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Beginning is easy…


There's a Japanese proverb that says "beginning is easy; continuing is hard" and I was thinking about this proverb when I was planning this blog. I tortured myself with a whole series of questions - would I be able to keep going, did I have enough to say (those who know me will chuckle at that), would I be able to maintain the discipline and update it regularly? And if I did, would anyone be reading anyway, was there any point to doing it, would it all just be a lot of effort for, essentially, nothing?

The more I thought about it, the more I began to realise that while there’s a lot of truth in this proverb, I don’t think it’s quite right. I agree with the sentiment that continuing is harder than beginning but I really don’t think, for some people at least and I count myself one of them, that beginning is all that easy.

Generally, there are only a few reasons to do something; usually they boil down to either it being something you want to do or it being the right thing to do. On the other hand, there are millions of reasons not to do something – you’re too busy, there are other priorities, there are reasons why it (probably) won’t work, you’re not fully prepared, it’s not quite perfect, the timing isn’t quite right. The reasons are endless.

Some of these reasons (or fears or concerns) may have a grain of truth in them but you’ll never know until you actually begin and, when you stop to think about it, are they legitimate reasons not to even try? Some people wait until everything is perfectly set and perfectly thought out before beginning – consequently, they never actually start. Isn’t it better instead, to just start and then fix it as you go along, if needs be? Beginning, as the Latin poet Ausonius wrote, is half the work.

So if there’s something you’ve been thinking of beginning but have been putting it off, make today the day you begin - tomorrow can be the day you start to fix it, if necessary. As Ghandi said: "If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” Who knows, you may even find that continuing, for you, is easier than beginning.

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