Just get started already

This semester, I’ve come to a bit of a realization. From my observations, it’s obvious to everyone, but always seems to be difficult to do. Starting to do anything is the most important thing you can do.

As the friend of the Transformers, Shia LeBeouf, once screamed in front of a green screen, “Just do it.” More and more, as I evaluate my current shortcomings and what I would like to see from my life, it’s becoming clear that the solution is oftentimes just to start. That first push is definitely the hardest part for me in almost every situation, but once I get going, it almost feels hard to stop.

There’s always the voice in your head telling you not to do it, for almost everything you do: “Don’t start that side project, someone else has done it better,” “Don’t start your homework now, you’ve got plenty of time to do it later,” “Don’t get out of bed, start exercising ‘later,’ Netflix is here and now.”

In these past few weeks, I’ve made a conscious effort to ignore that voice and just start things, work on my side projects, go running several days a week, apply for internships, and study that small amount more. As a result, I have noticed—at the very least—a perceived change in how functional I feel as a human being, and that is a good thing in my opinion.

Up to this point, this notebook likely has felt like all of the other motivational speakers or writers you hear about. They get up and run at 4 am every day to kick off their action-packed 16-hour days of pure productivity, but I am not the picture of perfect motivation that the Casey Neistats of the world pretend to be. I don’t believe anyone is.

Sometimes it can be demotivating to hear about those types of people. When you are feeling demotivated, keep the following in mind: many people have days where nothing happens, or where they feel like they can’t do anything. I believe the trick is to accept those days when they come, embrace them for what they are, and don’t let them impact the next day. Sometimes that one day of nothing stretches into two days of nothing, and carries on for a while. This is okay, and part of what I believe is normal. It becomes a negative impact on your life when it stretches on for longer.

The worst thing that can happen when you start something new is that you only get a fraction of the way closer to your goal, which is still infinitely better than not starting.