Breaking ground.

I am amazed by what I get done once I start.

I had this feeling several times yesterday, and again while I worked today. That this thing I needed to get done just needed to be started, and as long as I didn’t start it was this big unknown, but once I put in even 10 minutes, my mind started working and all I had to do was let it go.

I remember feeling like this as a child when it came to playing in the mud. Or doing anything dirty, really: gardening, painting, chores. As long as my hands stayed clean and I wasn’t sweaty, I wanted to stay that way. But as soon as I started a little, pretty soon I found myself up to my elbows in my project, occupied and happy.

There’s the old cliché about “starting is half the battle,” and I’ve heard advice about “whatever you can do in 3 minutes, do now; whatever you can start in 3 minutes, start now.” We all know these things are true. It’s a universal experience. 99% of procrastination isn’t the thing itself, it’s starting the thing itself. Which is why we often procrastinate doing things we want to do.

And yet, breaking ground on a big, intimidating project is such a relief. Inevitably, I feel happier about myself once I begin. I’m not scared anymore. I no longer doubt my ability to succeed.

I feel this way even on days when I’m not procrastinating, when I get straight down to work and plow head-on into the challenge at hand. It’s such a wonderful feeling to hit your stride. Even when it leaves you tired and sweaty and the end of the day.

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