The title of this post is perhaps one of the most well known quotes in human history. It is often wrongly attributed to Confucius when in fact it came from one of his peers, Laozi. It has stood the test of time because it is both intrinsically true and because the lesson it teaches us is of great value. Whatever the task ahead of you is, the only way to start is simply to start.
Perhaps I should start here with a few caveats to set expectations. I’m not an expert in the field of self improvement, I think of myself rather as a keen student. I’m not a writer, I honestly can’t remember the last thing of any real value that I wrote voluntarily (meaning it wasn’t a response to a message from someone else or a work email). You can’t count my tweets or Facebook posts, they’re mostly nonsense. I’m not a high flying business owner or entrepreneur, though I do just fine and have bags of time left over after work to spend with my family and do my own stuff.
This just so happens to be the first time I have felt like I have something worthwhile to share whilst also possessing the will to translate that something in to action. That feeling of having something worthwhile is as much down to self-confidence as it is faith in the material, I might add.
Action is going to be a common theme in my posts on this blog. Clue’s in the title. Being a student in the field of self-improvement, I know how easy it is to sit and watch hours of TED talks and other seminars, read book after book and try and absorb the wisdom of all the social media posts of all the top influencers in the field. I also know how it feels to then go merrily on my way with every intention of putting it all in to practice, only to slip back in to the same old behaviours and the same old mindset, all that advice melting in to the background. I can’t imagine for a second I am the only one to have experienced this struggle.
It took me a long time to be able to put in to action the things I learned from reading and watching and listening to all the advice about how to be a better me. Still longer to see actual results. Longer still than that to be able to join up the results to the teachings and start forging my own path through all the noise. It’s an ongoing project to this day, nearly 2 years in. Perhaps you think I’m not far enough along yet to be of any real value to you or anyone else, but I believe otherwise.
My intention here is to distil some of the things I have learned across many different areas of self-study including, but possibly not limited to; mindset, personal development, professional development, mental and physical health, psychology and philosophy.
I’ll also do my best to give you a takeaway from each post that you can put in to action straight away. This blog is for everyone. Whether you want to improve the quality of your relationships with others, enhance your career prospects or refine a particular aspect of your character.
If you’re looking for a takeaway from this post then let it be this: absolutely everyone has the capacity for self improvement. It doesn’t need to be a daunting task and you don’t have to be the CEO of a Silicon Valley start up to make self-work worthwhile. Whatever your goal is to improve yourself and your life, the only way to start is simply to start.