Most of us have grown up being taught that the proper formula is “Ready, Set, GO!” But in almost every case, we actually need to “GO” before we feel ready.
In fact, starting before feeling ready is often cited as one of the chief habits of successful people. Why is that? Aren’t we supposed to have all of our proverbial ducks in a row first? Or is that just ducking commitment?
It turns out that committing to something is far more important than being ready for something. You probably know of people in your own life that finally quit smoking – not because they were ready to – but because they were committed to it. Throughout history, how many soldiers were ready to take a hill, versus being committed to taking it, when it was “go” time?
The very act of starting something and committing to it forces us to focus better. Think of those moments in your own life when you were thinking about starting a new project. You probably had less trouble with focus, and more trouble simply deciding. Recall the things you absolutely had to get done – even if you put it off for a bit – once you committed to doing it, you got it done, right? If you want to make meaningful progress in your life, or your job, or your own health, it’s not so much about being ready, it’s more about making the decision to commit, and the needed focus will be there.
Work Begun is Half Done
Want to lose the extra pounds from the COVID quarantine? Great! You don’t need to do a ton of research. You don’t need more information to get “ready.” Just commit to the fundamentals of eating real food and exercising more, and commit to making it happen. If it’s important to you, you’ll take the first step and trust that you’ll figure out the rest along the way.
The Only Wrong Choice is NO Choice at All
Whether you ever spent time in a high school drama class or not, you’ve probably been reminded on more than one occasion of the old axiom: “Life Isn’t A Dress Rehearsal.” That’s because this is your life, right now! It’s happening whether you sit quietly or whether you actively participate in it.
If you want to lose weight, or you want to quit smoking, or you want to be more kind, or change jobs, then make the choice to begin – ready or not! If you know where you are going, the universe will help you get there, or at the very least clear a path for you. A willingness to start is the littlest thing in your life that can make the biggest difference.
Good Enough is Plenty Enough
Allow yourself to be propelled forward by the excitement of doing something challenging. Naturally, you’ll feel unsure, unrehearsed, and unskilled. That’s a given. So if you use that as an excuse to do more planning and more prep work, that’s all it is – an excuse. You have a choice, though. You can get going right now, if you want to.
Remember the expression some people will say before embarking on a new goal: “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!” It’s a wonderful way of admitting that who you are, what you have, and what you know in this very moment is all you really need to start.
Take a chance, and contribute something – anything – to your partner, to your workplace, to your community. If you need more incentive, keep in mind: the people who get started are the only ones who end up finishing.
Begin today. Stand up, step up, rise up, and raise a hand. Everything from a meaningful existence to a vibrant relationship requires a willingness to get started. As the old saying goes: “You can’t plan for everything, or you’ll never get started in the first place.” So just get set . . . and GO . . . ready or not!
By Mark Smith, contributing author
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