Start Art

The media is filled this time of year with tips and stories on how to make and keep New Year’s resolutions. Historically we know most resolutions go by the wayside in a few weeks and most of us are right back into our safe, comfortable and familiar routines (or ruts) from years past.

But what gets almost no press is the art of starting. It’s easy to talk about starting a new project, a new habit, a new mindset, but actually starting is very different. To start is to risk, it is to step, it is to move from the known to the unknown, it is intentional, it is a choice. To start invites comments and comparisons and even judgments all tied to questions like, “What happens if you stall or stop?”, “What will ‘they’ say or think?” And lurking in the background of all these doubts and fears are the mutterings of the dreaded “f-word”- FAILURE! A new year dawns, and with it many steer well clear of the road less traveled and opt instead for the well-worn and traveled (and crowded!) path as we navigate the forest of tomorrow.

Fear not though as all of the great wisdom traditions affirm, we are not alone! Examples abound of “starters”, folks like the rest of us who in the face of all the questions and fears and doubts chose to start. And while every start is personal and unique, I think several consistencies are present in all starts. In short, I believe there is an art to starting (though I've not read it, there's a book by Guy Kawasaki published in 2004 titled The Art of The Start.)

In the early days of this new year I start a new path. A path of thinking out loud in a forum limited only by an internet connection that is fraught with all the fears I mention above but seasoned with the excitement of a start! I am hesitant, scared, unsure of what or where this road less traveled by me will lead, but deep within today, now, I choose to start!