Every book begins with one sentence
Take this one for example:
“Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”
In 1990, whilst sitting on a crowded train bound for London, Joanne Rowling lit the kindling of a $15 Billion fire that still rages onto this day. She famously didn't have a pen with her and being too shy to ask any of her fellow passengers for a loaner, she sat quietly and let the sparks of her imagination fly. When she finally arrived home over 4 hours later, she could easily have put her Macaroni and cheese in the oven, fallen asleep and forgotten the whole damn lot. Instead she put pen to paper and wrote the first couple of pages. Not a book. Not a chapter. Just two pages. This one step was the catalyst for a 17 year project that took her from a breadline unemployed single mother of one, to the world’s most famous and wealthy author. She made a habit of just getting started.
Don't Think About Bird-strikes
Starting anything is difficult. It’s the hardest step because it takes an initial effort and it’s the easiest step because it’s the only one we can truly see. So very often we don’t see this first step because our minds wander and we think about the what ifs and the inevitable challenges along the way. Think about a plane journey. The goal is to get to a destination, and whilst the pilot has a rough idea of the path to get there, he's in a state of constant correction throughout the flight. If he thought about all the obstacles before hand, bird-strikes, tire-bursts, engine failures, mid-air collisions….he'd never take that first step of getting the plane into the air (I know I've greatly simplified the process of flying and there are probably a 1000 steps before a pilot gets the plane in the air but you get my drift). Then once he's in the air, the pilot fluctuates between taking proactive and reactive action…he doesn't have a choice but to keep moving towards the final destination.
Incidentally, I apologize for referring to the Pilot as a he rather than a she, that's just the way I visualized it...he also had a big bushy 'tach and a half bottle of Johnnie Walker in his pocket...argh everyone off the plane, use the big yellow bouncy staircase.
How to Start Anything
And so it is with you. When you take the only step you can, you’ll find yourself proacting (another bad habit of mine…making up words) and reacting instinctively. Here’s the easiest, simplest and most effective way to take a first step with anything.
Step 1 Take a pen
Step 1.1 Write something. Anything. It could be an idea or a word or a list but try to think of something small that will get you moving and thinking.
Boom…now you've started out on your road to achieving whatever goal you have in mind…the very act of putting pen to paper is the first step and gives you a platform for building on. You can now tell people "I've started working towards <<insert big goal>> ".
Basic? Yes. Powerful? Yes.
Take me for example
Let’s say my goal is to tell more people about The Habit Journal. So the one habit that would help me get closer to achieving that goal is to consistently write content on my blog. And to do this I just need to start with my first post...you've just read it.
Boom. (I really need to stop saying Boom, it’s a bad habit)