I have a question for you: What’s the one thing you know you should be doing but aren’t? I’m not talking about everyday things, things that may be important but on a much smaller scale, such as doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or paying the cable bill. I’m talking about the ideas that you have. The big ones. The ones that won’t leave. The ones that have been with you for months, maybe even years. Maybe ever since you were a kid. They linger like strays on a doorstep. You want to write a novel. Or travel the world someday. Or start your own business. Or run a half marathon. You get the idea. We all have at least one thing. Maybe it’s two or three things.
Call me crazy, but I believe we were all created for a unique purpose. Every single one of us. I believe that there is something inside of us, that we were designed to do, that burns deep within us. Maybe the thought of doing it strikes fear and terror in our hearts. Yet the thought of not doing it is even more than we can bear. We know we won’t be fulfilled until we do it. Our mission here on Earth isn’t complete until we follow through.
(Maybe she watches too much sci-fi…)
We have a goal. We have a dream, a vision. But so often life happens and with all of its many curveballs it throws, we find ourselves way off track. Whatever that one thing is for you, most of us know that what got us here:
…won’t get us there:
Disappointing, I know.
The problem with this, is that these ideas/goals/dreams/visions look so big in our mind’s eye that we often don’t know how to get them started. We start to feel suffocated. Paralyzed. We are at the bottom of Mt. Everest, staring up at its peak. We see the summit, where we want to be but just not knowing how to get there. And so we continue to walk around the bottom of that mountain, all the while staring longingly, wondering if and when we will ever make it to the top.
What we so often miss are the tiny, insignificant little footpaths up the side that would lead us all the way up, if we would just recognize them and faithfully climb. One step at a time.
I want to write. Most of the time, I have no idea what I am supposed to write about. My ideas, at times, seem so small and insignificant. I’m not an “expert” at anything. Eventually, though, I would love to write a book. I have that pesky vision, you see. I have no idea how I am supposed to get there. All I do know is that for now I have an assignment: Write 500 words a day. One blog post up every week. That’s it. It sounds ridiculously simple. So why would I not do it? Because it can feel so tedious. So boring. So unglamorous. It’s not how I imagine it in my head. Plus, the chances that some publisher in shining armor will gallop past my blog on his glimmering white steed and be so taken in by the sheer beauty and poetry of my words are slim to none.
I know that I am also supposed to run. I don’t know why. It is just somehow a part of me. I am more fully ME when I do it, if that makes any sense. It’s one of the things that makes me tick. It’s like it was somehow written into my DNA, imprinted on my genetic code, or hardwired into my programming.
(Okay, now we KNOW she watches WAY too much sci-fi…)
I just recently signed up for my first half marathon. I never really thought I was capable of even attempting such a feat until I saw the training schedule. Two short runs twice a week for 30 minutes and one long run on the weekend. I can do that. It’s taking that monstrous task and breaking it into smaller, more manageable steps.
I don’t know why I’m supposed to write, other than to offer my fellow readers hope and encouragement in these tough times that we live. And if that’s all I do, then it will have been enough. Because I accomplished what I was supposed to do. Just do it. Blog it. Write it. Get the words out there. No matter how boring it seems. No matter how miniscule it may appear. Just. Do. It. Even if it sucks.
I don’t know what “it” is for you. It may be a weight loss goal, or a dream that you have buried because of setbacks or disappointments. Whatever it is, it’s still there isn’t it? It’s still alive. It’s barely breathing, and it may need a little resuscitation, but with a little kickstart of some hope and some prayer, we can get this old rusted thing moving again, you and I. Together we can do the things we were created to do.
Because when I do those small things, take those small steps up, I know I am doing the right thing. I am making the small steps toward my goal. No matter how much it hurts. Take that wonderful, beautiful, pure idea, the one that excites you beyond words, and take those small steps to see it through. Don’t let the idea itself intimidate you from even trying. And if you fall, so what? Pick yourself back up and do it again. And again. And then again. Until you’ve made it so far up your mountain that it doesn’t make any sense to go back down. You just have to keep going up.
I have no doubt you WILL write a novel. Who cares if it is a best seller or nobody picks it up, you accomplished your goal and see that it can be done so that the next one is easier. (John Gresham reportedly did not get anyone to pick up his first book until after his other books were successes.) At 500 words per day, you would have a first draft in less than 5 months. Now, I have to get these paintings done.