My friend Eddie Varsalona has been singing and playing guitar and harmonica for over a decade now. He is one of my favorite people to watch perform or do a little “pickin and grinnin” with. His passion for music however was almost never realized. Eddie became interested in playing the guitar in his late 20s. He figured conservatively it would take at least 5 to 6 years to become decent at it and because of this he almost never took the first step. It was his mother who encouraged him. She said, “Eddie, Lord willing, you’ll be here 5-6 years from now anyway, you might as well learn guitar.” Eddie V is still here, and has plans to continue to perform well into his retirement.“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Are you finding it difficult to take that first step toward a new venture, an unrealized passion, an exercise program or the elimination of a bad habit? What’s holding you back? What stops you from taking the first step? Here are a few that have affected me at one time or another:
Overwhelm. Read the Lao Tzu quote again and focus on the “thousand miles.” How does that make you feel? Now focus on the “single step.” Do you notice a difference? You don’t have to have it all figured out. Simply take the first step.
Fear of ________. Fill in the blank. What is it for you? Failure? Looking bad? Loss? It may not work out? Isolate your fear(s). Instead of resisting them, try embracing them. In my mind it goes something like this, “I may fail, I may look bad, I may lose, it may not work out. So what? I’m going to go for it!” Take the first step.
Comparing ourselves to others. Hey, if I listen to Earl Scruggs play the banjo I have a choice. I can be depressed or inspired. Which do you think is more empowering? Take the first step.
Comfort zone. This is simply another way of saying you’re just too lazy to do anything about your aspirations. Reaching your potential in any endeavor will take hard work. Put down the remote, log out of facebook, get off the couch and take the first step.
“Let’s get it started in here.” – The Black Eyed Peas
There is tremendous power in taking that first step. Without it you will never fully realize your potential in the area of your life you are contemplating right now. Yes, that one. With it, your journey has begun. This is where all great journeys begin. I look forward to hearing where yours takes you.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe