Just Do It
Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
the step you don’t want to take.
~from Start Close In by David Whyte
Sometimes I need to remind myself of the Nike slogan to “Just do it.” When I have a big project, I can get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done and then nothing gets done, or I do a little bit here and and a little bit there with limited, and usually disappointing, results. It reminds me of when I was a child and wanted to play the piano. Except, of course, I didn’t actually want to practice playing the piano; I just wanted to already know how to do it. Many things are like that: I don’t want to go through the process; I want it to already be done.
Unfortunately, the results don’t just happen because I think about them or wish they were so. And I can’t start part way through the process somehow. I have to do the hard work of first figuring out what I need to do and break that down into small, achievable steps. When I focus on that smaller first piece, the entire project feels more manageable. I can move forward. And then it’s easy to continue on to the next step, and the next.
This is especially important when I need to do something that really challenges me. I’m afraid of making a mistake, of wasting my time, of looking foolish. I need to set my fear aside, focus on the process of incremental progress and just do it, one step at a time.