the reasons it's not as good as you thought it was. It's happened to me more times than I can possibly count.
When you get stuck in traffic, you don't get out of your car in the middle of the highway and give up. You wait it out. Just like you shouldn't abandon what you've started if you're going through a rut or if it's slow. Just embrace what it is and know that the car will start moving swiftly again soon. Trust the ebb and flow of traffic.
Life example: This happens almost everyday when I'm writing. I'll start a post or a script and be on top of the moon about it - thinking,"this is such a great, fun and simple idea!!!" Then 20 minutes later, I'll be completely stuck, stopped and questioning everything. Instead of giving up on my career, my blog, and my passion for writing - I just wait, as if I'm sitting in traffic. Call a friend, listen to music - eventually the words will start coming again.
The conclusion of my car metaphor.
What have you been pushing off? Is it a conversation? A career move? Doing laundry?
I'm giving you the keys to your dream car, in your favorite color, with an excellent turn radius apt for u-turns and that fancy beeper thing that tells you when cops are around.
Pedal to the metal my friends.