Starting and finishing are the two hardest parts of any project. Most anybody knows that finishing is hard, I mean running five feet? Sure! The other 9.98 miles? Mm, no. I think everybody underestimates starting, though. It certainly doesn’t seem that hard, you just…start.
Only…you don’t. Yes, you do start whenever you start, but you don’t really START-start. Not yet at least. You have no idea what I’m saying right now.
Okay, an example. I’ve been preparing for a financial book study I’m going to teach to a small group. I’ve read the book recently to refresh myself, taken copious notes, rediscovered what “copious” means, and spent hours talking about it or just thinking, trying to figure out the structure and layout of my group. It’s been over a week, and yesterday I spent hours putting my notes in order and playing with formatting ideas. In the end, I finally got a schedule: an eight-week course that breaks down only 1-2 chapters per lesson.
I have finally reached the starting point. The schedule is the basest of foundations, and now I can build upon it to format my course. At long, long last, I can finally begin.
So I took a break.
Hey, didn’t you see how much work I put into to simply start? Yeah, now that i’m actually starting, it will be easier, but nobody suspects the pre-game show. You have to walk to the base of the mountain before hiking it. You have to take the training to have any career whatsoever. You must crawl before you can walk. There are always precursors to the True Start, where you actually begin doing what you wanted to do all along.
This isn’t to discourage you, of course. Remember what I said? Putting in all that work made it not only easier to get my lesson plan going, but it made it possible! Many people give up when the see the pre-mountain obstacle course. Starting is harder than it sounds. But it takes a special caliber of person to get from the Pre-Start to the True Start. It’s an adventure in itself, and a growing experience. While studying, I re-learned many concepts of the book I’m teaching and considered how I might facilitate discussion, etc. Boring example.
My point is that don’t be discouraged just because starting is more difficult than it sounds. Even with that first step of the pre-start, that is still a start. It’s the first step in the journey of a thousand. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Thank you Dave Ramsey for that radical metaphor.
And remember: when you actually do get through the pre-climb obstacle course and arrive at the mountain, it won’t feel as bad as you think it will. After all, climbing the mountain is what you came here to do, it’s the thing you’ve been waiting for this whole time! You’ve finally arrived…and you’ve only just begun!